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Anand half a point from retaining World crown

October 27, 2008 07:02 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand kept his three-point lead intact as he held off challenger Vladimir Kramnik to draw the ninth game on Sunday night.

The draw brought Anand closer to the world title, which he gets to keep on reaching 6.5 points.

The draw in the ninth game gave the Indian ace a 6-3 lead with three more games to go in the 12-game World Chess Championship final in Bonn.

Anand needs just one draw to win the title while Kramnik needs to win all the three remaining games to send the match into a tie-breaker.

The 45-move ninth game was the second longest after the 47-move win which Anand achieved with white in the sixth game.

Anand won three games, the third, fifth and sixth and drawn the rest.

The ninth game, with Anand playing white, saw an opening in the Queen's Gambit declined and in the anti-Meran variation. Kramnik held the stronger position towards the end, but was unable to convert that advantage into his first win. Anand played the end perfectly to hold the Russian at bay and keep his three-point lead.

The two players will share a purse of 1.5 million euros regardless of the result.

Kramnik, who has not won with black in the last two years, gave a strong display and did have Anand struggling but the Indian held on. Towards the end, Anand played perfect defence, while Kramnik was unable to squeeze the win he so desperately needed to keep some interest alive in the match.

Anand did make an attempt early to see if he could finish off the match in the ninth game itself. Kramnik accepted the challenge and entered the sharp Anti-Moscow Gambit. He finally got a novelty in on 12th move and got a sharp position that gave him a chance to play for a win, which he gladly accepted.

Black (Kramnik) held a good position for long but Anand managed to stay in and draw the game.

In the 10th game, Anand will have black pieces.

Moves Game 9

Anand v Kramnik

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. Be2 Bb7 10. Qc2 Nbd7 11. Rd1 Bb4 12. Ne5 Qe7 13. O-O Nxe5 14. Bxe5 O-O 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. f4 Qg7 17. e5 c5 18. Nxb5 cxd4 19. Qxc4 a5 20. Kh1 Rac8 21. Qxd4 gxf4 22. Bf3 Ba6 23. a4 Rc5 24. Qxf4 Rxe5 25. b3 Bxb5 26. axb5 Rxb5 27. Be4 Bc3 28. Bc2 Be5 29. Qf2 Bb8 30. Qf3 Rc5 31. Bd3 Rc3 32. g3 Kh8 33. Qb7 f5 34. Qb6 Qe5 35. Qb7 Qc7 36. Qxc7 Bxc7 37. Bc4 Re8 38. Rd7 a4 39. Rxc7 axb3 40. Rf2 Rb8 41. Rb2 h5 42. Kg2 h4 43. Rc6 hxg3 44. hxg3 Rg8 45. Rxe6 Rxc4 1/2-1/2 (DRAW).