In one of the greatest upsets in chess history, Vladimir Kramnik has
defeated Garry Kasparov to take the world title claimed by Kasparov since
Kramnik won the Braingames World Championship match in London with a game
to spare, 8.5-6.5, to take the $US1.33m winner's purse and in the process
make Kasparov the only defending Champion in almost 80 years to fail to win
a single game in his title defence.
Kasparov, 37, seemed out of sorts throughout the month-long contest, taking
a number of uncharacteristic short draws at critical stages in the contest
when a win was desperately needed. In contrast, Kramnik, 25, dominated the
first 10 games and stayed cool throughout the tense final games to hold off
Kasparov's desperate winning attempts.
On past form noone could have predicted Kramnik's victory but perhaps less
weight should have been given to Kramnik's poor match record as a youngster
and more importance placed on his 80 game undefeated streak which was
broken only in June.
In the end, victory went to the tougher individual.
"These matches are the toughest form of human combat that don't involve
physical bloodshed," explained match commentator Jon Speelman. "They
involve almost unimaginable amounts of technical psychological and physical
energy," continued the English GM who, like many of his colleagues, could
not contain his delight when the news that the Kasparov era was over became
While Kramnik was making history in London, the Chess Olympiad was reaching
mid-point in Istanbul. While Australia is stuck in mid-field, the
favourites Russia are moving steadily to the top, with miniatures such as
the following greatly assisting their cause.
Opening: Modern Defence
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg5 a6 5.Nf3 Nd7?! 6.a4 b6 7.Bc4 h6 8.Bh4 g5?
Black has played the opening in a slightly eccentric manner, but had he
refrained from this provocation, nothing untoward would have happened. Now
however, D'Amore is blown away.
9.Bxg5!! hxg5 10.Bxf7+!! Kxf7 11.Nxg5+ Kf6
Walking to his fate, but 11...Ke8 12.Ne6 would be tragi-comic.
12.Qg4! Ne5 13.Nd5+ Kg6 14.Nf4+ Kf6 15.dxe5+ dxe5 16.Nh7+ 1-0
Braingames World Championship
Kramnik(Rus) defeated Kasparov (Rus) 8.5-6.5