After drawing all his previous games, Vladimir Kramnik grabbed his first full point today. His compatriot Peter Svidler was the victim. With this win, Kramnik closes the gap with the leaders and has a chance to catch Carlsen in their direct encounter tomorrow.
Peter Svidler used his favorite Gruenfeld Defense once again, after having tried other systems on previous rounds. It seems like he was looking for a draw, as he went directly into an endgame. Kramnik, who is well-known for his abilities in the technical phase of the game, gladly accepted the offer. He advanced rapidly with his pawns in order to put pressure on his opponent.
Svidler’s passive strategy backfired as he needed to find very precise moves to maintain the balance. This also affected his time management – Kramnik was almost an hour up on the clock by move 30. The ex-world champion kept moving his central and kingside pawns forward and black’s cramped position started to crumble. When white’s passed pawn arrived to d7, it was clear that there was no way out for black. Svidler resigned on move 40.