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Anand held by Kramnik

October 18, 2008 23:43 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the fourth game of the World Championship in Bonn, Germany on Saturday.

Playing white in the fourth game after a brilliant victory in the previous game, Anand played it safe and it was a near-chanceless draw in the end that kept the lead of the Indian ace intact.

With eight more games to be played, the scoreline now reads 2.5-1.5 in favour of Anand.

For the second time in as many white games, Anand opened with the Queen pawn and this time Kramnik showed that he was better prepared. The Russian went with the same move order that he employed in the second game, but Anand, apparently not-so-happy with the outcome of the opening last time, deviated on the third move.

By transposition Kramnik went for the Queen's gambit declined, making his peaceful intentions clear and Anand too was content with only a miniscule advantage often insufficient for a win  as the game progressed.

By the 15th move itself, as many as three pieces and a couple of pawns changed hands leaving the position completely dry compared to the wild complexities of the third game.

Working in Anand's favour was an isolated Queen pawn of black and the Indian trained his guns on the target.

Kramnik, however, had things under control and all that the Russian needed was to liquidate the centre which was carried out effectively with a fine plan.

As it happened in the game, Kramnik drove Anand's Bishop away from the board with thoughtful pawn advances on the king side and then broke through in the centre with a thematic manoeuvre.

Anand was forced to exchange the 'weak' black pawn and soon after a couple of rooks were off the board. It did not take long for either player to decide the outcome of the match. The peace was signed after 29 moves making it the shortest game of the match thus far.

With tomorrow being the first rest day, the players will resume the battle royale on Monday when the fifth game is scheduled.

The 12-game match will be decided in the tiebreak games of shorter duration in the event of a tied result.

The prize fund of 1.5 million euros is equally split between both the players irrespective of the outcome of the match.

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