The half smile which he was trying to control at the start of the game turned into a full one as Vladimir Kramnik outstretched his hand to offer a congratulatory handshake. Viswanathan Annd once again had all the reasons to break out into a shout for he had retained his World Chess Championship title after the final 11th game of the World Chess Championship in Bonn ended in a draw.
The 400-odd spectators however showed no inhibition as they burst out into a spontaneous applause. This meant that Anand had won the 12-Game Match with a 6.5-4.5 score, with a round to spare.
This also meant that the Indian superstar had shut once and for all the debate that World Champions are decided in Classical Games in One to One Matches (He not only did that but won in other formats too).
This also meant that Chess history now will have to reserve a special exclusive place for 38-year-old Anand as no other champion has won the title in three different formats. A hat-trick of sorts! Starting from 2000, Anand had won the World title in a knock-out format which had started with 100 qualified players.
Then in 2007 he won he title for the second time in a Double Round Tournament comprising of qualified eight Elitist at Mexico and for the third time yesterday in a Classical Match comprising of 12 Games against Vladimir Kramnik . Three titles spanning three continents, Asia, South America and Europe.
The Champion commented: `Kramnik`s style is lethal and I did not expect to win by tow points and hence I am very proud of this result. Right now I am more relieved than happy. I would like to thank my wife Aruna, my seconds, Hans Walter Schmitt (The Organizer of Chess Classic Of Mainz and a part of Team Anand in Bonn) and Frederic Friedel of ChessBase who helped me in my campaign.`
At the start of 11th game Anand once again had the last surprise as he changed to the King pawn Opening, one which he has played for almost his entire 25 year chess career. Earlier during this Match he had shocked Kramnik by switching over to the Queen Pawn with all the previous five occasions when he wielded White.
Kramnik spent a dramatic moment in silence with a stare at Anand and after some contemplation responded with the Sicilian. Anand had a half smile playing on his face as he watched Kramnik`s reaction to yet another unexpected weapon. Anand`s choice was a brilliant one and it was entirely his idea to revert back to the Opening in which he understands the positions best.
This was a good psychological ploy as prior to this game Kramnik must have time in preparing for both these Openings with Black. Kramnik plays the Petroff Defence where White does not have any difficulty in drawing and hence he chose the Sicilian-Najdorf. Kramnik needed a victory to stretch the Match to the last game and had no choice but to go all out. Anand`s strength has always been sharp lines and today too he was on the aggressive.
Kramnik in a bid to keep the tension opted for moves which might offer some initiative but Anand after castling on the queen side had his knight and Queen deep into Krmanik`s territory. The exchange of queens became mandatory for Kramnik and the position started favouring Anand.
By the 24th turn, Kramnik realised that there was no way he could win the game but would have to struggle and work hard for the draw also. At this point he offered a draw and a piece of history for Anand.
(11) Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772)
WCh Bonn GER (11), 29.10.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.f5 Qc5 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.Nb3 Qe5 12.0ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â–0ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â–0 exf5 13.Qe3 Bg7 14.Rd5 Qe7 15.Qg3 Rg8 16.Qf4 fxe4 17.Nxe4 f5 18.Nxd6+ Kf8 19.Nxc8 Rxc8 20.Kb1 Qe1+ 21.Nc1 Ne7 22.Qd2 Qxd2 23.Rxd2 Bh6 24.Rf2 Be3 ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Å“ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â–ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Å“
Text: Manisha Mohite
In Image: (L to R) Former World Champ Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Peter heine Nielsen of Denmark, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Anand, his wife and Manager Aruna and his Second Radoslaw Wojtaszek.