Bonn, Oct 22: World champion Viswanathan Anand opened his account with white pieces on Tuesday in the World Championship winning the sixth round game against Vladimir Kramnik and in the process almost closed the door on the Russian winning in 47 moves. He now leads 4.5-1.5.
The seventh game with Anand having black will be played on Thursday after a day’s rest. Anand, who has scored two wins with black pieces, will have three more whites in the remaining six games. The victory has not come with his natural King-pawn opening with white. The Indian GM opened with 1.d4 for the third time in three white games and Game Six promised lot of action after the opening struggle.
The Nimzo-Indian Defence appeared for the second time. The opening moves indicated a fight between two styles. Anand was keen on keeping the complications, avoiding lines that would have taken the game to technical endgame positions while Kramnik was solid in defence. The Indian was understandably slightly slower on the clock because of the comfortable position that he is in with the two-point lead.
Anand showed his work behind the curtains when he floated a new move and invited Kramnik for another protracted battle. His pawn push on the ninth move, threatening a Kingside pawn storm, marked a big difference from his previous game in Nimzo. When Anand played a pawn push on the other flank, former World champion Anatoly Karpov, joining the official commentary team in Bonn during this game, suggested white would be slightly better after the exchange of the Queens.
Kramnik had to try something different as defence would not win him any points and he would not be happy taking a half point at this stage of the match. However, Anand kept the complications on the board and pushed Kramnik back on the clock.
Then he won a pawn on move 22 on the Queenside for which Kramnik had no compensation. In a rook and minor pieces ending, Kramnik was back in defence and must have hoped that he could manage a draw like he did in the second game in a similar position.
And all this, despite the fact that Anand had not castled in this game.
In fact, Anand did not castle in three of the six games he has played and still his King was safe as a locker. After 27 moves, Anand had 40 minutes left to Kramnik’s 19. What a turnaround!
And on move 31, Anand won a second pawn tand then rolled his connected Kingside pawns to force black’s surrender after the first time control. Though Kramnik had more than a minute to make his last move before the control, he did not have any to save the game.