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And Now What?

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Four hours until Topalov's clock is started for game six in Elista. Will he have an opponent? It seems highly unlikely. The comments here are full of talk about the moral high ground, incorrect committee decisions, and perpetual schism. Before you fall in love with being right and cutting of your nose to spite your face, a quick and sloppy analogy.

Let's say you're winning the World Cup final. After 30 minutes the score is, oh, I don't know, 2-0 in your favor. Then the referee awards your opponent a penalty. A terrible call! A travesty! He wasn't even touched! (The broadcasters had earlier pointed out that the ref who made the call is the brother-in-law of the head of FIFA and has relatively little experience.) After much yelling and screaming, the penalty is duly scored by your opponent. The replay on the giant screen in the stadium clearly shows the ref was wrong. The opposing player threw himself to the ground to draw the call. So you walk off the field in protest of the decision. When your team refuses the take the field, the match is forfeited to your opponent.

But you were right, weren't you? After all, the decision was clearly unfair to you, the result of your opponent's trickery, and probably politically motivated. So you should keep the moral high ground and your self respect and lose the World Cup, forfeiting with a 2-1 lead. Of course home your fans would be so proud of you. Congratulations. (Other similarly stretched analogies below.)

Ah, but I hear you riffling through rulebooks and contracts. Is that the sound of you abandoning your moral arguments and calling your lawyer? The Elista appeals committee decision seems to have been incorrect procedurally as well as judgmentally. This is harder to equate to football, although I'm sure worse has happened. Starting or continuing games under protest is not common, but it's part of every sports rulebook. This is a sport, or it's supposed to be. It's not the Moral Olympics. Kramnik's twice walking away in the face of a bad decision, once for game five and probably for game six, is not heroic. It's indicative of how unprofessional our sport is thanks to years of arbitrary, incompetent rule. (As are the original protest and how it was handled.) It's every man for himself.

If you've been following along here for the past week you know I have no sympathy for Topalov's protest or his position. He should have given up the point. And the appeals committee decision was horrid, no doubt. Kramnik has been insulted and wronged. But his not showing up to play game five under protest was wrong, at least from the perspective of the match continuing. As a moral protest it was dandy, if that's to your masochistic taste. My opinions are predicated on the match continuing being a good thing. Obligations as a professional sportsman often conflict with personal affronts.

The forfeit created an intractable situation in which both players could claim to be right, one morally (with some technical claims) and the other legally. As David Levy put it in his letter at ChessBase, it was going to come down to one of them making a sacrifice. I seem to be in the majority in thinking that should have been Topalov, but there are obviously arguments for both sides or we wouldn't be arguing. The match might have ended in chaos even had Kramnik played game five, but it would have given Ilyumzhinov more options after he swept in and swept out the twits on the appeals committee.

If game six doesn't happen, and I certainly hope it does, or even if it doesn't, let us at least take away from this the awareness that this sort of thing has been happening for years (Yalta, Tripoli, etc.) and will continue to happen until we have leadership, professional leadership, and players who will put that structure ahead of their own immediate interests until it is mature enough to guarantee that what is good for the structure is also best for the players. This FIDE hasn't earned that loyalty. The irony is that now that Ilyumzhinov has finally attempted to right the ship with this match and talks with Bessel Kok, the hollow shell of a chess world he has created has collapsed beneath his feet.

Update: Tossing in some links: Danailov comments. FIDE VP Geoffrey Borg here. FIDE VP and original appeals committee member Makroupolus here in the comments. ACP statement here. Negotiation wrap-up new at the official site. Chesspro says Bareev and Svidler are heading to Elista to offer support. Let's hope it's theoretical as well as moral.


i think the analogy to the "Tatsachenentscheidung" in sports is not appropriate here. The question is: When the contract is broken, can you stop the match until the break is corrected or not? This is a juristic question and can only be answered by lawyers and courts. There seems to be no passage in the contract about this.
What weapon do you have against contractual breaks if your not allowed to stop the match until correction?

The wisdom of showing up or not is probably dependent upon whether or not he can maintain his title as Classical World Champion. That hinges on sponsorship for another title match outside of FIDE. If he can do so, playing is probably risky - he stands to lose a lot. If he cannot viably maintain his title without playing, then I think he will play. I suspect that this is the question he and his team are mulling (or have mulled over already).

I agree,kramnik must continue.Its a tough situation,he is rite to feel wronged but its wrong to walk away.If every sportsperson starts to react in this way,whatever may be the sport,we will hardly have great sporting encounters.At this moment,Kramnik has an oppurtunity to show leadership,and correct sporting behavior.He should continue,and it will set an example for many years to come,and chess fans all over will feel happy,and chess as a sport will reach great heights.

Generally speaking i'm very much in favor of Kramnik's position in this mess. But after reading this i do also think it would have been a wise decision by him to play game 5 under protest. Well, in less than four hours from now he still has the opertunity to do so (come on, even Fischer(!) did not leave the match after game 2 was forfeited in 1972). If he choses to play today he truly would act like a champion and a be winner on moral grounds. Maybe then we can all go back to what realy should matter: the chess...

I think right now, the protagonists hate each other so much, they will in fact cut off their noses rather than give an inch (a perceived inch). Their antipathy seems plain, reading between the lines of Danailov's "post negotiation interview" for example (given here elsewhere). I think Vlad is being as arrogant as he can, even before this fiasco, when he said he was thinking about Champion's league football rather than Chess in drawing the last game, where he was in fact suffering a bit. Mindgames possibly, but cant have enamoured Vesselin. So in spite of the fact that its Vesselin who should back down, and who in all probability recognises this being an intelligent and pleasent guy, I think he cant think straight right now. And I was (and am) a huge Topalov fan, and am even now hoping for a resumption at 3-1 and a storming comeback. However, there's no getting around the fact that Kramnik is within his rights here. The prematch conditions were agreed to preclude any computer cheating. So if that allowed for a private rest room with no restrictions on the number of times it could be visited, if Kramnik chose to spend ALL his time in the rest room, and came out only to play the moves, well that's his prerogative. If this was because he had found a way of cheating (and I dont for a minute believe it), well then tough. It has to be proven before any of the pre-agreed conditions can be revisited.

Kramnik, Topalov agree to continue match at 3-2 - Ilyumzhinov

Is it true?

Dear Mig,

I am sorry but im my opinion you are, in these desesperate actions you are taking to save the match, unfortunately “blind” when writing Kramnik was wrong not to play the fifth game.

Since neither you nor I are top competition chess players, I would suggest to listen carefully to experts both in chess at the top level and psychology. As John Nunn underlined, " (…) chess at the highest level is largely about psychology and the imposition of your will on the opponent. Achieving this away from the chessboard could easily be the first step towards doing the same on the board itself ".
Please rumine this evaluation and you will understand that Kramnik would have almost certainly played a bad 5th game (this is exactly the way Spasski lost his very first game of chess vs Fischer, as you know, by accepting to play on the conditions dictated by his opponent), knowing it wasn't right to play and eventually kicking himself for doing so, and even worse in the case of a loss.
This is why I totally disagree with you as well when you write : “The forfeit created an intractable situation (…) [and] there are obviously arguments for both sides…”.
First Iliumjinov could cancel (and still can, there is still more than three hours to go before the game starts at the time being) the forfeit since he offered Kramnik to play 3-1 but with 4, then 2 more games, and second in terms of legal juridiction since both Iliumjinov and the Comitee, by his resignation, recognized that breaking the rules was the error in first place.

In conclusion, as John Nunn wrote two days ago, the wrong doing is, as an exception, on one side only, and unfortunately, Kramnik is going to fly home. I feel sad of course, as you surely do, and as millions of fans do as well, but is there anything above dignity?
Sincerely yours,

A better analogy would be the World Series of Baseball, the Yankees leading the Mets in the series 2-0, and then for game 3 due to complaints by the Mets manager that it is POSSIBLE that Mariano Rivera is using steroids, MLB decrees that starting pitcher Randy Johnson cannot be relieved by Rivera, and the Yankees are so outraged they sit in their dugout refusing to come out until the decision is overturned. So the analogy is imperfect, but it's probably more precise than late in a single soccer game up two to nill. A bad call in a game (say Oklahoma versus Oregon where Oklahoma got robbed), and the decision to overturn the final score is not an easy one. But a bad call before the opening coin toss that leads to the forfeit of an entire game (rather than just a missed play during the heat of battle) is a lot easier.

It's possible that the player contract was indeed violated by the decision of the appeals committee. But that committee had authority and had been set in those same contracts. So you play game five under protest and their decision is then reviewed automatically. A moral stand with an automatic loss that Topalov has no obligation to give back was the worst possible situation from the perspective of the match continuing. Had Kramnik played game five under protest and lost it still couldn't be worse. At least he would have been following protocol and given Ilyumzhinov some options instead of depending on Topalov to do the honorable thing and give up the point voluntarily.

ellrond, that's why thet had an appeals commission... let's be honest if you only would play on after the courts have decided who's right and who's wrong (from a legal point of view) then we could playing again sometime next year or so. Now the decission was not very good and Kramnik does have a point but I agree with Mig that not playing game 5 wasn't the solution to this problem.
To take the analogy of Mig a bit further, not only did you know the referee was the brother-in-law of the president but you also strongly suspect he is a supporter of the other team. But you knew this before the game and it was very likely if you protested against it before the game they would have chosen an other referee and propably you would have a say in who would become his replacement (together with the other team). But still you decided to play (for whatever reason).
So don't get me wrong, I do think Kramnik is right, but some people have been argueing that Topalov, by starting this match has agreed that the conditions such as bathrooms were acceptable and thus legally binding. This also works the other way around, by starting this match Kramnik accepted the composition and the authority of the appeals commission. This could make the whole story rather messy if it should go to court.

Play Vlad

Vlad is facing a diving opponent and his abusive manager. There are football analogies of players walking from the field because of abuse from fans and others players. There are values bigger than the game Mig, objecting to corruption is one of them in chess.

But where would Vlad go next? Hard to see anyone else putting together a Contender Cycle. Vlad's first duty is to himself. Play the match, take the money, and he may even win it! The best response to all the boot boys, bag men and hangers on of Fide is to stick one over on their man on a field of 64 squares.

Do it Vlad for the fans, for chess but most of all do it for yourself.

IMHO, what is not taking care in all that:

Imagine a trial by jury in the US.The prosecutor told the jury to condamn you without the eve of an evidence., an insult you to the most.

The jury grants him what he need,and you found yourself guilty, and comdamn to death.Of course you made an appeal!

In appeal, all the irelevant facts were cancelled, so was the death penalty by another jury, and the prosecutor was blamed....

But, your orange costume informs you that the consequences of the bad and cancelled decision are left !(like the strange chair with the ridiculous iron hat in your head supposed to be)

Good luck for the future if there is someone who think that's correct....

I believe that Kramnik will continue play. When all the emotional smoke clears, he is still ahead in the scores and against an opponent he feels comfortable playing against, and the unified title is well within his grasp. He doesn't realy gain anything by walking away, re-unification is clearly his goal and there won't be any other chances coming soon, and he is not the type of personality to try to form a breakaway federation or something. He may be flustered and dissapointed ( both because he was wronged and insulted, as well perhaps for thinking he might have mismanaged this to some extent ) but in the end pragmatism and logic are his basic traits, and they should prevail. I'm sure his people and the authorities from Russia are also urging him on at the moment.

He doesn't have to issue an announcement or anything though. Just keep topalov on edge for a few more hours, and then show up with one minute to go and play the game.

The one thing I hate most is that danailov will always be able to claim he's scored a victory in a world championship contest.

Bad analogy, Mig. Wins have been declared void and a replay ordered over technical errors, even in football. See http://www.soccerway.com/news/2005/September/6/fifa-declare-uzbekistan-win-void-over-technical-error/

Referees and officials can not take action that violates official rules. If they do anyway, the result is void. Legally there's no alternative. Seeing something incorrectly in the heat of the game and other human refereeing errors are an altogether different matter.

I assume Interfax made the same mistake I did in interpreting Ilyumzhinov's comments, that it meant the players had both agreed. They don't seem to have any more information.

I fully understand the difficult circumstance Kramnik was in after the absurd protest and committee decision in its favor. I wrote about these difficulties here before Nunn did, in fact. But being a professional means dealing with obstacles, not packing up when things go against you. Not playing should be last resort. Going home should be last resort.

Yes, superfreaky, but I was trying to stick to a sport more people would understand! I like the steroids analogy, Kasparov has also used it. Lets say the Mets demanded Mariano Rivera undergo testing for doping because he kept (name x semi-suspicious behavior). MLB decides that this is too much, but that Rivera will be monitored during the games and won't be able to sit as his usual place. The Yankees refuse to play and forfeit the game.

i think there are contractual breaks in every sport, where it is appropriate to stop the match.
Think of this situation: The referee allows additional players to enter the playing field. Say 5 more in soccer. Or the referee openly makes a bet about the game. the executive power of referee / appeal comittee has several limits. I think there is a limit, where you can stop the match. And that this limit was stepped over in this case.

Hey, Mig,
I was thinking of writing about the same analogy... great of you.

Yes JT, but the game was played. Had the offended team marched off the pitch immediately and forfeit I strongly doubt FIFA could granted forced a replay.


i think those proposals that Kirsan (sorry I'm not going to try to type his full name) made where proposals that Topalov had agreed on.

And second of all, technically fide hasn't overruled its own decision: the 2 parties agreed to accept the bathrooms and the appeals commission has resigned.

Personally, I think it is high time that crappy ref decisions in sports like soccer, rugby, cricket, tennis, etc. can be overruled by an appeal to the video ref (at least in important cases) even if it does hold the game up; and a similar sort of thinking should prevail here.
I cannot see how Kramnik could really be in a fit state mentally to play if he has to accept the forfeit, so I think he will probably walk, unless he wants the money, etc. pretty badly.
If this match does crash, it could in fact be one of the best things that could happen for chess. It might finally galvinise the major federations and top players of the chess world into a mass revolt against Ilyumzhinov, and withdrawal from FIDE to form a decent organisation, particularly if the Russian Federation supports Kramnik's position. How else can Ilyumzhinov & co. ever be got rid of? Isn't it finally time? FIDE has been a disaster ever since Campomannes bribed his way to power in 1982, and there is no end in sight.


i think those proposals that Kirsan (sorry I'm not going to try to type his full name) made where proposals that Topalov had agreed on, not rulings he was forcing onto the players.

And second of all, technically fide hasn't overruled its own decision: the 2 parties agreed to accept the bathrooms and the appeals commission has resigned.

Let's hope Kramnik forefeits this game too, then calls all of his GM friends and mates, this including Svidler, Bareev, maybe Morozevich, his old trainer Nalbandian, maybe old rivals Akopian and Leko too, and gain another +2 in proceeding 6 games.
I know this sounds illusory but it would be marvelous.

Why is Mig still going on about the committee's decision being wrong? It wasn't. It wasn't against the contract and it wasn't unfair based on what we know of Kramnik's behaviour. He wasn't merely strolling in and out of the washroom.
But Mig goes on as if nothing new is known and repeats the same lies as after day one. Wake up, it's October 2nd, not September 28th.

In the least case, Kramnik was creating suspicion hoping to provoke a reaction from Topalov's camp, or maybe he even was cheating. At any rate, Topalov had rason to concern and the committee's decision was fair if you wanted the match to go on.

It's hard to look at the one-sided story brougt out by people like Mig, Nunn, Keene and then read an interview from Danailov, after accepting which everything would make sense, and not come to the conclusion that there is something fishy about how this story is reported and whether or not media wants to convey truth or propaganda.

One must also wonder who made the Kasparov-Ponomariov match really fall...Danailov or Kasparov? Maybe the powers thta be don't like Danailov because he doesn't play the game they would like him to play and that's why we all have a negative image of him.

But hey, just close your eyes and believe everything from one side and everything will be alright.

i'm disgusted and disappointed, and i can't believe any honest person would be any less.

Maybe the problem is that the golden boy Topalov is not jewish. Yeah, ostracize me for that remark.


I don't agree with your football example. Your explanation would be correct if Kramnik had touched a knight but Gijsen told him to move the Queen. Although replays show that Kramnik touched the Q, he has to obey Gijsen.

How about this? The world cup final is played over 2 legs. Team A wins the first game 2-0. Before the second leg, Team B complains that 5 players of Team A played suspicously and were drugged. The Appeal's committee decide that this might be true because they ran so much and decide that you cannot play these 5 players for the next game. Team A does not accept this decision and does not turn up for the game.

OK the appeals committee got it wrong but the players are not helping at all. My worry is that some potential sponsors who are watching this will see that FIDE did nothing wrong. THe players are causing this situation no matter who is running this competition. Will Bessel think that running FIDE is possible having the top 2 players stop a match because of a toilet. At the end of the day it's not worth the hassle.

Yesterday I wished the match continue. Today I'm not so sure. Tomorrow I probably will not be bothered.


chesspro.ru is saying that Peter Svidler has arrived in Elista and Evgeny Bareev is on his way. Looks like Kramnik will fight

Hey, I wrote a novel about 25 years of bad jobs I've suffered through. I walked off many of those jobsites and held the moral high ground in every case. Still, I've got to say, #*%& the book. I would've been better off in the long run toughing it out. For the money at stake I can't fault Kramnik if he stays and plays. He has bills to pay like all of us. Yeah, I'll knock back a couple shots in glee if he gives FIDE and co. the finger and climbs onto an airplane. There's a lot of money at stake though. For that much I'd probably drop my principles. Is Kramnik more of a pragmatist than an idealist?
Phil Irwin San Marcos, Tx.

Well JT, FIFA did not use the same ruling for a game in Brazil where a ball boy picked up the ball which was out, threw it in the net and the referee (a woman, but that's another story) awarded a goal. It was in the last 5 mins of the game and that team lost 1-0.Result stood!


Topalov should give the point back, but we can see he will not do that. All chess players around the world would like the match to continue, but i dont agree with Mig that VK should accept to give up the point of the 5th game. Of course the best scenario would that VK play and win the match but what if he finally lose it ?

Here's a counter point to Mig's analogy from Wikipedia:-

"The Kuwait national football team is the national team of Kuwait and is controlled by the Kuwait Football Association. They made one World Cup Finals appearance, in 1982, managing a draw with Czechoslovakia but losing to England and France. During the match against France, France scored a goal while some of the Kuwaiti players had stopped, having heard a whistle. The goal was initially awarded by the referee, who had not blown, but Kuwait walked off the pitch in protest. They eventually resumed playing only after the intervention of Prince Fahid and the referee's changing his mind to disallow the French goal."

The original analogy doesn't quite work in this case as the game did not commence. I agree, if the game was in progress and Topolov made an illegal move, such as moving a piece, taking his hand off the piece and moving it back again, then it's a different story.

In addition, individual chess games in which an opponent does not turn up, are easier to rearrange than one day sporting events in which thousands of people are present.

It would have been easy to extend the event by a couple of days or use one of the rest days.

Svidler and Bareev? Stand and fight Vlady.

I forgot to say that your analogy is not the best one because in soccer for example most of the time one trusts in the impartiality of the referees (even if they take wrong decisions). Here, the referees are clearly corrupted and are friends of Danailov.

in sports and here also the executive power is handed to referee (here appeal comittee). But if this power is misused severe, then youve the right to take immediate action against this.
This is a fundamental right which cant be stripped of.


Very interesting idea. There is a good reason for Kramnik to play on - reunify the title. If he goes on to win this match, its Kramnik, and Kramnik alone that is the World Chess Champion. That one thing may be enough to bring legitimacy to the chess arena.

Topalov would need to win without a tiebreak, and by over one point to have any chance of being a undisputed world champion. If he wins by one point or wins by tiebreak, there will always be the perennial argument about game 5 that will dog him all through his time as World Champion.

Kramnik has the opportunity of doing something Kasparov has not been able to achieve. He stuck by the Prague agreement when FIDE didn't. Here's his chance to prove once and for all that he is the one World Champion.

If Kramnik does this, it will be awesome. Granted he will be taking a risk he doesn't really have to take. He can fly out of Elista today - and the chess world stays the same. Or he can spend two weeks fighting for a good cause of sportsmanship and professionalism in chess.

I won't hold it against Kramnik if he walks away today. I will be very impressed if he does accept the decision on game 5 and plays the rest of the match. Win or lose, no matter - he will have cemented himself as a true chess professional, and an honourable World Champion.

If Topalov wins - and this could happen - he will be forever tainted by corruption. You think the accusations of being helped by Fritz were bad in San Luis - that won't even be the start of it.

If Topalov wins - Kramnik will be seen as the player that fought the good fight, against the odds stacked against him. Us Brits love that sort of guy. Kramnik will walk out of this with his head held high regardless of the score. Topalov's reputation is in tatters. He'd have to win by two clear points to have any credibility as a World Champion.

The key factor is whether Topalov is really prepared to accept being World Champion on the grounds of a game being forfeited in his favour. What value is there in a World Championship title when its not been acheived by over the board play?

Look at Karpov's title - he was seen as a paper champion for years - and he went on to amass the best tournament record - a record that stands to this day. Karpov had the hunger to be acknowledged as deserving the World Title.

Does Topalov have the same hunger to come out to prove himself deserving of the title, and not have to rely on game 5 to earn it? (Would Topalov even consider throwing game 6 to cancel out that debt?)

This has gone from bad to worse to disgusting. Now Blogs have comments that are down at the bottom of the ocean with whale feces. That's pretty low. This is about A GAME, albeit a wonderful game, but it is A GAME. It is for our aMUSEment. All sport is for our entertainment. It is about and for us, the fans. It is to let us relax and recreate and enjoy some time away from the endless crap we see every minute, everywhere in every media. Now our Beloved GAME is dragged through the mud (that is dirt with water added Mig) and instead of sanctuary from the world's nonsense we ARE the nonsense. UnFreakinReal.

An alternative analogy might be with a 5-set Wimbledon tennis final, say Federer-ANO. Federer wins the first set and is a break up serving at 5-4, 40-30 up in the second set. He gets three successive clearly wrong calls and loses his serve to go back to even at 5-5. Tennis is also very much a one-on-one mindgame at this level, so it is not just the score that matters but also who has the psychological momentum.

What would Federer do? He would probably appeal to the tournament referee to overrule the calls but if this didn't work he would take a deep breath, play on and probably win. He would then benefit from considerable public support and show himself a true champion.

Kramnik has not had a good public image for some time, despite some sympathy for his illness, but he now has a chance to prove himself a true champion. Even if he goes on to lose he would be a much more respected figure after the match than before. He should swallow his pride and play on.

Mig - Kramnik is getting "jobbed" as they saying in boxing. FIDE is a promotor of chess like Don King is a promotor of boxing and Topalov is King's fighter here. What we are seeing is CHEATING. If Kramnik entered this match thinking everything was on "the up and up" he now knows better. He might still win - sometimes the guy fighting Don King's guy lands a lucky punch - but he must now realize that the odds are very much against him. Just that realization must be unsettling enough to make it foolish for him to continue and "offcially" lose a match that he apparently was well on the way to officially winning. The real sad thing for chess is not that this match might be aborted. It's that the sport is in the clutches of dishonest prople. - Jimmie

If the rumors are correct, how can Kramnik increase the number of his advisors after the games have started? I am talking of course about Svidler and Bareev. Does the playing conditions say anything about increasing the number of advisers in the middle of the match. If so, expect Danailov to raise a hue and cry again. I don't have any sympathy for Kramnik and the Russian cheats.

Mig, we don't know what FIFA would have done in the hypothetical case. We know that they voided a game result due to a technical error and forced a replay, so there is a precedent.

Duncan, the game you are talking about was Santacruzense vs. Atletico Sorocaba. It ended 1-1 and was a Paulista Football Federation, not FIFA event.

Anyone having any pause for thought about what Georgios Makropoulos said on Susan Polgar's blog?


I certainly wish I'd seen this before. It doesn't stop the decision being wrong, certainly in legal terms due to its timing. But given the accusations in San Luis its not the completely illogical decision we've imagined it to be and could be said to be trying to protect Kramnik from post match accusations.

Ironically, nothing could boost Kramnik's popularity like Danilov.
If I were a major tournament organizer, I would publicly declare that I will never invite anyone who is managed by Danilov.

I said at the start that the content of the original protest was not entirely unreasonable. Any significantly unusual behavior could be worthy of a protest to the effect that it should be investigated. I thought the appeals committee decision was an attempt at compromise, if a wrongheaded one that exceeded their authority. That is, it's logical only if you don't take Kramnik's mindset into account.

One problem with Makro's position is that the committee isn't required to save players from accusations, especially if those actions go directly against that player's wishes. Unless they feel the integrity of the match is at risk, that Kramnik's behavior is a genuine threat or is disruptive (Spassky-Korchnoi), they shouldn't do anything at all.

JT, they voided a completed game, not one in which one side stopped playing.

It takes two to tango..

Imagine for a moment... how things may have proceeded if you replace Kramnik by:

1) ANAND - i bet he would've conceded the silly demands about the toilet or suggested an alternate and pointed out how ridiculous the suggestions were.. infact its hard to imagine someone accusing him

2) KASPAROV - he too would've definitely turned up.. i can imagine he would take up Daialov's suggestion and not shake hands with Topalov and throw in an old KGB stare and whoop his A$$ on the board..

3) SPASSKI - i dont feel like checking this up myself now.. but didn't he return the point to Fischer after the latter forfeited?

My point (to repeat) is you can blame Topalov all you want but it does take two to tango


"We have requsted Mr. Hensel to comment on these numbers and received the explanation to the tune that Vladimir uses the toilet space for walking."

Such absurd explanation is worse than confession of cheating. The match should be canceled and Mr "Give back my toilet or I will not play" investigated for cheating.

Topalov is such an disgusting moron.

If Kramnik does not play, he will be forgotten very soon. So he should play on,

although it is a shame that the Topalov team with all their inappropriate noise could indeed produce a win off the board. In chess we call this "to make something out of nothing".

FIDE seem unable to organise a world championship in an objective, correct way.

By the way, had Kramnik played game five, they would have continued to trample on him, this was his only chance to be treated in a more fair way.

All this talk about how wrong the decision of the appeals committee was... Mig, are you a lawyer ? Do you have all relevant papers at hand ? The fact that Ilyumzhinov dismissed the committee means nothing - he just sacrificed them to save the match, by hook or by crook.
Fact is there is video surveillance of the relaxation rooms and nobody ever disputed the necessity of it. Now comes this guy sidestepping the surveillance by crawling into the bathroom and spending hours there ! Team Topalov did the only logical thing that you should do if you have prior accepted the cameras. It is Kramnik to blame. By his strange behavior he reduced an undisputed concept (i.e. video surveillance in relaxation rooms) ad absurdum.
And of course FIDE bashing... Mig, you yourself pointed out the numerous scandals of WCC matches. This week long battle of two minds with all this specific preparation and psychological warfare inevitably leads to situations like this. Open your eyes. Over all this chess takes a back seat. This is the wrong format. San Luis was fine. No need for FIDE bashing.

The elephant in the room is the accusations of cheating against Topalov at San Luis. No proof was ever really offered and it must have been deeply hurtful to Topalov. The implication behind the Danailov press release at least in part refers to this and must have been gravely insulting to Kramnik. The Makropoulos statement careful though it is is also a reference to the worry that their champion might again be subject to such allegations. At the very best of times these matches are fractious affairs. These are not the best of times.

Kramnik's highest number of toilet visits during one game was 18 (during game 3) according to this open letter by Makropoulos. Danailov translated this into "at least 50 times per game". It's ridiculous to begin with, because certainly 6 longer breaks would be more suited to cheating than 18 1-2 minute breaks. i.e. there are equal grounds to accuse Topalov of cheating! i.e. it is fully baseless and should have been thrown out of the window immediately.

Danailov's motives had nothing to do with seriously suspecting foul play. And Makropoulos admits that the committee gave Danailov the tapes, without informing Kramnik about this. They could have used these tapes to analyze Kramnik's reactions to certain opening moves etc. And it was Kirsan who made the decision to close the toilets. That's another important point to notice. The whole thing is corrupted. Remember the grins on Danailov's and Topalov's faces and then this, dated October 1st:

- Question to Topalov. Veselin, with what feeling will you come to play tomorrow?
- With great enthusiasm. I am tired of rest! For me it is a great relief that the match will continue and the chess world will be enjoying this great show.

Great show indeed, what an ass.

The right move for Kramnik would be to walk away now and for the chess world to hope that this will generate enough emotion to force the current FIDE to collapse. Sort of culmination point.

Is it just me, or is all of this incredibly compelling? Will Vladimir play or won't he? What will those wacky managers do next? Who is accusing who of using computers and how are they doing it? What are the distinguished Russian grandmasters going to do to help once they arrive? Can Kirzan pull it all together in time? And that's not even considering the reunification history and the actual chess games (missed checkmates, spurned draws, queen sacrifices...). I've never found it this easy to stay up late at night to follow chess news. I'm sitting here refreshing this blog every couple of minutes, for pete's sake. I think we may be sitting on an actual chess human interest story which could be worthy of a lot of publicity, assuming the match actually goes on. I suppose if it doesn't, the publicity for the Kramnik computer match could be really pumped up at least. The honorable king in exile and all that.

We have requsted Mr. Hensel to comment on these numbers and received the explanation to the tune that Vladimir uses the toilet space for walking. According to the opinion of the Appeals Committee, this explanation is unsatisfactory, as Kramnik was staying each time 1 or 2 minutes in the toilet.

The "likes to drink water" part is not true. For 5 hours he drank half a cup. "Did you even see that?" Kramnik asked me. Yes, and it is on the records. Regarding the walks, he enters in the toilet and closes the door.

If they are not lying in what they say (and I don't see any reason to lie here as there are records), then this kramnik-likes-to-walk thing is indeed sounding unsatisfactory - people don't close the doors when they are just walking in and out regularly, and they are not doing a few steps in 1-2 minutes.

Also, russian speaking visitors may want to have a look at this opinion of the russian trainer Nikitin (he trained kasparov in his youth amongst others):
He seems to strongly disaprove kramnik's affection for his toilet and his behavior in general.

there must be limits to the executive power of the comittee. Otherwise, following migs view, the comittee would have unlimited executive power. In that case, they could simply do the following: Kramnik wins, and they change the results without reason to Kramnik loss, referee underwrites and then they say "Oh it was an error, but decision is taken, nothing can be done".
Thats not thinkable. They could do everything with this argumentation. Take figures away from board. Remove the board itself. No, it cant be, that the executive power of the comittee is unlimited

If you believe Danailov's lies and take them at face value Ragey...

Sorry, Mig, it's spelled Makropoulos and not Makroupolus (unless you are making a joke with his name?!). OK, anyway, Greek names are hard to spell 8-))

Jeff Sonas, good point! I wouldn't be surprised if this match is the script of a film 20-30years from now.

I too have been staying up late tapping the refresh button every hour.

Right on AZ79! But if Kramnik decides to play I hope he crushes that scumbag from Bulgaria like a bug! (Bugs like him can usually be found in the excrements of various animals. )

Come to think of it, when will a movie about the '72 match be made? Any actor who can nail the role of Bobby Fischer would definitely be an oscar contender... it would bring the chess world a lot of attention.

Makropoulos is a skilled manipulator. Even Mig and Mark Crowther seem to fall for it. For example, he doesn't say a word about the security measures in place to prevent any electronic communication or the presence of computers in the player's rest rooms. This would have made clear that the decision to close the bathrooms was absurd.
For me, this the most interesting part of the statement:

"When the match started, we have received a declaration from the team of Topalov with the request to get acquainted with the video recording from the restrooms. The Organisers provided all the materials..."

Note that the formulation "when the match started" is very imprecise. Was Kramnik informed about this decision to hand over the video files to his opponent?

"...the FIDE President himself proposed to close the toilets in the restrooms."

So Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is also to blame. Not too surprising. He is part of the gang, after all. He is responsible for creating this mess and this also explains his final decision to uphold the 3:2 result.

well, AZ79, I am not saying anything about believing or disbelieving - just pointing out the possibility that we may all be wrong in accusing the one side only. In fact, I would like to see the so infamous recordings myself to make an opinion. If Kramnik is really innocent he should be glad to show them to the public.

In reply to string theory:

Spassky did not return Fischer's forfeit point, no. And I'm not so sure about Anand either: he said after the Kasparov match that he had been affected by some of Kasparov's absurd behaviour and that if he had his time over again he would have been more assertive. As to Gazza, he had the opposite problem really, didn't he, in 1984? He certainly got pretty cross about it: I reckon if someone had accused him of cheating there'd have been a row to make the present episode look like Enid Blyton.

It's silly to say Kramnik should have played. Chess demands objectivity. In football perceived injustice can be a spur, and in any event footballers have to deal with it all the time. In chess, if your head's somewhere else, you just lose. He wouldn't be any better off if he'd played game five. An analogy with spur-of-the-moment refereeing calls isn't helpful anyway: everyone knows those are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Here it's more as if FIFA were suddenly to declare at half-time that the offside rule's going to be changed. I doubt very much the appeals committee had the power to change the conditions of contest, although since the contract for the match hasn't been published anywhere I've noticed it I could be wrong. And what is this nonsense about appealing within two hours against an appeals committee decision? Who on earth was that appeal supposed to be to - no, don't tell me, Kirsan?!?

How Topalov could be such a scumbag is beyond me, but I seem to remember posting a fortnight ago that I hoped he lost because he had no class. Was I right or what?

I've just been reading Max Euwe's biography. Strange to think there was a time when men of his calibre ran this organisation.

Well, whatever the case with the other issues, you could say the real tactical error was not accepting Kirsan's proposal of 3-1 with two extra games.

We knew from Danailov's bleatings that they would walk if the score was 3-1, no matter what. So if Kramnik had accepted Kirsan's proposal, Topalov would be the one getting defaulted and Kramnik would be Unified Heavyweight Champeen of the Woyld.

I'm not so sure that would have been a good thing, though, in the big picture. Remember all of the concerns before the match about this being the last real match for the WC, because FIDE would extinguish the matches once the titles were unified. Even if Kramnik won. I recall one of his interviews where he was prepared to acquiesce in this, so I think it might well have happened. And that would be unfortunate, to hand the unified title back to FIDE, to mismanage again.

All of this is assuming that Kramnik is going home, of course. With less than an hour to go... Y'know, I'm not 100% sure that he will. Fairly sure, but now 100%

Sorry, "fairly sure but not 100%"

Mig, the point is that we have a precedent of voiding a result and forcing a replay at the highest level of sports (i.e. an official FIFA event) due to a technical error. How those circumstances came to be is beside the point.

Video recordings should be available publicly. If recordings support Danailov's story and having in mind Hansel's absurd explanation ("walks in the toilet"), Mr "Give back my toilet or I will not play" must face official investigation for cheating.

I think there has been a bunch of wrong headed decisions. I don't fall for anyone's lines, hated the Danailov complaint and its provocative wording (and intent) and we saw that the decision was reversed and the clear reasons why it should have been. We've all come in with preconceptions as to the characters involved and the biases the entails. I've tried to think about other sports simply to give myself some perspective and that for me I believe is rapidly clarifying in my own mind how we got in this mess.

Jeff Sonas: "Is it just me, or is all of this incredibly compelling? Will Vladimir play or won't he? What will those wacky managers do next? Who is accusing who of using computers and how are they doing it? What are the distinguished Russian grandmasters going to do to help once they arrive? Can Kirzan pull it all together in time?"

It definitely isn't just you. I'm checking 4 different sites constantly just for a bit of new news. I slept through games 1-4 and caught up with them later in the day, but for this I'm wide awake. The drama! The DRAMA! tick tick tick tick tick....

Judging by the steady stream of comments that quickly hit 3 figures per thread, I say we are not alone. I actually think that actual chess might be a sort of let-down following the compelling backstory leading up to this very hour in history.

I'm all for the clocks starting at 4:00am my time, Topalov playing his first move facing an empty chair, sitting back and smiling. 5 minutes pass, Topalov winks and smiles, and prepares to retire to his own restroom, waiting for the forfiet.

And then ...GASP!! Kramnik enters the room, rips off his jacket and tie, slams down 1..c5 and stares directly into Topalov's quivering eyes.

Best chance for Kramnik to get a movie deal out of this is to play it up for maximum dramatic impact. If Hansel is anything of a manager, he should orcestrate this sweeping entrance!

Not sure if this has already been posted somewhere, but it appears Kasparov's commentary on this situation is now available on the Wall Street Journal's website. Its available to subscribers only. Anyone here have access?

Elista Express: Game six to start shortly (we are told)

Yeah, could someone provide a scan of Kasparov's article? That would be great!

Ilyumzhinov said, “The one who will yield, will forever be a chess hero!” However, none of them was willing to become a hero

its ironic kramnik's team argued that danailov's protest is not legal due to missing the 2 hours deadline, but they themselves forgot to legally protest the forfeit in 2 hours.

I didn't like the mention of illness in http://www.worldchess2006.com/main.asp?id=1025

"Finally, the key issue – which score we should continue the match with. After negotiations with Kramnik (they took place about an hour ago; unfortunately, Vladimir could not appear here – he is not feeling well) and Topalov (a few minutes ago) it was decided to continue the match from the sixth game, tomorrow, 2nd of October, from the score 3:2."

I don't think that looks good for a continuation.

But it is incredibly tense.

Kramnik plays under protest. Just got the press release

Kramnik did not recognize the appeals committee then. In any case, he sent an open letter to Kirsan regarding conditions to continue game 5.

Two remarks:

1) Mig's analogy doesn't quite hit the point, I think. A soccer referee may be wrong. But he may not be under the suspicion of being biased. This is kind of a one man against the federation fight, so the federation is per se suspect of being biased.

2) If Kramnik really wants to punish Topalov, he goes home today. Topalov would be "FIDE world champion" and nothing more. His title would be worth less than it used to be during the past year, because Topalov now is damaged both as chess player and as chess representative. You can't win a match scoring 1 in 4, even if your opponent forfeits. Kramnik would come out unbeaten and as moral winner.

I still hope that this won't happen - not only Topalov would lose, but also chess in total. And we all would be a good laugh in the non-chess-world.

MC:"Kramnik plays under protest. Just got the press release"

More info please. You mean he plays game 6 today under protest? How fast can you type up that press release / link to it?

Mark Crowther, you are absolutely right, one mustn't forget the backdrop, the completely unsubstantiated cheating allegations poor old Topalov was subject to. I think Kramnik and co have waged a psychological war to ram this in, for example the glass barrier that Hensel insisted on at the last minute. Danailov probably saw this as an opportunity to get his own back. For the record, it is equally unlikely to me that either person cheats. The way both play just does not bear any resemblance to a computer cheater.

I hope Kramnik won't extend his arm to shake hands with the Bulgarian turd.


Wow. How 'fresh' is that press release? Anyone know if Kramnik is in the building?

Well, fancy that! I had never considered the possibility of "playing under protest".
A brave decision by Vladimir, for which I admire him

Like to be first every now and again....

I just did a little dance in my living room! Of course, it's 4am here in California and so nobody can see me, which is probably just as well...

WOW!! great news.Since last 3hrs hav been following all news/blog.Kudos to Kramnik!!

Has ever a chessplayer used his opponent's health problems to get a point?

I can never respect Topa for insisting on keeping "a free point" based upon a technicality. When all other issues were resolved, hecould have amicably agreed t replay the 5th game. He calls himself a fighter, shame on him!


A noble decision by Kramnik. Truly noble. I thought he wouldn't play under these circumstances. This is a great chance to see his mental strength in action and I hope he crushes the Bulgarian cheat.

dont boast about the 4 am in California stuff too much.. its 3:59 am in Seattle right now


Open Letter of Support to Vladimir Kramnik from Grandmaster Colleagues.

October 2, 2006

Dear Vladimir,

We are writing as a small group of Grandmasters, but we believe that we represent the views of the vast majority of our colleagues. We simply wanted to let you know that we think you have suffered a gross injustice, and that you have our support.

We appreciate that you are now under immense psychological pressure, and that it must be difficult to continue to play well in the context of such blatant bias, unfairness, and hostility.

Good luck in the days ahead. If you manage to win in these circumstances you will be a worthy champion indeed.

Best wishes,

GM Jonathan Rowson (Scotland)
GM Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark)
GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
GM Jan Gustafsson (Germany)
GM Tomi Nyback (Finland)
GM Luke McShane (England)
GM Loek Van Wely (Netherlands)


WOW! Looks like I'm up for another 3-4 hours now! Go KRAMNIK! God I want him to win this game.

doesn't 'play under protest' mean that Kramnik will protest if he loses the match??

I think now practically all of the chess world is behind Kramnik to win this match. Hopefully that will count for something.

did they shake hands?? did they?

Did they shake hands?????

Bravo to the grandmasters!

Topalov is taking ages on move 12.. probably reviewing toiletgate.. what is Kramnik doing? is he in the toilet already?

At last someone has done the right thing! Well done Kramnik.

It would have so much simpler to turn up to Game 5 though....

he wouldn't have been able to 'play under protest' if he did that though.. now he can protest if he loses.. so much better positionally.. so what if it cost a small material sacrifice

The Swan Song of J. Alfred Proofrook

Let us go then, you and I,
When the chess world lingers drained and dry
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-established plaints,
And 13 years of faints
Of restless nights in search of compromises
managed by chairmen perfectly to crisis:

Plaints that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
In the rest room players come and go
Searching for their water-loo.

(Suggestions for improvements by native speakers are always welcome)

Being an enthusiastic chessfan for over 25 years, I have it up to here. The situation seems to be a perfect dilemma. And in my point of view it is absolutely clear, that the FIDE is responsible for that disaster. As long as the chess world is managed by such incompetent and selfish people, there is no hope of improvement, at all.
"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely".
Even if the tournament will continue, there is no thinkable result leading in unification. Maybe if Kramnik accepts the 3:2 and wins there is a little chance … (eventually knocked out by another FIDE gambit?).
I think, nobody should blame the players for what is going on, but the whole management.

Wow, I've just read, Kramnik accepted under protest. Big attitude! Being a Topalov fan so far (because of his playing style) I now have to say: "Vlad, go an get this damned WC cup!"

Let us hope, this attempt will not be urineficated by anyone.

I find it interesting that GM Tomi Nyback of Finland has signed the letter of support for Vladimir Kramnik given that he made a losing move then took it back against a Jamaican player at the last Olympiad in Turin. He has no moral high ground whatsoever.


I'm glad they have come to a resolution. Kramnik of course is playing the game under protest.

Obviously Tomi was just adjusting the piece. Can't you read? A win like that for the black player wouldn't have been any better than Topalov's Toilet gambit win in game 5. It is easy to come up with stories like this.

Kramnik protested the violation of his rights by refusing to play game 5. This was NOT an isolated incident; rather it was typical of the FIDE dictatorship. Kramnik's "civil disobedience" made a point that has provoked chess professionals to take action. He was 2 points ahead and could afford to protest. The next step is up to world chess professionals. Will you take effective action to make chess a fair game, or simply ride the last wave of the demise of professional chess?

According to 64.ru they did shake hands.

Kramnik's playing on under protest makes more sense now than it would have done in game 5. IIn game 5 there was no way a decision reached over the board was going to be cancelled, especially if Topalov won it: think of all the preparation secrets exposed, the energy expended, etc. To get where to where the situation is now -- with the Appeals Committee dismissed, personal intervention of Kirsan, etc. -- Kramnik HAD to make his protest known. And the point that Topalov "won" could easily be reversed, by fiat if necessary: Topalov didn't "do" anything to gain the point.

Game 6, though, is a separate issue. The legitimacy of an over-the-board result here is never in question; nothing about today's game is threatened with being overruled. So, with today's result standing, Kramnik can play on knowing that his appeal about the fictitious game can still be heard. Of course, with each passing game, the significance of that ill-begotten point changes; it will most likely become Topalov's lifeline, and it will be correspondingly hard to "give it back". But Kramnik has -- as ever -- chosen the most pragmatic route to achieving his goals. Good for him.

K is blitzing.. is it preparation or frustration? maybe he needs to use his toilet to calm himself down..

Mark Howitt: "I think now practically all of the chess world is behind Kramnik to win this match."
Speak for yourself, I am rooting for Topalov.

Kramnik does not want to play. Walking away with a 2 point lead suits him.

Provoking Topalov with the toilet stunts suited him, and not needing to win over 12 games suits him all the better.

Kramnik is tricky and unprincipled.

Mr. X...

You didn't read the whole article.

I was there and it was a really sad moment in the Olympiad.

You say Nyback was adjusting the piece, but that is not the case if you read the questions. Why adjust a piece by picking it up and hovering it over a square? He said nothing and there were witnesses. The king had been on the square several moves. The only reason Nyback won the verdict (according to Gijssen) was that Matthews signed the scoresheet.

I think it may be disadvantage Kramnik in game 6. He has been involved in the negotiations personally whereas Danilov has been doing it for Topalov. This he might be strained (and claims to be unwell) whereas Topalov claims to have a lot of rest. I hope Kramnik wins or draws, though.


I can't understand why Topalov would want to keep the forfeit point. Win or lose he gets the same money and if he wins by one point or less he gains a title that almost no one will recognize.

As of the 18th move by black, the game looks a little bit dry to me. But I'm a lousy player. Anyone got any idea who's better? This game must have the biggest audience in years.

What i really want to know - did they shook hands at the beginning of the game?

'did they shook hands at the beginning of the game?'

Yes: http://sport.guardian.co.uk/chess/story/0,,1885775,00.html

There is a photo of them shaking hands on http://www.worldchess2006.com/

And both seem to have a smiling face!!

Was this prearranged? :)


No more moves from live games, the games is interrupted.
It seems Danilov put a special drink in Kramnik's restroom and now Vlad is in the toilet under a strong diarrhea attack. His clock is still running and may be he will soon forfait on time.

No more moves from live games, the game is interrupted.
It seems Danilov put a special drink in Kramnik's restroom and now Vlad is in the toilet under a strong diarrhea attack. His clock is still running and may be he will soon forfait on time.


No moves because it is draw - a nice piss on Topalov ambitions!

effortless draw from Kramnik. Topy needs to rethink his openings.

Topalov's actions are disgraceful and loony to boot. Begging for a point this way is not action worthy of the game's best.

Topalov cannot handle his guilt feeling. He couldn't fight.

I dont see a big smile

The black side game after the circumstances feels like a victory - moral score 5:1 for Kramnik!

Draw. Now it's the Affirmed vs the Alydar. Kramnik will clip one or two more with White and draw out the rest. Then he'll cash the cheque, take his ball and have no more truck or trade with FIDE. The vampire Topalov will slip into match obscurity (the world really NEEDS Topalov-Radjabov!! lol) while remaining the strongest tournament player and keeping Mig on pen-pal retainer.

Kramnik plays under protest, and he leaves the game 5 interpretation open.
I sure hope he wins the match. He definitely deserves this while his opponent does not.

I don't suppose anyone actually has a link to the match contract, do they? Apologies if I've missed it before.

In English would be nice....

Good for Kramnik for finding what seemed to be an easy draw.

Incidentally, is anyone taking bets on the chances of "Toiletgate" ending up on The Daily Show sometime soon?...

This match now has tremendous importance.
If Kramnik wins this he will surley reinstate matches to decide the WC. That spineless puppet Topalov and his disgusting puppetmaster Danailov will just bendover and do whatever Kirsan tells them to do. The world will be better of with Kramnik and without Tainpalov.

I guess, contracts are confidential documents.

Have anybody read the Kasparov's WSJ column? My expectations were much higher, his explanation was just primitivistic, IMHO. Does his computer write these articles for him? No single original thought! I'd expect much more deep and thinkful comments from a WSJ columnist.
And final as usual: blame Kramnik for avoiding for years from playing re-match with Garry and from unification with FIDE.

Vlad, could you somehow provide that article (scan)?

Not sure about daily show, but if you consider the "Chess" success...
May be, Hollywood and Broadway sharks are on their way to Elista already, and next year we'll see a premiere of "WC"?

"I don't suppose anyone actually has a link to the match contract, do they? Apologies if I've missed it before."

All of the relevant rules are on the FIDE website, and very easy to find. No one has claimed that the signed contracts have anything more relevant to say.

Good preparation and a rock solid draw by Kramnik that suggests his composure remains in place despite the chaos.

Though his default in game 5 was unfair, I think Kramnik would have been more than happy before the match started to take this score at the half-way mark. It is also not out of line with the general run of play given that Topalov should not really have been 2-0 down given the chances he had in the first two games.

Certainly the match is set up perfectly now for an exciting second half and one can only hope the managers/lawyers will stay in their box until the match is completed. The worst outcome now would be a Topalov victory by a single game since that would hardly resolve the unification question if this was won by a forfeit.

I was neutral at the start, but I really hope Kramnik wins the match now both for his sake and for the sake of clarity as to who is champion.

I can only provide a link to Russian translation:
I have the paper in the office, but can't publish a photocopy of copyrighted content without WSJ permission :-(

"This match now has tremendous importance. If Kramnik wins this he will surely reinstate matches to decide the WC."

People keep saying this, without justification. Kramnik cannot impose anything. All of the top players are aligned with FIDE. There is no Einstein, Braingames, etc., to sponsor a rival title. A title means nothing without a challenger, and every reasonable challenter is playing by the FIDE rules.

There is one, and only one way that future WC's will be decided by matches: Ilyumzhinov has to be convinced that it's more lucrative for the sport, and for himself. If you want future WC matches, the #1 thing to hope for is that the remaining six games are exciting. An tense and dramatic outcome, regardless of the victor, is the best way to ensure that such matches continue in the future.

Does anybody know when game 7 will be played? If it's tomorrow, then Kramnik will have to play black two days in a row, because of reversal of colours. That makes it 3 consecutive black games - a novelty in a world championship match.

This was the most boring game of the match. Topalov got nothing out of his preparation today. Wasn't Kramnik even ahead on the clock most (all?) of the game?

The tenor of the match is definitely turning in Kramnik's favor. Plus he just got the benefit of several unplanned days off (no doubt stressful, but probably not as exhausting as the games would have been) to help with his (alleged) stamina problem, and also got an unofficial day off today, with the Black pieces no less. It's starting to look like Topalov's best chance might be for Kramnik to over-press with White tomorrow.

"Mark Howitt: "I think now practically all of the chess world is behind Kramnik to win this match."
Speak for yourself, I am rooting for Topalov."

Perhaps you need to brush up on your English. Mark Howitt said "practically" all of the chess world, which is true. It doesn't mean "all" of the chess world. It excludes a few freaks.

Vlad, thanks, babelfish was good enough. Agree with your asessment.

Arne, the next game is scheduled for tomorrow according to FIDE's website (url below). They are listing Kramnik as having the White pieces. I hadn't heard about a reversal of colors at the mid-way point. Is that correct?


I think Topalov tried to force a draw today.

There is still hope for future matches: Vlad and Carsten Hensel managed to find sponsors for his match with Leko and for first match with Topalov (rejected by FIDE). Therefore, sponsors can be found. If Bessel Kok puts his hands on WC cycle management, I have a hope the new regular cycle funding is still possible. But first let's wait and see what happens during next 2 weeks.

Interesting question pops up if the score is 5.5-5.5

Will the tiebreak games be played or game 5?

I hope Kramnik wins the match before that

BTW, I did not see the handshake photo of game 6 on the official site, neither do I see any smiles at all, let alone any big smile

Sim, looks like it includes a few freaks, notably yourself.

They did shake hands:

After looking at the pictures below I'd recommend Kramnik to file an official protest to force Topalov to shave before games! ;-)


"They are listing Kramnik as having the White pieces. I hadn't heard about a reversal of colors at the mid-way point. Is that correct?"

It is surely incorrect. It was always planned that colors would reverse midway through the match. On the original schedule, Kramnik would have had White tomorrow, but as we are a day behind, he should in fact have Black tomorrow.

What's interesting is that if the match goes the full 12 games, there will be a rest day before the final game, in which Kramnik will have White. This is to Kramnik's advantage. Under the old schedule, there would have been no rest day before the last game.

Topalov is now down to three Whites remaining, and aside from Game 2 he has not managed to break down Kramnik's defense.

"Interesting question pops up if the score is 5.5-5.5."

This has already been answered. Game 5 counts as a win for Topalov, and a loss for Kramnik. It will not be replayed. If the score is 5.5-5.5 after 11 games, then it will be one game for all the marbles. If still tied after that, then rapids, blitz, and sudden death.

Blistering comeback, d! Perhaps you should accept the generous offer from the Romper Room writing team and lavish your twee gems on the 3 to 5-year-old market where they belong.

Today I am very proud to be a Kramnik fan. I am glad that of all the chessplayers to cheer for I picked a guy who shows tremendous character.
Go Kramnik!

"What's interesting is that if the match goes the full 12 games, there will be a rest day before the final game, in which Kramnik will have White. This is to Kramnik's advantage. Under the old schedule, there would have been no rest day before the last game."

Sorry, I was wrong. Under the original schedule, there were rest days scheduled before both Games 11 & 12. It is not clear on the FIDE site whether that pattern will be retained, but I assume it will.

An idea I have suggested is given the reversal of colors which was to occur at game 7 that game 5 forfeit point be "transferred" to game 12.

Maybe game 5 is being played tomorrow hence the colors alternating rather than staying the same for both players.

Then again it might just be a procedural oversight.

This is my full idea which I doubt will be enacted

Eliminate tie breaks make it 16 games
Kramnik takes match if score tied.
Resume at Game 5 with score 3-1
Forfeit transferred to game 16.
Topalov may choose to use it then.
Allow loser to play in 2007 event.

What I am saying here is to have the forfeit point deferred to the last game to be used by Topalov only if necessary in the hope that either he or Kramnik can win the match without needing it.

If 8 7 to Kramnik after game 15 he wins match

if 7 1/2 apiece after game 15 Topalov can either use the forfeit point or play out the game

If 8 1/2 to 6 1/2 to either player after game 15 then the forfeit point becomes moot.

I think a fair amount of horse trading needs to be done.

Would Kramnik be happy to have the drawn match advantage in return for not having to play blitz games?

Would Topalov be happy to be able to "defer" the (optional) use of the forfeit point until the last game were it to help him save face?

Would both players be happy to have placess for both of them at Mexico next year regardless of what happens in this match?

Who can say?

Perhaps they might play game 5 tomorrow?

According to a Chessbase interview, Karpov says he wouldn't have played on- the irony is delicious.

Dear Mig,
I feel that your World Cup Football analogy is not quite right. The below might not be quite right, either, but I feel it's closer to the facts. So ...
It's more as if the manager of the losing team declared (without a shred of evidence, and indeed with all the important evidence against him, i.e. in our case the games, which hardly support the accusation of computer use) that the winning team were using the changing rooms to take performance enhancing drugs and that their changing room should therefore be locked up and made inaccessible to the winning team during the half time interval.
So what do the off-the-field-officials do? They arbitrarily decide that the protest of the losing manager is acceptable and decree that the changing room of the winning team will be locked during half-time.
A bit wordy.
(i) such a situation is unimaginable at the Football World Cup. A fact to ponder.
(ii) a football team that was denied access to its changing room in such a way MIGHT WELL refuse to take to the pitch again.

Rather shocking fall from grace for Topalov - he was the most exciting top player in chess a week ago. Now he's the most hated.

That letter from Iljumdzinov, thanking both players for their understanding and willingness to compromise etc. etc. blablabla should be addressed to Kramnik alone. But anyway...

Clubfoot, looking for new friends to play kissy make up with? Hasnt your doctor warned you about mixing your meds?

Thinking of it, this might all have been for the better.

What would have happened had Kramnik played Game 5 under protest? In all that heated athmosphere, with the feeling of disgust and everything, it's hard to imagine him getting anything more out of it than a draw. It's not so hard imagining him loosing.
So, while there was _some_ chance that the score would have been 3,5 - 1,5, and while there was virtually no chance of 4 - 1, it's not so terribly unlikely that he would have lost that game anyway.

Now: In that highly unlikely case of him winning, obviously, things wouldn't have gotten this far.
In that not-so-unlikely case of a draw, he would have refused to play Game 6, and pretty much everything would have happened as it did. Maybe they even would have replayed Game 5, but I feel that the general feelings would have been that
1) The draw in Game 5 was a little victory for Kramnik as it brought him closer to winning overall
2) He should just rise above the petty insults and behave like a man
3) Topalov would still be an a**

In that not-so-unlikely case of him loosing:
The events would probably have unfolded as they did now. As I don't buy Iljumdzinov's explaination that Kram didn't file official protest after the game and thus there's no legal ground for the game to be replayed, the score would with quite some chance still be 3-2.
In the end, he would probably play on, but his overall feeling would be a lot different. He would feel extremely abused, his actuall loss (not just a forfeit) would really hurt etc.

Now, the score is not a lot different from the not-so-unlikely scenario described above, with the exception that his whole psychological state is probably very different.
1) His forfeit point probably doesn't hurt as much as an actual loss. He _knew_ that he gives away a point, even if he genuinely thought that it would eventually be given back to him. He assumed the moral high ground and this one point was the price he was willing to pay.
2) His draw today might be the only one in his whole career that will be treated as a win by _everyone_. There might not be a single other draw in his life for which he will get less heat
3) He's probably got more support now than ever, precisely _because_ he came back and played.

Overall, I'm not so sure if that isn't, in effect, the best possible outcome given the circumstances and quite a reasonable position to be in (psychologically as well as "ontologically", so to speak)...

John Fernandez

Its not shocking to me. There were quite a few clues that he would do somethign like this. One was when he said he supported everyting Kirsan did in chess, and supported Kirsan generally. Then there was the completely inexplicable backpeddling and contradictory statements about the first proposed match.(which fell through) Then there was his comments about being in a seperate class than Kramnik. When you look at who he teams up with and the statements he made you shoudln't be that surprised by his actions.

Also I don't buy this claim that Topalov is jsut some poor innocent who fell in with the wrong crowd.

Danilov is Topalov's agent. Danilov can not do anything without Topalov's authorization. If Danilov is acting out of turn and sayign things that Topalov doesn't want said or doesn't agree with then Topalov can force him to retract it and/or fire him.

I don't like this idea of hiding behind your agents and making the lame claim "he said it, not me" We have to accept the fact that just because someone can play chess well that doesn't mean he is always innocent.

The worst thing that could happend is that Topalov will win one more game and rest will be drawn.

With a draw today Kramnik just loads his bank up with goodwill for showing up and playing. He can even draw his way to the title now and even previous detractors of Drawnik are going to applaud the victory after Topalov's ridiculous protest.

I'm another one who started the match cheering for Topolav and now support Kramnik. If he wins he has a great chance to become both an influential statesman as well as a respected champion.

What's the point in Svidler and Bareev flying in? If they want outside help, bring on Rustam Kamski! Now there was a guy who knew how to get things straightened out. Pow!

Keep in mind that Game 5 is still unresolved/under protest, at least by Kramnik's press release. To me, the match sits at 3.5 - 1.5 Kramnik, G5 in protest, after the G6 draw today.

It may be me, but has ANY non-partisan GM come out in support of Topalov at all in this fiasco? we've heard from Sierawan, Karpov, Short (at playchess.com - I cannot repeat here what he said - classic british frankness), and a list of GM's above in the letter, all firmly in Kramnik's camp. The only exception I can think of may be Susan Polgar, but her practice of Politically Correct deceptive blogging, raised to an art form, is not clear in that respect either.

Mark, if you look at Susan Polgar's blog site, she too has written a letter in support of Kramnik. It is also quite clear in its wording.

Mark, if you look at Susan Polgar's blog site, she too has written a letter in support of Kramnik. It is also quite clear in its wording.


And you think Kramnik is just an innocent lad sitting on his potty dreaming his dreams?

Mark, Susan Polgar has released her own open letter of support. You know, the only chessplayers who could be against Kramnik in this are Kasparov and Shirov... hmm, I wonder why.

Well, here's the link to the regulations.


But clearly there is in fact more in the contract, at least to judge from the section quoted in Makrpopoulos' piece about each player having a restroom and a toilet. I wonder why on earth they don't make these contracts public documents? It would be easy enough to do and it might stop some of the more absurd comments one hears - actually it wouldn't of course, but at least it would provide the means of refuting them easily.

Hi all,

Sorry, but I had not looked at it today. Previous blogs by her started with "I AM IN NO WAY ENDORSING EITHER PLAYER, BUT..."

My Bad.

Item #1 on the Kramnik Presss Release:

"I inform that I am ready to proceed playing the match by reserving all my rights. My further participation will be subject to the condition to clarify my rights regarding game five at later stage."

Does this mean to say that FIDE (read: Kirsan The Destroyer of Chess) agrees to review the legality of the forfeit of G5 by Kramnik 'at a later stage.'?

Hard to think everything is comfy-cozy in ElistaLand...

"Rather shocking fall from grace for Topalov - he was the most exciting top player in chess a week ago. Now he's the most hated."

Actually he is still the most exciting...

Two (from Psychology 101) reasons why he is hated now:
1) People like to side with the guy who looks like he is going to win
2) Chessbase published his pic when he smiled as he received the point (Smiling does not always mean being happy).

If only he had used some glycerine and sobbed while taking that score sheet or won one of the two games he should have....

Another note:

There is a scheduled day off between G6 and G7. I assume they are sticking to this, and playing G7 on Wednesday?

I also think they will delay the ruling on G5 until the very end, to avoid it if at all possible.

I am saying both Topalov and Kramnik are grown men. If someone were to say something along the lines of "Kramnik isn't to blame for this its his agent Hensel" I would have the same reaction.

Once I know the bathrooms have been inspected and no one can bring anything in there for him to cheat with, I have absolutely no curiosity as to what he does in there.

What's amazing is not that Topalov's side would argue over bathrooms, that FIDE would listen or that Kramnik would refuse to play. What's amazing is after FIDE admitted they were wrong by giving in to virtually each of Kramnik's requests including the dismissal of committee that made the original decision they would still allow "Game 5" to stand. The elaborate analogy of this would be for a man who gets charged with a crime, convicted by a court and his assets seized. The court's decision is then overturned, the court found corrupt and all judges fired, the charges dismissed, the man freed and . . . the state keeps the assets.

Sometimes I wonder if this d is Danailov himself. d wake up and accept the reality of Topalov's miserable position right now.

I guess I was wrong about Susan Polgar. Or maybe she read what I said a few days ago ;-)

GM Kotronias had some nasty comments about Kramnik in ICC audience. Anyone knows why?


IF Kramnik wants to cheat in there, of course he can. The Russians are convinced Topalov cheats, so why, in principle, should the Russian authorities not help Kramnik?

The point is that Kramnik has created a private space out of control of any inspection during the game.

Ryan, no martinis before breakfast please, just stick to your prescribed tablet

‘The point is that Kramnik has created a private space out of control of any inspection during the game’.

On the contrary, the point is that both players contracted that each of them would have a private space out of control of any inspection during the game, and that one of the players would now like to change that agreement.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 2, 2006 2:47 AM.

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