I must say I am glad that Kramnik does not play the slav, another repeat of the Kramnik-Topalov match would be rather unbearable.
Kramnik has not beaten Anand as black with a Classical time control before and his choice of opening will give him more chances to do this.
2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3
Definately an interesting moment. Anand has prepared this sharp opening will Kramnik be up to the task. Shirov and Portisch are two players who enjoy playing this move.
4...c5 Puchen Wang lost an important game to Simutowe down this variation. Simutowe won the tournament and Wang come second just missing out on a GM norm. 5.d5 exd5 6.cxd5 d6 7.e4 0-0 8.Bd3 a6 9.Nge2 Nbd7 10.0-0 b5 11.Bc2 Re8 12.Kh1 Nf8 13.Ng3 h5 14.a3 Ba5 15.Bf4 h4 16.Nge2 Nh5 17.Be3 Bd7 18.Nf4 Nxf4 19.Bxf4 Ng6 20.Bxd6 Bxc3 21.bxc3 Qb6 22.e5 Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Rxe5 24.Re1 Rae8 25.Rxe5 Rxe5 26.f4 Re8 27.h3 c4 28.Qh5 Qf6 29.Rd1 Qxc3 30.Qh7+ Kf8 31.Qh8+ Ke7 32.d6+ Kd8 33.Qxh4+ Kc8 34.Qf2 Qe3 35.Kg1 a5 36.Ra1 Kb7 37.Qxe3 Rxe3 38.Kf2 Re6 39.Rd1 Kc6 40.g4 Rxd6 41.Ke3 Rxd1 42.Bxd1 Kc5 43.h4 b4 44.axb4+ axb4 45.h5 b3 46.f5 f6 47.Ke4 Bc6+ 48.Ke3 Be8 49.Kd2 Kd4 50.Kc1 Bf7 0-1 Wang,P-Simutowe,A/Arnhem 2007
5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.dxc5 f5
8...Qa5 This is another popular way to go 9.e4 Ne7 10.Be3 0-0 11.Qb3 Qc7 12.Rb1
(12.Nh3 e5 13.Nf2 Nec6 14.Nd3 Be6 15.Qb5 Nd7 16.Be2 Na5 17.0-0 Rac8 18.Rfd1 Bb3 19.Rd2 Bc4 20.Qb4 Nb8 21.Rb1 Na6 22.Qb2 Bxd3 23.Bxd3 Nxc5 24.Bf1 b6 25.c4 Ne6 26.Rbd1 Nxc4 27.Bxc4 Qxc4 28.Qxe5 Qb3 29.Rd3 Qa2 30.Qd5 Qe2 31.Qd6 Rcd8 32.Qxd8 Nxd8 33.Bf2 Qa2 34.Rxd8 Qxa3 35.Bg3 h6 36.R8d7 Rc8 0-1 Dreev,A-Anand,V/Madras 1991/Candidates )12...Nd7 13.Qc4 Ne5 14.Qb3 Nd7 15.Qc4 Ne5 16.Qb3 1/2-1/2 Khenkin,I-Anand,V/Germany 2003/
9...0-0 10.e4 fxe4 11.fxe4 Nf4 12.Nf3 Qc7 13.Be3 Nd7 14.Bc4 Nxc5 15.0-0 Bd7 16.Rae1 b6 17.Bd4 Ba4 18.Qd2 Nb3 19.Bxb3 Bxb3 20.Ne5 Ng6 21.Qg5 Qe7 22.Qg3 Nxe5 - Timman,J-Karpov,A/Reykjavik 1991/
10.e4 fxe4 11.fxe4 N5f6 12.c6 bxc6 13.Nf3 Qa5
13...Qc7 14.Bd3 0-0 15.0-0 Ng4 16.h3 Nge5 17.Nxe5 Rxf1+ 18.Bxf1 Qxe5 19.Be3 Nf6 20.Bd3 c5 21.Rf1 Bd7 22.Bf4 Qh5 23.Bd6 Bc6 24.e5 Nd7 25.Qf2 h6 26.Bb1 Kh8 27.Bxc5 Rg8 28.Bxa7 Qg5 29.Be3 Qe7 30.Bd4 Rf8 31.Qc2 Rxf1+ 32.Kxf1 Nf8 33.a4 Kg8 34.a5 Qb7 35.Kg1 Qb5 36.Bb6 Qxe5 37.Qd2 Nd7 38.Ba2 Qe4 39.Bd4 Kh7 40.Bc4 Kg8 41.a6 Qb1+ 42.Kf2 Qg6 43.Bf1 e5 44.Be3 Nf6 45.Kg1 Kh7 46.Qd6 Qe8 47.a7 Ba8 48.Qb8 Kg6 49.Bb5 Qg8 50.Qxe5 Kh7 51.Bd3+ Kh8 52.Qb8 Nd7 53.Qxg8+ Kxg8 54.Bd4 1-0 Portisch,L-Kluger,G/Budapest 1962/
14.Bd2 Ba6 15.c4 Qc5 16.Bd3 Ng4 17.Bb4 Qe3+ 18.Qe2 0-0-0 19.Qxe3
Game two and we have once again a queen trade before move twenty.
19...Nxe3 20.Kf2 Ng4+ 21.Kg3
21...Nge5 This was considered to be the safer option by many analysist, Kramnik is apparently playing for advantage himself 22.Be2 Bxc4 23.Bxc4 Nxc4 24.Rhc1 Nde5 25.Nxe5 Nxe5 26.Rc5 Rd3+ 27.Kf2 (27.Kf4 Ng6+ 28.Kg5) 27...Ng4+ 28.Kg1 Rhd8 29.Rxc6+ Kb7 30.Rcc1=
22...h5 23.h3 h4+ 24.Nxh4 Ne5 25.Nf3 Nh5+ 26.Kf2 Nxf3
26...Nxc4 27.Ba2 Nf6 28.Rhe1 Rhe8 29.Rac1 White is better, black's pawn weaknesses are his main concern.
With this move black shuts down the scope of white's white squared bishop and has 2 good outposts for his knight at f4 and d4. Kramnik is showing he too can be a pawn down and use his pieces actively to compensate.
28.Bc3!? This is definetly a computer move just go pawn grabbing and leave most of you pieces on the back rank, but it does have some logic behind it. If White is able to clear the board of some pawns his bishop pair will come into the game extremely quickly.
A) 28...Rhf8+ 29.Kg4 Rf2 30.Rg1 (30.Kxh5?? Rxg2 31.Bd2 Rh8+ 32.Bh6 Rxh6#) 30...Nf6+ 31.Kg3 Re2 32.Bxe5 Bxc4 And white has achieved a better position due to the pawns being cleared off the board.
B) 28...Rhe8 29.Rc1 Rd7 (29...Bxc4 30.Bb4 Be6 31.Rxc6+±)
C) 28...Bxc4 29.Bxe5 Rhe8 30.Bh2 Rd4 31.e5 c5 32.Bf5++- White's bishops suddenly come to life. Black is best advised not to swap pawns and keep the position as closed as possible.
28...Nf4 29.Ra2 Nd3 30.Rc3 Nf4 31.Bc2 Ne6 32.Kg3 Rd4
Kramnik a pawn down offers the draw to which Anand accepts. Definetly a fighting draw. Anand had his chances to push for more but the position was very complicated and Kramnik was able to take the iniative and not really give Anand a chance to get out of the starting block's.
Game three will be interesting to see what Kramnik has really got with white. According to Aronian he chose the exchange slav in game one to see what Anand had be studying. Learning from his match with Topalov where he was out gunned in the battle of the slav he ingeniously sets himself up for his black reportaire and by playing the Nimzo he avoids an opening his opponent will be well prepared for as both colours.