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BladderGate 3

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If you don't like my artsy version of this photo you can download a standard capture. The story that photo accompanies is here. As of 19:10 it's still on the NY Times homepage. The BBC is also in on the act. Since there are so few reporters on the scene, everyone (who can't speak Russian) is quoting the shrill press releases from the players' teams and Misha Savinov at ChessBase. All the docs are there now. I like the part where Hensel calls the appeals committee "biased and incompetent." Adjectives, you can't choose just one!The latest is a letter from professional peacemaker, ChessBase commentator, and 9/83 Cosmo bachelor of the month GM Yasser Seirawan with suggestions to get back on track.

I'm still going through the five stages of grief but I'm stuck on denial-ov. It's almost too depressing to keep talking about and I can't even bring myself to wade through the hundreds of comments that came in while I was out all day today. (Has anyone tried "Water(Closet) Gate" yet?) Discussing the semantics of the paragraph on bathrooms in the player contract?! Kill me now. I also have to work with these people, and taking sides in something so preposterous seems beside the point. Both Topalov and Kramnik are generally pleasant and positive, but the pressure has effects off the board, too.

Topalov's taking a borderline frivolous complaint public along with allegations of cheating was malicious. Kramnik's taking the bait and allowing himself to be forfeited was foolish, if perhaps inevitable. Of course this complaint would never have happened were Topalov leading 3-1. But it would have made sense for Kramnik to accept that his behavior (as described, since I'm not there) is unusual and not unworthy of a (quiet) complaint from a frustrated opponent. I'd like to think it could have been dealt with professionally, if not amicably. In these cases nobody wants to back down; Kramnik didn't want to give a millimeter by changing his habits at Topalov's request. It would be on his mind that Topalov "won" every time he went to the bathroom. (Which apparently means he would be thinking about it constantly, ba-dum-bump.)

So how about that contract paragraph on bathrooms? Are the whole player contracts available? It seems that Makropoulos confirmed my impression that they don't promise each player a private bathroom. I can't believe I just wrote that. And they changed the conditions with cause after a committee decision. I'm not agreeing with it, just wondering if the appeals committee really did break the rules as Seirawan states. The bit Hensel quoted read, "FIDE shall provide a rest room and toilette for the players during the WCC match in the playing hall and close to the stage (if possible backstage) to be equipped with a live monitor furnished with coffee and tea as well as with light refreshments.” But of course it's not the facilities, it's the principle.

Regardless, with outside assistance on everyone's mind these days, and with various real cases in the news, erring on the side of paranoia is a good idea. I'm not in favor of naked players and colostomy bags (yet), but searches and bathroom attendants don't seem that invasive when the stakes are this high. Then we can move on to who picks the attendants, I mean the "restroom marshals."

They should definitely overrule the forfeit by any means necessary, first off. Then make Danailov the attendant in Kramnik's restroom and Hensel the attendant in Topalov's restroom. We'll get them little uniforms and caps. Then the players should shut up and play chess. I want to wait another 12 hours before talking about the repercussions if the match doesn't continue. Then I'll have to go through the stages of grief all over again and I'm all out of Herradura Añejo. (Aka "stage 6")


Thanks alot mr Topalov, you've made top chess a matter of ridicule and laughter! You truly are a jerk.

hey mig, have you considered hiring danilov? he seems to be the perfect dirt provider

This is the first time I've ever been embarassed (rightly or wrongly)over my fondness for chess and its people.

Whell, I don't quite know what to say after 290 comments in the other thread. We're all just in stasis until tomorrow morning, I guess. It should be a very, very interesting day.

I realize it's a long shot, but you need to desperately hope Kasparov will step in to take over this match. All questions of playing style, personality and toilets should be set aside. This is about the future of chess.

Go Kasparov. Topalov and Kramnik have shown nothing but an inability to understand that 'WC' stands for 'World Championship', not 'Water Closet'.

Simply showing up on stage, fire in your eye and cleaning brush in your hand, and challenging them both to a consultation match will do it.

Just Kasparov win it.

why does this seirawan appear everytime there is crises in the chess world?

Jonas: Hehe! Excellent! :)

These guys are huge morons. I refuse to waste my energy even thinking about this situation.

How much does Topalov, personally, have to do with this nonsense? I've heard it rumoured that Danailov controls Topalov's private affairs fairly extensively--is this true?

Not that this exonerates Topalov. The bathroom challenge may have been entirely Danailov's idea but Topalov's going along with it. Accepting the full point with a big smile on his face (q.v. ChessBase's photographs) shows a disappointing lack of class.

So, now the toilet attendant then must be naked! Otherwise how I would be sure that he / she will not plant a compromised others party materials.

All perfectly clear - with situation at hand FIDE holds half a million (was it presented?) and Topalov cash on match with Radjabov.

With win of Kramnik the half million is gone and Radjabov can reconsider a match against a loser. What the heck - now anyone will be scared to play with Topalov anyway - what a jerk!

It is in a way the explanation for very biased position of FIDE including Kirsanov ahead. I will not be surprised if Danilov even discussed it prior with FIDE.

This is the paranoia behind all these allegations


It is incredible so much scandal when regardless who wins this match, nobody is going to recognize it as a true world champion. Why? A true world champion must earn the right to dispute a world championship final, including winning qualifiers in a proper system. Not Topalov, not Kramnik did that. They present to win to give meaning to their pathetic titles, instead of proving it on the board against the rest of the elite ...

Why some people believe that the future of chess depends on a couple of jerks, instwad of a whole organized system?

This reminds me of an old joke:

Three guys are up for "parole" from a mental institution. There is a very simple test administered by the parole board. The first guy goes before the board and is asked

"Where is your nose?" (The first guy points to his stomach.) "Back to your padded room. Next!"

The second guy goes before the board. "Where is your nose?" (He points to his foot.) "Next!"

The third guy goes before the board. "Where is your nose?" (He points to his nose.) "Where are your knees?" (He bends to cup his knees.) "Where is your belly button?" (He points right at it.)

"That's great! You can go free. But we are curious, how did you know all that?"

The third guy points to his head and says "Kidneys!"

Don't you just love that picture?

Topalov relaxing comfortably in his chair, for the first time since the match began, happily sipping his glass of water knowing that his terror, Kramnik (check how nervous he was in the early pictures), won't be showing up. You can just see how much he is enjoying his mama's gift of a 1 point.

So, Kirsan is hurrying back to Elista to try and get the match moving.

What's the carrot and stick analysis?

wrt Topalov, the carrot might be more money than what Topalov would earn for the next year or so, which includes the lucrative match against Radjabov, i.e. a pretty big carrot is required here, perhaps in the order of a couple of millions of dollars. The stick might be an immediate forfeiture of the FIDE world title, which would have expired and reacquired within the year in the FIDE WC tournament anyway, i.e. this stick is not really a big one

wrt Kramnik, the required carrots have been spelled out in Hensel's second letter: contract compliance (small carrot), fire FIDE appeals committee (big carrot), apology from Topalov (impossible carrot), note that there is no monetary carrot at all here. On the stick, the stick may not even be in Kirsan's hand, the stick here might even be in Kramnik's hand in the form of Zhukov who has now openly backed Kramnik via the Russian Chess Federation and perhaps even in the form of Putin, Kirsan's boss. Note that FIDE does not recognize Kramnik's world title, so there is no stick here anyway that Kirsan can wave with

The upshot of all this? Kirsan bribes Topalov to accept the previously agreed to match conditions, and uses his charming abilities to persuade Kramnik to abstain from insisting on apologies from Topalov, and to abstain from insisting on firing the FIDE appeals committee.

Will Kirsan succeed? Well, I tried to contact Vanga through an alien medium, but unfortunately there was no answer...

With Kramnik leading +2 after two games, the Russian was starting to look unbeatable. Everyone said he couldn't be beaten. They said Topalov would self-destruct against his flawless defense.

They were wrong.

To me, the match has just gotten a lot more interesting. Topalov has obviously found a hole in Kramnik's preparation, and he's exploiting it to the fullest. He has taken the Russian off his game and into unfamiliar territory. Viva Veselin!

Macuga, chess matches are so boring when they are about chess, right?

Charles: I'll take excreta over chess any day.

A couple of articles from today's (Saturday's) Guardian:
Leonard Barden: http://sport.guardian.co.uk/chess/story/0,,1884352,00.html

Stephen Moss (who's been taking "lessons" recently with Nigel Short): http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1884564,00.html

On the plus side, at least they appear in the Sports section of the newspaper (although it can't be too long before it makes a News of the Weird column).

There were quite a few entries in this BladderGate sequel saying why a shared toilet was an issue at all.

IMHO, the separate toilet room is an extension of the private rest room, see the pictures on the official, chessbase and other sites. Kramnik uses the toilet room as an extension of the small rest room to pace in a larger space as stated in the first Hensel letter. Locking the door to the toilet room restricts him to pace in the small rest room. The issue is therefore not only the toilet room, but pacing space also.

The toilet room issue as such would have been addressed by a shared toilet room, but the shared toilet room would not address the pacing space issue, which Kramnik may need because of habit or other legitimit reasons.

And finally -- please excuse the deluge -- I can't resist adding another thematic article on toilets, this one about former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson's fabled glass toilet. Now *that's* what they need in Elista...


Topalov's the Bad Guy here. Absolutely no doubt about it. He can't lose like a man.

What? No complaints about TV cameras or bad lighting? Perhaps the first seven rows of spectators should be removed too. Oh yeah... that was back in 1972 with ...what was his name...that guy in iceland...hmmm... RJF was his initials.

Maybe the intelleuctal tone of things could be raised by Topalov trying to break Kramniks leg and Kramnik responding by biting Topalov's ear off and them maybe both smashing a chair over each other's head. A few half naked ring card girls might help and let's not forget the beer advertisements.

The whole point of the "toiletgate" caper is to terminate the match - which Topalov is well on the way toward losing - in such a way as to make Kramnik appear at least 50% responsible, thus allowing Topalov (and FIDE) to retain the "world championship". The insulting "solution" of the appeals committee was obviously directed toward this end. Sad to say, the ploy will be successful. FIDE, under current leadership, is hopelessly corrupt.

Kramnik is 100% right, and the Appeals Committee is completely wrong, based on this clause in the contract:

Clause 3.18.3., Schedule 2 of the contract:
“After the World Chess Championship Committee agrees with the Organizers on the arrangements in respect of the tournament hall, facilities etc. etc. etc……., no objections from the participants shall be acceptable as long as the conditions are in accordance with the rights of the players granted in their agreements.”

This is just TOO appropriate... From the musical "Chess" (lyrics by Tim Rice).

"Though we concede
The fact your masters bend the rules is maybe not your fault
If they withdraw their psychological assault
Then under protest he'll proceed."

"If your man's so sweet
Then why his fighting talk?
If he says we cheat
Then why on earth did he go take a walk?"

"I am not surprised he wanted fresher air
Once he realized there was no hope
Of your guys playing fair."

"It's very sad to see
The ancient and distinguished game that used to be
A model of decorum and tranquility
Become like any other sport
A battleground for rival ideologies
To slug it out with glee."

Of course I dont know what is happening, either.

But I am sure it is Kramnik's fault. He has been an disappointment in all his title matches. Against Kasparov he played the wimpy Berlin defense (this meant funding fot the next match was lower). Then finally when he played Leko in a weak title match Kramnik managed to retained the title after inducing a blunder. Not historic stuff by any account.

Inducing bluders is Kramnik emergency style, apparently (Personally I prefer players who play more recklessly when needing a win).

Now Kramnik is finally facing a worthy challenger in his prime. And this player has an agressive style that not even Kramnik's most passive meticulousness can deal with.

My guess it is Topolov chess strength and style is why Kramnik has literally gone potty.

Even though I suspect Kramnik's has gotten to some form of OCD ('obsessive compulsive isorder'), still I do not pity him. Call me old-fashioned but I think when you agree to play a game of chess that means you sit at the board almost the whole time.

Sometimes it seems like some of the commenters do not actually play chess, so they dont know what is like to have freakish behavior from your opponent

Krammik's behavior is even worse consideing he is being paid. Since it is a spectator event he should stay at the board as much as possible. Tennis players who play 5-sets matches are allowed at most 1 bathroom break, right?

Should the organizer have put the number of bathroom breaks into the contract? .. no, they are just normal people, they could not have foreseen what an unbelievable mental case Krammik is.

Maybe I am wrong about reason for his many bathroom breaks. But I bet the organizers were annoyed with Kramnik before Topolov complained.

-- as far as the mention of the cheating technical concerns, that I guess has its origins that media have spoken about this in regards to Topolov (who is a real sportsman) and so is must be galling to Topolov that no-one has been writing about this in regards to kramnik, even as he Kramnik has apparently gone OCD. I doubt anyone thinks Kramnik is cheating.

--In summary, I apologize to people who have long ago attached allegience to Kramnik. It must be hard to realize that he isn't an admirable person. I especially apologize if I am wrong.

But the way I see it is Kramnik has a cowardice problem and -for more than a decade- this has hurt chess.

"...as long as the conditions are in accordance with the rights of the players granted in their agreements.”

Surely this is the sticky point.

It depends on what your definition of the word is is.

hey, the coward has won many more tournaments and first prices than fritzalov will in his life. besides, cant remember their personal scores? about 12-5, am i right? cant remember really
in an era when kasparov was the absolute king, kramnik was there beating him consistently, what whas doing topalov? being in the bad part of great games. seems he was tired of being a nobody and he and the danilov gang turned on fritz

Henry, Not an interesting story. The 'organizers' are not real organizers in the sense of the word. They are simple crooks who need Kramnik's title (Kasparov's title) for justification to make more money and keep power.

This isn't about Kramnik at all.

If we have to have bathroom attendants and player searches then Kirsans Ilyumzhinovs have won.

Henry, you're living in a fantasy world in which a brave Topalov was leading 3-1 against a coward Kramnik. I have bad news for you, it was all but a dream. The only thing that seems very real is your insanity.

So what now?

Has Topalov achieved by protesting what he had not being able to achieved at the board, a full point?

Very sad turn of events really.



The pre-agreement for the match conditions does not permit Kramnik to go to the toilet 50 times a game with clear capability of cheating.

At very least it breaks the rule of chess of not distracting your opponent.

So Kramnik certainly is not 100% right.

Initially, I thought Kramnik was right to do what he did and Topalov was wrong. The way the NY Times article is written though, Kramnik is the nutcase.

After some thought, I can't even really blame them for this interpretation, though now Kramnik will enter history as the chess world champion who waited outside of his private bathroom, demanding it to be unlocked :-(

I don't think that the match will be finished. Both players and organizations now have to know that regardless of who wins, the losing side will always have an excuse--an endless moan of unfairness. I think it is time for both boys to go home.

And chessplayers wonder why they have difficulty attracting major corporate sponsors ? Rampant paranoia meets infantile name-calling. Come back Kasparov - at least he provided both those on his own !

not a bad idea, kasparov as a full time head of a world chess federation, he has prestige, (of a sort but he has it), money, love for the game, and is an enterprising fellow

on the other hand how good will be for chess that someone like seirawan could have an important role in chess also

I don't think any such thing would have happened if Anand was playing. Remember his title matches with the problematic Kaspy, Shirov, and Karpov - despite losing two of them and playing Karpov in unfair conditions.

Anand is dismissed as being not being championship material because despite being a great player he is too nice, boring, lacking in killer instinct to be a champion. Now, this is what you get when you go for colorful/killer instinct over nice/normal.


ps: To get back to topic, I feel the whole mess is Topalov's fault (i say this even though I was supporting him earlier). In one move, he lost all the credibility and respect gained in the last two years.

Seriously, I totally agree that we need more gentlemen in chess.
BOTH PLAYERS ARE AT FAULT.Topalov was unsporting in complaining for the sake of causing anonyance. Granted he DID go through the official channel of complaint. Kramnik had to protest! Otherwise it would be a silent ommision that there is some light in the accusations. Furthermore, how can he possibly let his opponent walk all over him by just changing his playing conditions at will?

But there are much better ways to do so than forfeitng a game. He should just have played Game 5 while lodging a counter-appeal. He must also understand that refereeing decisions are not always fair. Just look at the recent World Cup 2006 where decisions by the officials caused National sides games.

Actually as an ex-lawyer it does seem unbelievable that the Appeals Comittee reached a decision without hearing Kramnik's version of events. Whatever is in the match regulations that in itself is an elementary denial of justice. Kramnik certainly has a justifiable cause of complaint there, whatever one might think of the rest of his reaction...

Right to the point MIG and funny as ever.

Although it is clear now how chess can solve the problem of little media attention and attract big corporate sponsorship dollars! I mean on the first page of the NYT, before baseball, football...

The appeals committee was probably intimidated by his "I will withdraw from the Match if the issues are not settled" nonsense. As if he could ever do so without being labelled a match escapee.

GG - Where does it say in the pre-agreement for the match conditions that Kramnik is not allowed to enter his private bathroom as many times as he wants? What rule of chess are you talking about? You seem totally nuts.

The appeals committee was probably intimidated by his "I will withdraw from the Match if the issues are not settled" nonsense. As if he could ever do so without being labelled a match escapee.

The public toilet that Danailov wants both players to use is not protected by the screen set up on the stage. He started this scandal with the only purpose to let Topalov get from behind that screen to be able to receive assistance from the public area where Danailov is normally seated.

I wonder what if a condender suffers from diarrhea? Inconvient case..not only you have to go to the toillete all the time, distracting your concentration, not only you feel uncomfortable and ill, but also you have to face the idiot which calls you "cheater,cheater..." sh**ty day...

But the story has an other part too. I am Phd student in economics and some time i have to do supervisions in undergraduate examination. So i have noticed that in theoretical courses (for example history) the "i need to go to the toillete" rate increases, dramatically ! LOL.

It seems that cheating always will be a part, amiserable one..., of human nature.

The media have been portraying Kramnik as the villain in all this. As an odd nutball.

These quotes are from the Guardian:

"The Russian player Vladimir Kramnik forfeited the fifth game of his 12-game match with the Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and threw into chaos the much-anticipated contest that was due to end the 13-year schism"

"And the reason for his dramatic action, with its echoes of Bobby Fischer's forfeit in the second game of his match with Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in 1972? Kramnik had been banned from using his private toilet. Even the irascible and unpredictable Fischer, who saw KGB plotters everywhere, never thought of this one."

Words cannot describe how despicable the actions of the Topalov camp have been. Look at the grins and smirks on their faces. Danailov and Topalov.

Kramnik is absolutely in the right to protect his intregrity. He shouldn't accept a decision that violated the agreement (as quoted above by Chris Falter). He shouldn't accept a decision that added credence to the accusations that he would have been cheating.

The order of asking questions here should be:

1. How did the Topalov camp get their hands on these tapes? Who informed them of the content and who passed the tapes to them?

2. How could any of the two players be cheating even in theory? They are checked for electronic equipment. The lavatories are checked before the games. Noise is being generated to block all radio communication. Glass wall prevents all signals from people in the audience.

When you try to answer these two questions, you may want to ask further questions about the FIDE committee and e.g. their financial ties to the lucrative Topalov-Radjabov match.


Having answered these you may look at the way in which Danailov and Topalov went about their complaint. Wording it in a very personal way, directly attacking the character of Mr. Kramnik and grabbing the utmost publicity. No quiet complaints like how Kasparov handled it in 2000.

Looking at the chess Kramnik has played there is nothing to suggest cheating. Of course Topalov fully well knows this. So you need to ask about their real motives for this personal attack. And these toilet visits they quote are 1-2 minute visits. In that time you don't even set up the position on the imaginary pocket fritz, nevermind check complete variations. They purposefully tried to point out the 16.Bg5 in game 3. Nearly every master level player should considered this move.

And to quote Kramnik's second letter:

"Clause 3.17.1., Schedule 2 of the contract:
“All protests must be submitted in writing to the Appeals Committee not more than 2 hours after the relevant playing session.”

The protest made by the Topalov Team were not made within this window after game 4 (27 September 2006) but only hit the FIDE Office and the Appeals Committee on the rest day (28 September 2006). Therefore the protests are not even relevant and should have been rejected by the Appeals Committee immediately."

It clearly gives further credence to his suspicion that the committee (with good friends of Danailov on board, with personal financial interests tied to the Radjabov match and perhaps other further activities) shouldn't be trusted to be impartial.

What annoys me most in all this is the approach by many respected chess personalities to lump the two together (Kramnik and Topalov) and go on about "why can't they behave" or some such. Like both would be to blame.

I think it is pretty straightforward stuff. Even the "50" was an exaggeration and the visits could have been anything trivial from washing his face to pacing to telling himself in the mirror "you can do it, you can do it!".

You ask ten questions about Mr. Danailov, FIDE and Topalov (who should get his equal share of blame. Danailov is his manager and is paid to do what Topalov wants him to.) and perhaps then if there is any reason for such, you can ask questions about the person who was attacked with distasteful personal accusations and then cast the villain in the media for protecting his integrity against the accusations.

People should see the principled nature of this conflict, and not be afraid to side with Kramnik.

Brother Illyumzhinov will speak with brother Danailov in person and inform him of the consequences if the match is aborted.

" I can do anything I want. " Brother Rumsfeld.

I agree that Danailov is almost entirely to blaim for Topalov's side of the farce.
But what about Carsten Hensel? Nobody has mentioned him, and yet maybe Kramnik would have accepted to play Game 5 (and perhaps even won it, since he looks to be in better form than his opponent) if his boss hadn't intervened with that press release, refusing to comply with the Appeals Committee's decision (right? wrong? who cares!) "as a matter of principle".
Let Hensel play Danailov for the World Managers' Championship, at least this way they won't spend their time preventing their own players from settling out over the board.

From now on, I only intend to support top players who do things as much as possible on their own, such as Anand, Ivanchuk, ecc. (The alternative would be transferring my interest to backgammon straight away, but chess deserves a second chance). If you have an agent or a manager (after all there is big money involved), the public should never even HEAR of their existence. The moment these jerks take the stage and push actual chess into the background, it is clear something has gone wrong.

do any of these 2 guys know this chess WC is bigger than the both of them combined?

I am in total agreement with what AZ79 has said. Well thought and argued.

If you look at the pictures of the press conference, Kramnik seems totally at ease. Not freaked out, not totally pissed, not anything. He seems to pay close attention to what Monokr... (whatever this guys name) is saying and then making his few points. No big arguing, no anger etc.

prugno i agree with you, not only Danailov is to blame but Hensel too. they destroyed the world championship :(

Game 5/6 postponed?

"The sixth game between the two grandmasters Vesselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik due on Saturday was postponed, organisers said.

The match's referee Geurt Gijssen argued the delay decision with a clause from the competition rules."

I agree completely with AZ79 as well. And I disagree with gilles and prugno: there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way Hensel handled the mess created by Danailov and the committee.

Very well said, AZ79. That exactly sums it up.


How could you say that Kramnik is in better form?Certainly he is +2, but to say he is in better form makes me wonder if you have followed the games.

It is my view that Danailov is 99% behind the initial protest and Topalov is the fall guy. Hensel is also lacking in diplomatic skills.

I'll be glad when chess influence is diversified throughout the world instead of being concentrated in hands of the so-called "developed nations." Direct confrontation seems to have been the main recourse for problems and I have even seen this in FIDE Congress meetings. It's school ground politics... "I'm going to stare you down until you blink."

Poor diplomacy has led us to instability in the chess world... the same mentality that has led us to instability in the current world affairs. The chess world will be a better place when Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East begin to play more of an integral role. That could be 10-15 years away. Let's hope chess will still have some respectability.

Albrecht von der Lieth,

You could at least take the courtesy to learn how to spell his name (as I did with yours). I'm sure you have your own problems with people mispelling your name (as I do) and I'm sure you don't like it one bit.

About the supposed smirks and grins from Topalov: I suppose people see what they expect to see, and when they are given a variety of images, they select the image that reinforces what they already feel. Most people here feel that Topalov is scum, a pariah, a lowlife, a vicious little animal, a conniving scoundrel, and so forth. Therefore he must be smiling and smirking about his evil deeds. And that's what people see, and say they saw.

Of course when you actually look at the photos here http://www.worldchess2006.com/main.asp?id=1006 there is only one picture of Topalov that shows him with any kind of smile on his face, the 26th image on this page, in which he is apparently fumbling with an envelope and maybe trying to get it into his inside jacket pocket. The rest of the pictures of Topalov all show him with a quite serious expression. But I suppose the envelope picture shows "the real smirking Topalov" and the rest are only masquerade.

Danailov does have a very strange broad grin on his face in two pictures. I don't know if he is really happy or whether someone told him that this is what you are supposed to do whenever a camera points at you.

By the way, can I assume that all of you who believe that Topalov is a "pariah", an evil man with absolutely no morals, a shameful blot on the chess community, etc., have come to the conclusion that Kramnik should not resume play in Elista under any circumstances? That it would be incompatible with human dignity for Kramnik to ever play Topalov again, or in any event under the auspices of the evil FIDE? It doesn't seem that there is a lot of occasion for compromise here, or desire for it.

I was hoping Topalov would win this one - best thing for chess having the FIDE champ and world #1 taking the unified title, as a Kramnik victory leaves us with a world champion who isn't considered (certainly by the majority) as the world's best player.

However... if this Game #5 forfeit isn't re-instated and/or the match collapses, KRAMNIK IS THE VICTOR AND WORLD CHAMPION, as far as I'm concerned. He has the moral highground as it is. But the moral highground AND a 2-0 lead??? A lead which we all know was more than enough for VK against Kasparov?

Winning a world title in a game that includes forfeits only sits well if its the loser who gained the free points and the winner has gone off on a streak (see '72 final). This is just a desperate ploy by Topalov. Shame on him if he lets this match collapse.


The media coverage shows an obvious slant. There is no way of knowing the context in which those pictures were taken, but they were posted in such a way to paint Topalov as the villian. Media does this all the time and chess coverage is no different, apparently.

The whole episode is deplorable.

When the Topalov-Radjabov WC match in 2007 was negotiated, FIDE Vice President Azmaiparashvili, now in the unbiased and highly competent Appeals Committee in Elista, was asked what would happen if Topalov lost against Kramnik. He said they hadn't even considered the possibility.

"By the way, can I assume that all of you who believe that Topalov is a "pariah", an evil man with absolutely no morals, a shameful blot on the chess community, etc., have come to the conclusion that Kramnik should not resume play in Elista under any circumstances? That it would be incompatible with human dignity for Kramnik to ever play Topalov again, or in any event under the auspices of the evil FIDE? It doesn't seem that there is a lot of occasion for compromise here, or desire for it."

A very odd comment indeed! No matter all the despicable acts of Topalov, Kramnik has expressed a clear will to proceed with game 5 on the conditions that FIDE's illegal decisions are overturned and the conditions agreed to prior to the match are reinstated. I am with him on this.


in the one pic where Topalov is smiling, he's not fumbling with an envelope but, in all likelihood, with his signed scoresheet.

And sure, Danailov may have been told that a broad smily is simply what you do when a camera points your way. It might also be the case that he just heard that his daughter delivered healthy twins. Or that his wife just called him telling him how much she loves him. Or whatever.

Daaim, you're right. Though I have gotten used to it ;o)

Photos from game 5 make Topalov look ridiculous. No one athlete should enjoy winning like this. It's a pitty because he is a very good player. It would be really bad for him not to accept game 5 tomorrow. In that way he admits that he can't have a win over Kramnik other way. And he will be a champion only for FIDE. The rest of the world will recognize Kramnik as world champion.

Of course Danailov doesn't believe that Kramnik is cheating. He is testing his nerves. He was seeing that Topalov had many difficulties and wanted to stop the game for a while. This is a trick that appears to many sports. Break better player's tempo.

Game 5(cause i believe it will be a game 5) will be very crucial.
If Topalov wins, he will take the match. In any other case, he is lost.

Theodulf, I don't think the 26th image shows Topalov smiling at an envelope. He is smiling at his scoresheet, where it is probably written somewhere 'Result:0-1'. As to Danailov, like it or not, he is beaming all over his face. Those pictures do not make a case against Danailov-Topalov, but they can only reinforce the impression that they are very happy with the mess they created.

By the way, I hope the match continues tomorrow, and Yasser Seirawan's proposal for a compromise sounds very reasonable to me. I'm convinced most people here want to see the end of the mathch on the board.

macuga writes (if you can call it that):

"With Kramnik leading +2 after two games, the Russian was starting to look unbeatable. Everyone said he couldn't be beaten. They said Topalov would self-destruct against his flawless defense.

They Were Wrong"

This statement stinks of National Inquire Hollywood rag journalism at it's worst. Topalov has self-destructed, as no matter what happens in the match now, he can never be considered a real World Champion. His chances of defeating Kramnik over the board, however slim before, have completely evaporated, once the forfeit is rescinded (it will be). Of course, if the forfeit is not rescinded, there will be no match conitinuation.

Topalov has erroneously awoken a sleeping giant of a chess player in Kramnik. Kramnik was happy to play for a draw in positions where has the better position. I think now, he will stick it to Topalov at every turn and show the world just how much a fluke San Luis and Corus were.

Topalov, in spite of what is said after his name is uttered, is no World Chess Champion.

AZ expresses my feelings also when he says how frustrating it is to see some respected chess people trying to "spread the blame" equally (or almost equally) between the two camps. However, one has to take into consideration the tactical situation at present. Everything must be made to try and reach a compromise. That means allowing every side (especially Topalov's, who will have to lose at least the forfeit) to "save face". Hence the tendency to use straw arguments that can later become "concessions". I would not wonder if, should the match be cancelled, many of those same person will change their discourse and lay blame more heavily on Topalov's side.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kirsan, with Zhukov on his side, declares this a 5 game match and declares Kramnik the unified World Champion.

Go, Kirsan, go!

David Young, Lawyer, Writes:

"Actually as an ex-lawyer it does seem unbelievable that the Appeals Comittee reached a decision without hearing Kramnik's version of events. Whatever is in the match regulations that in itself is an elementary denial of justice. Kramnik certainly has a justifiable cause of complaint there, whatever one might think of the rest of his reaction..."

Ok, you need to leave. We'll have absolutely NO VOICE OF REASON HERE in this forum if I can help it...


Chess championship match to be continued - FIDE president

ELISTA. Sept 30 (Interfax) - Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, who are playing a match to unify the world chess championship in the Russian city of Elista, have agreed to postpone the sixth game and to continue the match, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told journalists in Elista on Saturday.

"The first thing on which Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik have agreed is to postpone the game so as not to be under time pressure. Second, both players are willing to continue the match and to continue to play. This is the bottom line," Ilyumzhinov said following the first round of negotiations between the two chess players.

The main problem is whether the match should be continued from a score of 3-1 or 3-2, he said.

The FIDE president said he asked both contenders to reach a compromise. "I explained to them that millions of chess lovers are watching them now. The prestige of chess and the chess movement has been endangered," he said.

One aspect deserves more attention. The fact that the whole world has to rely on news brought out by FIDE and besides that just one (quite good but at the end commercial) German website, based on information of only one journalist, is sheer poverty. And against universal journalism laws of double checking everything etc. One result is that even well-respected newspapers are writing rubbish. Is it that hard to get to Elista? Is its airport still closed? A cry for independent journalism.

Topalov's side description of the events: http://www.veselintopalov.net/article/toiletgate

Colin McD Writes:

"I was hoping Topalov would win this one - best thing for chess having the FIDE champ and world #1 taking the unified title, as a Kramnik victory leaves us with a world champion who isn't considered (certainly by the majority) as the world's best player."

An interesting statement.

How would you determine "the world's best player"? Kramnik is doing to Topalov what he did to Kasparov: He gets zero respect from the chess public, and simply goes about his business and winds enough games to take the match.

If Kramnik were considered the world's best player and Topalov defeated him in a match, the cacaphony would be deafening, heralding Topalov now as the World Chess Champion AND the World's Best Player. This BS about Kramnik and the Berlin Defense and how he beat Kasparov is just that - BS. He exposed a flaw in Kasparov's game and exploited it. That makes him BETTER.

The same has happened against Topalov. Kramnik is not the chumps Topalov defeated at Corus for his 'miraculous' comback. This is Vladimir Kramnik, Destroyer of Kasparov, Classical World Champion By MATCH PLAY, and not the chump who won a Round Robin Tournament and had a label slapped on his back with a hug and a handshake from Kirsan The Destroyer of Chess.

So, Mr "Give back my toilet or I will not play" demonstrated his cowardness again today. He indeed deserves to be declared "WC chammpion"

The main question now is: Does Topalov want to become World Champion over the board or by means of dirty tricks?


Kramnik is either cheating or giving the impression he could be cheating. That's not pure and innocent at any level.

Danailov's tactic will prove to be a strategic error. Kamsky is 3 points shy of the 2700 threshold that makes him eligible for a WC match, right? He has the right tactics to defeat the Topalov team, since Rustam Kamsky would not balk at REALLY eliminating Danailov as a preliminary measure.

Some quotes from Topalov's Web site:

"Kramnik goes to the bathroom more than 50 times per match" (sic)

“taking the most important decisions in the bathroom” is a lack of respect (sic)

"Chess is a noble game. Kramnik’s missing from the board most of the time is not normal." (sic)

"Kramnik stated that he is deeply disturbed by the accusations of Veselin Topalov and Silvio Danailov. However, no accusations were made." (sic)


bobo misses the point once again.

I guess previous contracts and agreements reached by both players prior to the start of the match have no real bearing on the truth in bobo-world.

Let's not let the actual agreements stand in the way, shall we? After all, it be beyond us to expect you to actually read Kramnik's statements, or Yasser Seirawans assessment of the situation, and understand he is correct in his refusal to play under the changed match conditions, whereby the rule explicitly state approval from both players are required, and not just a hissy-fit by one side.

Kramnik is doing the right and legal thing here, and as much as Kramnik-haters out there despise him for his play, he is refusing to allow Kirsan to steal this match via Danailov and Topalov off-board antics.

Good for him.

Topalov on his website:

"No matter how long a game is, taking shower in the middle of it is pure lack of respect to the opponent."

WHAT? Is he nuts? Does this BS actually make sense to anyone here?


I'm sorry you're wrong.

Kramnik has a disease that requires him to walk frequently.

His disease also can cause him to go to the bathroom with some frequency.

Anyone who actually knows something about Kramnik has the impression he's doing what he always does.


I believe that is a Topalov fan site... at least it reads like one. I cannot imagine that Topalov would write in such language.

Can anyone verify if this is an official Topalov site?

Kramnik has every reason to feel hard done by. He's effectively been branded a cheat; he's been held up to ridicule by an understandably ignorant non-chess press who are simply looking to confirm their ideas that chess players are weirdos anyway -- and have found one sitting outside his toilet, waiting for it to open; he's recovering from -- or learning to cope with -- a seriously debilitating illness; he is -- all conspiracy theories aside -- playing an opponent who would surely be the favoured winner of the chess establishment that is propping up this match in the first place and is writing the rules as it goes.

For an intensely private and decent man, this must surely be too much to bear. Dignity is often the first thing to go in situations like this. Bravo to Kramnik for attempting to hang on to his.

To the fellow above:

It's amazing that you accuse other people of seeing what they want to see when you are the one who not only sees what you want, but you INVENT what you want to see. Why not just take the freakin pictures for what they are? The fact is that those are two guys beaming their heads of apparently self satisfied. Quit your acrobatic stunts to try to twist the interpretations of their smiles. It won't work.

The "FIDE world champion" title is at fault. Those who have had the luck to win it have also felt its curse : the poor jerks become deluded and imagine that they really are world chess champions - when they never paid their dues like Kasparov and Kramnik and Fischer.

OR...is this simply the nature of the game?! Morphy-Staunton. Schlechter died of starvation. Soviet era bureaucracy, including Botvinnik's politics with Keres a casualty. Karpov's continuation of the same. Fischer's sociopathy.

Thus in the greater scheme of things, the Topalov-Kramnik clown act, and the domination of chess by computers has a human side. We can all decide to devote our time to healthier activities such as actual warfare, where everybody breaks the rules, and toilets are dug with shovels.

Iljumdzinov after the first round of negotiations:

"After the end of the first round of negotiations with the teams of Kramnik and Topalov, the FIDE President provided us with his comments on the current events.

–The first round of negotiations has just finished. What is the outcome?
–The process of the negotiations started last night at midnight, immediately after I arrived in Elista. The first meeting was held with Vladimir Kramnik (our conversation lasted for about an hour), and today I spoke with Silvio Danailov. The first point, which we agreed on, is the postponement of today’s game, in order not to be under time pressure. Second and the most important point – both parties are ready to continue the match, they are ready to play. The stumbling block is the score, from which the match will be continued, 3:2 or 3:1. Also, the issue regarding the toilets has not yet been solved.

–In his letter, apart from other things, Kramnik is demanding official apologies from Danailov and the change of the members of the Appeals Committee.
–The priorities in our discussions are the following: first – the score, second – the toilets and then all the other things.

–What arguments are brought forward by the parties?
–Each of the parties is bringing forward their own reasons and is trying to prove that they are the ones who are right. The team of Topalov keeps insisting that the too frequent visits of Kramnik to the toilet are suspicious; Kramnik is referring to the clauses in the contract, describing the rights of the participants, in particular, the issue regarding the toilets. And it is a private issue, whoever goes wherever how many times.

–Danailov is his accusations is not giving any concrete examples, such as a series of strong moves, following the visits of Kramnik to the said room.
–Danailov said that he could present a report, which decisions were taken during respective moments. I responded with pointing out the exact mistakes, especially in the first two games, made by both Kramnik and Topalov. Thus, for example, both participants missed the simplest mate in the 2nd game, which I told both of them immediately after the game. As a chess fan I did not restrain myself from coming to the stage and asking, “Volodia, didn’t you see the mate?” “Which mate?” – he did not understand. It became clear during the press conference that also Topalov did not see the mate. If they had used the computer prompts, they would have never missed such a possibility.

–Please, comment the legal status of the 5th game: the clock was started, the delay was registered, Topalov signed the score sheet…. By the way, did Kramnik sign the score sheet?
–Kramnik did not sign the score sheet. If a political decision from both sides is going to be taken, then the technical loss of Kramnik can be cancelled.

–What is the technical procedure in reaching this?
–If there is a principal possibility of solving the issue, we will find a legal form for this. The issue has become political.

–Are there any levers of influencing Kramnik and Topalov in the current situation?
–There is only one lever, which I mentioned to both Kramnik and Topalov – millions of chess fans all over the world, who are looking forward to beautiful games and not for legal disputes. This is the most important issue! I told them: break away from your disputes, look around, you are not playing only for yourselves, you are playing for the entire chess world. You are the ones who say that chess is in lack of investors, and now you are doing everything in order to even decrease their number. Yesterday and today I keep receiving telephone calls from the representatives of those companies, which I attract for sponsoring of the chess competitions. They are asking me: “How come, the two most intelligent chess players cannot share a toilet with each other? So no sense for us to interfere, with our millions….”

–Is there any deadline for taking final decisions?
–Today. In the worst case, tomorrow before noon.

–What will happen in the hypothetical case if the parties do not find any compromise?
–There will be no continuation of the match.

–The match will be stopped… And what will happen then?
–Mr. Campomanes called me yesterday (laughing), he is ready to come here!

–Could you express your personal opinion, from which score should the match continue?
–I want the parties to come to a compromise. Let’s wait…"

http://www.veselintopalov.net is a fan site, it says inside. Still it seems to present both sides. Of course they will favor Topalov, but news is updated. Compared to Kramnik's site it is great hehe:)

The account of the negotiations above comes from the official site http://www.worldchess2006.com. I just want to put in a word of praise as to how worthwhile this site has been this time. Probably in terms of content their best. I know there has been a bit of talk here about the round 5 photos. Can anyone honestly say that there has been a better piece about the events of that day than that wordless set of pictures? It said absolutely everything. Would love to know whose doing the site and taking the photos.

John Nunn wrote an good piece at http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3382 lining up many of the reasons that, as he says in the beginning,

"In many disputes between top chess players, there is no clear right and wrong – forming a clear opinion from the letters of protest, contradictions and mutual accusations is virtually impossible. However, the Kramnik-Topalov case is an exception."


I recommend anyone who puts their faith in FIDE get a quick look at my post in the Bladdergate 2 blog(near the bottom, about 25th from the bottom) to release their innocence of who Kramnik, Topolov and the chess public around the world have to deal with and I believe if MIG started a blog about the history of FIDE it would be an interesting subject.

Let Topalov keep his accomplished free point. We will forever remember that smile on his face holding the Game 5 scoresheet without a single move being made. When the match continue, Kramnik will have the last laugh by winning the match with defensive play all the way in his remaining games. That's how Italy played also to win the World Cup Soccer title in Germany.

P/s: How about opening the restroom videos to the press during the games?

"Let Topalov keep his accomplished free point."

Nope, he's not going to.

If Iljumdzinov isn't completely out of his mind, he'll realize that the broad public opinion is behind Kramnik on this.
The way he sounds in above quoted interview from the main site, the point will fall or Topalov must drop out. Even if he's just an oportunist, he'll stay with Kramnik this time.

@Mark: agreed. The official site is pretty good this time, if slow with updates. I also liked the piece "Let Topalov risk" after game four. Wouldn't have imagined that coming from Kalmykian soil ;o)

Has anyone considered that the form of arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, that Kramnik has might be the cause of the multiple bathroom trips??? Or maybe no one realizes that this form of arthritis often is found in those with Ulcerative Colitis - which is characterized by diarrhea? Not saying this is true in Kramnik's case, but it could be.

Now I can hear some saying "well, why wouldn't Kramnik mention something like that in his defense?" I can think of several reasons: 1)Privacy; 2)Competition - you're competing against an opponent, so you're going to divulge a physical problem??!?!?; or 3)The fact that the facilities had been previewed by the teams and agreed to by each meant such a "need" on Kramnik's part was already provided for.

This match and the psychological warfare launched by the Topalov team is beneath Kramnik's dignity. I would not blame him if he returned to Moscow leaving the those people to covet their worthless title.

A former Topalov supporter.

For the people who try to explain the smiles of Topalov and his manager (this means you Daaim Shabazz) there were MANY pictures of them and only a few show any smiling so the argument that they were out of context is not as reasonable as if only one picture was shown. In fact the Topalov pics were practically play-by-play. And I did not see Kramnik or his manager smiling at all. Were they taken out of context? Or did they truly understand the seriousness of the situation better then Topalov and his manager? That is;that the future of top,international chess is being wrecked before our eyes. Remember the new Gran Prix? Now picture it with out Kramnik or Topalov and Bulgaria as one of the sponsors. And the World Championship would be split again and devalued.

Y'all in the "We hate Kramnik no matter what" camp, piss-off, will you? Topalov has lost every ounce of respect. How 'bout just mourning his demise!

This is a terrible mess, but I am somewhat encouraged by the latest FIDE statement by Kirsan which does suggest he is approaching the negotiations in a business-like way that focuses on finding a pragmatic way forward. As he says the first priority is the score - basically Topalov needs to accept that it will have to go back to 3-1 since otherwise it is hard to see Kramnik continuing and, in that event, Topalov's FIDE title would have lost all credibility. In return for this, Kramnik might agree to some symbolic concession on the toilet issue and drop his request for the Appeals committee to be changed based on an assurance from Kirsan that he will make sure there is no repetition of this farce. Hopefully they can then all get on with playing from tomorrow, though a further postponement to Monday might be considered to allow everyone to calm down.

Incidentally, while I agree that Topalov's camp were wrong to make such a contentious complaint in public as opposed to raising it in private with the arbiter(s), Kramnik may possibly have provoked it by some statements at the press conference after game 4 that seemed to me to be rather arrogant. Anyone watching that game (I am an IM so I understood at least some of it) would see that, had Topalov been able to safely play e4 at some stage after Kramnik played f5, he could have been winning or close to winning. Kramnik played a series of subtle Q and R moves that succeeded in deterring e4 and eventually giving the chance to simplify to a draw, but he certainly seemed to me to be walking a defensive tightrope for most of the last hour of play. It was a fine defence, but claiming it was all trivial in the press conference was a mindgame in itself and I would not be surprised if Topalov was irritated by it and so more inclined to play along with his manager's suggestions re the toiletgate allegations in retaliation.

Hooray! Campomanes has offered himself to come to Elista and help Kirsan! Yeah! That should really solve the problem, right!? ;-)

jch, I'm an IM too, and I didn't sense the danger (in the sense of black being close to lost) during that game after Kramnik managed to free his position giving the pawn back. I would have been worried about playing e4 with white, opening up the position. All sorts of tricks and counterplay with Qh4 and back rank motives with the black bishop coming alive in some lines.

Nothing beyond the horizon of a 2500 Grandmaster, nevermind a 2800 one.


Good point about the press conference. Indeed it would seem that Kramnik might have provoked part of this mess with his remarks, but they were just teasings, if a bit blunt. Danailov responded by pulling out the sledgehammer.

Mr. Shabazz,
I see your point, but still think Kramnik is in better form than Topalov at the moment. Games 3 and 4 were normal affairs - slight advantages for White but not enough to win; while in games 1 and 2 Topalov played more creatively (and I believe that when at his best he is stronger even than a healthy Kramnik), but aside from the blunders he made too many inaccurate moves which he can't afford with a style like his. In other words, it has been (except for moves 31-32 in game 2) a typical Kramnik performance, but a Topalov performance similar to the first half of Morelia. If he played like in the second half of that event I feel he could still catch up, but after Danailov's antics the chess in this match no longer seems so important to me.
(At least this is what my extremely limited understanding of chess can make out: my FIDE rating is in the 2250-2300 range. Loads of stronger players have already expressed their opinion on these first four games).

I also have to disagree with you on the geopolitical issue: I will be most happy to see chess influence diversified throughout the world only when the chess federations in developing countries start to understand the basics of democracy. Although this is not their fault but part of a larger problem: in how many Third World countries are the rulers chosen in fair and multi-party elections? Until dictators hold on to most of the limited resources available, there is little chance of a better life for ordinary people.
So, in each poor country not the best but the most scheming people come to power, and that leads to the kind of corruption which the FIDE president has used to win the last few elections. (I have no problem in making such a strong statement because it's common knowledge).

One last thing: I watched the Olympiad a few days in Torino, where going to the bathroom was not particularly simple, and I didn't seem to notice Kramnik going there more often than ogher players. My impression is that he uses it for privately making small movements which might be useful in the therapy against his arthritis.

Come on people!! Everyone seems to think the players are controlled by their Managers. This is not true. Managers are basically employees of the players and can be hired and fired. Danilov would hardly do anything against the wishes of Topalov. It is entirely Topalov's fault for the complaints, NOT THE MANAGER. All of the decisions are taken by the player NOT THE MANAGER. The Manager's job is advise and representation, NOT DIRECTION. Topalov is the player that nakes the decisions, Danilov is his puppy that does what he is told, after the player(Topalov) directs him towards a course of action. Danilov may have put these bad ideas into Topalov's head but their implementation is entirely at the discretion of Topalov. Topalov holds total responsibility NOT THE MANAGER.

Mark Crowther,

the German Chessbase Web site says that Atarov took the photo of the smiling Topalov:

"Der kampflose Sieg wird amtlich (Foto:Atarov)"

ROFL. Very intelligent post. Consistent enough with the intelligence of the moron was wrote this, is the Bush/Blair rule right now. Obviously they are the best of such ppl...


What nations understand democracy? Maybe England? Maybe France? Maybe Italy? Maybe America? The latter's democracy is 42 years old (e.g., Voting Rights of 1964). In fact, most developing nations have democractic systems. Now whether those are operating efficiently is another question. One can even raise questions of functional democracies in developed nations as well, but this was not really my point. I'm talking about chess.

You imply that "developing" nations do not understand diplomacy and thus should not yet be major players in chess politics, yet where have we gotten with aggressive, unilateral and confrontational forms of diplomacy invoked by "developing" nations. Thirty years of chess turmoil is a bit much for any sporting activity.

Sorry prugno... sentence should read,

"You imply that "developing" nations do not understand diplomacy and thus should not yet be major players in chess politics, yet where have we gotten with aggressive, unilateral and confrontational forms of diplomacy invoked by "DEVELOPED" nations?

The English website is by Misha Savinov who is taking some of the photos (along with Eugeny Atarov). It says it at the bottom of the http://www.chessbase.de/nachrichten.asp?newsid=5826 you quote. Good stuff.

Lets hope they get it on tommorrow, the whole match could be pretty spicey from now on if they do.

Here's a question I've been pondering. Do you think it at all possible that Silvio Danailov could have predicted the consequences of his press releases? Remember how we were all mocking them?

They were not at all nice, but in the history of these matches we've surely seen worse, and we've generally seen them handled better by the organisers. I don't think it at all possible to have predicted the turn of events we've had.

As Nunn says 'It's about imposing your will on the opponent', this is always what these matches are about and the off board shenanigans. I could name half a dozen matches off bat where this kind of off board trash talking has taken place. This one has just got WAY out of hand.

Hate to put a negative spin on this, but looming in the background always is the big payday for Topalov against Radjabov. Don't think that has nopthing to do with his determined stubborness to retain his 'hard foought' point.

It is actually in Topalov's best interest financially to have this match annulled. It's that simple, really. If he continnues to play from 3:1 (highly unlikely), and most likely loses, he is out of the Radjabov match. If he refuses to continue at 3:1, and Kramnik refuses to continue at 3:2 (he will refuse for sure), the only issue will be does he retain the FIDE WCC Title - I think he does. It's as if this never took place - In comes Radjabov.

It's 'win-win' for Topalov, Lose-Lose for chess. So much for 'ambassadors of the game'.

I hope any comments about the toilet become known in the chess world as 'Topalovian'. That would for sure be most deserving of this clown, as he has left a legacy already of dubious chess behind.

"Excuse me, I need to take a Topalov."
"Please put the seat down after you use the Topalov. Thank you."
"Has anyone seen the Topalov Brush? The Topalov is clogged."


All right Daaim, I'll stick to chess politics.

Break down the federations voting for Ilyumzhinov and for Kok according to geographical areas. Since I believe, and the current FIDE situation confirms my opinion, that we would have been better off with Kok as FIDE President, I insist that, on the whole, European federations showed themselves to have a greater understanding of chess policy than many other less experienced ones.
By the way, the 30 years of chaos that you correctly describe in the chess world (I'd say more like 23-24, FIDE was relatively OK until then) started in 1982, when an ideal candidate such as Fridrik Olafsson was beaten in elections where nearly all the "developing countries" voted for Campomanes. I wasn't around at the time but have plenty of sources to rely on to substain my point of view.

Sorry if my rant doesn't really belong in this thread, but I feel the right way to address these issues is to speak frankly about them.


I'm not so sure that Radjabov would be willing to play Topalov if the match was annulled. 1Mio is a lot of cash and I don't think any sponsor is putting so much money on the table if there's not a really clear advantage.

A then-unified WCh title would be a good reason. But what good is just another one-year FIDE Worldchamp title if the legitimacy of Kramniks title just has gotten a hell of a boost and he keeps of claiming that he is still the official holder of it with very little ground to argue against?

JCH: Interesting point about Kramnik's "arrogance" at the press conference. However, he earned the right to such a reply to Topalov's arrogance after he became "FIDE chimpeon" - VK needed only two games to score as many wins as he required to defeat the formidable Garry K.

Kramnik's trash talk is within the scope of chess tradition. Danailov's consipiracy to break the rules of arbitration is not, and never should be.

It's about time.

JCH: Interesting point about Kramnik's "arrogance" at the press conference. However, he earned the right to such a reply to Topalov's arrogance after he became "FIDE chimpeon" - VK needed only two games to score as many wins as he required to defeat the formidable Garry K.

Kramnik's trash talk is within the scope of chess tradition. Danailov's consipiracy to break the rules of arbitration is not, and never should be.

It's about time.

Dear Albrecht,

The only "Monokr..." in the chess world I'm aware of is myself, and the name is Monokroussos. I'm not a GM and FIDE official from Greece, however; I'm a USCF master and blogger (http://chessmind.powerblogs.com) from the United States. The individual you're referring to is Makropolous.

LOL...sorry, "Makropoulos".

Childhood memories of mine. The worst ones. Some horrible teachers closed down the toilet not letting us do "improper things". The intervention to privacy is sooooo DISGUSTING. If ..., ... (insert two adjectives) Topalov team has a suspicion, OK. But even more ..., ... FIDE should investigate, then decide; either it is proven (then drop Kramnik) or they made an security fault (fix it), or consider it "not proven", then turn the proposal down. Especially after game like game 1 or game 2, full of human moves, not comp ones. But please, DO NOt CLOSE THE TOILET. It is like a socialist elementary school which provokes gonorrhea.


yes, I realized that already. Sorry. Love your shows though - probably that's why the name stuck (though very wrongly) ;o)

AZ79 - perhaps I was overexaggerating the danger to Black in game 4 but at the time he played f5 it seemed to me that this was very committal and could easily have gone wrong. Of course Kramnik played it well after that, e4 was never quite on without significant risk (as you said) and it all ended peacefully. But I think Kramnik nonetheless exaggerated how easy it was in the press conference, almost implying that Topalov was wasting his time by playing on after about move 25. This was not terribly courteous or professional - more like you'd expect from a boxer than, say, a professional tennis player or golfer.

It does not excuse what Topalov's team then did at all, but I'm just trying to understand what led to relations going downhill so fast (and for Topalov not to want to attend future press conferences with Kramnik) - they seemed reasonably aimable in the press conference after game 3 based on the FIDE website transcript.

The fan website VeselinTopalov.net is claiming that Topalov has not made any accusations that Kramnik might be cheating. It says that the complaint was that Kramnik is showing a 'lack of respect' by spending so much time in the bathroom, and that the behavior could be seen as 'suspicious'. Judging by viewer comments, most people think that Topalov is the one showing a lack of respect by bringing up a series of minor complaints, to achieve what he cannot achieve on the board. And if Topalov is not accusing Kramnik of cheating, the complaint really is minor. For most minor complaints, the arbiter can arrange a compromise without the need for a formal appeal. Entire tournaments have been played where the Appeals Committee has had to deal with no formal appeals at all. Topalov has requested four formal appeals in just four games played, an astonishing rate that might almost be considered a 'spam attack' in another context. Topalov's refusal to shake hands with Kramnik any more is seen by many as another petty move.

Topalov's actions may be lacking in dignity and sportsmanship, but at least they were within the rules. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for the actions of the Appeals Committee. It made at least FIVE serious errors in the handling of this last complaint. First, the complaint was filed on the rest day (September 29), when the rules clearly state that all appeals must be filed within two hours of the completion of a game. Second, a resolution by the Appeals Committee should be made within another two hours, or as soon as possible. These are not silly rules, they have the clear purpose of giving the players plenty of time to adjust to the rulings before playing again. The rulings may affect the player's game preparation and strategy. Instead, the Committe told Kramnik of their decision shortly before Game 5, and he had to decide what to do while his clock was running. Given their slow response, the Commitee certainly should have postponed Game 5 to give the players a chance to adjust. Third, they made a decision without hearing Kramnik's side of the argument. This is like a trial where the defense does not get a chance to speak at all. Fourth, they altered the playing conditions in a substantial manner without any consultation or agreement with the players, which violates the contract. Fifth, they turned over the security tapes of Kramnik in his rest room to the Topalov team. At the top level, between players of roughly equal talent, chess often becomes a psychological battle. Kramnik may have let down his poker face in the rest room, and expressed emotions using body language. It is not fair for the opposing team to have access to this, as they could use this information later to exploit psychological weaknesses. Those tapes should be viewed only by impartial arbiters, to confirm that no cheating has occurred.

It is no surprise that Kramnik lost his faith in the Appeals Committee. With the number of formal complaints so far, he can only expect that Topalov will file several more before the match is over. Kramnik could possibly be facing a new and annoying ruling right before each future game. With that kind of irritation, his two point lead might easily evaporate, and protests after the match were over would carry little weight. So he decided to take action now. While I agree with him in principle, I am a chess fan who wants to see the games played. Also, I want to avoid the negative publicity that can only drive away possible sponsors.

It seems clear that FIDE itself, and the Appeals Committee in particular, have a conflict of interest. They have already arranged a Toplaov-Radjabov world championship match for next year, which would not happen if Kramnik wins. While Kirsan may be pressing for this match to continue, he has already expressed complete confidence in the Appeals Committee, which is at the root of this problem. Given that their rulings are clearly upsetting Kramnik, it is natural to expect that Topalov will request even more rulings from them. In fact, both sides may gain the most from stopping now. For Topalov, he will still be FIDE WC. For FIDE, they can still have a Topalov-Radjabov match. For Kramnik, he will still be seen by many chessplayers as the undefeated holder of the match tradition title. Only the concept of unification will be lost.


Well done!

But the key to the resolution is Kirsan, who above everything values his "reputation" as the "savior of chess" and who will, accordingly, find a way to save the match.

I agree with Ramage. It appears this all went down because FIDE panicked when their man was losing and were only too happy to turn the screws when the opportunity presented itself. In my view, when Hensel learned the restroom tapes were submitted to the Topalov team he should have folded the tents and put Kramnik on a plane, Volodya's still champion, see ya. But now in the world media coverage, Kramnik looks more like the loon. Danailov has out-managed Hensel.

FIDE are a travelling circus of liars, cheats, storm troopers and bandits. And in this company Topalov has found a permanent home.

And hey, good sh** joke, Mark. How about just "I have to go drop a Topa"?

Oh come on, stop accusing of FIDE for almost everything. To blame FIDE for whatever negative happens to chess is as ridiculous as claimint that Kramnik has cheated.
If it is something that annoys me in this blog is the airing slogan " Just blame Kirsan ! "
I do not claim that he is an angel, but on the other side he is not a devil either...


Another GM, Nigel Davies, offers his opinion on his blog. Here is the relevant/editorial part:

"I understand that Kramnik must drink a lot of water during games - something that may well be associated with his condition. In any case this seems to be an outrageous invasion of privacy. There's no reason whatsoever to believe that Kramnik is cheating (unless it is his shock lead), so making this into an issue looks like a cheap attempt to embarrass him and put him off his game.

"As for the 'refusal to shake hands', this attempt to claim the 'moral high ground' leaves me with nothing but contempt for Topalov and his cronies. This is not the way for a 'champion' to behave."

Thanks for the comment about the show, Albrecht, and apology accepted.

Speaking of my ChessBase show, maybe I could do a tripleheader this week: Fischer-Panno, Palma de Mallorca 1970, Fischer-Spassky, game 2 from their 1972 match, and game 5 of Kramnik-Topalov, 2006. If nothing else, I could guarantee an error-free analysis!


If the players can not agree to the current score, 3-1 or 3-2, then the following should take place:

Continue with the rest of the match. That is, tomorrow's game should be game 6 with Topalov as white. In the meantime, FIDE should work with the players' managers to appoint a mutually agreed upon outside arbiter. Over the next few days, the players' managers can present their case to the arbiter. The players will agree to abide by the decision of the arbiter. The arbiter will announce his decision AFTER all other games (except tie-break games) are played, and only if his decision matters.

If, excluding the result of game 5, Kramnik finishes at least 1.5 points ahead of Topalov, then Kramnik is declared the Unified World Chess Champion. If, excluding the result of game 5, Topalov is at least 1.5 points ahead of Kramnik, then Topalov is declared the Unified World Chess Champion. If, excluding game 5, the players score is seperated by less than 1.5 points, then, based on the arguments presented by the players' managers, the arbiter will determine whether Game 5 should be replayed or if the full point should be awarded to Topalov. If the score is tied after the outcome of game 5, whether it was replayed or awarded by the arbiter to Topalov, then the players will proceed with the tie-breakers as planned.

Obviously the main attraction of this plan is that there is a significant probability that the outcome of the match will not depend on the outcome of game 5, and so the arbiter's decision will not matter anyways.

The main detraction of this plan is the anti climactic possibility of having the world chess championship decided by an arbiter's decision.

Unfortunately, given the current situation, I believe this plan is the best we can hope for. As for the bathroom issue, I believe that this issue is secondary and that they will be able to figure out a solution on their own.

A cool zenario would be, if both players play on on sunday and shake hand when it starts and both say sorry to each other... that would be cool!

Rammage - astutely logical and well-said!! Hear, hear!

Clubfoot's slur was mild compared with the facts against FIDE.

(before FIDE terminates human chess)

International regulation is essentially difficult, as the UN proves. Control of FIDE by a manipulative and unscrupulous dictatorship is no solution.


Your line is quite funny:

....So, in each poor country not the best but the most scheming people come to power,....

The richest countries must be populated by idiots if that's their best coming to power.

Why not just call game 5 a draw? Kramnik should be happy to take draws for the rest of the match, since he's ahead, and Topalov must hope to win with white, not black, against Kramnik's strong defense. So had the game been played and ended as a draw, neither playr would be tremendously upset. Obviously neither will agree to this, but it's still another option.

its all because of jews

To paraphrase Eliot:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang
But a Tempest in a Toilet

(Hollow Men - END)

The behavior of both chess organizers and top chess players hurts chess terribly. Not only will the behavior of all parties concerned here keep potential new fans away from the game, but it causes long-time players and fans to lose interest.

A sarcastic "congrats" to FIDE, Topalov and Kramnik: You're contributing to the demise of chess. Enjoy your irrelevancy.

I find nothing unusual about Kirsan supporting Appeals comitee.After all it is his own staff or people under his control.Sacking them now shows he acted foolish whiles selecting them in the first place.I don't know either what he gains by
this fiasco.Blaming FIDE for everything is easy.If Kramnik didnt have faith in them he should have not accepted this match under FIDE'umbrella.To me both Topalov and Kramnik are behaving silly.Kramnik should have played 5th game under protest.Topalov never have made these public.But now it is difficult for me to believe Topalov concedes the point when Kramnik talks about rules and regulations at length.

Ahh! Finally it all dawns to me: The chip in Toiletlov's brain has malfunctioned and is trying to push through his forehead with loads of puss. That is the reason Danailov pulled out Toiletgate from his bag of Silly Demands. They need to get over with the match fast, otherwise the chip will turn them in and nullify the achievements in the silly San Luis 'WC' tournament! Good thinking, D!

Topalov never have made these public?
This all started after Danailov published an open letter insinuating Kramnik in suspicious behavior.

Vadim suggested, "LAST RESORT: PLAY NOW, DECIDE LATER." That is, the players would resume the match at Game 6, and later on an arbiter would decide what to do about Game 5.

There are a whole bunch of problems with this. To begin with, no arbiter, however impartial, should have the pressure of deciding the outcome of the match. It needs to be decided at the board.

Beyond that, the players' strategy for the remaining games is determined by the score. If Topalov is at minus two, he'll need to start taking some risks to level the match. If Topalov is at minus one, those risks are less necessary.

Similarly, if Topalov wins a game, the players need to know if the match is level, or if Topalov is still behind by a point. Kramnik's strategy might be very different, depending on whether he likes his chances in a rapid playoff.

Topalov shows regress. From chipo to cheapo.

I agree with christos. Blaming FIDE and Kirsan for everything is ridiculous. Topalov and team are playing dirty and being sore losers. If anything, Kirsan is the only one who can fix it as he has a lot at stake and has invested a lot in chess.


Topalov doesn't know sh** about sportsmanship.

Mark: Satire doesn't seem to be your strong suit.

For some days now, I experienced a feeling of deja-vu. After some searching I found the following about Spassky-Korchnoi, 1977:

"This match featured one of the more bizarre disputes in Candidates history. At the beginning of Game 10, Spassky, losing badly, and trying to calm his nerves, began spending all his time in the relaxation box set up for him at the side of the stage, analyzing from the demonstration board, and only coming out to make his moves. Korchnoi, insulted tried to stop this behavior, and Spassky actually forfeited Game 12 when the arbitration committee initially ruled against him."

A question that I think has not yet been addressed: If the match is aborted (and I think it will be), how much money, if any, do the players get?

Pavani said: Kramnik should have played 5th game under protest.

Why? I can think of only two players off the top of my head, being Kasparov and Korchnoi, who would have played well or better "under protest".

If he had agreed to play under protest and lost, would anyone give him "brownie points" for "being a gentleman", and "playing under duress".

It is really getting tiring "hearing" people try to apportion blame to the Kramnik camp. How many of you would have meekly submitted to all the changes wrought by the Appeals Comittee, especially on such short notice, and when the decisions definitely do not favor you?

That's an interesting parallel, Frank, and it's worth posting how that Korchnoi-Spassky match continued:

"Korchnoi game the forfeit back and continued the fight, but went to pieces in the dispute, losing 4 straight games, one by hanging Bishop and Queen in succession. Eventually the dispute was solved by moving the demonstration board. and Korchnoi pulled himself back together to win, but his tendency to come unglued over small disputes did not go unnoticed in the 1978 Championship Match."


So (a) the forfeit was given back; (b) they reached a compromise; (c) the player kicking up a fuss went on to win. A template for the next few days?...

When I read the answer to the first quration to Ilumzhinov (Interview 1st Oct, 2006, on official website), I feel, it's a shame that somebody who calls himelf a World Champion (FIDE WC Veselin Topalov) and a fighter wants to get "a free point" to help his cause. (Let's stop[ tambling about technicalities and rules/regulations, but one thing is clear, Topalov never managed to win a single game in this match (whatever be the reason. People still talk about Bronstein's blunder in Game 22 against 22 but the fact is Botvinnik tied the match). 20 years from now, every aspiring chessplayer will know that the score was 3-1 when it was abvandond and for year I hated Kramnik for avoiding Kaspy but now I supprt Kramnik and have no respect for Topa as a chessplayer. In various other sports there have been World champions whom the followers don't
respect and Topa has become one such in Chess.

People can go arguing about technicalities but as an average chess player and a fan, I want to use my right not to consider Topa as a World Champ. If Topa insists on seeing his name in some FIDE book as a WC then it's fine, but I am sure the majority of the Chess fans, all over the World, will vote against him for the current mess.

There may have been worse situations in the shistory of World Championship, but then we (and Topa's team) must realize that the Internet ha made the World more democratic than before. The players simply cannot impose their whims and fantasies on the rest. They only conquered a tournament/match, not the World.

(Mig, it would be interesting to set up a voting link for this situation!)


Would the situation be more salvagable now if arbiter Geurt Gijssen had removed the clock from the playing room before the start of game 5?

Delaying game 6 sounds nice, but it is too little too late.


Replay game 5, but give Topalov 1/2 point.

Thus game 5 would begin with the point score being 3.0-1.5 (instead of 3.0-1.0).

Gene Milener

Well, although the whole issue was created by stupid complains by Topalov's side, and even more stupid decisions by the appeal comittee, I'm sorry to say that my heart doesn't bled for Kramnik.

Kramnik is the one who got paid in the Kramnik-Shirov match he lost, while Shirov never got a cent nor a chance to the title and instead had to pay from his savings the big expenses of preparing and playing the match. Both leapfrogged Anand anyway.

Kramnik is the one who leapfrogged AGAIN Anand (and Shirov), after Anand got his first match attempt with Kasparov cancelled, and then got himself discarded when he wanted to some kind of warranty for the second attempt.

Kramnik is the one who renewed his World Champion title by drawing a match with Leko, and benefitting from the failure of the Kasparov-Ponomariov (Kasparov-Kazim.) matches. He also dodged Kasparov, and indirectly sent him in retirement.

Also, I think that Korchnoi (with his son sent to Gulag and the entire USSR media against him), or even Spassky, had to put up with quite a little more than Mr. lucky Kramnik had to.

And now Kramnik is crying a river for what? his f*king toilet is not open?
Well he just gained my eternal hatred.

That Shirov did not get paid was not the fault of Kramnik.

Information at the time indicated that Anand declined to play Kasparov in 2000 due to what he felt were contractual or moral obligations to FIDE.

Kramnik may have benefitted from, but did not cause, the breakdown of the Kasparov-Ponomariov or Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov matches.

What has happened here is nowhere near the injustice faced by Korchnoi or Spassky, as mentioned earlier, but then, no where do we see Kramnik "crying a river". He's simply standing for his right to play in a match where the rules are not changed mid-stream, and the Appeals Comittee at least pretends to be unbiased. Seems like a reasonable stance.

Hating Kramnik, for whatever reason, is anyone's right, and that I can not fault (not that anyone cares).

Ofcourse the whole issue doesn't revolve around which bathroom facilities there are but about changing the present conditions. Both Topolov an Kramnik agreed to this conditions shortly before they started the match. Kramnik simply cannot agree too Topolov's demands. The next thing Topolov may be demanding is that he must be in bermuda shorts during their encounters or Topalov would quite the match.

there is no question in my mind that before the match ever begun a top strategy for Topalov with Danailov was to make a protest after each and every game. they have made 4 protests from the first 4 games. with most WC matches there are NO protests at all. a few things that go to the arbitrator but not the way these protests are being brought.

Somewhere along the line Kramnik has to say stop no more. he allowed the first 3. it is obvious that by the time game 11 gets here the protest would be for him to play blindfold in a straight jacket with no fresh air provided.

What we have here is the classic argument of the battered wife trying to get the husband to stop abusing her. he keeps the argument on the specific of the last item and argues everything just like Topalov does. but Kramnik is correct. he must take no more abuse. no more after game 5 and no more after game 6 etc.

Topalov is a calculating premeditated abuser. he is the worst of the lot. Then he stonewalls his innocence. typical of the abuser.

Those who argue Kramnik should have played the game are saying the wife should just not do anything about the beating she took last night. her broken arm. black eye, the abuse that she lives under is psychological as well as physical. the psychological destruction is worst than the physical.

this is the psychological abuse. Kramnik is correct. he simply says his dignity will not accept it. he is very together. he never attacks Topalov. He keeps it down to insisting he will take no more abuse from the abuser.

Kramnik has come every day to play chess. He has made no complaints. not because he could not but because he has chosen not to complain. he has chosen to play chess.

topalov has come to complain and not to play chess. he has come to abuse. Since abuse is the usual tool of the corrupt, those surrounding him support his abusing because they also benefit from his abusing Kramnik.

and to you Zarghev. you end with the words that you hate. we all know that. hatred is what Topalov does to Kramnik to justify his behavior. the same as a murderer uses his hatred to justify killing another human being. I say to you. go to your room and feel your hatred. does it make you happy. of course not. it only feeds more hatred. we here have no use for more hatred. so keep it to yourself.

More hatred has never solved any problems. Hatred is the problem. we need to end all hatred to solve the problems. Some day when you finally stop hatred, you will experience some happiness. then you will be shocked and you will say. wow. if only I had known. I would not have hated so much all my life. but unfortunately you will never experience that until you let go of your hatred.

You do not understand Kramnik because you do not experience it. he loves himself. and he says. you can not abuse me. because I am a good person. Stop. I will not accept any abuse. I came to play chess. if you want to play chess I will play. but if you want to abuse me then I must leave.

Bravo to Kramnik. He is a good roll model.



Yes... I was counting the Fischer-Spassky match too! (smile)

There are many threads here that speak to the election and the delegates of the federations spoke. Not all elite nations voted for Kok. Anyway we can agree that FIDE will be tested here. However, I figured FIDE's Ilyumzhinov would someone be blamed for this.

Sorry if I sound impulsive... I'm pissed (no pun on Kramnik intended).

This is a bad dream, right?

Mig, the appeals committee DID breach the contract, not because an individual toilet had been promised in this contract, but because the contract states that playing conditions after being accepted by both parties can only be changed with both parties' consent.

You are making the same mistake that Makropoulos made.

No, it says: "Any change of the playing conditions without a good reason would in our understanding request the approval of both players which is not the case here."

The debatable point being "good reason," of course.

Clause 3.18.3., Schedule 2 of the contract:

“After the World Chess Championship Committee agrees with the Organizers on the arrangements in respect of the tournament hall, facilities etc. etc. etc……., no objections from the participants shall be acceptable as long as the conditions are in accordance with the rights of the players granted in their agreements.”

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 29, 2006 7:51 PM.

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