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  WCC Overview
Anand vs Kramnik, 2008
Bonn, Germany

After Viswanathan Anand's victory in the 2007 World Championship Tournament, preparations were made to stage a title contest with former champion Vladimir Kramnik to be held in Bonn, Germany.

This match was a one-off event in which the previous world champion (Vladimir Kramnik) has been given the right to challenge to regain his title. Its origin lies in the complications of re-unifying the world title in 2006.[1]

 Vishy Kramnik 2008
 The State Art Gallery in Bonn, Germany
This event is especially significant because Anand did not win the 2007 FIDE World Championship in the traditional manner, by defeating the standing champion in a head-to-head match, but instead by winning a tournament. By winning this match, Anand cemented the legitimacy of his World Championship status beyond reproach.

The match format was a best of 12 games. In the event that the 12 games end in a 6-6 tie, the match is decided by a short series of rapid games, then blitz (if necessary), and finally, if needed, a single decisive "Armageddon game."[2]

In the game 3, Anand scored a stunning victory from the black side of the Meran variation of the Semi-Slav Defense, giving him the lead. In game 5 the same variation was tested again, and once more Anand triumphed with the black pieces. Anand then won the 6th game (playing White against the Nimzo-Indian Defense) giving him a commanding three point lead in the first half of the match. Kramnik scored his first victory in game 10, but Anand needed only one draw in the remaining two games to secure victory.

After a draw in the 11th game, Viswanathan Anand defended his title and became the undisputed 15th World Chess Champion.


  1. Wikipedia article World Chess Championship 2008
  2. Official Website of the 2008 World Chess Championship

 page 1 of 1; 11 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Anand ½-½322008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
2. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½322008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchE25 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
3. Kramnik vs Anand 0-1412008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
4. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½292008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Kramnik vs Anand 0-1352008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
6. Anand vs Kramnik 1-0472008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
7. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½372008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
8. Kramnik vs Anand ½-½392008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
9. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½452008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. Kramnik vs Anand 1-0292008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchE20 Nimzo-Indian
11. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½242008Anand - Kramnik World Championship MatchB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 443 OF 443 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-03-10  AuN1: korchnoi never won the title to begin with when he was younger and he was facing the likes of petrosian, spassky, keres, etc. nor did he dominate the way karpov did between '75 and '84.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: karpov was 35 when Kasparov defeated him. Thats young enough; no excuses.
Apr-04-10  percyblakeney: I think Karpov was closer to his peak in 1984-87 than Kasparov was, so it isn't easy to argue that Karpov was the better player of the two.
Nov-21-10  PatMartino: Fischer was 29 as a WM
Jan-04-11  Maatalkko: <HeMateMe> Actually Karpov only won 3 matches. 87 was a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Defending champ has draw odds. A win is a win.
Jan-04-11  Petrosianic: And a draw is a draw. Kasparov didn't win that match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Tell that to the good folks at FIDE. Botvinnik's legacy was saved by the draw odds and automatic rematch clause. Kasparov got some benefit from this as well. Almost isn't good enough.
Jan-04-11  Maatalkko: Draw odds means champ keeps title if it's a draw. The match was a draw, hence the "draw" odds. Keeping the title isn't the same as winning.

Botvinnik never won a World Championship match as World Champion. Strange but true.

Apr-13-11  bronkenstein: Karpov never won a match aginst world champion :) ...and he played so many matches.
Apr-13-11  Jim Bartle: I count three matches where Karpov played the WC: 86, 87, and 90. Lost two, drew one.
Oct-23-11  visayanbraindoctor: For an analysis of all the games of this match, please go to User: bridgeburner and User: game mapping project,

part of a project to determine and compare the error rates of key World Championship matches.

Oct-23-11  visayanbraindoctor: I agree with the write-up above:

<After a draw in the 11th game, Viswanathan Anand defended his title and became the undisputed 15th World Chess Champion.>

Kramnik voluntarily placed his World Title on the line in the 2007 FIDE World Championship Tournament, and so I believe that Anand won it back then fair and square. However, this can still be disputed because Anand did not beat Kramnik in a match. Furthermore, in the two games that they played in the World Championship Tournament, Anand could only draw Kramnik. Additionally, Kramnik also performed strongly to place second. For some of those that believe that Anand won the Title via the WC Tournament, the above circumstances devalue this Title; and for those that dispute, Anand never became champion at all (in 2007). This match definitively settles the question of who holds the Title. Anand has now become the Undisputed 15th World Chess Champion.

Oct-23-11  andrewjsacks: The braindoctor, as usual, is a great asset here. Thank you once again.
Oct-24-11  bronkenstein: <Anand was playing just a tad better than Kramnik, Lasker and Schlechter> Well , who could imagine better compliment ?

PS <bridgeburner> + <visayan> , THAT`S what I call contribution . BTW phenomenal opinion/fact ratio . But I will stop here , you might feel unpleasant ... =)

Jul-06-12  Eyal: In a recent lecture, Anand talks about his strategy for this match -, from about 22:45 to 24:00. He says it "succeeded beyond his wildest dreams", especially since he prepared three special "ambush-variations" and Kramnik walked into each and every one of them.
Jul-06-12  micartouse: I suspect Kramnik expected game 1 to go differently. In the well known interview with Tkachiev, he made the following comments:

<He’s got an amazing ability to constantly stretch himself so that even in some kind of Exchange Slav he nevertheless manages to attack something and create something.>


<In the match against Anand everything went wrong from the very beginning, just as it did for Kasparov in his match against me. I’m actually a fatalist to a degree, and feel that if that’s how something goes then that’s how it was fated to happen.>

I think those comments are sort of tells into his mindset. His previous 3 matches, he got a big advantage by starting conservatively. I think game 1 when Anand had the better of the draw, it spooked Kramnik.

Jul-06-12  micartouse: Oh, I already said so on the game page. I need new ideas.
Jul-14-12  Karpova: Anand: <Though I would say with Vlady it is tough. You look at that match. I mean, when your first game goes like that, you think, you’ve done everything wonderfully and you think, you are a great match player. But in the games that followed I simply understood Vlady made some tactical errors. He challenged my preparation in an area (the Meran) where probably he didn’t pay any attention to this sub-variation I played against him. He simply walked into an ambush. And that explains the huge score differential. I’ll be honest. For the rest of my life with Vlady, our results have been more or less even. Tending one way or the other, but basically even. And after a lifetime of such equilibrium you are winning by three points after six games, it’s clear something went dramatically wrong with him. Now I feel you also have to be lucky. Vlady got in almost none of his preparation, I got in almost all of mine, and that happens just once in a while. He just walked into an ambush and that changed everything. The remaining games of our match did not go anywhere like that. And you have to remind yourself, this is probably normal and that was the exceptionally good day. You are not going to win that lottery every day.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: First!
Or perhaps I should edit my ignore list.
Sep-27-15  jith1207: Ha Ha! <Offramp>
May-14-16  thegoodanarchist: Anand's confidence must have been sky high after his second consecutive win with the Meran variation:

Kramnik vs Anand, 2008

Aug-02-19  Chesgambit: too late Kramnik vs Anand match
Aug-25-19  Caissanist: From an interview with Kramnik at

<Your reign as champion ended with the 2008 defeat to Vishy Anand. What went wrong in that match for you?

He was just better in everything! I was too slow. I had sensed that chess was changing, but I didn’t adjust. He used incredible, high-level computer preparation, certain tools I didn’t use. I didn’t think it was so important, and by the middle of the match, I realized it was basically over.

He’s an absolutely great player, and in fantastic shape, so even if I had been better prepared, I’m not sure I would beat him. It was just a bit of a pity because it was a fantastically organized match, a lot of interest, and somehow I didn’t manage to put up a real fight. The sporting element was more or less over after six games, and I felt a bit like I’d betrayed the sponsors and the public.

Everyone was expecting a tough, exciting match between two equals and it was quite one-sided. But you have to lose one day. I don’t consider myself some kind of genius, so frankly, even being world champion three times is more than I thought I would achieve. I had to lose it sooner or later, and Vishy was probably the best opponent to lose to.>

Aug-25-19  fabelhaft: <Your reign as champion ended with the 2008 defeat to Vishy Anand>

Or rather when Anand won the title in 2007.

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