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Official Bash Kasparov Thread

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Here's a thread just for the playa-haters so we can stay on topic in the other posts. To recap Kasparov's recent crimes against humanity:

Chess: +5 undefeated clear first in Russian championship ahead of Grischuk, Svidler, Morozevich, et al. Kramnik didn't play. Clearly it is unfair for a 41-year-old to be finishing ahead of three young top-10 players.

Chess politics: Wrote open letter to FIDE during Olympiad over their continuing with Dubai plans (since dropped) while ignoring Turkey's offer to host Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov match.

Merc: The English edition of My Great Precessors Vol. 4 on Bobby Fischer and other great Western players just came out. In it, Kasparov postulates that Fischer was far from a lock to beat Karpov in the cancelled 1975 match.

Checkmate! : My First Chess Book came out in October. Stirs controversy by saying a pawn can move one or two squares on its first move.

ChessBase "Fritz Trainer" DVDs with Kasparov on the Queen's Gambit and the Najdorf released. "Champion edition" of Fritz 8 with Kasparov video lessons.

Extra-curricular: Appeared in NY with silver-medal-winning US women's Olympiad team his Foundation sponsored and trained. (Also rumors of baby-eating, as yet unconfirmed.)

Politics: Continued to criticize Vladimir Putin for various anti-democratic actions in Russia, as well as for interference in disputed Ukraine election.

Commentary: A few cheapos about the Brissago match being boring (largely similar to those made by just about everyone else in the chess world, the last three games notwithstanding), but got through three interviews without a serious poke at Kramnik.

Although it's best to stick to these most recent horrors, we'll understand if you can't resist the classics.


The 2005 Corus Wijk aan Zee field has been complete since November 9. FIDE was still insisting that Dubai was going great for Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov in January. We don't know if he would have accepted, and can only assume he was invited, but certainly Kasparov wasn't able to deal with the Corus organizers with Kirsan saying the money was in the bank for Dubai.

A Kasparov-Kramnik rematch would be great, but so would be the inclusion of Anand in some form. It would certainly add to the legitimacy of the whole unification process.
I don't know if this qualifies as Kasparov bashing... :-)

Kasparov was born in 1963 and so was I. When I think of the things he has achieved and I look at mine, he makes me feel like a real loser!

Do you REALLY need to do this to your fellow man?


Awwwww, how sweet.

Screw this reunification. Let's just have a Kasparov vs Anand match, with the winner getting the right to call Kramnik names as many times as he would like--I for one will have little doubt the winner will be the real best chess player in the world.

One reason Kasparov gets bashed/flamed so much is because he tries to show himself as a saintly person with a holier-than-thou attitude while actually being selfish and amoral to the core. And I guess most people don't like double talk and double standards. Greg has amply demonstrated that in his entry in another thread.


The examples are so trivial that they prove the contrary point nicely. Kasparov gets both more praise and more criticism than every other player in the world combined. This is because he's in the spotlight and that's because 1) his activities usually earn the spotlight and 2) he makes an effort to be in the spotlight and 3) he does more. The other top nine players combined probably don't have Kasparov schedule, although that has been distressingly devoid of chess in the past few years.

What's with this "saintly person" silliness? If Kasparov didn't think he was right he wouldn't do what he does, that's the way most people are.

Hypocrisy is a stronger charge, but if two WCh draws four years ago is the best you can do, you're playing for the wrong team. I criticized them then and do so now. Kasparov said he was exhausted and used them as free days because he couldn't afford to lose a game with white considering the match score. Pretty weak, and in hindsight a bad strategy, but those two games don't make Brissago any better.

Plus, you don't forfeit the ability to speak forever if you make a mistake. (Although if Kasparov played a few short draws with white now he would have some explaining to do, and he knows it. But his games in Moscow averaged a ridiculous 47 moves.) Is it wrong for Kasparov to try for unification now just because he was one of the people who caused the break in 1993? (Which he has admitted many times was a mistake.) Or should he spite the chess world and his own interests by sitting out and telling FIDE to buzz off?

(Noone seems to be actually bashing Kasparov in this thread, which appears to be more of a Kasparov love fest thread. So I'll take a couple of shots.)

Kasparov is a great player, IMO the greatest of all time (only Karpov comes close). He has played a lot of very interesting chess, and I hope he plays a lot more. But playing great chess does not make him a good person.

The main problem I have with him is this: one of the truest tests of character is power. For many years, Kasparov was both the World Champion and dominant #1 player and, consequently, had a great deal of power in the chess world. He abused this power in a number of ways, most significantly his World Championship match shennanigans and his shameful failure to play Shirov (a match which Kasparov, if necessary, should have played for no money in the basement of a YWCA in Detroit). He has set astonishingly bad precedents for future World Champions to manipulate the system to their own personal advantage.

So now that he no longer has so much power in the chess world, his behavior has improved, even toward Kramnik? Well, I'm all for that. But the true test of the man's character occurred when he could do almost anything he wanted, and IMO he failed that test miserably. Maybe now that he has allegedly(temporarily) reformed (a little), he might consider personally paying reparations to those professional chessplayers who have been harmed by his self-interested maneuverings, since he profited from them while others suffered? Hmmm, I sort of doubt it. A lukewarm mea culpa maybe, but any sort of accountability is probably out of the question.

So a great chessplayer, but any attempt to make him out as a great person (or even a decent one) doesn't impress me. I have even heard that he has a reputation for somewhat questionable behavior at the board (the watch gimmick, annoying mannerisms, etc.). Not a gentleman, not an honorable man. Just another self-absorbed, self-centered sports figure with a big ego and a hunger for the green stuff. Shouldn't surprise anyone.


Don't waste your time trying to "sanitize" many of Kasparov wrongdoings over the years. They are well known and fully documented: he did touch tthe piece against Judith Polgar and that's outright cheating; he did destroy the FIDE World Championship Cycle when it was in his best interest; and he's getting a free pass by not entering the elimination process for selecting a challenger to Kramnik. There are many other examples of his flawed character. And no amount of writing on your part will erase those facts.

That said, the question should be: Is Kasparov an evil guy? Is he bad for chess? How good has he been, anyway?

All the answers favor him.

He has been good for chess; he's the strongest player ever, and he's probably not a better or worse person than any other world champion. Karpov, Fischer, Capablanca Alekhine, etc., all had their own share of sins.

I think that bashing or praising Kasparov without reason is rather pointless. Yes, he has done very bad, stupid and selfish things. He has done great things.

He's just a great player and not-so-great human being. I enjoy his games, but don't have to suffer his occassional bouts of dishonesty.

He, like the rest of us, is not perfect. He's perfectly ok as a human being (at least in my book).

That's all.

Before the Shirov canard gets too far again, let us remember for the 1000th time that it was Shirov who rejected one bid as too low. Kasparov might not have gone for the YMCA, but Shirov figured he deserved more after being ripped off after winning the candidates match against Kramnik. I'm not saying Shirov was wrong for holding out and expecting more, but it wasn't Kasparov's fault. The entire "WCC" was a fiasco and Kasparov certainly deserves his share of blame for that.

Kasparov used his power to help create the GMA and later the PCA. No doubt personal power was a factor, but the effects were great. Perhaps these reparations of which you speak (for what, exactly?) are amply compensated by the millions the PCA put into the pockets of other chessplayers. What sort of accountability do you want? All for the 1993 break? Crucifixion for Kasparov and Short?

When was this period of total power? When Ilyumzhinov was handing out millions and Kasparov couldn't get a match organized for five years?

Also note the difference between great and good. You can keep a theoretical saint who does no harm because he does nothing at all. I don't know if I'd want my son to grow up like Garry, but I'm glad chess has him!


For how much longer would we be subject to praises of the "+5 clear first unbeaten record". I have not seen you mention even once that all his major rivals in the tournament were exhausted because of the Olympiad and/or other tournaments while you are quick to justify Kaspy's bad performances using excuses like rust etc.

Coming back to Kaspy bashing here are some more:
- He is a sore loser. Almost every time he doesn't do well, there's an excuse such as fever, flu, exhaustion, rust etc. Most other current top players don't do that.
- To paraphrase what I said earlier, most of his actions are driven by selfishness but he tries to make them seem like noble actions.
- Unlike what Mig says, he rarely admits his mistakes and when he does so it is wrapped in a number of accusations and excuses.


Irvin. I was serious about the point of this thread. I'd rather have it all here than have a few cranks polluting half the posts with 10-year-old accidental touch moves as proof everything Kasparov does now is evil. It's not about sanitizing things; it's about putting them in perspective.

There also seems to be much confusion of results versus motivation. Perhaps people weren't around at the time. When Kasparov and Short broke off in 1993 they really thought everyone would join them and a new GMA-style organization could take over from the corrupt FIDE and do things right. It even looked possible for a while. Intel - INTEL! - came on with millions of dollars, chess was on ESPN, events were organized in major capitals. That it ended doesn't mean it was a disaster. Trying and being wrong isn't a crime, as long as you don't do it over and over.

I agree that having Kasparov play the FIDE champ in a match is abnormal, but I'm not sure why people think this is some crime of Kasparov's. FIDE was desperate to have Kasparov in a big match. If FIDE went to any other player with this offer and they accepted would they be amoral?

I'm comparatively new to this. When exactly did Kasparov touch a piece in a game against Judit Polgar, and then deny he had touched it? Is there an archived news story that I can read?

The main criticism I have of Kasparov is befriending mig. Now, mig is overly sensative about Kasparov's quirks and defends him all the time instead writing anything humorous about his eccentricities.

Kasparov is a great chess player, and great for chess. But he's just a person, with a public persona, that sometimes says and does foolish things. I liked the mig that could make fun of Kasparov, and make me laugh at these times. It made Kasparov seem like a real celebrity (and chess seem like a real sport), that could be mocked (in a funny, sporting way) for any trivial thing.

I still listen to Howard Stern sometimes, because he's still entertaining - but I don't listen as much now that he has a model girlfriend and hangs out with the celebs. He was much better when he had a normal wife in the 'burbs and saw the world closer to how the rest of us do. Likewise, mig was a lot funnier when all the chess greats were just names to him, and he didn't have to worry about offending (and defending) friends. He's still the best chess journalist by far, but Kasparov has reduced the quality of his output.

Kasparov could redeem himself in my opinion by pissing off mig and never talking to him again.

hehe.. finally a thread to wake me up.. Daily dirt was in danger of becoming a powerful sedative during the US Championship.
Kapalik, I dont know any great sportsman who isnt a sore loser. That's their secret. In my opinion every man jack is a pathetic selfish self promoter, the ones in the limelight just get caught out. If you look at the practices of some of the previous world Chess champions Kasparov does seem a saint.. The thing I love about Kaspy is he periodically comes out and proves the old adage "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". Which is all I care about. He's willing to come out and PLAY. He tries to get the best conditions he can, but so what? His opponents have the use of their mouths too, they can do what they want. For example Kramnik doesnt want to play Kaspy because he wants to leverage his status as the only person to ever beat Kaspy in a match to the max. He's doing that because he's thnking about himself. Is that any better than Kaspy? If you're looking for saints, there aren't that many candidates, but there are a few. I revere Mother Theresa for example, and if I can develop an ounce of her compassion before I die, I'll consider my life well spent. But dont think that Kaspy is any worse than 99.999999% of the human race. He's just a GREAT CHESS player, and his honesty and willingness on the Chess board is what has given me hours of inspiration and awe by demonstrating the ability and creativity of the human mind. If I want a saint, I look elsewhere..

I knew Mig wouldn't like that post. :) Kudos to him, though, for creating such a thread (even if it's really mostly for "cranks" like me) and not censoring it, even if he feels the need to attack the bashers.

Mig, correct me if I am wrong (feel free to "correct" me even if I am right), but my understanding, based on contemporaneous news/magazine coverage, was that Kasparov and Short's break with FIDE was primarily motivated by the fact that FIDE hadn't obtained a big enough prize fund for the match to please the players. In other words, the impetus was money, not some noble anti-FIDE "chessplayers of the world unite" spirit. Perhaps Kasparov and Short didn't realize the ultimate consequences of their actions. More likely, they just didn't care as long as the big bucks were rolling in.

I don't understand what you are saying about the Shirov match. Your statement that "Shirov...rejected one bid" is rather ambiguous, are you willing to clarify it? Are you saying that the match didn't take place because of Shirov only, and that this failure had nothing to do with Kasparov? Or is this "Shirov rejected one bid" just a sound bite that obscures what really happened? My understanding, admittedly gathered only from various sources on the internet and from references in NIC, is that Kasparov didn't want the match, made very little effort to find sponsors, and that there would have been a match if he had really wanted to play it. If my understanding is incorrect, and if Kasparov really wanted this match and understood that he was honor bound to play it but was frustrated by a greedy Shirov, you will be doing me a favor by setting the record straight here.

My "reparations" remark may have been slightly facetious, but not entirely. IMO, Kasparov must take a large part (albeit not all) of the blame for the title mess that exists today. Numerous people seem to believe that the current title mess is extremely damaging to potential corporate sponshorship for chess. (In fact, were I not so lazy, I would probably be able to find a quote somewhere by you, Mig, making this very point as an argument for why the current unification process should go forward.) So professional players have suffered (i.e., from the damage to corporate sponshorship) while Kasparov has profited (at least in the past) from his self-serving actions. So is the concept of reparations really that unreasonable? Maybe Kasparov could start by paying Shirov half the money he has made since the aborted Shirov match? (I for one don't think that Kasparov is just entitled to assume that he would have won such a match by a big margin.) Just an idea, but of course it won't happen. Anyway, my point was not so much that Kasparov should pay monetary reparations (although, in a perfect world...). Rather, my point was that Kasparov's past behavior appearst to have caused others harm, and his very lukewarm "mea culpas" now that he's the one that wants a title match don't really address that fact.

Oh, and Mig, you would possibly be more persuasive if you could avoid the exaggerations in responding to posts you don't like. I realize that such exaggeration is a rhetorical device that you have mastered (if that is the word), but misstating/exaggerating other peoples points and then "refuting" the misstatements/exaggerations is not particularly convincing. Just for example, it's not that I expect Kasparov to be a saint, notwithstanding your rhetoric to the contrary. I don't believe his behavior even meets the standard of "decent," a fact which my previous post makes clear and your response conveniently ignores. And I never said that Kasparov had "total power", I said "a great deal of power," something which is actually quite different. Your rhetoric merely obscures my points without really addressing them.

I do resent (just a little, this is all of course good fun) your rather snide reference to "cranks," as if only eccentric creatures of ill-will could have any negative impressions of the Great Man. I was certainly predisposed to like Kasparov. One of my two periods of greatest involvement in chess was during the time Kasparov was storming his way to the World Championship, and I remember how exciting it all was. I was, in fact, a fan of Kasparov's well before he became a Candidate for the World Championship. I was one of many who bought tickets to the aborted Kasparov-Kortchnoi Candidates Match in Southern California, and I remember how disappointed I was when the match fell through. Had Kasparov conducted himself even moderately well over the years, I would never have had a negative word to say about him.

But too often in our culture, our admiration for the amazing skills of eminent sports figures makes us apologists for childish and self-centered conduct. I don't believe in this type of hero-worship or "whitewashing," and I don't think that this fact makes me some sort of crank. I have no vested interest in the chess world other than that of a fan who appreciates the concept of "fair play." It is simply that my originally highly favorable impressions of Kasparov have taken some body blows over the years, based on Kasparov's own conduct (or at least his conduct as reported in the chess media), and based on his his apparently nearly unlimited capacity for creating self-serving self-justifications before and after the fact. If this makes me a "crank" in your book, then so be it.

I'm not claiming that Kasparov is some sort of Evil Super Villain. Probably he is nice to his friends, loves his family, is kind to animals and brakes for whales. He does seem to have mellowed somewhat recently, and although a complete cynic might attribute this to the fact he now finds himself in the position of supplicant-contender rather than king, I do believe that age and having kids probably has had a positive effect on him. And perhaps my personal opinions about honor and good sportsmanship are outdated in this modern "show me the money" times. But in the end, I still think that while as a player of chess Kasparov deserves the highest praise and is without peer, on the topics of honor, sportsmanship, and treating others fairly he could take instruction from your average class player at a weekend Swiss.

Just my opinion.

Yup!I agree.It is no use defending(though MIG call it Putting things in 'Perspective")Kasparov.inspite of his closeness to Kasparov, he never asked him any right questions,since Prague.Like 1.What he feels about Anand's exclusion 2.How deserving his seeding into finals when (till russian superfinal) he is not playing or playing bad and
3.When no timeline was honored from eitherside(I dont consider Kramnik-Leko 2 yrs. after Prague anywhere close to the time-line initially thought off) how relevent the unification is and
4.What he feels about Anand, who is arguably the best player since Prague and
5.If he looses his No.1 ranking , which is a chief justification for his direct seeding, what are his thoughts about it and
6.Does he consider Kramnik, the real champion.Because now he acknowledges(Kasparov) his parting in 1993 is a mistake.Then how about his tittle defence against Anand in 1995 and loss to Kramnik in 2000.Does he consider them either legit or relevent or only the real ones?
and many many more.
It may sound to some that Ksparov is getting too much of bashing ---inspite of the fact he mellowed down or winning russian super final or ageing, but the fact is he is not the actual looser..it is Anand more so Chess that is loosing .

Mig said:
I agree that having Kasparov play the FIDE champ in a match is abnormal, but I'm not sure why people think this is some crime of Kasparov's. FIDE was desperate to have Kasparov in a big match. If FIDE went to any other player with this offer and they accepted would they be amoral?


So, it's FIDE's fault?

Poor Kaspy is just being forced by FIDE to jump the line to the World Championship!

C'mon, Mig. You know better than that.

Even if FIDE is corrupt and offers Kasparov an illegal shortcut to the World Championship Match (which you admit is the case), what's preventing Kasparov from saying: "No, thanks. I want to get my title back the right way. Let me go at it like everyone else. I don't need to cheat".

By your own admission (above) FIDE is doing something obviously unethical. Kasparov is not, because other peopel would do the same thing in his position!!!!

See why I spoke of you wanting to "sanitize" Kasparov's actions?

Mig wrote:

There also seems to be much confusion of results versus motivation. Perhaps people weren't around at the time. When Kasparov and Short broke off in 1993 they really thought everyone would join them and a new GMA-style organization could take over from the corrupt FIDE and do things right. It even looked possible for a while. Intel - INTEL! - came on with millions of dollars, chess was on ESPN, events were organized in major capitals. That it ended doesn't mean it was a disaster. Trying and being wrong isn't a crime, as long as you don't do it over and over.


So, if the motivation was good then, because it was not about greed (according to you), why is Kasparov AGAIN doing business with FIDE?

Are you telling me Kasparov doesn't know that, if anything, the CURRENT FIDE is not ANY LESS CORRUPT than the one he parted ways with back in 1993?

I'll tell you what the common denominator is here: Kasparov puts his best interests ahead of ANYTHING. It was in his best interest to separate from FIDE in 1993. It's now in his best interest to do business with FIDE and its criminal leadership.

You can't deny, that, Mig. Can you?

So according to you Kasparov should say, no I don't want a rematch against Kramnik, first I want to play qualifier and only then I'll play Kramnik. This doesn't seem very logical to me and unless you are some saint I don't think anybody would do that.
It's only normal that all players in any sport do everything possible to protect their own interests, and it is the duty of the sports organization in this case fide to decide the most fair system. If the system is bad, then it is the fault of fide and not of Kasparov. And actually I find it only normal that a legend like Kasparov who is dominating the chess scene for over 20 years and who still is a clear number 1 deserves some priviliges.

On the subject of Kasparov's seeding, it was once customary that the champ, once defeated, automatically gets a rematch. Karpov got a rematch with Kasparov on this basis. Kasparov's seeding in the Prague agreement was therefore entirely reasonable. He was also the undisputed #1 at that time.

Seems appropriate to this thread, but I'm suspicious of the timing... must be some sort of conspiracy!

Chess Conspiracy Unconvincing


Not everyone shares Mig's dismissive attitude toward Kasparov's "ten year-old" "accidental" touch-move violation against the 17-year old Judit Polgar, playing for her first time at the Linares tournament.

From the Washington Post July 3, 2000:

“Last month, Kasparov made a deal with Mexican educators to help them develop a chess program for Mexican schools. Hopefully, the kids would not ask the champion too many questions about the basic rules. In the past Kasparov had problems with the "touch move" rule, which many chessplayers regard as sacred.

"The late Australian World Correspondence Chess champion, Cecil Purdy, went even further: "Some people retract moves in 'friendly' play without even asking-they are no better than professional thugs. Expunge their names from your visiting list." And he added that "in serious chess nobody ever dreams of asking for a move back.

"In 1994 in Linares, Spain, Kasparov played a knight move against Judit Polgar and removed his fingers from that piece. But after he saw that he might lose material, he took the knight back and made a different move. His act was caught on camera by a Spanish television crew, but Polgar was so shocked that she froze, uncapable to protest and soon lost the game.

"At the 1980 Malta olympiad Kasparov tried to use the "touch move" rule differently. In a hopeless position against Bulgaria's Krum Georgiev, Kasparov claimed that his opponent touched his pawn while he was trying to retake his bishop. Georgiev denied it. If enforced he would have lost a rook and could have resigned. The tournament arbiter, Lothar Schmid of Germany, did not buy Kasparov's claim and allowed the Bulgarian to proceed with the move he intended.

"Perhaps the last thing Kasparov wants to hear from the Mexican kids is: "If the champion can break the rules, why can't I?"

It's been a while. Enjoy your blog, Mig, and agree your writing is best when your quill is dipped in a little sarcastic poison.

Regarding, The K's 'touch-move', JP absolutely believes he did touch the knight, but contrary to the above quote, he never moved the piece. The video of the moment is not conclusive as to whether he actually touched the piece. The arbiter (on purpose?) was looking the other way. JP confronted K afterwards and K denied he ever touched the piece. He obviously intended to move the knight and realized at the last moment it was a bad move. I tend to beleive JP and K got away with one. Probably not the first time that's happened in chess history which brings me to my next point. Who really cares about the "morality" of K?

This type of thread is why I stopped reading the Forum. Every topic discussion eventually degenerated into either, k-lovers vs. k-haters; or religious/social/political discussion with no relevance to chess; or the same re-unification discussion that has been going on for several years. "yawn"

Perhaps, Mig, you can set aside a standing topic in the forum which all K-discussions can be held freeing up the rest of the contributors to discuss chess.

And I'm not 'dissing' anyone's opinion but, in an era when pro basketball players assault fans, pro football players murder their wives, pro baseball players take steriods to set records, US Presidents lie, and American soldiers commit atrocities against prisoners, the fact that Kasparov wants to make money and remain the center of the chess world seems pretty mild in comparison. We are not talking about any human rights violation which needs to be arbitrated in The Hague.

Remember the old adage? "Bad publicity is better than no publicity." For better or worse, K has raised the public conciousness regarding chess. Yes, the attempt to overthrow FIDE failed, but are we really better off for that failure? And can we say the "state of chess" in the world is solely the fault of K? Remember FIDE is a collection of "independent" national consituents. Had the "Western bloc" signed on as K and Short had envisioned I beleive the "world chess community" would be much better off than the FIDE of today. Alas, they overestimated the willingness to change within the national chess organizations' bureaucracy. The lack of vision of these national organizations is not the fault of K and S.

The real tragedy is that FIDE has still not established a true "Classical" WC cycle despite over two years since Prague. In fact, they have not accomplished any of the obligations they agreed to in Prague. They can't even set up a match between their champion and Kasparov. They blew the Ponomariov match and now have dropped the ball with their first attempt at a Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov match. Whine all you want about the "state of chess" in the world but Kasparov and Short were right: FIDE is the problem, not the solution.

However, since Kasparov agreed to a "no re-match" clause in the first match with Kramnik he has had to find a means to force a match with Kramnik to regain his lost title. This requires FIDE and Prague. Is this so terrible?

Since FIDE has yet to come up with any legitimate WC cycle and has yet to actually successfully arrange a WC head-to-head match, how else could a former champion and still #1 rated player get a shot? (Kramnik-Leko was arranged by the ACP.) FIDE quick-tournaments? They are a farce. Kramnik will not willingly risk facing a prepared Kasparov. Nor will he face a hot-as-h*ll Anand.

Blaming Kasparov for all the ills of chess is just scape-goating. Berating him because he isn't altruistic is, well, naive. He is, however, the best chess player in a generation, a "Beethoven" of chess. Whatever else he is, is irrelevant.

Goodbye, Mig/Ninjas

Let's put a few facts on the table:
(i) Kasparov did not touch one piece then move another against Judit Polgar - he moved a piece, took his hand off it briefly, then moved it elsewhere. The arbiter was watching closely but when he did not intervene, Polgar doubted what she had just seen and kept playing.

(ii) In 1997 'Candidates' Shirov and Kramnik were promised a 1m Swiss franc title match with Kasparov but after Shirov won, the best Kasparov's mananger could do was find a possible 400,000 prize fund. After not being paid for his Candidates match with Kramnik, Shirov doubted that the 400,00 even existed and insisted on the original prize fund so the match was never held.
When Shirov came to take legal action for compensation he discovered that Kasparov's name was not on any of the contracts (which covered compensation if the match collapsed) he had signed and that his legal options were extremely limited.

Kasparov's culpability in these two cases are for others to judge but they are mostly based on 'what ifs'. E.g. What if Judit had said "You have to play your original move"? Would Kasparov have fessed up or argued?


I stand corrected regarding the game with JP. In fact, GK did move the knight and claim he had not "released" the piece and moved it to another location. JP states he released the piece which GK denies. The essential point, I believe JP's version of events over GK's. Unfortumatly, she was give the "fuzzy end of the lollipop".

Thank you "tt",I stand corrected:
Time, and a little bourbon, has blurred history. Yes, K claimed not to have "released" the knight and re-directed the steed to a new location. JP maintains otherwise. I side with JP in the controversy.


Regarding Kasparov's loss to Radjabov at Linares, here is a report of Kasparov's unfortunate conduct and Radjabov's classy response.

"Kasparov did not have the graciousness to resign. He chose to lose on time by leaving the stage in a furious mood, refusing to shake hands or do a post mortem analysis of the game with the kid.

Asked about his comment, Teimour said, "I have no opinion about this, because anything may happen when a person loses a game. He was already absolutely lost, so time was not involved. Sooner or later he would have resigned anyway, so it doesn't matter. He was angry maybe, and he did not do what he is normally used to do. But for me it doesn’t matter too much."

As fair and balanced as Fox News as usual, Greg. Maybe they have a job opening for you. Thanks for staying in the spirit of the thread. You need to work on your technique. You should say "THE report" to imply it is a sacred text, and undisputed. Good job not mentioning the source, however.

As was clear from the time used on each move, Kasparov had less than 90 seconds left after he made his last move. It's not as if he sat there for a half hour for time to run out. He DID shake hands with Radjabov and spoke calmly with Radjabov and his father a few minutes after the game.

It IS amazing that Kasparov didn't laugh, smile, and pat Radjabov on the head after losing a won game. His first Linares loss in years. What we need is a world champion who says "I really don't care" when he loses. Hey, we have one!

As for the Polgar touch move, there is a videotape of the event that shows Kasparov let go of the knight for an instant. He said after the game that he wasn't aware of it at the time, which is the issue. It was his behavior after the event, not immediately apologizing to Polgar, that was sad. It also wrecked the tournament for both Polgar and Kasparov, and took attention from Karpov's sensational result.

Dirk Jan van Geuzendam's book "Linares! Linares!" has a whole chapter on the touch move and the rumor storm it set off. Note it was 17-year-old Polgar's first Linares and first-ever game against Kasparov, so it was already a media-fest.

Of course if Kasparov was aware of it at the time it was disgraceful. Garry said then and later that he didn't think he released the knight and was further convinced he hadn't because the arbiter was standing right there, not to mention a few hundred spectators. But the video, when watched in slow motion, shows his hand off the piece.


this might not be important to you, but knowing how much pro-Kasparov you are (not a crime in my book, btw), I have a lot of respect for you after the above post (dealing with Kasparov's release of the knight). It shows your willingness to be fair and truthful. Thanks!

The question is why don't we have a seperate blog for the Kramnik bashing. Kasparov has alwasy been handled gently in the "chess media." As posted above he is not even asked abotu tough questions. Just softball questions from friends and sycophants. If I'm wrong abotu those questions being asked please post the answers he gave. I woudl also like to knwo why he didn't state conditions he set forth but were unmet for him to participate in the Dortmund qualifier? Did he really leave FIDE 8 years after the injustice in 1985 like Levy suggests? If so can he fault Kramnik for a waiting a few months till his world championship with leko is over before jumping into political discussions abotu the vitality of Prague? What is a fair cycle? Is he willing to meet with Kramnik and FIDE to work one out? Were you ever even asked if you would accept Ponos conditions? Would you have accepted them? Kasparov is treated like a fragile doll so we never know.

Kramnik is the one who is always under fire. Chessbase posts a bunch of letters from joe blows calling him a selfish chicken! Thats write just one name calling letter after another. then we get Levys nonesense heck they can't even cover Karjakin v. Nakamura without throwing jabs at Kramnik! It is funny to watch you then actually argue you are fair in how you cover things and its Kasparov who is gettign the bashing.

What publisher has ever been so unfair to Kasparov the way chessbase is to Kramnik?

I have said before I don't mind that you are defensive of your friend Kasparov. It is just kind of funny how vehemently you argue you aren't biased. Did you ever wonder why you aren't constantly accused of being partial to Kramnik? Where there is smoke there is fire.

Does Kramnik own the REAL world championship title?

Some more facts:
(a) Kasparov did deliberately let his time run out in his loss againat Radjabov in Linares 2003,

with the consequence that he could then sign the scoresheets and

(b) avoid shaking hands with Radjabov.

It happened - unless you don't believe all the Spanish newspaper reports of the next day.

The fact that Kasparov was seen chatting to Radjabov and his parents later that evening (and presumably apologised for his behaviour) is something of a mitigating factor.


I should have mentioned in my previous post that the conversation between Kasparov and the Radjabov's was not a few minutes after the game (as stated by Mig) but at around midnight when both parties were having an after-dinner stroll.


tt, please post sources and links unless you were there, in which case perhaps you should identify yourself.

Several Spanish writers always go way out of their way to portray Kasparov as a villian. It makes good copy and they've had various wars of words. Unless they are mind-readers how to they, or anyone, know why Kasparov's time ran out? Most reports didn't mention it.

Again, with 90 seconds on your clock it's not much of an issue, or shouldn't be. Most players who lose on time are in losing positions and I don't see anyone making a case for crimes against humanity about it. Not to mention that I don't even see what's wrong about being angry after a tough loss. One of the reasons Kasparov loses so rarely is because he hates it so much. (This could be called a chicken and egg paradox.)

Anyway, this is the sort of thing this thread is for. Trivial teacup tempests that would have been ignored and forgotten had they involved anyone else. I suppose it's probably not bad for Garry that so much attention is focused on every foible and outburst. As the saying goes, as long as they spell your name right. He'd really be in trouble if everyone started treating him like every other player. I'm perfectly willing to concede that Kasparov's behavior at the end of that game was poor, but we should agree that similar things pass unmentioned on a regular basis. Now, the closing ceremony tantrum, that's worth a page in the biography!

As for niceforkinmove's questions, I don't understand most of them. And I don't find anything negative about Kramnik in the Nakamura-Karjakin stories at ChessBase. Pointing out that Karjakin drew all his games with Kramnik and Leko was - obviously - to highlight this impressive achievement (and Nakamura's).

To my knowledge Kasparov didn't have specific conditions about Dortmund 2002. He commented that the format with mini-matches was unsatisfactory and the holes in the field - without Anand, Ponomariov, and Ivanchuk - made it moot. But as I said at the time, I doubt he would have played in any qualifier.

If Kramnik is under fire, which I have seen little of, it is because he holds a position of importance. When you are in such a position many people will want you to do many things. That's life at the top. You can use your power or abdicate responsibility, but you can't escape the spotlight.

Mig, what exactly are your thoughts on kasparov's political career?

If we're doing kasparov bashing, i would very much like to point out that kasparov has effectively destroyed his own political career. By constantly saying that Putin must resign in the middle of a war, Kasparov is being branded as an ultra-radical nutcase who should have never branched out from the chess scene. If he keeps holding his views, the 2008 Committee will be about as effective as Ralph Nader was on this election.

Sources and links for Linares 2003 newspaper reports is asking a bit much, Mig, but if you can track down the El Pais report for February 24, 2003, I'm sure you will read about it there.
However just read the contemporaneous annotations to the game in chess magazines (other than New in Chess, of course). Many magazines reported the incident - not because they hate Kasparov but because it was newsworthy.
In any case, you seem a bit defensive about the whole incident. Lots of players have let their clock run down as an 'honorable' way to lose, and some have done it to avoid a handshake.
I am not saying that Kasparov is unique - just that it is rewriting history to say that the incident didn't happen.


From Chessbase News:

"The prize for most beautiful game was announced with Teimour Radjabov the winner for his win over Garry Kasparov in round two. Kasparov stunned the crowd by immediately rising and walking to the stage and speaking into the microphone: "How could you give the beauty prize to a game in which I lost a piece because of a stupid mistake? It has been selected only because it was the only game that I lost and I consider this to be a public insult and humiliation."

Kasparov then approached a group of journalists, including GM Ian Rogers of Australia and Spanish writer Leontxo Garcia, and asked them who they had voted for and shouted: "This is the greatest insult that you have done to me in my life! It is an insult to me and to chess. You consider yourself chess journalists? If you think that this was the most beautiful game in Linares, you are damaging chess with your reports and articles. Radjabov was completely lost in that game." Kasparov then stormed out with his mother and trainer."

From the Chess Cafe– by Hans Ree

"After the Linares tournament, it became known that Garry Kasparov had done
something for which lesser mortals might have been disqualified from the
tournament. Twice he had left the playing area for about a quarter of an hour,
without giving notice to anyone.

The second time the organisers had sent a spy to follow him and it turned out that he had gone to his hotel room.
Really! To the holy sanctuary where he keeps his laptop, with database, playing
engines and all his legendary opening analysis.

Nowadays, when your cell phone rings during a game, you forfeit automatically and this seems a much graver offence.

The organisers didn't take action. Kasparov said that he had gone to his room to
take medicines. If he had said so before leaving the playing hall the arbiter would
probably have arranged a guardian to accompany him to his room, and everything
would have been alright. But then Kasparov would have had to acknowledge that
rules apply not only to commoners, but also to the king."

Mig says:
If Kramnik is under fire, which I have seen little of, it is because he holds a position of importance. When you are in such a position many people will want you to do many things. That's life at the top. You can use your power or abdicate responsibility, but you can't escape the spotlight.

The above applies to Kasparov - perhaps more so and for a longer period. Then why is Mig complaining and whining?

Mig's criticism of the Spanish press is also unfair. They are fairly unbiased and objective. Perhaps that is because Kaspy doesn't schmooze and pamper them as he does the English and Russian press. After all, attention and importance from the top player can soften up the toughest of critics. It is interesting to note that most of the criticism of Kasparov comes from fans and fellow players and not the media. In fact, I have noticed that Kasparov has become better at handling and cultivating the media after he befriended/employed Mig. I wonder if that is merely a coincidence or if there is a connection.

Perhaps Mig can explain?


Here is the link where chessbase chose to publish people calling Kramnik names including the lowest dog around and chicken etc.


Are you proud of this? When has chessbase ever published so many (or any) name calling letters against Kasparov? They then published yet another letter from Levy which was again a distortion of Kramnik's statements, Prague, and history and very anti-Kramnik.


I'm still wondering if you will admit Kramnik holds the real world chess championship title or if you will begrudge him even this. I'm betting your dislike of Kramnik is strong enough you will continue to duck this question.

I also wonder if Kasparov claimed Anand Ivanchuck and he, were not invited to Dortmund. I have read someone say he claimed this in a Swedish paper. Is this true that he claimed this? Why would he refuse to play in a qualifier if he agreed to no automatic rematches?

If he said the matches were too short I think we need to take note of this for the future cycles. In otherwords he thinks the Dortmund qualifier leaves too much to chance that longer matches would not, he is correct!

As far as the Nak v. Karj match I agree the digs aren't as viscious as the past twisting that chessbase has done to hurt Kramniks credibility. But it does show they can't let him be. Its just an example of thier constant badgering that never happens to Kasparov when he was on the top. They mention Karj's draws with Kramnik and Leko instead of his win agaisnt Kasparov. Yes I'm sure theres an excuse.

Anyway I will credit you for your last blog on the championship fiasco was surprisingly and refreshingly free of Kramnik attacks. In fact I am glad you seem to adopt Kramik's postion that a new cycle should be agreed upon ASAP. Hopefully FIDE will get this going and then kramniks condition will be met and we can see Kramnik Kasparov II.

As far as the spanish press villianizing Kasparov I don't know. on the face of it I do find it a bit of a stretch. If you mean one or a few reporters and can point out the source of thier bias fine. But to just say the "spanish press" somehow has an anti-Kasparov agenda is a bit paranoid.

It was about Karjakin, it had nothing to do with Kramnik other than pointing out Karjakin had drawn four games against the classical world champion and his challenger. It should be taken as a compliment to Kramnik and Leko, if anything. I wouldn't say "Karjakin drew two games with Bologan!"

I have said many times that I consider Kramnik the classical world champion. This legitimacy comes more from 2000 than from the Leko match, which is why I wouldn't have been so confident about Leko had he beaten Kramnik. The Dortmund qualifier just watered down the bloodline too much for me.

I believe Kasparov's agent said he never received an invitation to Dortmund, but this is disingenuous. Kasparov, like Anand, Ivanchuk, and Ponomariov, made it clear he would not play. You can make a case that they should have invited them all just to make the point, but it's really not relevant.

We didn't write the letters bashing Kramnik. (For the record, I had nothing to do with reading, selecting, or publishing them.) You may consider the possibility that we hadn't received many letters in support of Kramnik on the matter. You should also note that the article begins with a pro-Kramnik piece by Ray Keene. Levy has been a relevant figure in world chess for a long time and is entitled to his opinions.

I did not say "spanish press" so your quotation marks are wrong. I don't enjoy being misquoted, especially when the original is right there for you to see. I said "several Spanish writers." Since I know them personally and have been reading them for many years, I don't think my opinion reflects paranoia.

Niceforkmove,few questions to you.Your posts shows strong Kramnik bias.This is causing over the board remarks on Mig and Kasparov.
Coming to World Championship..Many ,including me believe ,the kramnik's is neither undisputed nor the real one.You proposed a satisfaction theory long back.What satisfaction one gets conducting a qualifier which doesn't involve two the strongest players.And leko was world no.6 and he came through a FIDE type KO, which you hate them to the core.Moreover it took 2 years to conduct the qualifier and another 2 for the championship.Technicalities aside, Kramnik has only one championship match(against Kasparov) and never won a qualifier either in FIDE or PCA or with Shirov.He leveraged his loan win too much already.Will he now ready to play with Kasparov,Anand on equal terms to decide who is the best.No, certainly.He believes ,like you , he is The champion, and he will only play in finals.Obviousely Kasparov doesn't like it.H ewants equal footing.Inspite of his many shortcomings, I believe Kramnik should have played with Kasparov directly long,long back and prove himself again.I don't consider Kramnik a worthy champion (I am not talking about his personal behaviour).More so if lost rankings from 2 to 4 and lost more than 50 rating points.

Mig I apologize for appearing to misquote you. I actually put it in quotes not to ascribe it to you but rather to show I meant a group of people that probably shouldn't be grouped together. You are however probably right to interpret it as an attempt to ascribe it to you. In the context that is the more appearant interpretation. Anyway if you have specific reasons to think these writers are biased you can share your parguemnts or not I don't care either way.

With respect to Kramnik I wanted to know if you think he holds the *real* chess championship title. You indicated you thought kasparov did hold the REAL title for 15 years which would seem to indicate he held it until Kramnik beat him in a match. So my question is did Kramnik win the *real* world championship title or what? If he won it but doesn't hold it now when did he lose it?

I agree dortmund was a poor qualifier. It was the best qualifier we had in over 10 years. It is not *nearly* as bad as the FIDE KO system but it is a poor substitute and we should do better. If Kasparov didn't propose longer matches or make any type of demands other than to completely renege and insist on an automatic rematch then what could Kramnik have done? At least people like Leko had the first shot at winning a title they would have had in thier entire career! I'm glad Kramnik *finally* offered *some* sort of system that top players could try to qualify in that wasn't completely ridiculous. If Kramnik gave Kasparov the rematch and then lost it, he would have cheated these players out of thier first halfway decent qualifier of thier careers. He is making it clear that he is not into hand picking challengers. Some hate him for this, I like him for this.

Anand was invited too but FIDE left him out in the cold. Anand was invited but declined. Kramnik then specifically requested to have Anand and Ivanchuck included after Prague. The organizer decided it was too late and would be unfair to those already involved. What else could kramnik do? Say dortmund wasn't a world championship qualifier so Anand wouldn't violate his FIDE agreement??

Kramnik has done all he can and continues to do all he can to have a legitimate WC system implemented. It is frustrating that instead of the chessworld supporting him and pushing other entitiies in the same direction they attack him. FIDE is draggign thier feet, becasue attention is being diverted from them to Kramnik.

No he did not do anythign to qualify to play Kasparov. He won the title the only way possible at the time - he got hand picked by Kasparov. Are we going to hold this against Kramnik??

I wish Kasparov would continue his rhetoric that the Dortmuind qualifier had matches that were too short. I wish he would put pressure on everyone to develop a cycle of long matches. Kramnik has said gettign the next cycle down is the most important thing. He has said he wants to get this done. Has anyone even called him? I totally agree with him. (I don't know what Kramniks position on longer qualifying matches is. If he is against them I disagree with him. ) Why don't Kramnik and Kasparov and ACP (and you name the other interested parties - by this I mean those in the top 15) get together and see if they can propose something?? (Nobody else is. We have been waiting on FIDE for years!)

I don't know these answers I wish I did. But this is my suspicion. Both Kramnik and Kasparov know a challenger that comes about from some sort of tournament as opposed to matches will be a weaker player and therefore they would be better off if that is the new plan. Kasparov's best chance is to beat Kramnik now. So he probably hopes the new cycle will be some sort of lame dortmund qualifier or worse (better for kasp/kramnik) yet a FIDE KO type thing. Kasparov can continue to beat the Kasims and Ponos in matchs well into his 80s. Therefore he may not be too keen on really defeating the tournament qualifier idea. The same may be true of Kramnik.

My bias is more for the hope of a long match WC cycle than it is with Kramnik. If all the top 15 players decided they would never push a pawn again, but we had a legititmate candidates match cycle implemented for anyone who does want to play, I would say its a great day for chess! Ideally I would want the interested parties -including Anand to agree that a long match cycle can begin and will be recognized - and then for Kramnik to play Kaparov and then the winner play Anand while the cycle is going! But of all this, getting a long match candidates cycle implemented is far and away the most important thing. Too many players have been left out in the cold for too long.

I hope Kramnik plays Kasparov bu only after FIDE and Kasparov commit to a credible candidates match cycle.

Oh and as far as chessbase I'm glad you had nothign to do with that garbage article. I have no doubt that most of the letters coming in were anti kramnik - those who like Kramnik probably gave up on chessbase long ago. Just because the letters come in doens't mean you have to publish them. You know this already.

As far as David Levy's article goes I don't care if he was involved in chess since Paul Morphy, he wrote blatant pro-kasparov and anti-kramnik propaganda. Chessbase is the first place to go if you want that to be heard.

I didn't interpret David Levy's article to be pro-Kasparov, anti-Kramnik. He disagrees with Kramnik's latest stated views on reunification, as many people do, but that doesn't make him anti-Kramnik in a personal sense.

Oh no no not at all. Take this quote from the article:

"I’ll tell you. In my opinion Kramnik is chicken." David Levy

Your right. Nothing personal just logical and constructive thoughts. We would be far less informed if Chessbase didn't publish this stuff. Thank you chessbase.

I'm not clear what you want. TWIC is there if you only want results and games. If you want to READ something, articles are usually written by human beings. Humans have prejudices and preferences. They will have opinions and ideas that might not agree with yours. They may express them in ways you do not like. This does not mean they do not have a right to them.

If Levy feels like Kramnik is acting like a coward there is no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to say so. He has the credibility of a lifetime in and around the chess world. Such credibility can be gained and lost. If he shows a consistent bias that isn't based in fact, he will lose credibility. But just because you disagree with him doesn't mean his opinion is unfounded or invalid. If that were the only sentence in his article, you would have more of a point. It wasn't. It was a harshly worded conclusion.

Yes indeed. If Levy (or anyone else including a dozen people no one has ever heard of) wants to call Kramnik a coward, Chessbase is the place to do it. Is this not a fact?

I'm not sure where your going in arguing people have a right to thier opinion. When did I deny that? Of course if the opinions one gives or publishes are very frequently slanted this will hurt thier credibility. IMO Chessbase and Levy lost some credibility after the way they handled the issues surrounding unification. I have posted links to some of the articles published on chessbase that I believe supports the view that they are slanted. You may not like my opinion. You may not believe there was a bias in publishing Levys article or in the publication of the mail directing insults toward Kramnik. Who knows.

As far as credibity I think you would stand better if you simply admitted Kramnik holds the REAL world championship title. By begrudging him this after sayign Kasparov held the real world championship until he lost the match to Kramnik hurts your credibity in my eyes. Of course you don't need to agree with my opinion. Yoru disagreement doesn't make my opinion wrong. We can disagree and we can keep giving reasons supporting our opinions. Thats the beauty of free speech.

Levy's harshly worded conclusion was at the end of a very pro kasparov anti Kramnik slanted article.

Something strange happened at Chessbase.com regarding the Levy article: first they requested comments by their readers, but later that request disappeared. No reaction was ever published.

Mig wrote: "If he shows a consistent bias that isn't based in fact, he will lose credibility. "

That reminded me of my letter where I had some fun with Levy's somewhat troubled relationship with the facts:

"What a disgusting hit piece !

Mr Levy's attempt at being serious is even more ridiculous than his earlier attempt at being funny. If throwing insults at the World Champion is his idea of unifying the chess world, I wonder if he should be part of that debate at all.

Mr Levy chooses to ignore the controversy around the tournament in Tripoli, the discrimination against Israeli and Jewish players and the absence of most of the world’s top ten players.

Maybe Mr Levy should read more often that excellent chess news site, called chessbase.com, where it is all very well documented:

10.05.2004 "USCF, Israeli GM protest FIDE decisions"

25.05.2004 "Anti-Defamation League wrote a letter to FIDE"

29.05.2004 "ACP protest against FIDE world championship"

17.06.2004 "The Israeli chess federations is suing FIDE"

Mr Levy writes: "I would be amazed if Anand did not want a title match with Kasparov, played inside FIDE."

This is what Vishy Anand had to say about that matter on chessbase.com :
"Frederic: Why aren’t you there, playing in this championship?
Vishy: Well, basically I disagreed with the idea that Kasparov was seeded to the final and just decided it wasn’t worth playing, that it was no longer a real world championship and there was no reason to play. [...] In principle once you take part you accept that Kasparov is rightly seeded above you and that you don’t have a problem with that. Obviously the organisers committed a lot of other mistakes, especially with regard to the Israeli players, but well before I knew whether the Israelis would be allowed to play, or even thought of that aspect yet, I had already made my decision."

Mr Levy writes: "[Kramnik] insulted Kasparov by questioning the world number one’s right to play the match against Kasimdzhanov".
Well, so did Anand.

And so did Yasser Seirawan in his open letter to Garry Kasparov:
"If we are all truly interested in restoring credibility to the World Championship title we must agree that having you play the winner of the Tripoli knockout event is against all the rules of fairness and of sport."

Mr Levy asks: "Firstly, what of Kasimdzhanov? [...] Does World Champion Kramnik really intend to deprive Kasimdzhanov of this great windfall [...]?"

Well, it turns out he doesn't:
"The problem is this. Kasimdzhanov, of course has earned the match against the great player Kasparov. But what’s very unclear is for what reason will they be playing a world championship match?!"

As Mr Levy quoted from that very interview with Vladimir Kramnik earlier, the willfulness of his omissions and distortions becomes clear.

Finally, Mr Levy seems to imagine himself to be the spokesperson of "the vast majority of players and enthusiasts in the chess world". It might come as a surprise to him, but he isn't."

I am not obliged to use your wording. The "REAL" title? I say Kramnik holds the classical title because I believe unification is required. Saying Kramnik is the ne plus ultra is to say no unification is needed because there is only one relevant title and Kramnik has it. Kramnik holds the same title Kasparov had, but the flawed Dortmund qualifier and what can be seen as his distaste for unification have weakened his legitimacy, even if we disregard his tepid results, which I am willing to do.

The only way we are going to have unification is if both sides see it as necessary and/or beneficial. Saying Kramnik is the "REAL world champion" is harmful to that goal. When Kasparov held the title there was no unification plan and FIDE was off trying to prove they didn't need Kasparov or the classical title. Invalidating the FIDE KO title was a way of defending the traditional title, at least until Prague. Now that FIDE have come to the table it makes sense to be more pragmatic and diplomatic so everyone can be whatever they want to call themselves until unification happens!

I don't expect everyone to be so philosophical or flexible. But this semantic silliness is relevant when it comes to my articles. My sincere hope is that in 50 years Kasimdzhanov and the other recent FIDE champs are relegated to tiny footnotes in the history books. But my goal is to push Kramnik toward unification and to do that, FIDE and its title has to be treated as relevant now. Because it is, if not in the way they might hope.

Speaking of semantics, my issue isn't with opinions, it's that the terms "anti" and "pro" are being used to imply unreasonable bias instead of disagreement. Of course Levy's article was anti-Kramnik; he disagrees with his behavior and is quite annoyed about it. But you and others are saying that this is somehow unreasonable, slanted, that ChessBase shouldn't print such stuff. Slanted? If I say so-and-so is an idiot and here's why, I'm not slanted or biased. At least not as long as I'm basing my statement on something resembling evidence.

This is starting to remind me of the way the US media often treats things like global warming or evolution. There's bias and then there is believing someone is wrong, someone is right, and saying why.

If we get a dozen articles criticizing Kramnik we aren't obliged to wait until we get one supporting him before we publish something. This isn't a political campaign where everyone gets equal time in the media. If more contributors feel one way, our coverage will reflect that. Of course it will also reflect the opinions of the editors, but this effect is mild as long as the views are backed up.

If Kramnik or Lautier sends something to ChessBase it will be published. One problem is the self-fulfilling cycle of saying "they are against me so I won't talk to them." Well gee, if we don't have anything from you, then what? If Kasparov will talk to us and send us material and you won't, that's not bias on our part. Frederic and I are both friends of Garry's, but to my knowledge we've never refused to publish anything critical of Kasparov from anyone with any credibility or stature.

Thanks Martin. Now how did all that anti-Kasparov bias stuff get posted at ChessBase?! My, we must be slipping...

Mig says:
"I am not obliged to use your wording. The "REAL" title? I say Kramnik holds the classical title because I believe unification is required. "

Mig that is your wording not mine. here is what you said:
"If you think Kasparov, who held the REAL title for 15 years, is going to be content with Kasimdzhanov you are living in a fantasy world." (emphasis in your original)

My point is that you seem to consider Kasparovs title the REAL title until 2000. But after that match in 2000 it is seems to be somehting less than REAL. Do tell. What happened? The holder of that same title was no longer named Kasparov he was named Kramnik. Is that all it takes for that title to lose "real"ness. IMO this demonstrates your bias.

Now what? It was the REAL title until Prague? Becasue *FIDE* didn't fulfill its end of Prague *Kramnik's* title is no longer "real"? If kasparov had won in 2000 and FIDE didn't fulfill its end of some bargain you wouldn't begrudge the realness of Kasparov's title would you?

Martin nice post. And Mig most of those articles weren't Pro Kramnik or Anti kasparov they were simply facts. When they came out they were neither pro or anti its only after levy starts reinterprettign history that those factual articles end up being anti - levy and pro Kramnik. They were written before Levy tried to sell us on a different history. Because they were written before the relevance to any agenda was appearant they may appear anti levy anti kasparov and pro kramnik to you.

Martin if you want to get your article published by chessbase I would suggest callign Kramnik some names in it. Better luck next time.

niceforkin, think you need to get a life mate. Kasparov did hold the REAL title for 15 years, because there was no contention bout the title then. It was only later that there was a split. Hence the need to talk of a "Classical" title and a FIDE Knockout title. But of course feel free to cite exact dates and show how it was not exactly 15 years but 13 years, 11 months and 29 days. Or whatever.

d, think you need to check the facts mate. The split took place in 1993 and Kasparov held the (REAL?) title until 2000 - that makes for seven years of disputed title, about half of his reign. THAT is what is of relevance in the discussion between niceforkinmate and Mig. Do YOU have an explanation for what would be the difference between Kasparov's reign 1993-2000 and Kramnik's 2000-2004 in this sense? In my view there is none. In my view they both held a title although not the "REAL".

The cavalry to the rescue.. The difference is, for much of those 7 years there was no dispute. i.e. kasparov was obviously the strongest player. He had demolished everbody around with one hand tied behind his back. Then Kramnik came up and scored a truly remarkable win, but he had about 1% of Kasparov's pedigree. Instead of setting about proving he was the goods, he tottered around, didnt agree to a rematch the public was screaming for, and scored a string of mediocre results. His defining behaviour since has been to avoid playing Kasparov as much as possible. He's perfectly within his right of ocurse, but he's not the REAL world champion anymore in my book. I never cease to be amazed by the people who can apparently sincerely consider Kramnik and Kasparov to be in the same league. If Kasparov lost every game from now until kingdom come, he'll still be a candidate for the strongest player of all time. Kramnik will be no more than a footnote if he doesnt play anymore. Like it or not, Kasparov's achievements outside the match he lost are relevant in this mate.

OK, if it's your view that a "REAL" World Champion must be dominating, then I guess it is; for me World Champion is a title and doesn't have to be the same thing as "best player" at all. And if it is your view that a "REAL" World Champion must give the great Kasparov a rematch in birthday present I guess it is, but I have always admired more how he instead decided to set up a system to PRODUCE a challenger in a fair way. And if it is your view that he went on scoring a string of mediocre results, I suggest you take another look at his showings in 2001 (performing 2820 over the year, winning Dortmund, scoring +3 in Wijk, finishing 2nd in Astana etc)

Although my point is that his results are irrelevant. In anything that has to do with the WC title -- he owns it as much OR less as Kasparov did.

I already got a life mate. I also have some logic in my head. Now the question is whether kramniks title is real. You say it was only a real title when held by kasparov huh? did it become less real right after the 15th game of Kramnik and Kasparovs world championship match? or when exaclty did it become less real? I know this seems to be a very troubling thing to Kapsarov worshipers. See they would never want cut kasparov' reign in half. But that dirty rotten Kramnik had to win that stupid little world chmpionship match. Now what can we do? Lets deny it hes the champ anyway until he beats Kasparov again! Thats it.

"So, while Game Over could have launched a serious investigation into man's relationship with machines, it instead gives us conspiracy theories."

from the Wired Mag article

Who decided to close the research project of the so called "serious investigation into man's relationship with machines"? Try to explain me that the IBM's PR department was not involved in the decision process.

Of course the easy answer is to claim that Kasparov and the movie director are the villains! Of course not the ones who make lotta money if they rightly decided to close the reasearch project. And if you have the opportunity to see the movie. Take a close look at IBM's team at the closing press conference. Tell me those are happy IBM's employees.

Who's better at "bullsh**ing"? A big corp's PR department or Kasparov? ;-)

Kramnik is a "real" world champion, but it simply doesn't mean as much when there are two of them floating around.

Kasparov, on the other hand, was the undisputed champion for about half his reign, and during the other half he was clearly the world's best player, by a margin that none could gainsay.

Yes, Kramnik had some terrific results in 2000-2001. His play since then has been unimpressive. At Brissago, he kept his title by scoring even against the #6 player in the world. It was as tepid a title defense as you can get.

Yes, according to the rules he is still champion, which I do not deny. But when the history of this period is written, will Kramnik go down as a great champion? No, he will not, unless his performance improves considerably in the years to come.

First let me apologize for the abrasive tone I took in this thread. I know its ridiculous but this David Levy letter drives my bloodpressure up every time I think about it.

Anyway I do not think Chessbase hates Kramnik (they were a sponsored his match with Leko after all), however I do think some of the folks there have given him the short end of the stick when it comes to thier reporting. You can see what I said above and make what you will of it.

I think people should consider some things in light of Mr shepards pints. First Kasparov and Kramnik did tie in the ratings and Kramnik was ranked higher because he had more games during the relevant period. However my main point is that ratings are not a good way to seperate the top players. When Kramnik and Kasparov played at the end of 2000 Kramnik was rated 77 points below Kasparov. Yet he won a 16 game match. The question is was Kramnik better despite the lower rating or was Kasparov better despite the match? I bleieve the former is true. Having 2 players play a match head to head is IMO a better way to determine who is better than trying to reach conclusions based on games they play against third parties.

Lets take a look at Kasparovs latest result in the Russian Superfinal. Many have remarked about the strenght of that tournament and indeed it was strong - as far as tournaments go. Nevertheless the average elo of Kasparovs competition was 140 points lower than his own rating! Kasparov beat them just as you would expect given his high rating - indeed he outperformed his rating a bit. Now Kramnik might play in this same tournament and draw half the games Kasparov won. His rating would suffer. But does this mean Kramnik can't beat Kasparov? No. It means Kasparov is more effecient at scoring points against considerably lower rated players than Kramnik is. That is IMO what gainign rating points and winning tournaments is all about. Is this done by sometimes playing moves that mix things up more if they seem just as good or maybe even inferior to moves that are more solid and likely to lead to a draw? I think its at least a possiblity. Now if someone is more comfortable playing those types of posiitons that does not mean they are objectively better than someone who prefers solid positions.

How different is tournament play than winning a match agasint someone who is extremely strong over a series of games? I really don't know. I think Kasparov said he thought there was a big difference between the two types of events. I can at least understand there is a difference.

Let me put it this way. You seem to think that from 1995 until 2000 there really was no question that Kasparov would have beaten anyone in a match. Therefore the fact that no WCC matches were played is just a formality. If he had not played in 2000 I would have agreed. However he played someone in 2000 who was 77 rating points lower and lost. Becasue of this I can no longer assume that just because he had the highest or was tied for the highest rating he would have won any matches he played in.

You say Leko is #6 in the world. You again are relying on ratings. I don't think thats a good idea. Ratings are good for seperating out many players from the top. For example it is because of rating that I do not believe Kasim will win against Kasprov. However I think ranking the very top players based on a few rating points is a very bad idea. I think the best way to do that is with matches of a sufficient number of games where the players play head to head. I would not bet on Kasparov to beat Leko if they played head to head.

Currently there are a number of players who are rated within 77 points of the top player. I think many of them should get a shot to see if they can actually win in match play. That is why I am more interested in having a candidates cycle of matches established than I am in having Kramnik play Kasparov again. (Although I too would love to see a Kasp Kramnik rematch.)

For anyone who is interested I thought this site offered a good primer on recent championship history. Of course it leaves unanswered questions. For example the last one?? Is this true was there talk of a rematch with Deeper blue that Kasparov declined? I had never heard of that before.


Hmmm if IBM wanted so badly to have the opportunity to make a major improvement in AI research why they did not told right after the match that they were willing to do a rematch? ;-)

ok, ok, ok, I've got one: How is Madonna like a McDonalds restaurant? Answer: They're both really really interesting.

The most concise element of this thread I found was paragraph three of Geof Strayer's earlier post, but my sincere idea once I'm done joking around is: As with American politics sometimes you can't do anything about the people at the top so you just go back to doing what you can in your own neighborhood. I'll enjoy playing through Mr. Kasparov's games--his real contribution--but I contend that any free moments I can devote to chess are better spent playing 5th graders than contemplating the WCh or hand-wringing over the past decade.

Is there any truth to Radjabov's recent assertion that Kasparov has been lobbying against Radjabov's entrance into top tournaments? And that Kasparov had done the same to Kamsky?

Has Kasparov ever denied the claim that in the middle of tournament games last year he twice went into his hotel room for 15 minutes? Why am I not surprised that I never heard about this from Chessbase or Chessninja?

As I said here before, probably in reply to you, Greg, is that I didn't post on Kasparov's going to his room because I didn't know anything about it. I wasn't there and had no information to share and didn't hear about it until everyone else did. I imagine Frederic was in the same situation since he wasn't there by that time, I believe.

I can't speak for your level of surprise, but since you get most of your fuel from those same two sources, it's hard to imagine you think we censor Kasparov items.

As for Radjabov and Kamsky, I have no proof either way. Linares has always been reserved for the top 10 and a Spanish player. They brought in Radjabov a few years ago and he beat Kasparov in an otherwise dreary performance. That win got him back the next year despite his low (relatively) rating. He actually did much better last year, but his rating still isn't near the top 10. So either Linares formally adopts him as the constant "non-top 10 and non-Spanish" player, or they don't. This year that spot went to Kasimdzhanov and it was only created when Kramnik dropped out.

When in doubt, blame Kasparov. It always guaranteed attention.

Kasparov is constantly out there producing and promoting salable chess products.

Kramnik and Leko are chess "monks", at home working on their games.

The owners and contributors to the Chessbase site, whose purpose is to sell chess products would not be human if they did not find themselves looking more kindly upon Kasparov, whoase work helps put money in their pockets, than upon Kramnik, who produces and promotes very little and who knocked their "partner" Kasparov off the chess throne.

To understand the editorial leanings of the Chessbase contributors you need to "follow the money."

While Kramnik prepared to play Kasparov in London and later when he prepared to play Fritz, he was playing a very drawish style, going God-knows-how-many games without a loss. But his promotional value vis-a-vis Kasparov and Fritz nonetheless guaranteed him a great deal of positive press about his "solid, unbeatable" game.

Lately Kramnik has been retooling and opening up his game, playing 1 e4. But since he's no longer doing much in the way of promoting either Kasparov or Fritz, the Chessbase team no longer has much use for him.

Were Kramnik to start running around producing and promoting chess products with Chessbase, his press would suddenly improve. The Kramnik-Squeeze would be celebrated and compared to the play of Petrosian. For his relentless study habits and his concentration on keeping his powder dry for world championship matches (at the expense of his tournament performances) he would be compared to Botvinnik. Carping about the legitimacy of his title would evaporate. His insistence on a principled world championship cycle would be celebrated.

Were Kasparov to suddenly stop producing and promoting chess products and to sever his relations with Chessbase he'd soon begin "enjoying" the sort of press now given to Kramnik. There would be nary a word about the relatively trivial question of whether Radjabov deserved his beauty prize at Linares, but kasparov's incredibly boorish behavior at that even would be unreservedly condemned. Considering the recent spectacular rise of Anand, the infrequent play and recent feeble results of Kasparov, and the lottery-like format of the FIDE world championships, Kasparov's "unification match" with Kasim would be written about as a sad joke. Kasparov's decision to play a unification match with the winner of a tournament from which his Israeli friends had been excluded because of their nationality would be called amoral and abhorrent. Kasparov's phenomenal chess talent would be recognized and respected, but he'd be told that if the great but unstable Fischer could submit himself to an Interzonal and three Candidates matches to get his shot at Spassky, that Kasparov should submit to a candidates tournament (or take some responsibility for setting one up after he destroyed the Candidates system) in order to play Kramnik.

The owners and contributors to the Chessbase site, whose purpose is to sell chess products would not be human if they did not find themselves looking more kindly upon Kasparov. But wouldn't it be nice if Kasparov, Kramnik, and the problems of chess unification could nonetheless be viewed more objectively by Chessbase and its contributors.

when i first read the cb news about radjas interview, there was an intro suggesting the possibility that radja is out of lineares because his drawing percentage.....minutes later, it was gonne. the funny thing was the sequence. first the cb writing: radja draws to much and everybody always blames kaspy for everyting. and then the radja interview. first defence then the attack quite disturbing from the readers point of view. when reading news i like to have the information first and then the opinion of the writer othrewise i get the strong feeling of getting manipulated (more than usual). at least the intro has vanished. for me it would have been sufficent to put the interview on top.

The chess world is so rotten, any "objectionable" view on the situation will be too depressing for words.

I've completely lost hope for reunification as we all had pictured it. It'll never happen. People are too self-centered to allow any compromises. It's completely disgusting, and they should all be ashamed of themselves.

As you've probably guessed, I've mostly given up arguing these reunificiation debates. What we the people say, don't matter. All we have left are the few good guys, like GM Maurice Ashley, who are actually trying to do some good for chess. I hope the Minnesota tournament goes well-beyond his expectactions.

If they do manage to get reunification, all the more power to them, but it seems like a near impossibility.

All we have to cling to, is chess itself.

There's a bright and cheerful post. I'll wish everyone a happy 2005 to make it more sprightly.

I have tried for a long time to remain cool about it, but the pro-Kasparov bias at chessbase.com is getting on my nerves. Here I don't mind it that much, since it's a blog, and Mig's strong, well-informed and subjective editorials are its main asset.

But at chessbase, Mig's articles - often unsigned, with exception of the (becoming rare) Mig on Chess column - present the same bias in non-editorial journalistic context. That is bothering me - and, visibly, a lot of chess fans. One of the basic rules of journalism is a clear separation of the commentary from the presentation of the facts. Taking liberties with this doesn't help the debate to move forward.

The treatment reserved to Radjabov's interview is a case in point, as Seth Homa already explained. However, what he forgot to say is that they maintained a short, acid introduction (paraphrase: Radjabov is one more of the anti-Kasparov whiners). And, among the group of nice photos they use to illustrate the interview, they chose the ugliest one both to announce the feature (on the main page) and to top the piece. They chose to make Radjabov look really like a bad-tempered acne-covered snivelling adolescent.

Nice job, folks ! I wasn't one of the Kasparov-bashers and I'm feeling close to becoming one...

I have read a lot of comments on this thread, and others, regarding Chessbase and their (as Raymond above put it) "non-editorial journalistic context".

Now as to whether or not I agree with the comment, I am still up in the air, as there are some that I think are accurate and some which are on the fringe, or even way out there. What I do find interesting is that people are strongly hinting that Chessbase has undue bias, and is not subjective or "properly journalistic".

As far as I understand, Chessbase is a private company, and they have the right to print/publish whatever and whomever they wish (with the proviso that if they libel someone they could end up in court). Greg Koster in his last post hit it on the head when he said that Chessbases' press follows the money.

E=mc2 is named “Einstein’s Theory” after the great physicist.
A2 + B2 = C2 is named the Pythagorean Theorem after its great inventor.
The ChickenFactor should therefore be named after a great chessplayer.

Chess “wits” have referred to Kramnik as “Drawnik” and to a drawn game as a “Leko.”
But who really deserves to have the Chicken Factor named for him?

Perhaps we should look to World Championship play for our candidate. World Championship matches are the pinnacle of chess. The players explode the “powder” they’ve kept dry. Spectators fly in from around the globe. The chess world studies every move.

In the long history of World Championship Chess, two games stand out in the ChickenFactor Hall of Shame:

Kasparov, G. (2849) - Kramnik, V. (2772) [A32]
World Chess Championship London Game Seven 10.8.00
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 e6 6.g3 Qc7 7.Qd3 Nc6 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Bg2 e5 10.0-0 Be6 11.Na4 1/2-1/2

Kasparov played white:+10, his pieces at games end:+35, subtract the number of moves:-11, rating difference divided by seven:11, symmetrical pawn structure:-5, did not proceed five moves past theory:+10 = 50

Then there’s:
Kasparov, G. (2849) - Kramnik, V. (2772) [C67]
World Chess Championship London Game Thirteen 10.8.00
1e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 h6 10.h3 Ke8 11.Ne4 c5 12.c3 b6 13.Re1 Be6 14.g4
Kasparov played white:+10, his pieces at games end:+26, subtract the number of moves:-14, rating difference divided by seven:11, did not proceed five moves past theory:+10 = 43

And here a refinement to the ChickenFactor is suggested. Kasparov gaves up these two draws as white while behind in the London match. Perhaps for situations in which the white player agrees to a short, spineless draw while behind in a match, the ChickenFactor should be doubled. Setting aside short draws at the end of a match given up by a player hopelessly behind, have there ever been in the annals of World Championship play two individual games with such high ChickenFactor ratings as those earned by Kasparov in his 2000 match?

When examining World Championship matches as a whole for the ChickenFactor we need look no further than Karpov-Kasparov 1984-85, an aborted 48-game match “boasting” draws of 21,20,15, 21,16,22,22,15,20,22,17,21,23,23,13,20,20,20,17,15,25,26, and 21 moves and whose astronomical total ChickenFactor rating will never be exceeded.

Kasparov has obviously shown great boldness in tournament situations where his rating significantly exceeds that of most of his opponents. And in the matches of his prime, against the somewhat less accomplished Karpov, Short, and Anand, there is plenty of fight in his games. But when toe-to-toe with an equal, fighting for the World Chamionship in his first match (1984-85) and in his last (2000), Kasparov has produced, respectively, the top ChickenFactor match of all time and the top ChickenFactor individual games of all time. The “ChickenFactor” should thus be renamed, the “KasparovFactor”.

Such a waste after a promising first paragraph! You misunderstand the point of the Chicken Factor. *IT* decides, not partisans or subjective impressions. Once the tool is ready it will be simple to name the Factor after the player, or perhaps the world champion, with the worst career score. Who will it be?!

The first Kasparov-Karpov match was a train wreck due to the outmoded format combined with Karpov's desire to score 6-0 and Kasparov's unwillingness to lose the match. With no game limit neither player had an incentive to play without a clear advantage. Match strategy trumps game strategy in these things, which is why so many of them are horribly boring. They take "rest" days, probe with openings, and agree to draws when surprised in the opening. Yawn. Kasparov once suggested a "skins" system in which prize money builds up with draws and pays off on a win.

The 84 marathon was in a class by itself, of course, and they changed the rules because of it. Kramnik-Leko was excruciating except for the last few games and Kasparov-Kramnik was almost as bad. (The common denominator in those two, as Greg will point out, was Kasparov.)

I recall with pleasure the sense of excitement Mig shared with us day after day in his role as ClubKasparov commentator for the Kasparov-Kramnik 2000 match. On that site Sergei Shipov also commented that the half of that match where Kramnik played the white pieces featured some of the most exciting games in world championship history.

It is therefore surprising to read that Mig now regards the Kasparov-Kramnik match as having been "almost excruciating."

I'm sure the match was excruciating for Kasparov. The pressure of beating back Kramnik's preparation reduced him to twice conceding draws with white while behind in the match. But aside from those two games, the contemporaneous comments of Mig, Shipov, and most if not all of the other match commentators reflected a profound appreciation for a creative and hard fought match.

Please learn to use quotation marks. It's particularly obtuse to misquote me when my actual words are right above.

Kramnik's stated plan in the 2000 match was to remove dynamic potential from the board and he succeeded fantastically. There was not a single combination played during the entire match (unless you count one already published). That's not to say he didn't play well and prepare even better.

It was definitely too strong to say the 2000 match was almost as bad as the Kramnik-Leko match. I haven't looked at the games in a long time and I correct myself. The tension was great because the heavy favorite was behind early and Kasparov produced several miracle saves. There was a lot of excellent chess in the match, largely because the players fought out most of the games, which did not happen in Leko-Kramnik.

Of course being at a real world championship match is exciting and the pressure produces much interest. I'm happy we managed to transmit that.

Greg old boy, you miss the point. Kasparov played like a wounded and hurt chicken in that match against Kramnik, because he was sooo unprepared for Kramnik's strategy. The greatest Chess player in history was reduced to giving up short draws with white when behind because he didnt know what to do: his lack of success from previous games was praying on his mind, and he was so disoriented. Kudos to the Kramnik camp for figuring out the only strategy with which he could beat Kasparov, squeeze all life out of the game. The point is, kasparov's behaviour was an EXCEPTION, not the rule. As I'm sure he'll prove if we are ever lucky enough to see him play another match against Kramnik, who knows that a repeat success of his formula is unlikely and is playing the avoid game. Kasparov has too much chess knowledge to not have figured out a better opening repertoir by now. And you must be joking to suggest he's the greatest chicken champion of all time! The point of the draws in his first match against Karpov was to keep on fighting, not giving up! And have you forgotten the matches where he won his last game in a must win situation, and won again in a must draw situation against Karpov?

Before we got too carried away with the efficacy of the ChickenFactor I thought it appropriate to point out that the chessplayer with the highest World Championship match and World Championship individual game ChickenFactor ratings is: Garry Kasparov.

No, d. I don't blame Kasparov for agreeing to short draws when it suits his purpose. In the 1984-85 match Karpov was slaughtering Garry. So Garry took the advice of Botvinnik, I believe, and put together a long string of short draws, allowing him time to gather his nerves and catch his wind. If after twenty or so moves he didn't have an advantage he agreed to a draw.

In Kasparov-Kramnik 2000, Garry's draws in Game 7 (11-moves) and Game 13 (14-moves), seem like bad strategy for a player behind in a match and playing the white pieces. But playing for a win while disoriented (in d's words) may have been even worse. We can count on Kasparov to have acted in his own best interests.

I wouldn't criticize Kasparov in 1984-85 or 2000 for agreeing to short draws. But a player who takes short draws to conserve energy or when it suits his purposes but attacks others for doing so when it suits theirs is a hypocrite. (Kasparov's comments referenced in the 3/7/04 Daily Dirt).

In Kasparov-Kramnik 2000, Kramnik-as-black got the queens off the board four times by move eight and three more times by move 16, and proceeded to shut down the greatest attacker in chess history eight straight times.

But saying Kramnik "squeeze[d] all life" out of the games and "remove[d] dynamic potential from the board" overlooks 50% of the match. Kramnik-as-white kept the queens on the board for 26, 8, 66, 12, 25, 33, and 57 moves. He won Game Two. He missed wins in Games Four and Six (see Kramnik's CD of the match). And he won Game 10.
You don't get four won positions in seven white games against Kasparov by sucking the life out of the games.

Kasparov, his associates and his fans have tried for years to dismiss Kasparov-Kramnik 2000 as a boring match which should probably be forgotten or ignored. But the games of that match will speak for themselves long after the tongues currently disparaging (and appreciating) them have stilled.

Mig, perhaps you might have some influence over Kasparov's greatest transgression: double-breasted jackets. They are strictly for tall guys like David Letterman. Please, a friendly word to Garry might prevent him from again committing this most egregious of fashion blunders.

[Thread moved here from 'Go Go Linares 2005' item.]

Name: Murali


In time, the chessbase comment that Kasparov could have a 4/4 is stretching it a bit, even with the "with a little bit of luck" caveat added. Against Leko the game was complex and far from over, against Vallejo he had nothing close to a winning advantage.

In the same vein, Topalov should have drawn against Anand and beaten Leko and thus be tied with Kasparov today. Furthermore, if my Dad were a woman I would have two Moms.

Name: greg koster



Chessbase and Kasparov are business partners. You'll find objective reporting about Kasparov in Chessbase right about the time you find objective reporting about Britney Spears in the liner notes of her CDs.

Name: Murali


Hey greg, not so fast - innocent until proven guilty. I don't remember seeing any exclusive interviews with Kasparov on the chessbase website, so I don't see the incentive for chessbase to be overly nice to Kasparov. I think chessbase is generally nice to the players, especially those who are winning and on top of the crosstable. They were pretty generous to Topalov during the FIDE KO.

On the other hand, you could make the case that Mig has an incentive to be nice to Kasparov (they are good friends after all, and Mig even has his phone number :-) ), but recently I've found his comments on Kasparov fairly objective and no nicer than his comments about Anand and Topalov.

Name: Mig


I didn't write it, and wouldn't have, but you guys are intentionally missing the point. When you say something like that it only means that making the most of his opportunities he could be 4/4. It's not a wild fantasy statement. You couldn't say that about any other player in Linares. It's a reflection of the positions reached and it's really not even a compliment considering last year he could have been +4 or +5 with the same criteria and instead finished +1 in second place.

As for objective, saying something positive about somebody doesn't mean you aren't objective, or that you are wrong. Scour ChessBase for something negative about Anand, et al.

Name: acirce


Yes, he could have had more points if he had played better. While perfectly true, it's also rather trivial.

Name: Mig


Sorry every sentence in every report is not fraught with profound meaning. You have to fill the space with something. That one of the players had chances at a 100% score is something of interest. Good luck with your site that never says anything of speculation or interpretation, only 100% fact. Why don't you just have some intellectual honesty and say "dammit, they said something nice about Kasparov and I'm going to snivel about it even though I myself say it's trivial."

Name: acirce


That was my first comment on this matter, and so I haven't sniveled about it. Of course you're welcome to lump us all together though. Mig against the world.

Name: d


hmm... this blog is a beautiful illustration of that old adage empty vessels make the biggest noise. There are some folks who shout very loud, but that doesnt make them right or interesting. Who is "us" acirce? You, Greg Koster, NiceForkin, Irwin and a few others? The rabid anti kasparov clan! Just because you're loud doesnt make you the "world". Many people cant be bothered responding to trolls. http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm description of trolls

Name: acirce


I have no idea why you describe me as belonging to an anti-Kasparov clan. Only in this thread I have defended him more than once.

Name: greg koster


There's nothing wrong with Chessbase reporting that but for missed opportunities the favorite might be 4/4. I'm sure they've done it before with other players.

But let's accept this challenge: "Scour chessbase for something negative about Anand et.al."

On 10/25/04 Chessbase published ten anti-Kramnik letters containing such rabid nuggets as:

"[Kramnik is] one of the lowest dogs around."

"Yes, Kramnik, I'm callin' you a chicken."

"I hate Kramnik now!"

And here's a counterchallenge: Scour Chessbase for equally rabid anti-Kasparov letters or articles.

But Chessbase hasn't repeated their 10/25/04 masterpiece of "troll-journalism" so maybe there's hope they're becoming more responsible.

Name: Murali


Greg, if Kirsan wrote an open letter calling Kasparov a dog I'm pretty sure Chessbase would publish it. They publish all letters, good or bad, and a bunch happened to be unfavorable to Kramnik around October 2004. They can't do much if there are too many people (David Levy, Garry Kasparov...yes, Mig too) who dislike Vladimir (or rather, dislike what he's been doing lately).

At the same time (October 2004), I remember Raymond Keene sent a congratulation letter to Kramnik over his match with Leko, and it was pretty supportive (Mig named it quite appropriately "love letter" :-)). Chessbase published it.

My comment on the 4/4 published on Chessbase - I know it is speculation, but I just think they should reserve these comments for when they are really appropriate (say, if Kasparov had a clear advantage in all four games). No big deal though, just an innocent speculative comment by chessbase in an attempt to entertain the reader (as Mig says, for plain facts one should go to TWIC).

BTW, I noticed that chessbase is pretty "objective" compared to the Spanish coverage of the event (the Spanish journalists even ventured to say, among other things, that Kasparov "let Leko escape" - which is far from accurate)

Name: greg koster


Murali, it's sad but hardly surprising that Chessbase, David Levy, and other Kasparov business associates delight in bashing a world champion whose most heinous crime appears to be suggesting that Kasparov join Anand, Leko, Topalov and other great players in a Candidates competition to determine the next challenger.

Step up and accept my challenge. Scour through all the letters you say Chessbase publishes and post the ones that call Kasparov "the lowest dog around" or some similar epithet. You'll search in vain. Chessbase has never done anything as ridiculous as publishing on 10/25/04 the anti-Kramnik rantings of such great names in the chess world as Samuel Stolpe, Alexandria, Virginia and Pete Bias, Lakeland Florida and let's hope they never do it again.

Since then Chessbase does seem to be getting better at keeping pro-Kasparov bias out of its news articles.

Maybe I spoke too fast. In the Chessbase 104 discussion of anti-Marshall lines, this nugget:

"In the classical World Championship in Brissago, this line was the main weapon of the pretender against 1.e4."

The pretender?

Pretender = challenger. Standard second definition of the word. "Pretender to the throne" being the source phrase.

Having read the above, I think I'll go back to the relative order and sanity of pro boxing.

Mig's been doing a nice job summing up the cheating arguments/stupidity. But when is the last time anyone has said anything new about ceiling cables, bathroom breaks, hand signals, or chess-retarded KGB agents?

The same arguments from the same five or six honorary Bulgarians, answered countless times, is becoming tedious beyond endurance and deserves its own special garbage can...er...thread.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 13, 2004 12:10 PM.

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