Kindred’s Special: World Championship 6.5-4.5

Going back over the many world championship matches, most of which contained a minimum of 24 games as set up by FIDE after the fiasco Capablanca-Alekhine match that called for changes in the time frame so the public would not become bored and the news reporters lose interest and depart the scene, many numerous title fights since have taken place and you see where 24 games at least makes room for a comeback from a poor start by one of the combatants. The late American champion, Bobby Fischer, voiced concern and actually demanded changes claiming the 24 games was insufficient and wanted a set number of games to be won by either party before a victor was crowned.

The just finished World Championship match between India’s Vishy Anand and the Russian bear Vladimir Kramnik is a perfect example of why the 12-game match for the title is inadequate. Anand hit Kramnik with a host of innovative opening ideas and gained a 3-point edge in the lst half of the match. Kramnik started to find himself in the 2nd half but could not close the gap and overcome the poor start that saw 2 draws, a win by Anand, another draw and then a pair wins by Anand which gave him a 4.5-1.5 lead. Important is that the next 3 were drawn and Kramnik axed the next with final draw in the 11th round so that the 12th round was not necessary to declare a winner.

The point here that I make is that in the last phase, Anand won 0 and Kramnik was able to draw and to win one game. One might only look at the Karpov-Kasparov match where Karpov had only one win to be declared the winner and could not put Kasparov away. That match that lasted seemingly forever with Kasparov slowly picking up wins. That match was called due to an apparent Karpov illness by the FIDE President.

Anand-Kramnik was another in a long history of wonderful battles for the crown. Anand says it is basically about whether you can outfox the other guy and how you do so. And Kramnik says of the match that he felt like he was unarmed, that everywhere novelties were waiting for him in all the openings.

One thing is clear. If future matches are say 12-games, then both players may be faced with pressure not to fall too far behind in the score. Rebounding in short matches is really a mathematical probability once the crisis point is reached.


One Response to “Kindred’s Special: World Championship 6.5-4.5”

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