Mig 
Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Post-Sofia Kramnik Interview

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Since it's taking over the Mtel item, here's a bit on the Sport Express interview with Kramnik after the Mtel Masters tournament ended. There's really not much new, although it's good to have things in Kramnik's own words regarding reunification. And the interviewer, Vasiliev, makes clear one doubt we had: Yes, there is language in the San Luis player agreements that prohibit the players from participating in alternative world championship events.

That's foolish on FIDE's part, since they gain nothing and sort of rule out a possibility that could be very good for them. Since FIDE will certainly go back on this if they can get a 15% cut of a big money match between the San Luis winner and Kramnik, it mostly shows how little regard they have for their own contracts.

Kramnik's only option, other than to play in San Luis, is to act as though such a match is inevitable and to raise money for it, which is the only way he'll get it. If he can show up with a few million dollars guaranteed for a 2006 unification match, FIDE and their champion would be foolish not to accept. And if they actually proceed with their announced classical cycle we could be back in business with a legitimate champion.

Kramnik is in a tough spot. FIDE clearly feels they can ignore him and his recent results only make that easier, and fundraising harder. If he can't bring sponsorship to the table it will only prove to them that they were right to ignore him. (To be fair, they didn't ignore him entirely. They invited him to San Luis as classical champion. That's their answer when Kramnik brings up Prague.) Kramnik has enough connections to get a another pseudo-qualifier and a match, but if the FIDE cycle gets going that will only get tougher and be less relevant compared to a championship with hundreds of participants - basically everyone but Kramnik - and candidates matches. I agree with his stand; it's just going to be a lonely one.

Not to pick on him, but what's with saying he's still damaged from the Leko match? Wasn't that seven months ago? He played 15 games between that and Mtel. At this point even if he does think he's still sick he probably shouldn't say so; it sounds neurotic at best. He even says Leko will be the favorite in San Luis (I agree), but that he (Kramnik) would be at a disadvantage because he played in Brissago a year earlier?! Wacky. Anyway, let's hope he comes back to form in Dortmund, where he usually plays well.

62 Comments

Did you notice Kramnik's confidence about a match with the winner of San Luis?
We are all arguing here about tradition, credibility and so on but I think it's the money that matters. And what's the most common argument for unification among top players? "Cause it would make fundraising easier".
They don't care about tradition. They are looking for a world champion recognizable for potential investors. That is why Kramnik's recent tournament performances make him "less credible champion" and Kasim is no champion at all. To unify the title we should just put them together and make them play, right? Not at all. Let's find another champion in San Luis, maybe the media will like him more...

Hard to disagree with anything in Mig's article. Also a tad wacky was Kramnik's comment that he played well except for the blunders.

Kramnik says "[t]he tournament in Sofia was strong, interesting; it was a pleasure to play in it, but I did not plan to prove anything to anyone." Looked to me like Kramnik was playing "balls out" in Sofia, trying to dominate that event and strengthen his case for a reunification match. Given the "no short draws" rule and the resulting long, grueling games, Sofia would, in retrospect, have been a perfect occasion for Kramnik's old, smooth, plus-two style.

A FIDE nightmare:
Kramnik invites the world's top six to a quadruple round robin qualifier. Citing their San Luis contracts, Anand, Topalov, Leko, Moro and Adams decline. Kasparov (and many of his fans posting in this blog) suddenly rediscover that Kramnik's is, indeed, the only legitimate, historical title. Kasparov wrestles with his conscience, decides that the quickest way to bring democracy to Russia is for him to become world chess champion again, and accepts to play Kasparov-Kramnik II for a $5 million purse. Kasparov wins and demands draw odds for a reunification match. And its deja vu all over again.

And in the meantime, almost unnoticed, Kasimdzhov wins San Luis.

read Kramnik's interview and realised anew that he seems to live in his own world.. Didnt need to prove anything??? Thought he played well except for blunders?? will come to a "World Championship" in much better shape?? gee whiz...
and he thinks he can get enough money for a reunification.
One hilarious touch was the cartoon caricature he got at the end of Sofia.. Read the Chessbase article if you havent seen it yet.. :-)

FIDE has apparently stopped ignoring ACP and the other day they had a joint meeting. See http://chess-players.org/eng/news/viewarticle.html?id=373

I think Mig has it cracked up pretty well.

I woudl also add, these top players decided they will deal exclusively through FIDE and turn thier back on Kramnik. FIDEs mode of business must be well known to everyone by now. So they did it with eyes wide open. I wonder if we will still hear cries about how hard it is for these top GMs to make a living when things don't improve.

They certainly could have made a stand here and refused to sign the exclusivity clause. FIDE would continue to flounder, or be forced to be realistic about getting a unified champion with a legitimate cycle. This woudl have been the ideal solution. But the players passed up the oportunity and *chose* to bind thier futures with FIDE. They made thier own bed.

Marcuss wrote: 'And what's the most common argument for unification among top players? "Cause it would make fundraising easier".
They don't care about tradition. They are looking for a world champion recognizable for potential investors.'

The problem with this comment, is that it presumes that the desire to earn an income is incompatible with tradition. This is false. It is quite reasonable for the elite players to care about chess tradition, and ALSO seek to be well compensated for their talents.

Indeed, my experience is that in most lines of work, true professionals care deeply about the upholding the traditions of their field, while at the same time wanting to be fairly paid. Why would you assume that these goals are incompatible?

Why do I have this weird premonition Kramnik is going to wind up in Iceland? Actually: Wouldn't it be cool if, after each of them jumps the shark and goes nuts, these top players wind up going to Iceland? And they put together this huge castle out of strange building materials, like ice and lava and old chess books and computer parts and incomplete chess sets and non-Euclidean chessboards. And people journey there and try to gain entrance.

You know what? This is what you start thinking about after you've been playing Psychonauts for about 15 hours.

Greg Koster wrote, "Kramnik's is, indeed, the only legitimate, historical title."

Remember, Bobby Fischer still thinks he's the legitimate champion. Periodically, champions have to put their title on the line against credible opposition, or they become irrelevant. With most of the credible opponents having signed exclusivity clauses to compete in San Luis, it becomes difficult to see whom Kramnik could realistically defend his title against, unless he submits to FIDE auspices.

On the other hand, getting back to Greg's hypothesis, Garry Kasparov is the one player not competing in San Luis who might attract significant sponsorship to a match with Kramnik. By the time that happens, it might have as much championship legitimacy as Fischer-Spassky in 1992.

Marc Shepherd wrote, "It is quite reasonable for the elite players to care about chess tradition, and ALSO seek to be well compensated for their talents".
Agreed. Problem is if they care about tradition ONLY when it is profitable for them. Kramnik brings money and creates a cycle, ok - let's play. FIDE brings money - ok, Kramnik is not credible, let's play for FIDE. Marc Shepherd brings money - ok, chess is in chaos, FIDE corrupted, time to start a new chempionship cycle. Jews excluded? No problem, the world is unfair... And so on.

And it's quite reasonable, money makes the world go round and we can't do anything about it. I'm only saing that our arguments here are pointless. Kramnik is not credible enough now, but if he brings money... for example, how much he will need to present to be recognized by, say, Anand?

"To be fair, they didn't ignore him entirely. They invited him to San Luis as classical champion."

This is a retarded argument on FIDE's part: Kramnik would have qualified for the San Luis tournament based on rating alone - he didn't need the classical WC title to be invited. Therefore Kramnik (and Leko, for that sake) is justified in saying FIDE is ignoring his title.


When Kasparov retired -I was surprised.

When FIDE announced a proper WC cycle -I was astonished.

Now a ACP-FIDE meeting took place on 24.05.2005 -and I am gobsmacked!
(thanks acirce for the news)

(..on top Mig writes carefully about Kramnik..)

I am chuffed to bits at people's positive reaction to criticism..

As chess world is increasingly resembling Heaven, were it not for Kramnik
this blog could lose its sauce and pepper..and its purpose..

.
When Kasparov retired -I was surprised.

When FIDE announced a proper WC cycle -I was astonished.

Now a ACP-FIDE meeting took place on 24.05.2005 -and I am gobsmacked!
As chess world is increasingly resembling Heaven,
Posted by: chessfanatic at May 27, 2005 01:33 PM


I believe FIDE is trying to marginalize Kirsan and Makroupoulos is taking over.

FIDE is trying to marginalize Kirsan
Posted by PeachTree

--I'd just die...

"On top, his preparation was clearly much better than mine."

I remember that in one of the first interviews that Kramnik held after Brissago, he stressed that the players prepared equally-well.

Anton -- You know, it is possible Kramnik reassessed his level of preparation at some point over the last seven months and changed his mind. It's possible for an honest person to do that.

After beating Steinitz, Lasker was full of praise for Stenitz's positional knowledge. Garry Kasparov praised Karpov as the most dangerous opponent, after beating him. So, it seems natural for the victor to praise the vanquished just to gove more weightage for their accomplishment.

I consider Kramnik's claim of Leko as the favorite to win San Luis in this light. Leko's clearly string in match play, but San Luis is exactly not match play, is it? Leko may have won Dortmund qualifier, but Anand wasn't there.

I also find it contradictory that Kramnik claims Topalov would better than Anand while at the same time claiming that Topalov had a lot of luck in Sofia.

Though Anand didn't win Sofia, I belive he pretty much played flawless Chess and that even his draws were very high class.

My money is on Anand. He also has better nerves than Topalov (considering how he lost to Kasim at Tripoli).

Nevertheless, if San Luis happens, it'll be really great to watch. I'm thinking of visiting San Luis in October. Anyone else planning the same?

Me. I'm much closer than you are, but still it's 1200 kmts from Buenos Aires to San Luis... :-P

What I don't heard yet: if Kramnik play in San Luis and win we don't need another unification match. If he really want unification he can just grab both titles. Of course, if he don't believe in his chances...

I also notice that after Sofia, players don't agree so easily to draws in neutral positions like before, maybe is just an optical illusion.

ivanov and saguni exactly right. All sportsmen claim that vanquished opponents are very good, and their own performances below par in contests they lose. Still rather pathetic to see Kramnik do it so transparently. He seems to be tripping over his own comments as well. And if he thinks there is enough interest (enough interest to bring enough money that is) to see this version of himself take on the winner of the WC, he really needs help.

A world champion does not need to defend his title agaisnt the best contender if the best contender refuses. It seems most of the best players have refused to play for his title. Thats thier choice and shouldn't be an arguemnt against Kramnik.

A World champion has never been asked to compete in a tournament like that in Argentina. When we compare the conditions other world champions have asked for, we can see that Kramnik has been more accomadating than any previus world champion. Euwe might be the only exception.

FIDE is not going to accept a reunification match between San Luis winner and Kramnik until the San Luis is finished. Doing otherwise would bring into question how the tournament is a championship and probably lessen the money flowing from it. But, like Mig points out, a reunification match in their benefit, and they will probably agree to it publicly after San Luis goes through (hence, perhaps, the weird FIDE-Lautier dance today).

An annoying aspect of the interview was Kramnik's repetitive insistence that the Brissago match was the thirteenth labour of Hercules and every time he plays badly for the foreseeable future it can be blamed for that. He doesn't appear to be physically tired or ill--quality of his chess is the only thing that seems to be suffering, and chess champions of the past have played in top tournaments after championship matches much sooner and better than Vladimir has so far.

If you go through something extremely grueling then that can haunt you for a very long time. And yes, Leko went from Brissago to winning Corus, and yes, others have done better. But others are not Kramnik and others do not react like Kramnik apparently did.

I'll toss in that the Brissago match was probably the least total amount of time at the board for the players of any WCh match. I'd even bet Lasker and Schlechter spent far more time at the board in their 10 games than Kramnik and Leko did for their 14. Anyway, it's just weird to hear him keep referring to it as a physical thing (quite pointedly). He has to be aware of how it sounds at this point.

The irony is he's setting himself up for a no-win situation. If he plays well in Dortmund in July, what, miraculous recovery? What's so hard about saying you are out of form and playing badly, or that your opponents played well? Of course it's not just Kramnik who does this, but he's taking it to extremes.

I can't see any possible sequence leading to Kramnik playing in San Luis. Winning Dortmund or finishing last would both make it less likely.

If he thinks that he still suffers from Brissago, he should say so. It's interesting and relevant information for the public.

He admits that he played badly and his opponents well. Strange to not notice that. But he doesn't suddenly make this kind of patzer-like blunders out of nowhere without any explanation at all. Maybe you noticed that earlier he almost never blundered and was hard to defeat at all. Searching for explanations doesn't mean denying you played badly or making up excuses.

"If you go through something extremely grueling then that can haunt you for a very long time."
He must be suffering the aftereffects of the London 2000 match, too. Poor Vlad...

Nice to see that Vlad has some company in whatever world he's living in. Ah, to visit that magical place where his statements about this don't sound weak and contradictory.

How would he know if he's still suffering from Brissago? Results and form, right? So then he says that with a little luck and no blunders (!?) he would have done fine, that he played well and he should have beaten Topalov in the final round. Saying that three horrible blunders were caused by something seven months ago is absurd. Lack of concentration, inactivity, all these would make more sense if there were a case for them. And tell me how Leko can be the San Luis favorite while also suffering from Brissagitis. Even if you are such an unquestioning fan that you think all of this is on the level, it has to sound silly. Even if he believes it, it's time to move on.

It can easily have a connection. I know from personal experience that things from further back than just seven months can keep haunting you badly. I think we all realize that but some of us pretend not to. Of course, if you're a doctor and have diagnosed him, fine. But what's the point of comparing to Leko? Leko is not Kramnik. Leko was not sick during Brissago. Leko has done fine after Brissago. Good for him. They are different persons and react differently to things.

Of course, for all I know Kramnik could just be making everything up. I tend not to assume people are lying unless their stories are very implausible. This isn't.

Quite ridiculous discussion, though.

Mig wrote:

"Yes, there is language in the San Luis player agreements that prohibit the players from participating in alternative world championship events.

That's foolish on FIDE's part, since they gain nothing and sort of rule out a possibility that could be very good for them. Since FIDE will certainly go back on this if they can get a 15% cut of a big money match between the San Luis winner and Kramnik, it mostly shows how little regard they have for their own contracts."

Legally speaking FIDE still has the right to give permission to the San Luis champion to play a unification match against Kramnik. It is reasonable for them to keep it under their control after such a long time with the lack of that same control. They must have made a decision and try to stick to it no matter what happens (Kasparov's return by 2006 in a favourable situation is not an irrational prediction for example). I wouldn't blame them for that.

zsp

So what exactly is Kramnik suffering from whose only effect is such serious deterioration in chess play? I mean, when Tal or Karpov were sick, you could tell. I find it implausible (or an indication of unacceptably bad physical and mental shape) that Kramnik would be depleted for 7 months plus after Brissago. In addition, he never says he is in bad physical shape until after he plays badly. Sofia was supposed to be his return. He signed up for Monaco, which nobody would have blamed him for pulling out of. Now there is Dortmund. If he is really so sick that he can not play in a tournament every two months or so, he needs to pull out. Saying that I am really sick while going through the routine, but then blaming all shortcomings on the illness leads to questions. Again I ask, what is he suffering from? It would make more sense for him to say that he was more exhausted than others in Sofia, because he played in a world championship last year. But as many others point out his level of activity isn't higher than Leko or Topalov or Anand.

Reading the first part of the interview, I'm starting to think Fischer is no longer one of a kind. Still suffering from the Leko match? Unless he caught mono or the like, this is starting to sound like a neverending excuse. Where else do you have 5-7 hours of constant stress? First, he isn't any different from his opponents. There are other sports that have long days - cycling for one.

I agree, he is putting himself in a tough spot. Interviews like this aren't helping - they only make him appear weak and unchampion-like. Now what, wait for the FIDE champion & a credible reamatch, and say the match has to wait because he's tired/sick/unprepared? C'mon Vlad, pull it together, man! Either get it together for Dortmond, open up about the illness, or you're going to be passed by the rest of the chess world moving forward.

I have no idea what if anything GM Kramnik is suffering from, but mononucleosis would be quite consistent with the various descriptions, and it often takes months, and sometimes a year to fully recover.

There have been a couple of Olympics athletes that had it, and one of the notable issues was their inability to judge their own capacity for competition, in spite of knowing their (healthy) bodies very well. Cindy Overland is one example. Amy van Dyken is another.

In other words, Kramnik has a year to play badly while acknowledging that he is ill only when he sees fit. Nice. I have mono too.

Inspite of his recent failure in Sofia, it is astonishing to see his optimisim. He has showed that His will is not shaken. He is confident that he will keep his title as long as possible. Unfortunately, he is suffering from a unknown illness. I wish him good health and success.

Glad to know that, he is looking forward to play the FIDE champion for the reunification. I hope it is a Kramnik-Anand match.

All my sympathy for his poor play has vanished.. doesnt even have the courtesy to acknowledge Topalov's amazing play. Its just "luck", and Topalov or Anand hardly played better than the martyr Kramnik, who in fact displayed astonishing fortitude in actually turning up and playing with only three blunders and a share of last place in spite of his extremely stressful drawn match 7 months ago. And in that drawn match itself, he "gifted" a win to Leko, and fought back amazingly, in spite of being much worse prepared than his opponent. What a graceful champion..

d:
Kramnik has mentioned in his interview that he feels happy for Topalov's victory. This tells us lot more than just acknowledging his great play. We need to understand that, he is suffering from an illness. What kind of illness whether it is physical or mental or spiritual, how severe it is for him, it is very hard for others to understand. It does not help us to jump into conclusions. Under similar conditions, I doubt if Kasparov can such great optimism.

I like this trait of Kramnik's. He is often self-critical, diplomatic and seems honest, but he's still proud and optimistic.

Then there are details. For example he says that "we play ten games in eleven days each of them going on for between five and seven hours". That's just not true. Some of his games were that long, true, but far from all.

To Kramnik this may all seem so irrelevant. Just some casual sparring? All that is important are his matches because if he wins those he is still the Champion. The fact is that the champ has almost no motivation to do well in tournaments other than to get paid. In fact, competitively he almost has motivation to play poorly to conserve energy, ideas, and also maybe leave his opponents over confident. The fact is that his opponents have a much stronger motivation to do well. I am not sure this is what goes through his head exactly. But, it could be some manifestation of this that leads him to do so-so in these tournaments since winning in 2000.

Ah, so playing under par may have actually been a cunning ploy. Genius!

As for "the champ having almost no motivation to do well in tournaments...". That's twoddle. He should be very motivated by the fact that he is falling down the ratings list with alarming speed. He should be busting a gut trying to get to the number one spot in the list. After all, Kramnik lacks credibility as World Champion when his FIDE rating/rank does not reflect his status as a champion.

But all we're hearing though is lame excuses from the man himself and his fans. Why not just say 'yeah I've been playing like ****, but I'm going to take some time out and come back stronger than ever' ? A true champion would say something to that effect.

Thanks to Mig for the link to another insightful Kramnik interview. He continues to inspire strong feelings on both sides while showing humility, humour and grace (qualities alien to his predecessor) in the midst of a slump that must be causing him much distress.

Plenty of fresh material here for the anti-Kramnik brigade, a lusty group led by the blogmaster, who have delighted in using Kramnik as their ashtray since the day he brought down Kasparov for good. So many seagulls but just one world champion: Rad Vlad.

I don't consider myself to be "anti-Kramnik", Clubfoot, but at this point anybody can legitimately start to wonder about what's going on with him.

First, he gives a strong appearance of trying to duck Kasparov after "winning" his drawn match with Leko. Then, he plays in 3 tournaments where Kasparov isn't present and fails to impress in any of them. Then, there are the constant excuses. He's too sick to play in the Russian Champs, he's experimenting at Monaco, at Sofia he still hasn't recovered from the 14 (!) game match with Leko 7 months ago. Okay, so maybe this could all be true, but even if it is, it begs the question of why.

Kramnik is a great player, I hope we can all agree on that. He has played many beautiful games, and he is the only person who can claim to have beaten the strongest player of all time in a match. But World Champions are supposed to be more than just great, they are supposed to be at or at least near the top of the heap. Kramnik's performances in the last year do not measure up, and his avoidance of certain events casts doubts on his willingness to prove himself. And if he is too fragile, mentally or physically, to play strong chess on a regular basis, then perhaps it's time for him to bow out gracefully before he becomes a figure of scorn. Or, better yet, he should find solutions to his problems and start playing the great chess we all know he is capable of. But enough with the excuses.

Just my opinion

Fact 1:
Kramnik was the best player in the world in the year 2000. But only in that year.

Holding the title and being the best player are not necessarily the same thing. Kramnik had the best performance in the world for one year, and it happened that his match against Kasparov was on that year. After that, his performance have declined.
Today Kramnik legitimately holds the classical title, but he is not the best player. His results and his fall in the rating list clearly show that.
I suppose hat everybody here is familiar by now with Jeff Sonas`s fourth article at Chessbase, available at http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2409


Fact 2:
Kramnik has no plans to build a new cycle structure.

It seems clear from the interview that his only plan is to play the winner of the San Luis tournament. It will be WONDERFUL if it happens, and I sincerely hope that it does.
But what if it doesn`t? Dortmund 2006 is the new cycle?

It is useless to argue Kramnik's play now.He is at his lows.I agree he shouldn't be judged by his failures.Even more dangerous is linking his performance with legitamacy.To me his title was never legitamate.He had his day and enjoying the fruits for the past 5 years.
Does the FIDE winner has to play Kramnik?I think no.He need not but if he choose to..for a good cause, then thats fantastic.But again he should not be put under any obligation to play with Kramnik.Let it be the winner's prerogative.After all that was how the famous K-K-K behaved/ing during their times.
Kramnik now yielding so much , for an uncoditional match with FIDE winner, he may oneday actually break.If he wins Dotrumund and put up couple of good performances to reach top 2 atleast, we will again have the utopian talk on chess and WC.
I sometimes wonder is there any other so called champion who tried to leaverage his position for so long despite putting a string of bad performances.Kasparov and Karpov did the same but they also did one more extra thing--they dominated at the board.I think Kramnik overestimated himself.

I hope Anand is the new Champion soon. He will be a deserving, graceful, gentlemanly, genuine, modest and an intelligent champion, who will bring respectability and honour to the Chess World. He is also not a shirker, he will continue to play tournaments and be consistent in his performance as in the past. The world has had enough of all the ego-maniacs.

I wouldn't say no to Topalov as World Champion. He seems to be every bit a good guy as Anand.

yep, and both of them are currently quite a bit stronger than Kramnik. Kramnik should cut the crap and admit that a) he's out of form, b) his stylistic change is making things worse because he's just not as good at tactics as guys like GK, Anand, Topy, Moro, Shirov and even Leko. He never was.

"[Kramnik's] just not as good at tactics as guys like GK, Anand, Topy, Moro, Shirov and even Leko. He never was."

Bobby Fischer had just finished a chess game. Another player approached and congratulated him on a great game. Fischer replied, "how would you know?"

"Bobby Fischer had just finished a chess game. Another player approached and congratulated him on a great game. Fischer replied, 'how would you know?' "

Do you have a reference for this anecdote?

Perhaps the reference is not the point of Mr Koster's post, which was a response to the fatuous comments in the previous post.

"Perhaps the reference is not the point of Mr Koster's post, which was a response to the fatuous comments in the previous post.".

If you quote a real person, it is good practice to either provide a reference or make it clear that the story is ficticious.

Clubfoot and Murali,

Sorry--I don't recall where I read the Fischer anecdote. I do suspect that evalutating the comparative tactical abilities of the world's top five grandmasters may be beyond the scope of most of those who post here.

So.. it means to say ..we should not comment on top-5 players play,either good or bad, either they or winning or loosing like a patzer,either they put +3 or -2.
May not be a bad idea after all.So this also means we can freely comment on Kramnik, who will be world no.6.

haha.. This is one of the most stupid arguments of all time, yet prevalent: "You're not good enough, so how do you judge?" You dont have to be capable of beating somebody one on one to judge whether he's better or worse than somebody else. That's ridiculous, as ridiculous as the comment koster made up.

right pavani! heh

Of course it is not ridiculous really d I mean some of Shirov's games which look great to us seem worthless to him because he notices all the mistakes he made. We cannot really judge too well. On the other hand we all understand results and we all understand that moves like Nc1?? are really bad. So there is a balance.

DP, it is ridiculous to make that statement in general. Many people, including myself cannot judge a position exactly during competition, but can analyse it and understand it thouroughly with the help of analysis provided by other experts, by the proponents themselves, and computers. So I can look at 10 games of Kramnik and 10 games of Shirov over many months for example, and come to the conclusion that Shirov is better than Kramnik in tactics in the games I've looked at. Obviously I have to have a certain skill to do that, and I do posses that level of skill.
Koster made up that stupid comment which he attributed to Fischer because he finds it very difficult to digest any imagined criticism of Kramnik. I say imagined because I didnt intend to make it a criticism, just a comment on style. Kramnik for example has a profound positional understanding which is probably second to none. However when he tries to play mad tactical positions he suffers and seems to make more mistakes. I think anybody with a reasonable Chess knowledge and access to games and analysis can come to that conclusion.

d--

How would one back up a statement that Kramnik was never as good at tactics as GK, Anand, Topo, Moro, Shirov and Leko?

Wouldn't you have to examine a fair sample of their games, say ten per year, going back to when each became a grandmaster, at least a dozen years or so? So for 7 players you'd have to examine 10 games a year over 12 years time, or 840 games. But even then there's reason for scepticism. In every top event reported move-by-move on the internet, Fritz-equipped lower level players chime in with confident predictions, only to be repeatedly surprised by the actual moves of the top grandmasters, who've seen deeper into the position.

Only a highly skilled player doing a boatload of research could, with any credibility, compare the tactical abilities of the top seven players over their entire careers. So, d, get your rating up. And get to work!

no, its possible to make an informed guess from a sample. There are always exceptions to the rule (i.e. games in which this was reversed) but, as the word implies, they are exceptions... Incidentally, out of curiosity, what is your rating old son? As for me, I didnt play competitive chess past about 18 yrs, but I was once the third ranked junior in my country. Not a big deal of course, because it wasnt a great Chess playing country.

It is hard to understand what caused Kramnik's blunders. I agree his explanation can't completely explain it but what can?


I'm not sure what can explain his loss to Topalov. "Bad form"?? Thats more of a severely understated *description* than an explanation. I'm sorry but a better explanation might be if he said: "I forgot how the queens move."

Yes his explanations leave somthign to be desired as do all possible explanations. Thats why I tend to agree with the guy who refers to the Kramnik haters as seagulls flocking to peck at Kramnik. I don't know what can cause this. I just hope he gets back in shape and wins his match against Svidler - after Svidler wins Argentina.

Hello niceforkinmove:
I am perplexed about your match prediction? Why do you think Svidler wins the Argentina tournament? Because he is Kramnik's second and knows all that secret analysis? I remember Kramnik was Kasparov's second during Kasparov-Anand match.

Hello Ryan:

Based on Kramnik's current form , maybe he is capable only of defeating Svidler.(just kidding).


I think it is based on a realistic prognosis. If Leko, Topalov , Anand or Adams win Argentina they might not be willing to give Kramnik a match. So, from a Kramnik fan's perspective it is better Svidler wins because he was Kramnik's second.

Hi ryan:
I really don't know who will win Argentina. Lets just say the noise I was making on that issue came from an orifice other than my mouth.

I was somewhat kidding when I said Svidler would win. But it is just a torunament and I think his chances are not much worse than the favorites - Anand Leko and Topo. The reason I said this was many people want, to say how credible this FIDE champion will be even before its played. I think they are assuming one of those three will win it.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 27, 2005 6:57 AM.

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