Bonn, Oct 28: Vladimir Kramnik with his back to the wall finally struck back against defending champion Viswanathan Anand with a confidence-boosting win that still kept him on the edge but gave him chance to stay alive in the 12-game World Chess Championship.
Needing to win to stay in the match Kramnik won in 29 moves to narrow the gap down to 6-4. Anand's defence cracked in 29 moves from a Nimzo Indian defence.
World Champion, Anand, who led 6-3 and needed just a draw in the 10th game to grab the world title once again, faltered as the Russian finally seemed to have found his form and rhythm. However Anand still needs only a draw to win the title.
Kramnik needs to win both the 11th and 12th games to send the match into a tie-breaker.
In the 10th game, Kramnik was aggressive from the start and for the first time seemed to be in a game which he looked like a home preparation for him and had the Indian thinking midway through.
The game went into the three knights defence, which Garry Kasparov has used effectively in the past against Anand. But Anand on that occasion had salvaged a draw in Wijk Aan Zee (Netherlands) in 2000. But here Kramnik went off that slight line and ensured a lease of life for him in a match that seemed to be taking him to his doom after three losses in four games from the third to the sixth games.
The win with white also gave Kramnik added confidence, as two of Anand's three wins came with the dark pieces, with which the Indian had obviously prepared in great detail.
The 12-game final carries a purse of 1.5 million euros (about $1.8 million) with both getting equal amounts regardless of the result.