The update on the WCC match between Kramnik and Anand is that Anand selected what appears to be a brilliant strategy of turning the tables on Kramnik. To counter Kramnik’s longstanding “Safety with Black, push with White” strategy, Anand seems to have adopted the “Safety with White, attack with Black” strategy. And so far it has worked brilliantly.
Anand leads the match 3.5 – 1.5 having won 2/3 Black games. With 7 games to come, Kramnik faces a precipitous uphill climb. Kramnik needs to play in an unprecedented manner to have a shot at the title from here on.
Interestingly, Anand has shown that he can ditch his loyal preference for 1. e4, which he has consistently stuck to over a very long, eventful and brilliantly successful career, by choosing to move 1. d4 against a player who is one of the current experts on both sides of the d-pawn opening. Moreover, Anand has energetically entered the Meran lines of the QGD semi-slav while responding to 1. d4, which makes for sharp chess which suits Anand style, in positions he has had a lot of success in the past.
Kramnik has to do something extra-ordinary to stage a comeback, and while this is not unheard of in WCC matches, it promises great chess for the next few days.