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Kramnik-Topalov g10

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Game 10 here, Kramnik with white, two losses in a row and a one-point deficit. If Kramnik plays as poorly as he did yesterday this is going to turn into a rout. Topalov needs to win another game to be the rightful victor in the eyes of most, although there is no doubt he has played more powerful chess by far. Of course it's points that matter, not beauty points or brownie points. And even if Topalov wins the next three games many might say it's because Kramnik was so distracted by all of the Topalov camp's antics and accusations. Perhaps, but dealing with such things, being able to ignore them, has always been part of these matches.

But let's not count our champions before they hatch. Plenty of chess still to play. Game 9 press conference here. It includes this immortal wisdom from Topalov, "If one forgets the score, it is obvious that the initiative was mine during the whole match." I suppose that's what I was saying above, if a little less positively.

Man, Topalov's banging out his moves again and is already up almost 30 minutes after a dozen moves. Again. His opening preparation in this match has been unreal. Kramnik did a good job of playing well to equalize in games 4,6,7, but overall it's been all Topalov novelties with both colors. Actually Topalov's been busting out novelties all over for the past year or so.

Update: And sometimes a pawn is a pawn! Kramnik wins game 10 to even the match at 5-5. Three decisive games in a row! Kramnik snagged a pawn and this time Topalov couldn't get enough compensation, or get the pawn back. White won the exchange and stayed precise through time trouble to take the full point. Not dead yet!

Update 2: My initial impression that Topalov had played exceedingly quickly and loosely, followed by a horrible blunder and a hopeless endgame, was somewhat refuted by Garry Kasparov. He's a fan of Kramnik's play in game ten, complimenting White's opening and saying Topalov's position was already quite poor before he lit his hair on fire with 24..f6. Garry added he had no idea why Kramnik declined to exchange queens on move 34 or why Topalov then allowed the queens to be forced off on a few moves later. 36..Qd4 could at least reserved a few tricks for time trouble.

Garry was an invitee at the New Yorker Festival yesteday in a discussion with the hallowed magazine's editor - and Russia expert - David Remnick. Good stuff, a decent amount of chess (the usual Fischer and Deep Blue) at the start and some thoughts on Kramnik-Topalov at the end thanks to a question from the audience from GM Pascal Charbonneau (a Black Belt contributor, dontcha know). I recorded the whole thing but quality wasn't optimal. I'll have a separate item on it up later today and maybe a sound file.


Go Topalov - Kramnik hasn't won in 8 games!

1. d4 Nf6

Kramnik must be a bit surprised seeing that after a barrage of QGD's

Now play fast like the past 2 days keeping krapnik off of his unsupervised potty and losing!

Even if Topalov wins he's a creep.........

I hope Topalov gives krapnik a taste of his own medicine.

Go potty 934 times a game.

In krapnik style, draw the remaning 3 games.

Win by the 1 point from krapniks childish forfeit and throw it in his face as he takes the title!

That would be perfect.

after 17 moves, i dont see how topa is going to get an attack or complicate things... because he usually seems to win with a mating attack... hope can find a way to win... and sac an exchange enroute

Looks kind of drawish at the moment but the board is opening up and Topa won the bishop pair and kramnik has a bad bishop but a strong knight. Lets see what happens next.

Nc3 looks like topalov is about to lose a pawn on b5 or d5!

Terrell Owens, John McEnroe, and Barry Bonds are 3 stars whose unsportmanlike actions ignited fan passions. Could Topalov/Danilov do that for chess? It seems like this championship has created more web hits/comments than any other. People love a controversy and this certainly fits the bill. Potential sponsors will be afraid of the circus but would have to consider fan passion and interest as well

I agree with Mike. I mentioned the world championship at work and not one person cares. Soon as it hit the news with pottygate people were talking about it.

Controversy draws attention. Look back in the Fischer days. Look at any other sport as mike has pointed out.

Without the controversy "John Doe" doesn't give a rats @ss about chess.

Oh Topa, be mercifull and let that crying pupil Kramnik to go to the toilet. Play slower moves! :D


wow I'd have played Bxb5. That knight fork at d7 is not to be messed with. I hope topa sees something I don't or this is going to be a kill.

he should be playing for the draw and holding on for his next white

Topalov is in MAJOR trouble, two pawns down and uncoordinated pieces with Kramnik all over the center @ move 27

I wonder which version of Rybka gave Topalov 24...f6? ;-)

Can anyone verify the clock-times? (am watching on ICC). Topalov seems to be playing unusually fast. though if f6 turns out to be the clunker everyone is saying it is, then maybe not the best idea.

WOW did Kramnik just give up MAJOR initiative with 29. Rd1? - wow did he just help out topalov!

Topalov has been playing very fast. Very similar to Karpov in 1978 when he would blitz Korchnoi in their match. Karpov would play good moves fast, Korchnoi would play great moves slow. (It does take more time to find great moves.) Korchnoi would get good positions, then all would hang in a time scramble to move 40.

Anand used to play very fast, which put additional pressure on his opponenets.

I read it as Rd1? not Re1 - toppy needs to throw in the towel soon I think!

wg doesn't have a clue - I've been following in Rybka and its KRAMNIK who's been playing rybka moves today not topalov!

"Wow did Kramnik just give up MAJOR initiative with 29.Rd1?"

No, he didn't. Kramnik didn't play 29.Rd1, but decided instead on the more aggressive 29.Re1.

Kramnik just doesn't want to push the f-pawn now does he?

He shouldn't get to time trouble this often.


Looks like you got the exchange sac you were looking for! lol.

Its all over but the resignation. What a game.

Looks like Kramnik's simplified it down to an endgame win, assuming he gets to the 40 mark without a blunder.

Its like watching the game yesterday all over again - a blowout

- f6?? Terrible. Another unforced blunder from Topalov. Instead after - Bxb5 the position was practically even.

Gee, I was saying that Kramnik can come back, that he has nerves of steel, that he will not go down etc. without actually meaning it... now I'm a believer! He really has it in him, it seems.

Looks like mach is 3 wins for Krammy vs 2 for topolov. Exciting!

You don't understand. Topalov can easily afford to lose this game, and win the last two with the built-in computer in his shoe.
You people haven't the slightest idea about proper disctracting match strategy.

And then after claiming his victory prize, he can pull a helicopter rotor out of his butt and take off.

1-0 Kramnik back in the match!

Tied Match - very exciting - each have one white left!

What a strange match this has been. Neither of them deserve to win it. I think most players in the top 10 would have beaten either player if they played like this. Kramnik's three wins have been presented to him, otherwise he hasn't looked like winning.

God is alive!

My wish is coming true (see my post last night on game 9 blog towards the end). I want Kramnik to tie the match after game 11 and then walk out if the forfeit is not over turned.

Mig: immortal wisdom from Topalov, "If one forgets the score, it is obvious that the initiative was mine during the whole match."

Well that eternal wisdom was short-lived, since (for the first time in the match) Kramnik outplayed Topalov, pressing him into difficult positions where he would need patience and defensive skills, until the Bulgarian lost it and blundered.

I think its wrong to be too critical of the errors ("neither of them deserve to win it" - Spud) its all about nerves now. Topalov got a position he didn't like and blitzed out a lot of rubbish, Kramnik had to hold himself together. Who is the tougher player is the question now, along with the novelties they've prepared for the match. We have a rest day, can we expect another press release?

It seems he's not called the iceman for nothing.

If Danailov dares to put forth another press release / psycho warfare cheap shot, he should be shiped from Elista and banned from chess competitions for at least a year !

Wonderful!! Now the question is, was this more pleasing than yesterday was depressing? I honestly thought Kramnik was done. Yesterday saw all signs of a psychological collapse.

Well lack of shame hasn't prevented him before. Also I was following the game with Fritz. Kramnik made a lot of extremely human decisions in this game I think almost any computer program would have a low match with how he chose to exploit his advantage. So I guess they'll have to try something new. Perhaps Kramnik spent too long at the board this time.

Topalov is playing blitz to keep Kramnik out of the restroom. He believes he is forced to play blitz for this reason. Well he finally miscalculated with f6.

Crazy match. Next 2 games will be intense.

Kramnik turned the tables with the initiative today. Good to see a little fight from Kramnik.

Best result as far a match is concerned. All the talk about Kramnik being psychologically broken from the controversies will cease. The impact of Danailov protests will die down a bit. The possibility of Kramnik wanting the match overturned or walking out before game 12 has decreased.

The only issue is what happens in the event of a tie?

Yeah, now we can just wait for Danailov's next move. My guess is that he will raise the issue of Kramnik's toilet visits once more.

I am amazed to find myself in this position, but I hope that Kramnik can extract 1.5 out of the final two games. Before the match I was a Topalov fan, but after Topalov's unsportsman-like conduct I can only root for Kramnik. Go Vladimir Borisovich! May Caissa bless your final footsteps.

Extremely valuable win for Kramnik. Shows that this match has its own dynamic of flows and ebbs and things will be fought to the last second.


What happens if there's a tie?

It's obvious. Mig will publish a picture of sisters kissing. And all of us will be deeply offended.

It was rude of Topalov not to resign well before he did. He may be a great (if erratic) player, but as a person he sure isn't making it easy to like him.

What will happen in the event of an official tie? Well, I wager that Topa won't accept to (re)play Game 5 and Kramnik won't accept to play tiebreaks? So we would end up with a big mess, and only one possible (positive) outcome : a rematch. Is Keene already preparing his bid?? ;-))

Let's hope that Kramnik wins another game, or that Topa wins BOTH games...

How exciting this match would truly be if Topalov had acted like a professional through-out, and we had a tied score with two games to go. Instead team Topalov has put their own personal brand of stink on what otherwise would be a great match. I just wonder what kind of BS they will pull after today's loss?!

World Champion? Either of them? Jeez. Come back, Garry.

World Champion? Either of them? Jeez. Come back, Garry.

Umm, Kramnik is the current classical world champion. He beat Kasparov.
Fanboys are depressing.

I guess I hope Kramnik will take it this time, and that someone like Magnus Carlsen will come up and overtake him before long.

Amazing. It's impossible to imagine what Topalov was thinking with 24...f6?? His other two blunders one could understand, but this was surreal. You wonder what he thought was going to happen.

I was very surprised he went for the Catalan again, too. You'd think both the match situation and his instincts would have demanded another Meran.

On the bright side, (apart from the obvious fact that maybe Kramnik's going to be the hero after all, although I still make Topalov a big favourite from here), it also increases the chances of seeing an interesting lawsuit for us lawyers. Such a pity it's not under English law: I'd take a week's holiday to see the likes of Macro and Azmai being cross-examined in front of a judge of the Chanceery Division.

Oh, and a big shout to GM Nataf on ICC. When he saw 10 f4 yesterday he said 'this looks like Onischuk or Vallejo. It's their style.' and now Topalov tells us in the conference it was Vallejo's idea.

Interesting, actually - it hadn't occurred to me before but don't Vallejo and Kramnik both play for NAO?! Right guys, wrong tenses, I rather suspect.

The funny thing about a rematch is that it has now become quite an intriguing prospect for the following reasons:

(1) Whatever the score after Game 12, it will not be a landslide one way or the other.
(2) There is all likelihood that the actual result will be in dispute (unless Kramnik wins).
(3) These players now have a "history" between them (i.e. a bit like Fischer-Spassky, Karpov-Korchnoi or Kasparov-Karpov).

In these circumstances, who would not be curious to see another match? Just please keep Keane out of it.

One thing's for sure, we didn't get our "one positional master piece and 11 "boring" draws"...

Neither of the last two games seemed up to pre-1991 WC standards. Kramnik gave up too soon in Game 9 and Topalov gave up too soon in Game 10. The Game 11 game plan seems obvious : since Topalov has pressure to prove that he doesn't need FIDE to win, Kramnik will try to create a position where winning attempts are risky. Since Topalov has seen this rope-a-dope before, and even pulled a reversal that worked for him in game 9, he'll search for an opening in which Kramnik may misjudge the risk level. It will be over by move 25 or sooner.

wher is the topalov fans?? they were posting every min the last 2 days may be they r drunk or something

where are the topalov fans?? they were posting every min the last 2 days may be they r drunk or something

Instead of seeing percentages of the moves that match those of computers, I'd be more interested in the percentage of Bulgarian posters on this blog.

For example in the comments to a hot item a month ago, to game 1, 5, 9 and 10.

I'd bet something that all the topalov fans that posted in the last 2 days were the same person. A lot of the posts had a similar style.

After the match our agents will secure Topalov and question him at Guantanamo Bay.

President G. W. Bush

The Topalov fans ar here and try to stay objective. Today Kramnik did the schooling. He obviously can play when challenged hard. That's good for chess.


This instance of Schadenfreude is too good to pass up: Topalov's new anti-toilet strategy backfires as he plays "quickly, confidently and strongly" (Topalov, press conference game 9) -- and blitzes out a horrific blunder. Who needs the toilet now?


here i am

want something to ask me?

Oscar & skeptic:

Do you want to know the percent of russian bloggers too?

'Watch my finger! Keep watching it as it goes back and forth before your eyes. When I touch your nose, you will be in deep trance, and play f6."

Ooops. That was supposed to go somewhere else :)

Guess Topalov's computer program isn't stronger than Kramnik's computer program after all.

nothing, i was just missing u ,dude

Topalov made an error allowing the Catalan today a bit of overconfidence perhaps. My guess is he mis-calculated with f6 and was a victim of his quick move tactic - great when your in your prep which he wasnt on this occasion.

It has built up to a superb finale - if there are 2 more draws I see no reason for Kramnik to play the tie breaks (except for being sure of getting his money perhaps!) Unless he loses both games Kramnik will not be seen to have "lost" the match now. Without 2 wins by Topalov I cannot see any objective person recognising Topalov as World Chess Champion.

By ordering the closure of the toilets Mr Kalmykia
(and it was ultimately his decision make no mistake) has created a situation where the 2 players will walk off with $500,000 each and there will be no unified World Chess Champion. Well done Kirsan! This kind of dictatorial style works great ruling a tiny russina republic not so good for a chess match though is it. What a twit you are.

As for the match play its curious it all seems to depend on Topalov getting a good advantage from the opening or staying in his preperation (usually the same thing)

Everything is on the next game (if Kramnik is determined to draw with white I do not think this can be prevented)- how will Kramnik defend against d4? - definitely not a slav my bet is QGA if necessary facing the e4 lines. So will topalov have the guts to play 1.e4? - he may as well go for it.

For the first time we see real Kramnik in this match. Series of logical moves to refute Topalov's adventures. Hope he keeps the level in last two games.

"Gee, I was saying that Kramnik can come back, that he has nerves of steel, that he will not go down etc. without actually meaning it... now I'm a believer!"

Me too :)

'My guess is he miscalculated with ....f6'.

No sh*t, Sherlock, as we say in the UK.

It would be tremendously dramatic if we saw 1 e4 on Tuesday, but I don't think we will. I'd guess the same first four moves and then 4....e6. Then the QGA again if necessary; Topalov's novelty in game 7 looked like a one-move shot to me.

Interesting that we've not seen any of the sort of theoretical duels that were a feature of past matches, with the players refining a particular opening line with new moves found by their seconds in between games. I guess it's a sign of the times: a mere couple of days are not enough, and you just have to try and catch the opponent out. Because of computers people have to have wider repertoires these days? Something like that. Slightly strange really - in Kramnik's position now the one thing he really must not do is run into more devastating prep, and you'd think there was more chance of that if he keeps switching. I'm surprised we've not seen the orthodox QGD from him - maybe this time? Of course he has bad memories from the Leko match, and Topalov will play Bf4 again, presuambly.

Somehow our collective paranoia seems to be historically determined by new technologies we don't quite understand: is it a minicomputer in Kramnik's shoes or a bomb in Richard Reid's?

Perhaps someone is using the john to mix the explosive liquids "pee-pee" and "poo-poo." You won't find that TN in the next Informant.

On rare occasions, bad people may blow something up, and Grandmasters may cheat. We should take reasonable precautions, but we shouldn't change our previous operating assumptions--that people are (generally) good and Grandmasters (generally) don't cheat.

Go Vlad! The politics of the match aside, it's great to see both players tearing eachother's guts out. This match is truly a trial by fire for both players.

Bill Brock said: "On rare occasions, bad people may blow something up, and Grandmasters may cheat. We should take reasonable precautions, but we shouldn't change our previous operating assumptions--that people are (generally) good and Grandmasters (generally) don't cheat."
I don't usually quote Ronald Reagan but I like one thing he said: "Trust but verify."

I think the probability of a violation as well as the damage it can do should determine how "paranoid" we should be.

In terms of chess, the ultimate catastrophe is that a loser turns into a winner because of cheating. So if there is a reasonable probability that could happen, measures should be taken to prevent it. The extent of those measures depend on how well they are designed (well designed ones may not seem onerous; again I suggest that the players must leave their shoes "at the door" and wear slippers) and how important the result of the game is.

Once we figure out an acceptable format, it will become the standard way that OTB chess is played. We're in a learning phase now, figuring out how to preserve the game of otb chess in the information age.

David Quinn, you actually cited a many hundread-years old Russian saying. I'm wondering where Reagan picked it up.

Dunno, I had never heard that before! Here in the USA we just think Reagan said it. Tell me how to pronounce it in Russian (the standard anglicized Russian) so I can impress my Russian friends!

Доверя́й, но проверя́й

Reagan actually said it in Russian before translating into English.

A couple of points have just occurred to me.

This is the event that has brought it home to me that computer cheating is a real live issue amongst the top players. I don't think there is any at the moment (at the very top) but people are going to accuse each other of cheating that way from now on and I'm sure someone will be desperate enough to try it at some point.

So this leads to the second point, what to do about it. The Association of Chess Professionals and FIDE have to get together and come up with some reasonable rules. I guess one of the first things will be that not only will it be an offense to have a mobile phone go off during a game, it will be an offense to carry one into the tournament hall at all. That goes for all electronic equipment, PDAs etc. They will have to be a whole set of rules that satisfys the players that its impossible.

What I don't think we can have is the participants calling their opponents, its the arbiters and match (and pretty soon tournament) officials that will have to do this otherwise there will be anarchy.

Well, Reagan said "trust but verify" on one of the summits with Gorbachev. I believe it was in the context of sending inspectors to each country so that both were sure that they fulfill the agreements reached on limitations of nuclear arsenals. Reagan used this old Russian proverb to supposedly show he knew something about Russian culture or whatever. I believe the original phrase of Reagan may have actually bean in Russian, which can roughly be transliterated as "doveryai, no proveryai" (both verbs actually rhime with english "verify", if you are not sure how to pronounce those).


Doveryay, no proveryay

To do your Reagan impression, emphasize the rhyme. Vowel sound at the end (per Reagan) is closer to English "aye" than English "yea"

I have no Russian, so correct my errors....

Wonder what Topa said about his f6 move at the press conference. So horrible. No time pressure. Bxb5 so natural and good. Can't understand it. The world nr 1 should not do such a thing at this utmost important game. Nerves getting to him.

2 games to go, and perhaps Kramnik handles the pressure better? Topalov must stop to self-destruct.

Amusing Bulgarian news bulletin:

RTR: Kramnik Wins, Result Equal
8 October 2006 | 19:12 | FOCUS News Agency

Elista. The Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik managed to win a game vs. the Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in the World Chess Championship Match in Elista. After an interesting start Kramnik took the initiative and managed to take advantage on his opponent’s errors, who was left with no material, gradually leading the game to a win, the Russian TV channel RTR reports.

Topalov was forced to give up at move 43 even though he could have done it ten moves earlier.


Unsurprisingly, Topa's smug, triumphalist website just publishes the game without commentary:


And of course, the laughable FIDE website still hasn't either audio files or transcripts of the press conferences.

that veselin site is a fan site not an official site like kramnik's is.

The one thing I wish Fischer was able to change was the elimination of the draws. Either they do not count, or draw offers do not count and its played out to a positional draw [e.g. insufficient material etc].

This would bring fighting chess into every single game.

It would mean Kramnik Kasparov was 2-0 and the match continue etc.

An offered draw is as dumb as a major league baseball team offering the opponent a draw. Bull. Play into overtime until there is a decisive winner.

Chess needs the same thing.

woodpusher, where have you been all these years?
What a novel suggestion! How simple! How wise!

YEAH give us some soundfiles on the NY festival MIG.
We poor Europeans have to miss all that good fun!

why did topalov continue to play in the lost endgame?????? may be Someone should buy Topalov Roman's Basic Chess Endings DvD please.

Topalov can win this easily - simply use the computer in Krapnik's bathroom after each and every move. Just like Krapnik does.

"Doveryay, no proveryay"

OK so the root is veryay (that is the command form, infinitive is verit') and it's a game of prefixes. I don't remember, if I ever knew, what the prefixes do- and pro- mean.

A known young German GM, Dortmund winner and future 2700'er was caught cheating in a playchess on-line tourney. Has there been one fair ICC Dos Hermanas tourney. No. Even two young azeri GMs, one of them two times world junior champion were caught and disqualified 2 years ago. Women World Championship finalist and "chess pin-up model" was caught when "she" logged from two different IP addresses some 150 miles apart. This year a young chinese GM, who famously lost to one of those to accuse Topalov of cheating, first "won" the Dos Hermanas tourney, only later, on the same day, to be banned from the event (every observer knew this would happen because he was blitzing Fritz first choices 11 moves in a row in complex position).

In these on-line tournaments the prize money is "hundreds of dollars". First prize like 1,500 dollars. If they can cheat for these amounts, why wouldn't they cheat for thousands times the money and fame?

You see.. there have been known, and even self-confessed GMs who have been cheating for rating on different chess servers.

Therefore it is not paranoid at ALL to suspect that a potential cheating problem does exist in top level chess.

Was it GM Nigel Short who was first to mention coded messages and a small pulsating digital radio receiver (or some such) as a potential method of cheating. You could even have it under your skin. In your shoe. Hidden from the metal detectors. Silently vibrating the recommendations against your skin. In cryptic code. You need a trusted aide, who gets the moves on-line and then "phones" (sorry my poor English, but you get the picture) Fritz recommendation to the player. I am not sure if "generating noise" helps to block it, like they are said to be doing in Elista. It is not easy to block digital. Getting such cheating system to work wouldn't cost that much, and wouldn't require much training or skill. And the prize can be hundreds of thousands of dollars and world wide fame in the chess world. Not paranoid at all, unfortunately.

And technology will only move forward and cheating can become even more sophisticated.

(sorry for the caps but this is a key question) WHAT WILL THE CHESS WORLD DO IF TECHNOLOGY WILL BECOME SO ADVANCED THAT NO MEASUREMENTS AGAINST CHEATING CAN BE GUARANTEED TO PREVENT IT? It is our future chess players. People are cheating on-line for rating. Why not then for 10,000x more important things? Your answer?

Topalov can win this easily - simply use the computer in Krapnik's bathroom after each and every move. Just like Krapnik does.

are you thinking you're better than Topalov?

dont make me laughing plz

Concerning update 2, I have a feeling that Qd1 forces the exchange of one of the bishops, while in the Qc4 line the bishop pair might survive until the actually resignation

Russki we're 100% in sync in our views on cheating. I believe that actually OTB chess will die from this, unless people are willing to undertake some weird sorts of verification procedures. For the time being, we can get some amount of comfort with less complex measures (removing shoes, inspections and/or monitoring bathrooms, etc.) Indeed digital is hard to jam.

Good stuff in update 2, Mig.

I have to say I am suprised Kasparov considered Topalov's position a suspect even if Topalov didn't play f6. I was watching the game with two programs(shredder and rybka), as well as listening to two ICC commentators (an IM and GM Fedorovich), and it was a consensus that had black (instead of f6) exchanged everything on b5, he would be in relatively safe position with good drawing chances. I hate to disagree with Kasparov (he may be the best chess player in the world these days, considering how freaked out by the World championship/Toiletgate pressure Kramnik and Topalov seem to be), but it seems to me that the more objective view of the game is this: Kramnik played very well, and kept applying pressure, and Topalov was defending very well until he played f6 - and Topalov was one move away from saving the game with b5 exchanges. Even though Kramnik seemed to play pretty much the best moves, Topalov, prior to f6, was finding pretty much the best defensive counters, so in my opinion the game was never really anything other than small advantage white, until f6 move. Black's position was just too solid from the start, and no amount of pressure would win the game had black not blundered. Just my opinion, though. OF course, Kramnik still deserves the credit for applying the pressure.

Just looking at chessbase.com--do you realize that if EITHER Kramnik or Topalov has a career as long as Korchnoi's, he'll be playing chess in 2050?

Relevant link for the computer age:


to sirocco:

and the susanpolgarblog naturally does not announce upcoming analyse with a smile, like the blog did after topa win.

When will Susan finally admit that she darely tries to support Topalov in this blog?

I understand that unethical GMs have cheated in online events; however, it's sporting to assume ethical conduct until evidence to the contrary is provided.

Seems to me that from the beginning, both sides have been....

1) playing at a very high level (except for the weak play by Black in the last two games)

2) consistently making "human" errors--witness Game Two, played at a fantastically high level IMO, but with an exchange of ?? moves and then an exchange of tablebase ? moves.


Two wonderful books on how humans think differently than computers:

Valeri Beim, How to Calculate Chess Tactics

Paata Gaprindashvili, Imagination in Chess: How to Think Creatively and Avoid Foolish Mistakes

You can't judge a book by its title: each encroaches on the other's territory....

There is one way to assure that players are not cheating: Just put them in a Farraday'schen cage. If lightning with a few million volts can't harm (=reach) them, no radio signal will be able to either. So have a playing area, including rest rooms etc. shielded off and make the windows one-way only. Sweep rest rooms and playing area for electronical devices before the game and only players/chief arbiter may enter the shielded area.

Pretty simple, actually..

that's a little soft putting them in the cage.

i was thinking more draconian like naked and underwater wearing scuba gear in the dark playing blindfold

Well, I was being serious,


you weren't...

Regarding The New Yorker, I would like to tell you that I recently acquired the complete New Yorker on DVDs. There is more chess stuff there than you might expect, going back to New York 1927. Also an article that informs us that Pandolfini has earned USD 250 000 as a teacher of chess*, several articles with extremely confused facts, and - of course - George Steiner's magisterial (as always) "Fields of Force" on Spassky-Fischer 1972.

*This irks me. He was the chess consultant for the book "The Queen's Gambit" by Walter Tevis, and got just about everything wrong you could get wrong. Get the book if you want a good laugh and have someone you hate you can sell it to later.

Stupid question: why is an airplane a Faraday cage WRT lightning, but not to a cell phone signal?


the lightning from the outside "flows" across the airplane's hull. It doesn't "want" to go inside, so to speak. The cell phone's signal, on the other hand, "want's" to get out. It transmitts through the windows (those are the only non-metallic parts. They indeed can't transmit through metal (try to call someone in a all-metal evelator). And it can do that because it's wave lenght is small enough.

In the future, they'll have mini "hot-spots" in the plane that relays the cell phone's signal via an antenna on the outside of the plane.

And I will be interested whether my jammer can confound them...
(Nah, I don't use it on planes, just joking)

windows - ahh - thanks

I hope it's clear to everyone now why I dropped out of MIT...

The reasoning "people cheat in online events therefore they are MUCH MORE LIKELY to cheat in WC events" is specious.

Online events make it ridiculously easy to cheat. Nobody can you see you. You could be collaborating with two GMs and three Fritzes, and no one would be the wiser (unless they go to great lengths to compare your moves to Fritz', etc.)

Such cheating is much harder to pull off in person. It would also require strong nerves and much more logistical preparation. Also, being caught in person (and in a WC, especially) would be _much_ more embarrassing. There's much more of a psychological deterrent when you're there physically.

It's online play that I wouldn't trust, not OTB.

Albrecht von der Lieth said:
"...the lightning from the outside "flows" across the airplane's hull. It doesn't "want" to go inside, so to speak. The cell phone's signal, on the other hand, "want's" to get out. It transmitts through the windows (those are the only non-metallic parts. They indeed can't transmit through metal (try to call someone in a all-metal evelator). And it can do that because it's wave lenght is small enough."

The most relevant question is: can an external cell phone signal find its way into such an airplane thru the small available spaces like windows. It's not about "desire", unless that is interpreted as voltage difference or field strength I suppose. Since I think two-way acknowledgement must be required to set up a cell phone call, apparently that digital signal can penetrate into the plane.

So carrying the analogy further, a digital signal might penetrate a Faraday cage. The high-frequency components would be the hardest to mask as they would penetrate a cage with big spaces between conductors.

But an adequate Faraday cage is probably the right approach. It's much better than active jamming, which could even be hazardous to the health of those within the jamming zone, unless the jamming field strength is too low to be useful.

I would expect such security measures to be built into the playing hall in "Chess City". I was quite disappointed to find that there was nothing special about this special-purpose facility.

macuga wrote:
"cheating is much harder to pull off in person. It would also require strong nerves and much more logistical preparation."
Strong nerves and thorough preparation .. typical characteristics of top chess players!

Just wait till quantum computing becomes practical: the players can seek analytical help from their favorite beverage.

Diet Fritz?

It is now clear that Kramnik isn't going to be able to put up much of a fight against Deep Fritz in November/December. Not a slight against Kramnik, but rather that the 'lines have crossed' on a graph of human strength versus computer strength. I don't think that there is any human who can play error-free chess game after game after game, as we can see from this match. It's time we recognized the fact that the top computers are simply stronger than humans. We can learn to live with it.

"We can learn to live with it." [that computers are stronger].

I'd wager to say we have no choice but to live with it! However they are very educational in this aspect. Invaluable for practicing openings [try a crazy move w/pc set to max and you're dropping material in the opening], or end games especially w/tablebases.

However I agree with your assessment that Kramnik is toast against deep fritz.

Moreover I say that topalov and kramnik are pretty equal players. This match shows it. Some days they draw, some days topa can't be stopped. Some days kramniks defense is rock solid.

My layman view after looking at the game again is that simply Kramnik
did the Topalov thing today -- well prepared opening designed to give
advantage and a strong line.

As far as Topalov's blunders, it's a worn out news by now. If he
insists on playing fast like Machine Gun Kelley then he'll make
them. Blunders are part of the game. They count in the score.

Let's see what they'll come out of the sleeves int he last two games...
I have the feeling, one way or another it will not come to lawyers.


ComputoJon, I completely agree.

ComputoJon: I don't agree that computers are already much stronger than humans. I still think humanity can put up a decent fight. I think the impression many get is just because Fritz or some other engine immediately notices Kramnik's or Topalov's inaccuracies or outright blunders, it means they are stronger. But whatever humans lack in tactics, they make up in knowledge, pattern recognition and other such things that are also known as positional understanding. Just as computer can immediately notice a grandmaster's blunder, the grandmaster notices a horrible positional decision that is suggested/played by a computer.

However, Kramnik (or whoever will play the machines in the future) has to be smart about how they approach the games. Obviously, if Kramnik plays Fritz the way he and Topalov play one another, he is going to get destroyed. But if he adopts some anti-computer strategies, he can be very difficult to beat. Thing is, both Topalov and Kramnik(depending on who is behind on the scoreboard) take risks to beat one another, but risks would be punished by a chess program. On the other hand, if Kramnik plays solid positional chess, and keeps the positions slow, closed and strategic, he will have an excellent shot of Fritz making strategic blunders.

I think human players still have quite some time ahead of them where they will be competitive. As long as the machines have no clue of strategy and plans, and are all tactics, humans will always have a shot, since the 1 or 2 or 3 ply deeper search will not really matter that much if computers' positional understanding doesn't improve. But if, on the other hand, the computers will begin to use a more humanlike approach in their "thinking" about chess, and will start to make plans and such, they may surpass top humans quicker. I think Rybka engine may have been a breakthrough in that direction and we will have to wait and see where that goes. But against Fritz, I think Kramnik will have excellent chances. I think a match Kramnik-Rybka would be a much more interesting one, though.

Computers vs. humans: a subject I've been at the center of flame wars on Dirt a number of times in the past. So I'll jump in now.

I have no great interest in how Kramnik will do against Deep Fritz. I do think that the results of Hydra (not only vs. Adams, but vs all the top GMs in the annual Men vs Machines events held for the past few years) and Rybka prove that yes, the "lines have crossed", meaning the very strongest computers can convincingly and consistently beat the very strongest humans, even at the slowest OTB time controls. (Though I still consider it an open question whether that would be true with correspondence-chess time controls of a few days per move -- as proposed by Correspondence GM Arno Nickel in a widely read article some years ago.)

What matters far more than whether humans or computers are competitively stronger is, what significance does it have for how we humans (and here I mean both amateurs and GMs) play and study chess?

That's where I break company with the above comment from "computers." I don't think humans have all that much to learn from computers, even though the latter are stronger than we are in head-to-head competition. Computers' strength is inherently computers' strength -- computation, that is, deep tactical calculation -- and is by definition something humans cannot learn to mimic, no matter how intensely we study it.

Of course, most players (even WC candidates??) can sharpen their tactical insight through various exercises. But does that mean they can ever learn to achieve computer-like depth of calculation simply by studying how computers play? Phrase the question that way, which I think is fair and objective, and it simply answers itself: No.

The sort of opening prep that "computers" describes in his comment above is simple blunder-checking. Computers make opening prep more efficient by allowing blunder-checking to be done more quickly; but I don't see any true "learning" going on from this sort of thing. The computer is simply a study aide; not a teacher in any sense of the word.

That's even clearer in the case of tablebases. Practicing endgames against a computer with a tablebase may be useful, but no more or no less than practicing with an old-fashioned endgame book that was thorougly revised and corrected so that it gave only the best moves. In theory, such tablebases (or at least, pieces of them) could be constructed by a team of human analysts, working together to check each possible branch of the variation tree, without computers.

My point in saying all this is to explain how it can be that the top engines' individual move recommendations sometimes/often are objectively weaker than the first choices of strong humans -- notwithstanding that the engine could beat the human 9 games out of 10 or thereabouts, in a head-to-head match. That was the sort of observation that got me flamed by two or three know-nothings on some previous threads here.

there once was a Bulgarian who would attack
now psychology used so his foe will crack
the great defender lost his wit
games 8 & 9 down the toilet
but to his horror in game 10, Vlad was back

Humans cannot learn to calculate as well as computers. One can mimic some of the style but not the sheer speed and depth of computer analysis.

Computers show us painlessly many more good chess moves and games than we could have seen before. Therefore we get more experience. I think that computers have helped revise positional strategy. We see some parts of received theory that work and others that don't. Seeing hundreds and thousands of revisions in individual opening lines and even middle game variations, we learn to play a bit differently. And especially if we drill against computers, we become more consistent players.

I guess I would say that computers make chess theory more scientific and less superstitious. Is that a good thing? Would we have gotten long-winded and highly opinionated books like "My System" and "Pawn Power" if Nimzo and Kmoch used computer programs? Some superstition is maybe a good thing, for those books and their clear lessons might not have been written, but the lessons of those books seem to have held up. I think chess strategy has changed, but has anyone figured out enough to write a book with the new lessons?

So many wins... this is great thing for chess!

I don't care if Kramnik wins this, if he plays great chess like he could play. I think they both deserve to win this.

I have to admit that Kramnik has Kasparov-like ability to win-on-demand. It is like he doesn't have to use everything he has in most of his games because of his playing style.

This makes me wonder if Kramnik is more like poker player, who does not want the other player to know how good his hand really is. He just raises the bet just a little bit to see if the other guy follows.

it's always taken as obvious that computers will inevitably out-calculate humans. But given the complexity of the human brain, with its billions of neurons, this is perhaps surprising. One often hears of people who can factor 15-digit numbers in their head in a few seconds and other such feats. So the potential is there for the brain to accomplish amazing things, it's just a matter of harnessing this ability. I wonder if it's possible for average people to somehow apply there brains efficiently in this way.

any thoughts?

A simple explaination of black's move 24 is that they transmitted 24....Nf6 and he understood 24....f6 :-))


Topalov interview from Saturday's Trud magazine distributed by Silvio Danailov.

From the Prime Minister of Bulgaria's Letter to Iljumdzinov:
"I sincerely hope to see all games of the match played. They deserve global attention, but not due to the reasons that could raise doubts about reputation of the ancient game and professionalism of the players."
(October 6th)

Does that imply that he votes for a replay of Game 5? Or am I misinterpreting?


That Topalov interview, I mean. The bar just got lower again.

Surely something has to be done to stop this sort of stuff appeaing during the match, doesn't it?

Yeah it's Kramnik who is playing off the board games, and it's Kramnik who is thinking only of his personal financial interests. That interview by Topalov is just insulting and ludicrous and casts aside doubts, whether he is aware of what Danailov is doing. He just says the most unbelieveable things. Calling chessbase a disgrace for such a civilized country as Germany etc.

And this is his take on the 5th "game":

" -I believe that my manager Silvio Danailov did an extraordinary job and won all the legal battles outside the board quite convincingly, and in the enemy field, too. Now it is my turn to do the same on the chess board."

Sounds triumphant and happy, that he was awarded a free point. And looked like it too (having just signed the score sheet of the 5th game): http://www.worldchess2006.com/img/g5-028.jpg that smug smile will remain in chess history.


The open letter by Bulgarian's Prime Minister is very interesting. I cannot interpret it in any other way than that he wants the 5th game to be re-played. Probably Alexander Zhukov's been on the phone to him you'd think.

I’m sure it meant ‘I hope the match will finish rather than Kramnik refusing to play and our hero winning the whole match by forfeit’, and was intended to demonstrate how sporting he was hoping for the great Bulgar to win over the board rather than by Kramnik abandoning the match.

If he thought Topalov ought to play game five, you’d think he could have said so.

Come to think of it, actually, the timing is against this interpretation, since it was written last Friday, that is before game nine and after game eight. Who knows, maybe Bulgaria’s President is a sportsman after all?

Maybe some of our Bulgarian friends can cast more light.

Funny how before the match Topalov called Elista "FIDE territory" and that's why he didn't have a problem with it. FIDE rewarding his dirty tricks and awarding him a free point would definitely, one thinks, reinforce that view...

I think that interview is a bit scary.

What part of refusal to play = forfeit do you people not understand?

Fischer chose to forfeit a game and took it like a man and still won. He didn't cry over it, whine about it, beg for support, threaten lawsuits - nothing.

Why can't Kramnik accept his idiotic decision like a man and move on w/the games?

Why can't his fans either?

I didn't see Spassky give up the point, nor should Topalov. Rules are rules. Deal with it.

Funster, all that is already cleared up many times in these threads. Take your time and read them. "Rules are rules" work in Kramnik's favor here. It is he who demands that the rules should be adhered to. It was Topalov and FIDE that disrespected them in the first place.

acirce - Have you forgotten that it was Kramnik who first demanded a change to playing conditions by demanding the glass shield after playing conditions were already settled/approved?

Makropoulos says Hensel requested a glass shield, but details beyond that are not provided. He does not say when it was etc. He says it was not "included" in the contract, well, was it excluded? Did the Topalov team disagree with it?

That interview sure brought clarity. I root 100% for Kramnik now.

I root for the better player I don't care what circus sideshow either one of them puts on. Fischer said it best "I don't care about psychology, I care about good moves."

In 100 years from now, replaying the games, people will replay the moves of the victor and not give a hoot about Lasker blowing cigar smoke in his opponents faces or Fischers tantrums or Kramnik playing on the potty.


Kramnik also requested a different set of chess pieces. The ones originally chosen by the organizers were too tall for his taste.

So did he actually breach the contract twice???

Wake up and take the time to read through a bit of the discussion from the previous threads. The glass shields were requested upon the inspection of playing conditions by both teams. Kram requested glass shields, Topalov requested the removal of showers from each rest rooms bathroom. Both changes were agreed upon from both teams at that time. So there's no breach of the contract.

yeah but he requested the glass before the match start and the topalov team approved not after he was down 2-0 beside he did not made press relase that topalov was cheating so we need the glasses also i think its agood idea to stop the noise

Explain the chess pieces by kramnik, its news to me. In following the FIDE site once both players arrived, it said Topalov had a few issues w/lighting and approved board & pieces and carsten hensel agreed w/topalov and that was that.

I never heard Kramnik also demanding new pieces. In fact they are playing with the 'classic' set for DGT which is about the cheapest set made for the dgt that I'm aware of.

Either way, have a prob w/your boss and your employment contract at work - try not showing up to get your way, it won't work.

Kramnik had an issue he didn't like. It was up to him to do exactly what he's doing now. Play under protest.

He thought FIDE would cave in to his demands but he was dead wrong. He should've played under protest.

He didn't choose to remain playing for the good of the sport or please his fans - if he walked he lost 500 grand and Topa would be FIDE champion and there's no PCA/Braingames for Kramnik to take the financially bankrupt "Classical Champ" title with.

Kramnik has nowhere else to go to get paid except Fritz and Chessbase which are endorsements not titles.

There once was a worm named Topalov,
Who threw his lot in with Danailov,
A snake in the grass,
A "champion" without class:
What will it take to make them bugger off?

the funniest thing about topalov fans is that they have no logic at all

Kramnik doesn’t need to get paid. WC matches are not so lucrative. Anand said after the Kasparov match ‘I didn’t make so much. I had expenses also’. Kramnik’s a rich man and he would still have been marketable if he’d walked away.

We tend to concentrate on the locked toilet as FIDE’s most important contractual breach, perhaps because that was the only one Macro felt able to defend at all. The most basic contractual obligation is to provide an unbiased officiating team. Your employment contract analogy is stupid. You wouldn’t play a Champions League match if you found the referee in bed the night before the game with ladies of the night paid for by your opponent, now would you?

Your name’s rather appropriate, funster, because I’m assuming from your views you’re not a serious player. From among the GMs who’ve come out to say Kramnik’s in the right, apart from all the signatories of open letters, I offer you Korchnoi, Karpov, Anand and Speelman. These people know more about close matches and how to behave during them than you do.

I might also add the fact that Gazza hasn’t felt able to outright condemn Kramnik, which you can be sure he would have done if he’d seen the slightest opportunity.

I wonder, if Kramnik wins the next game, will he deem that to be the end of the match, since he leads by two with only one to play? Or will his position be that he leads by two with two to play (the 5th game included). And, of course, in the case of a 6-6 result, K. cannot agree to the play off games.

Likely as not, both will have reason to claim to be World Champion, although it will only benefit K. financially. He, after all, has shown that he is prepared to put the sponsors interests before his own, whereas 'world champion' Topolov would jeopardise any sponsor's interests for his own gain.

500 grand isn't lucrative? Then why did kramnik rush back to play once it was clear the forfeit stands and the match would end?

Because its $500,000.00

You say Kramnik would still be marketable if he walked. Sure. Minus the 500 grand in the pocket.

Also, he's already marketed by DGT, Fritz, Chessbase etc. These are paying sponsors, true. But they are not a Chess organization like FIDE. There is no more PCA etc for his title to mean anything whatsoever as there are no sponsors for any professional circuit except FIDE.

You use names like Karpov (who gladly accepted a title w/o a move played, and defaulted a win against kasparov through FIDE cancelling the match when he was ahead???) pretty funny.

I do agree there are plenty of others on the side of Kramnik. However quantity has never been of greater value than quality. If it were, we'd be studying moves from simuls against kids rather than a select few GM games.

I do not condemn Kramnik at all. My point is simply he willfully chose to forfeit a game in his tantrum thinking he was as important to FIDE as Bobby Fischer was [refusing to play to get their way]. Both of them got slapped with a forfeit.

Even Kramnik recognizes his own idea not to play was idiotic - why else would he be playing now under protest when that's exactly what he should've done for game 5?


What part of that sentence don't you understand???

rdh :

Where have you seen Anand come out in support of Kramnik ?

My respect for Topalov has surely diminished after all this, but so has my respect for Kramnik. To me (and yes folks, this is a personal opinion) he hasnt shed his puppish, petulant image but rather reinforced it with his comments (such as watching football). I am reminded of an infamous comment that Lord Byron made:
"Dear Becher you tell me to mix with mankind,
I cannot deny such a precept is wise;
But retirement accords with the tone of my mind,
I will not descend to a world I despise."
Exactly the image that Kramnik projects to me with his "a painter paints" stuff. And he certainly hasnt dispelled his on the board woes whatever happens in the rest of the match. How I wish Gary had been less stubborn and tested Kramnik in lines where he was less well prepared than the damn Berlin. Toaplov has outplayed Kramnik positionally in unchartered queenless and reduced piece middlegames sufficiently to dispel (in my mind) the aura of invincibility that Kramnik was wont to claim in similar positions after his Berlin shenanighans.

All caps? Surely you have more than that?

Contract didn't specify 2 potties.

Had kramniks AND topalov's toilets broken [e.g. bad plumbing] would they be entitled to say oh playing conditions changed or just use a different potty? Be serious. Toilets are not PLAYING conditions, they are hospitality conditions.

What if they ran out of tea in the hospitality rest room, match should not continue?


Kramnik threw a tantrum thinking "this match is so important to fide they will cave into my unrealstic demands" - he found out he was dead wrong just like bobby fischer did.

What's amazing is that kramnik complained topa's complaint wasn't within the 2hr window of the game or observed behavior [it actually was within 2 hrs of observed behavior because they didn't know it until they saw the tapes]. The punchline is then kramnik didn't file his within 2 hours of game 5!!!

Then all of a sudden that 2hr complaint about topa vanished from kramniks site. And even if it didn't what a hypocrite.

bottom line is kramnik knew his title don't mean squat with no other professional circuit, thought he'd get his way, got a forfeit, and is playing because of 500 grand.

If he had the principles you claim he'd have done 1 of two things:

1. Walk away throwing 500 grand in the trash letting topa claim the whole million and the title -- all out of kramniks magnanimous sportsmanship etc.

2. play game 5 under protest exactly like he's doing now

He did neither. He's not the magnanimous man playing for the benevolence of mankind that you claim he is. topa isn't either. but I'm not claiming he is like everyone is claiming kramnik is.

One thing is clear. In the future a contract will be written a paragraph to the effect that you turn up and play whatever. It would set a terrible precident. What happens if a very mild appeals committee decision goes against you and you're sure its wrong, would you not turn up then? Where is the line? Sponsors of future matches would be entitled to ask such questions.

I support Kramnik right up and until the moment he decided to default game 5. You just don't not play an game over a change in playing conditions like this. It was this act that escalated the dispute to a point where it was not fixable.

If this had taken place in a London theatre as the Kasparov - Kramnik match did with an absolute deadline for a finish it would be clearer. Also there would have been an audience who might have travelled down to watch.

Just think about any other sport, it hardly ever happens, even if you strongly disagree with the decision. The only example I can think of is the England - Pakistan cricket match, Pakistan effectively defaulted. They won their appeal against a decision they felt was wrong and insulting, its still in the record books as a win for England. Its entirely analogous.

Apart from anything else not only are you appealing about a decision against you to be reversed you're also appealing against a loss by default. It puts you in a much worse negotiating position.

I know why they did it, but the fact is it didn't work.

In the hindu - I did have a link (which I sent Mig, actually - not sure of the etiquette about posting links on here) but I'm sure you can google it.

Ok, funster, I give up. If you can’t think of anything besides money, nothing much is going to convince you, and if you think what happened to Kramnik didn’t merit what you call a tantrum, I can only envy your lack of concern for propriety.

As to quality/quantity, I was trying to convey to you precisely that Kramnik had quality on his side, in the form of those who actually understand what it’s like to play a match.

Slightly bizarre references to Karpov accepting the title by default. If you mean 1975, what on earth was meant to happen? Karpov won the candidates cycle, Fischer hadn’t pushed a pawn for three years, was clearly going mad and had refused to play under any sensible conditions. You gotta move on.

I agree with d. Kramnik has shown he is not the powerhouse he believes he is in his own mind. His Berlin was nice against Kasparov but Kasparov's own fault for continuously heading straight into it.

However when Kramnik gets hit with novelties he has a very difficult time (e.g. 10. f4) and admittedly was busted in under 20 moves but felt it inconvenient to resign so early.

Other than yesterdays game when topa blundered f6, topa has clearly steered the match, been better prepared in openings, created winning positions [that he blundered away] etc.

Kramnik plays like an ambulance chasing attorney - his only payday comes when someone else makes a mistake as he cannot create anything on his own.

He has technique but no creativity.

Mark Crowther, exactly right.


if its not about the almighty dollar to kramnik perhaps you can answer those two points I asked about?

Also, why is he playing deep fritz who is a sponsor rather than the best computer programs like rybka or hydra?

Same answer: $

He's not the magnanimous hero you believe him to be. Topalov isn't either. But the difference is I do not believe him to be.


"In 100 years from now, replaying the games, people will replay the moves of the victor and not give a hoot about Lasker blowing cigar smoke in his opponents faces or Fischers tantrums or Kramnik playing on the potty."

Who cares what they'll do in a hundred years, when off-the-board circumstances understandably will have slid from memory? We are watching this now, and some of us happen to care about sportsmanship. But whether you do so is certainly up to you.

Funster, dear heart, you are a moron. I am tired of reading nonsense about the contract by people who haven’t read it (of course none of us has, but hasn’t read what we do know about it).

If you have points to make about the contract then take the trouble to go away and inform yourself first about the facts. I might immodestly suggest that my previous posts on this blog are a good place to start.

Mark C, I’m not sure that’ll work. It’s not easy to write something into contracts which says that if one party is in breach of them the other will not have his remedies. Especially where what is alleged is bias by the officials. Say FIFA wrote such a provision in their contracts, and then a team catches the referee for their forthcoming Champions League match in bed with ladies of the night paid for by their opponent. Would the innocent team really just have to play?!

The obvious solution, frankly, is to appoint match officials who would recognise a propriety if one bit them in the ass. Which brings us back to the basic sponsor problem of FIDE corruption……didn’t we just have an election or something about that?

It would also be desirable if the arbiter were the first port of call. I don’t understand why a protest about behaviour goes to an Appeals Committee first off. If behaviour isn’t contrary to the Laws of Chess, then I don’t see how a protest could ever be necessary.

The regulations need to be fundamentally redrafted; they’re a dog’s breakfast. One obvious move is to provide that no protest shall be valid which is not signed by the player himself and confining the right to make press releases in some way.

Conical flask : interesting but rather difficult question. I read an old article on "idiot savants" in The World of Mathematics. One multiplied by envisioning the area of a field. No consistent methods and few were intelligent enough to describe their methods. Chess seems to be a specialized talent : Reshevsky is very different from Nunn or Lasker (both mathematicians). The field example is more like a one-step or parallel process such as vision, whereas chess computation is sequential with a bushy variation tree, more like hearing, which is naturally slower. My intutiion as a sometime neuroscientist is that computer style chess computation is not really natural to humans. We're good at fuzzy stuff like politics - at least those of us who can pass the "empathy test."

I might have added, Mark C, that an AC is entitled to be wrong. What it is not entitled to do is be biased (not the same in lawyerspeak as merely being hopelessly wrong; a matter of procedure), or to go outside its powers.

funster - I suppose because Deep Fritz have challenged him and he finds it interesting? I’m sure he’d play Rybka if he’s paid. What’s your point? I don’t see how chess fans would benefit any more from Kramnik-Rybka than Kramnik-Deep Fritz.

Thanks to Rednas the Anand interview. Now there's a role model for the chess sport -- a man of integrity, generosity, and grace. Besides, perchance he might teach Topalov how to play fast without blundering like someone who barely knows how the pieces move?


KRAMNIK BREACHED THE CONTRACT by unsportmanlike behavior, distracting opponent, etc. against the rules of chess. Understand??

Publius – more to the point – if this goes on it’s most unlikely we’ll be having world championship matches in a hundred years.

Observer and someone else – Kasparov did try elsewhere four times out of his eight White in London, and got nowhere on any occasion. The fact is Kasparov just played terribly in London for some reason. Kramnik was certainly hugely overpraised for that result, although psychologically undoubtedly it was he who slew the monster when probably noone else could have done.

But if you think Kramnik’s strength is technique and not creativity you are way wide of the mark. He has always been very strong in uncharted waters. Try for example Kasparov-Kramnik in the Meran from 1996/7 (novelty from Kasparov met with unclear piece sacrifice leading to Black win). Losing to one very good piece of prep proves nothing.

You’re right that Topalov has been consistently better prepared. And yet Kramnik leads over the board. Does that suggest anything to you?

Ah yes, fff, evidently Kramnik had guessed that the officials would supply tapes of him relaxing in his private rest room to his opponents, and cunningly kept going into the loo to unsettle Topalov, because he knew Topalov would see it later on the tapes.

It's so obvious now you explain it. In fact I dare say the match officials had conspired with Kramnik beforehand to release the tapes, so that this dastardly trick could work.

Now I see it all.

>>Funster, dear heart, you are a moron. I am tired of reading nonsense about the contract by people who haven’t read it (of course none of us has, but hasn’t read what we do know about it).<<


"When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff" - Marcus Cicero

Clearly he had you in mind with your name calling.

By the way, unlike you, I HAVE read the contract.

"Edumacate" yourself before you speak, here is the link to the contract regulations.


Quoted from Kramnik's post-game 10 press conference: "Indeed, I got used to spending my time in the relaxation room during the WCC games...the air is fresher..."

Gosh, does Topalov resort to not taking a bath to disturb Kramnik?

Kramnik's refusal to play game 5 was a principled decision. He stood up against the corruption and favouritism shown by FIDE. How can Mr. Azmaiparashvili who has personal financial interests tied to the Radjabov match, be on a committee that should be neutral? And how did the Danailov camp get their hands on these tapes in the first place? Who made them aware of the content? That is the first question to be asked. And to day it is still unanswered. And please, let's not compare Chess to cricket or football.

And yes, you should ask the question: Where goes the line? If they had locked his restroom (and not just the toilet) should he still have played?

If as a result FIDE are forced to changed it's policies (for the better), we can only applaud Kramnik for his stance.

Also the question of cheating has now been raised, and need to be addressed. Lot of good (not just bad) could come from this game 5 eventually. Let's hope.

rdh, btw the point about kramnik vs anyone except fritz is exactly the reason you cited - Fritz is the one offering the $.

Kramnik is all about the $ not this magnanmious person who is benefitting mankind.

If he wants to prove he can beat a program, play rybka or hydra. If he wants to make a buck, play any program on earth that offers the most money.

I have nothing against Kramnik trying to get every red cent he can. He should. But people should realize this instead of claiming he's the greatest sportsman on earth. He's not, hes a business man that happens to play chess well.

funster + fff: you win. Satisfied? Now go tell mommy about it.

@do: I would imagine he meants that because of the spotlight etc. the air is sticky on stage. The sweating you see from the guys on stage during a live concert - that's only to _some_ part because they're actually running around etc. It's simply pretty hot up there.

In the case of the champions league scenario you would complain to UEFA and the press but yes you would have to play. Then if the decisions were biased you would appeal against the result.

Yes the Appeals Committee in the final analysis is "entitled" to be wrong. An appeal should have followed the game and the appliance of any legal remedies you might think fit.

I agree the footage of Kramnik in his rest room should never have been released to the opposition. It was there to monitor suspicious actions, its for the arbiters to decide on that, not the opposition. Did I read somewhere that there was a psychologist in Topalov's team? If so which team member was it? It would be a gold mine of information and perhaps is responsible for the blitzing Topalov has been doing for the last few games.

At the end of the day though, at what point does a dispute with the appeals committee warrent not playing? Your line will be different from mine in various scenarios.

Speaking of contractual obligations, I imagine pretty high on the contract would be turning up for games, does removal of a previously advertised bathroom trump that? I doubt any of us are in a position to know that.

I think team Topalov's antics have been appalling but getting sucked in was really not a good decision, but sometimes its hard to think straight when you're mad as hell.

RDH yes Topalov has been better prepared. Yes Kramnik does hold the lead. What does it suggest? Just what was mentioned earlier, he's better at chasing an ambulance.

Take game 2 for example. Topalov had mate in 3 and blundered. Does that make Kramnik a better player? No. Topalov controlled that game from the get-go. It just gives Kramnik an extra point but doesn't make him a better player.

If Fischer withdrew after game 2 forfeit and the score stood at Spassky 2, Fischer 0 could we all safely assume Spassky is the better player? Hardly.

In fact the draw of game 1 turning to a loss, specifically reminded me of Fischer taking on h2 to complicate a draw and hope for a win, and lost.

Its the spirit of the attacker that leads the game, not the turtle hiding in his shell until he feels its safe to come out.

Q: What do you think generally of your opponent’s tactic of trying to play quickly, so as not to give you time to go to your rest room?

Kramnik: I don’t know what their idea is. I think they just want to put me in an uncomfortable position. Certainly, during world championship matches, I am in the habit of going to my rest room when it is the opponent’s move. There is a demonstration board there, and I can quietly think about the position; there it is less oppressive, quieter, and nobody disturbs me. My opponent’s “tactics” are designed to force me out of my usual, comfortable routine and break my usual rhythm.

Obviously, this is also the best explanation for "Toiletgate".

Funster, that is not the contract. Those are the regulations governing the match, which will be incorporated into the contract (no doubt) by the contract itself, which none of us has seen.

The clause in the contract governing provision of toilets to the players is mentioned in Macropoulos’ press release, which you can find, for example, on chessbase.

Since you are looking at the regulations, you will see that the provision about making a protest within two hours has nothing in it about ‘observed’ behaviour, as you absurdly suggested earlier.

AZ79, the question of who supplied the tapes to Topalov has already been answered; in the same release Macropoulos says that the Appeals Committee did it. It’s actually quite a funny read; he says this as though to demonstrate the way the committee bent over backwards to have a proper investigation and be fair to everyone. That’s why I suspect really that this was an example of Macropoulos’ incompetence rather than his corruption; he condemns himself so thoroughly out of his own mouth that I think he must just have no idea whatsoever of how to conduct himself properly in a quasi-judicial position.

Two questions that do remain are: (i) did Gijssen know about this? (in which case he should evidently be stripped of his arbiter’s title and never again allowed near a chess event in any role more demanding than that of teaboy, although naturally he won’t be), and (ii) did the Bulgarians just think of this for themselves and give it a go, or were they in some way put up to it by some FIDE underling. The latter we shall never know the answer to; the former we just might.

Mark C

I can’t agree about the football; you would be crazy to play. To overturn a result once it has gone against you is much more difficult. Pakistan were in a different position because they were protesting about something which was unquestionably within the umpire’s remit: obviously they hadn’t a leg to stand on.

I’ve posted extensively on the legal rights and wrongs and whether a party is entitled to stop performing on account of breach by another party. To my mind there can be little doubt that IF the officials are shown to be biased (and I think they will find it difficult to say they weren’t in view of the spying they allowed) a party is entitled to say he won’t play until they are replaced. But really it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks unless they’re a Swiss lawyer who has actually read the contract.

Mr. Topalov:

"I would like to make it clear that this site [www.chessbase.com] is a shame for a developed European state like Germany"

Even though he knows how to play chess, he ain't no Einstein. Perhaps he could mention some states that are perhaps less developed than Germany, where this could be just ok? What else can one say than Shame, shame on you naughty Germany for hosting such a site.

I'd like to get a legal analysis from rdh the lawyer here. I'm an amateur, but I think I have a reasonable argument below that refutes his confidence in Kramnik.

rdh points out just above that Kramnik's abundant bathroom visits cannot have been a psychological ploy against Topalov, because he thought Topalov would not know about them. Thanks for noticing this.

The visits aren't actually needed to expand Kramnik's walking area. The Appeals Committee didn't believe that and provided an explanation in their letter. The bathroom is small and Kramnik remains inside a minute or two at a time.

He can't need to pee 100 times as often during a chess game as during any other activity. 10 times I would believe, not 100. A medical doctor has said on one forum that all known conditions that would force him to pee that often would make him unable to play the match at all. Kramnik's side hasn't said he is peeing that often, but he implied it with the comment that he has to drink a lot of water during games.

So what theories are left to explain his behavior? One theory has been advanced, saying he is cheating there somehow. To keep this as a viable theory, one does not need to prove it. Think of this more as an indictment (probable cause is the standard) rather a conviction (proof beyond reasonable doubt). rdh these are US terms but I'm sure you have knowledge of them.

This theory is bolstered by Topalov's apparent agreement. He hasn't accused Kramnik of cheating (talk is cheap anyway), but he's showing his belief by his actions. He's risking the World Championship on blitz play, and I think he does this because he thinks he must keep Kramnik out of the bathroom.

There once was a player called Topalov
Who mastered not chess but to slag-off
He studies the moves,
less than he studied bathrooms,
‘cause he’d learned his willy-watching from Danailov

Now that dirty old player named Topalov
Complained to the judge and that was tough
‘cause it cost Kramnik a game
And aint that a shame
That Topalov’s best move was a mouth off

Now we all may boo, shout, and hiss
But the truth is it comes down to this
That a true master of chess,
Or at least that’s what I guess
Controls his opponents bladder and piss

So if you see a grand master called Topalov
he’s a guy we should all be in awe of
‘cause he got his own way,
at least on that day
when Kramnik chose to play and not just to walk off

"Kramnik's refusal to play game 5 was a principled decision. He stood up against the corruption and favouritism shown by FIDE. How can Mr. Azmaiparashvili who has personal financial interests tied to the Radjabov match, be on a committee that should be neutral? And how did the Danailov camp get their hands on these tapes in the first place? Who made them aware of the content? That is the first question to be asked. And to day it is still unanswered. And please, let's not compare Chess to cricket or football."

Well firstly he should have played game five and tried to get the decision reversed. None of us know what would have happened then. But at least he wouldn't have defaulted a white game.

I think it entirely right to use analogies from other sports, it allows you to think more clearly without the emotion of I support this guy, hate this organisation, think that the other guy is completely untrustworthy. You can also be sure that legal precidents if it comes to court (probably Lausanne) will be other sports.

Speaking of sporting analogies I think Topalov's name will be forever blackened by this. Michael Schumacher's car blew up at the weekend on the way to an almost certain win. I thought good, at least it won't give him the opportunity to run his rival off the track in the final Grand Prix as he did to Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve. Never mind all his achievements that's what I'll always remember him for.

I agree with what someone had said up above but am having a difficult time copy/paste from previous posts, does anyone know why?

Anyway, what I agree with was the Lasker analagy. He was known to blow cigar smoke and other sideshow stuff to his opponents. Yet he is remembered for his games. Fischer was a brat yet his moves rise above his craziness with his beliefs. People are smart enough to separate Fischer the chess player from Fischer the wackjob.

Many years from now nobody will care how many times Kramnik went to the bathroom or Topalov's protests.

They will remember the final score and the games. The rest is a temporary distraction that nobody will ever care about.

As for the legal spiel, I believe Kramnik should've played game 5 under protest. Kramnik himself agrees with this which is why he continued playing every other game under protest once he realized not playing becomes a forfeit.

I also believe this controversy is excellent for the game of chess. It draws people who do not care to take notice. Just like when Fischer did crazy things it made news. Recently even Howard Stern fans heard about the match. Yeah even people who listen to him got a taste of Kalmykia because of the bathroom problems.

Controversy draws attention and chess needs it more than any other sport. How many people know who Terrell Owens is that do not watch sports, but know who he is simply because of his antics?

Hypothesis: Kramnik will not play at all without a private unmonitored bathroom. Everything is negotiable but this.

(When he has the bathroom access, he will use it a lot. It's not just a principle with him, it's an important part of his routine during a game.)

Evidence: he played all games under a variety of conditions except the one where the private bathroom access was prevented.

(watch what they do not what they say)

"So what theories are left to explain his behavior? One theory has been advanced, saying he is cheating there somehow. To keep this as a viable theory, one does not need to prove it."

Do you have any idea how absurd this statement is? It's either utter nonsense (if we take it at the everyday-talk-level) or a simple tautology (if we assume a science-theoretic point of view)

Everyday level: I always thought that cars are driven by tiny little fairies that hide under the hood and don't want to be found. To keep this as a viable theory, I'm very relieved that I don't have to prove it.

Philosophy of science: Theories are by definition not proovable. By definition, a theory is scientific, if and only if it states a way how to _falsify_ it. No theory can ever be verified. You can get results that concur with what a theory predicts but that's something completely different than saying that you proved that theory.

This whole blitzing-to-keep-Kramnik-out-of-the-loo thing is utter crap. Topalov has been way ahead on the clock because of prep and after that hasn’t played significantly faster than Kramnik. Anyway like many others (Karpov for example in his heyday) he often plays fast when he stands well and his tail’s up. He was way ahead on the clock often in San Luis. Besides, if Kramnik were truly getting computer help, you’d have to play very, very fast to stop him getting up at all. It’s not practical.

I see incidentally that Susan Polgar made the same comment on her blog. I had been reserving judgment on those who attacked her as biased to Topalov, (not having been a long-term follower) but this makes it clear to me that they’re right

Besides, it must have been apparent to Topalov in both games he won that there came a time when he would win without blunders even if his opponent brought Hydra to the board. It would evidently have been sensible to stop playing quickly but he didn’t – it’s not his way.

I couldn’t make head or tail of the Appeals Committee’s observation that he couldn’t be walking around in the toilet because he came out every few minutes. Of course he comes out every few minutes because there’s a monitor in the rest room (as opposed to the toilet) and he wants to see whether Topalov’s moved. They did NOT say they didn’t believe it because the bathroom is small – this is a gloss provided by pro-Topalov posters on this blog, who have not provided any link to anything proving what they say.

As for 100 times more, again you are being taken in by Bulgarian lies. The true figure, according to the Appeals Committee, is 18 times in one game (game 3) which I think went into the second session, so let’s say four hours. It’s not clear how they count visits – if Kramnik is off stage for ten minutes walking in and coming out again to look at the monitor, how many visits is that? But anyway stages are very hot under TV lights; they drink a lot more than usual, they’re nervous as hell.

According to Vasil on here, Bulgarian TV is still reporting figures per game (with a disregard for the proprieties which would be almost funny if we hadn’t rather got beyond that stage) of 11 or 12. I was playing in a tournament with free drink when this all broke; just for fun I counted myself and I got up to nine visits in one game (admittedly seven hours). I suppose I should be grateful the arbiter didn’t ask me for an explanation.

There are a thousand innocent explanations; it’s not even worth advancing one. In any case it is completely clear from the games that Kramnik is not cheating. If you look for a cheat, you look first for all for an unexplained improvement in performance. Kramnik’s been playing 2700 chess since the days when computers were so weak I could beat them, and that’s what he’s doing now.

It’s a very US-English debate this; reminiscent of the Reese-Schapiro thing (you should look that up. You’d love it. Bet you think they were guilty.). The Americans are much quicker than other nations to suspect people of cheating in bridge (sometimes rightly, more often wrongly), and it looks like the same is true in chess. This in-the-loo-must-be-cheating stuff you’re coming out with is much less common in other Western nations.

Talking in hypotheticals about the football referee I'm sure he would be removed by UEFA if you had the kind of proof, but you would be in a stronger position if you played under protest. I this appeals decision was incompetent, which is a different matter, and who knows, having played under a slight disadvantage of having the personal toilet locked for one game FIDE may have removed the officials anyhow, they should have been given that chance. Then at least you would know where you stood.

But at the end of the day if someone is prepared to go to war off the board the results are never going to be pretty.

You can be absolutely sure that there will be repercussions for the rules in the future with the appeals committee having to be vetted by both sides, the issue of how long you spend at the board addressed (which was at least part of the source of Topalov's complaint and was a complaint Kasparov had in London and which was quietly addressed by the arbiter Eric Schiller). And finally it will be up to the arbiters to monitor the behaviour of the opponent via camera, not the opponent.

Its the grossly manner of these complaints by Topalov with their thinly (and then they didn't event bother) disguised attacks on the integrity of Kramnik that caused the problems. Difficult thought it was Kramnik should have publicly said look at this kind of desperate stuff they're trying and left it at that, which is more or less what he's doing now.

I can beat anyone if I am allowed 1 or more trips to an *unsupervised* bathroom on every move.

The remainder of the paragraph, which you omitted so as to remove the context, was that a lower standard applies. I mentioned probable cause. In context the statement is not absurd at all.

The remainder of your post can therefore go in the bin.

Clearly, proof is difficult unless we were to force things as a trial would do. We are not doing that; there is no trial here. We work with what we have.

Jeez, Quinn, will you stop and think for one moment.

Your nutty theories are one thing but posting incorrect facts at this stage is just pathetic.

Kramnik did not say a private toilet was the only non-negotiable thing. He also said he wasn’t playing until the Appeals Committee were replaced because they were biased. He didn’t. They were replaced.

rdh said: Topalov doesn't play faster than Kramnik once he (Topalov) is out of his prep. (paraphrase; my cut-and-paste isn't working.)

Utterly wrong, completely hopelessly wrong. He blitzed yesterday and therefore played f6?? losing. He blitzed the day before when he won. He played at about one minute per move.

A thought occured to me late last night that is somewhat interesting. Many of us have been speculating as to the margin Topalov would have to win by in order to end any controversy as to whether or not he "really" would have won the match. First it was said a 7-5 margin would do this; but it was then pointed out that he'd actually have to do better, since that would leave open the possibility of Kramnik having won the forfeited game, making the match 6-6 and heading for tiebreakers.

In any case, it dawned on me last night that - and I'm sure Kramnik's people realized this when he agreed to keep playing, but only under protest - that nothing Topalov could have done after the forfeited game could give him a "clear" victory in the match! This is presuming that they would stop the match once one person had a score of at least 6.5 points.

For instance, let's pretend Topalov won every single game after they resumed playing in Game Six. After yesterday's game, Topalov would have finally won the match, 7-3. However, Kramnik would still be able to claim that Topalov had only scored 6 points at the board; if Kramnik could win the forfeit game and the final two games of the match, he could tie the match 6-6.

Of course, in that case, most people would call it quite a stretch, no matter how we feel about Topalov. But since such a run of wins was unlikely, the worst "realistic" outcome for Kramnik was probably 7-5 after 12 games, which is still close enough for the one unplayed game to make a difference.

In short, there was absolutely no way for Topalov to do anything which would definitely make him the winner with Game Five having no bearing. I'm not saying this was some sort of unethical behaviour or trick from the Kramnik camp - obviously it's not, it's just a matter of math! - but I'm sure they realized they had this ace up their sleeve all along when Kramnik decided to resume the match. If Kramnik wins, he wins. If he loses...he the very least, he can still claim he tied. :)

Addressed by the arbiter – kind of the key words. As it should have been here. It was the dreadful drafting of the match regulations that let this happen, at least in part, as well of course as the absurd release of the tapes.

Actually it occurs to me that the London episode might explain why the Bulgarians asked for the tapes in the first place. Maybe they just remembered the London complaint and saw their opportunity. There’s no two ways about it: either it was a pre-planned operation, or they were tipped off. Or, I suppose, they saw Kramnik going off to his rest room frequently and thought they might have a chance here.

Topalov is blitzing in part to disturb Kramnik's rhythm of play and partly to simply pile the pressure on by getting ahead on the clock. I used to play really fast (mostly because when on form thinking a lot doesn't tend to improve my decision making at all) and I can tell you if you play reasonable stuff it really does put pressure on your opponent.

Yes he's getting his preparation in and getting ahead on the clock but in the last game he admitted in his press conference that part of his thought process was he's starting to get into time pressure I'll play the complex move, I don't know how long he spent over f6?? but it wasn't very long and had a couple of refutations to it.

This is the World Championship. Why isn't there a live video feed? If FIDE would provide the signal, probably others would host the necessary servers. But there's no live video at all, and that's a shame.

Do the match conditions specify this?

Well, I stand to be corrected, but I watched game eight and nine live and my recollection is that in each case Topalov was playing very quickly up to move 20 in the former case and move 15 in the latter, and that he used in the end about an hour. So that’s more like two minutes a move after prep ended. (these figures by the way are nothing to what Karpov used to do). And in both cases – certainly game nine – Kramnik had used the best part of an hour before Topalov started thinking significantly. So he didn’t play all that much faster than Kramnik.

As to game ten, again he was 25 minutes up before he stopped moving instantly in prep, and in the end I believe he had 35 minutes left and Kramnik five. So they played at exactly the same rate after the opening. I’ve no idea how long he took on 24…f6 – anyone know?

Dear friends,
Trying to compare game 5 to soccer (football) arbiter mistake, you just screw up the thing.
There was no arbiter mistake made. There was change in game regulations. Instead of comparing to intentionally/unintentionally accepted wrong goal or penalty, try to imagine what would happen if before the game (or after the half time) one of teams demanded to replace opponent's boots, which are in accordance to rules, but let them feel more comfortable, with heavy ones. Or to replace the ball with volleyball one, because the football one is too heavy. THE GAME RULES WERE CHANGED! Do you believe another team would play under protest, and FIFA/UEFA accepted the game result, or forfeit? In any other sports , the arbiter would be banned forever, and might face a court because of financial losses.

I was following the games on icc and Topalov's moves were just about instant, and his lead on the clock kept piling up.

rdh are you in Elista?


hypothesis, theory, what is it? Make up your mind - and venture a visit to wikipedia in case those two concepts have just very amorphous distinctions in your eyes.

"Evidence: he played all games under a variety of conditions except the one where the private bathroom access was prevented."

If that is evidence in your eyes, you're simply beyond help. Are you, by any chance, stationed in Guantanamo? ;o)

If you belive that the boots or ball example is too much, what about replacements? What if one of teams demanded to limit replecements to only 1 per game?
FIFA does strictly regulate all such matters even for friendly soccer games, and we are talking about the World Championship here!

Vlad it's not like that at all. It's like ... changing the bathroom arrangements. Like swapping the home and visitor locker rooms, or doing plumbing work in the locker rooms during game time (when the players are nominally out on the field anyway.)

No, no: sorry, I meant live on the internet.

I love the way you people just completely ignore it when it’s pointed out that your facts are wrong. Like a tank running over a bramble bush.

It is time to assess the quality of play in this match. While, of course, this tyle of analysis is inhereantly subjective in nature, we can begin to draw some broad conclusions.

1) It is hard to find one brilliant game in the Match--a game destined for inclusion in a future chess anthology

2) While there have been more decisive games than draws, entailing "fighting chess", in most of the 5 decisive games it was a blunder that assured the result.

3) There has been an unprecedented focus on the "meta-struggle" (attempts to psych out one's opponent), as opposed to play strong moves over the board. I know...I know.... The Fischer--Spassky 1972 and Karpov--Kortchnoi 1978 matches had their off-the-board dramas. However, in those matches, the players were striving to find the best moves on the board. Topalov and Kramnik simply seem to want to provoke blunders by their opponents, rather than outplay them by dint of strong moves.

Given the number of serious errors, I think that one would need to go back many decades to find a World Championship match of such low quality.
Indeed, this match must rank near the bottom, as one of the worst in Chess history,

Wow, I got a perfect example!
In hockey both teams can exchange players indefinitely even during the playtime. What if before a Stanley Cup game Pittsburg issues press-relase saying that Islanders replacing players too frequently make their players nervous? And even more, they ask, what if Islanders take drugs whan taking a break? The drug control is still there, but what if Islanders found the way to cheat?
Therefore, Pittsburg demand:
- to let exchange players only during the game breaks, and
- to forbit players from using their rooms before the game end.

Also, the press-relase would say that if these demands are not satisfied, Pittsburgh leaves the Cup!

And now imagine that the arbiter decides that players should take a rest during the game only at penalty seats, and spend the between-the-period time together in the arbiters room. Would the game continue? My guess is, we'd need the National Guard to stop the lynch law on the arbiter!

I agree this is some poor quality chess when two of the top players in the world miss a forced mate in 3 in classical time controls. Its not like missing it in a 5 min blitz game. I was absolutely shocked at that.

As to the quality of the match there are a couple of points. Yes, its quality has been pretty low in patches in terms of the number of mistakes, but then again there have been no short draws so its been intense, then there's been all the off the board stuff going on. Plus its the modern time rate without adjournments which has only been with us ten or so years. I think the chess has been fascinating, none of the 1.e4 then a real bucket load of theory and then a late middle game or an ending (which they've also studied in detail) which we've seen far too much of recently.

From Bulgarian newspaper interview with Topalov after the game 8:
So far there have been numerous battles outside the chess board. What will be the main thing from now on?

I believe that my manager Silvio Danailov did an extraordinary job and won all the legal battles outside the board quite convincingly, and in the enemy field, too. Now it is my turn to do the same on the chess board.

I am not quite clear on what exactly Veselin means. Should we expect kicking enemy's feets under the desk, or what?

But at least we know for sure his appraisal on Danailov's behavior.

To Mark Crowther: We've had this exchange before, but I think Kramnik was exactly right NOT to play Game 5 -- or more accurately, not to begin playing until the agreed-upon playing conditions were restored. It was the only way to force the situation to a head -- and in that respect it worked. To do otherwise would have been to tacitly accept the unreasonable decision of the Appeals Committe, and would have made regaining the point at a later date virtually impossible: would FIDE really the reverse or expunge the result of a game already played? If they can't do that with a fictitious game, I have no hope that they would with a real one. Kramnik took a principled and correct stand.

You're right that analogies can help put things into perspective, but they can also obscure important differences. You take away from the Pakistan-England fiasco that "nothing good comes from refusing to play" -- but you overlook the crucial differences in that case. For one, Pakistan never intended to forfeit; they were just "making a point". The heavy-handed reaction of the umpires ensured that the problem escalated. But I agree that Pakistan should have played on. But that's only becuase the decision that was being appealed was made at the umpire's level: beyond that, there was the match referee, then the whole legal apparatus of the ICC -- a total mechanism that has worked in the past, and in which the Pakistanis could reasonably have confidence. For Kramnik, no such mechanism was in place: he was protesting the decision of what was effectively the highest on-site authority, and could have no confidence that the levels further up would provide clear guidance, counsel, or unbiased decisions.

So, yes, your analogy is fruitful -- but mainly because of the differences it points up, not becuase of its similarities. If one wants a lesson from the Kramnik affair, I think it's more along the lines of "Stick up for yourself -- becuase no-on else will".

To Mark Crowther: We've had this exchange before, but I think Kramnik was exactly right NOT to play Game 5 -- or more accurately, not to begin playing until the agreed-upon playing conditions were restored. It was the only way to force the situation to a head -- and in that respect it worked. To do otherwise would have been tacitly to accept the unreasonable decision of the Appeals Committe, and would have made regaining the point at a later date virtually impossible: would FIDE really the reverse or expunge the result of a game already played? If they can't do that with a fictitious game, I have no hope that they would with a real one. Kramnik took a principled and correct stand.

You're right that analogies can help put things into perspective, but they can also obscure important differences. You take away from the Pakistan-England fiasco that "nothing good comes from refusing to play" -- but you overlook the crucial differences in that case. For one, Pakistan never intended to forfeit; they were just "making a point". The heavy-handed reaction of the umpires ensured that the problem escalated. But I agree that Pakistan should have played on; there were other ways to protest. But that's only because the decision that was being appealed was made at the umpire's level: beyond that, there was the match referee, then the whole legal apparatus of the ICC -- a total mechanism that has worked in the past, and in which the Pakistanis could reasonably have confidence to work impartially in the future.

For Kramnik, no such mechanism was in place: he was protesting the decision of what was effectively the highest on-site authority, and could have no confidence that the levels further up would provide clear guidance, counsel, or unbiased decisions.

So, yes, your analogy is fruitful -- but mainly because of the differences it points up, not becuase of its similarities. If one wants a lesson from the Kramnik affair, I think it's more along the lines of "Stick up for yourself -- because no-one else will".

The strange thing is that even Kramnik recognizes sitting out game 5 was inappropriate. If even he believed it was correct, he'd be sitting out every game until he got his way. Now he wishes he didn't sit the game out as evidence of him doing now what he should've done then, play under protest.

Sorry -- please read the second of my posts: it's cleaned up a bit.

Can yopu point me to whare Kramnik says sitting out game 5 was inappropriate?
He is back only becasue his bathroom was unlocked, and he does not recognize game 5 as forfeit.

To Vlad: you’re assuming of course that this ‘interview’ wasn’t simply written by Danailov, which seems rather more likely.

To Doug: I think this is the first match which has really been followed by 20,000 punters with their computers running. If earlier matches had been I think we’d think differently of them. As Mark says, seven-hour chess makes a difference too. I watched a 2560 Russian GM lose a drawn pawn ending the other day. You’d have thought he’d learned the game yesterday, and fairly late in the evening at that. I’m not sure the quality’s been a whit worse than London 2000, where Kasparov lost a couple of games like a child (the Nimzo he lost repeated the moves of a 2250 player up to the point where he was lost) and showed nothing at all in any game.

Inarkiev was quoted on chesspro after the second game along the lines of ‘of course the knockout system is much better for normal grandmasters like me. But watching these games you see the world championship has to be settled by a match. People talk about blunders, but believe me, they are playing fantastic chess.’

Things have gone downhill after the nonsense started. But the ninth game, for example, was a very strong game by Topalov, which will surely find a place in chess history. It reminded me of the famous Karpov-Spassky game they always quote, where White just looks at the position, says I need all my pieces here in ten moves’ time, moves them there and Black collapses. Not the Nb1 game, I don’t think, but a similar Sicilian with doubled rooks on the f-file, maybe Nf5, Bh6.

Vlad, his behavior speaks louder than his words as it does for all of us. Do you expect him to admit it?

He refused to play unless 3 conditions were met, replacement of the appeals committee which he got, private unsupervised potty which he got, and reversal of the forfeit which was denied.

Also, Kramnik could say he doesn't recognized Putin as the head of Russia. Does that mean Putin isn't just because Kramnik chooses not to recognize factual reality?

Everyone is insistent upon citing the contract which I respect. Does the contract or FIDE rules say a player is entitled to sit out games without it being counted as forfeit, as long as the player feels they have just cause?


i agree with rdh about game 9 and had topalov not blundered game 2 that game would've been replayed for a long, long time. it would have been very instructive to show vladimir defending while pawn grabbing, as an overwhelming attack ensued and finally the defense blundered under the pressure but then again the attacker also blundered away the win.

It is a petty, that FIDE isn't a profssionally run organization. In that case Danailov's comments would cost him and his client Topalov dearly. Just look at the fines football managers in Premier League are hit with, in case they have some comment on the referee's performance.


then kramnik's refusal to show up for game 5 should cost him even more...

Some of the games are very interesting and worthy of a WC match. But the blunders really stand out.

The ending of Game 1, making a thrilling cliffhanger out of a potential "GM draw" -- until Topalov blundered.

Topalov's attack in Game 2 against an apparently sound kingside -- until he blundered.

Game 3 where Topalov was on the edge of destruction out of the opening but Kramnik could not beat the defense.

Game 9's novelty of f4, it looks like a beginner's move!

Game 10: Kramnik's excruciatingly tough positional play, countered by Topalov's excellent defense saccing a pawn and then getting it back with a much simplified position -- except Topalov blundered.

For 90% of the way, these may be the highest quality WC games in chess history.

For what it's worth, I think the worst blunder of the match was Kramnik allowing Rxf7 in Game 9. Perhaps he had already "given up" but then why was he using all his time on his moves? This is a theme that any player whose rating starts with "2" would be looking for, and Kramnik could have defended against it. But the forced mate in Game 2 was surprising, I missed it (who cares!) and several GMs (who weren't using computers) also missed it.

Oh good. Another unlegally-qualified blowhard sounding off about contract law (Justin that is).

Game 2 was a great fighting game and a very human one. This Qc7 move is very easy to see with computers but quite deceptive without. After that there was a long, intricate and very interesting fight in the ending, with both players playing for a win, which Kramnik came out on top of. Obviously, he doesn't get any credit for that.

One of the pities of all this bollox is the way amateurs now sit at home posting 'ooooh, Rybka gave Be3 +0.47 and now it's only +.35, see how he blundered' and 'ah, Qd1, computer move'. If anything they (read 'we', I guess) are further away from understanding what really goes on, not nearer.

Point One: Playing conditions cannot be changed after agreeing upon them and the start of the match. Period. They were changed by the Appeals committee. Everything after that never happened until the conditions were restored. Period. It's a contract. If broken then Kramnik had a right not to continue.

Well standing up for yourself in a match like this is extremely important I agree. But defaulting a game is an extreme measure sending the dispute to a whole new level, they should have at least waited one more game to see if they could get the appeal reversed and the panel changed. They had a strong case for that and we may have ended up with many if not all of the same solutions they actually arrived at. Of course its possible (I'm sure you'd say probable) they wouldn't but it would have been the better option.

The act of defaulting actually means you have to defend yourself and virtually beg for the point back, and then get what you wanted in the first place. None of this strikes me as very smart. Carsten Hensel could have gone to war off the board on this front and Kramnik just played.

But I think it is an important point that sponsors of a match are going to ask how can we organise a match where there is a potential it might go on longer than advertised if there is an appeals committee dispute. How are we going to get the money to compensate an audience (that's if the match is actually held anywhere convenient)?

I just don't think no shows can be tolerated. That was the thing about the Pakistan cricket dispute, it cost the organisers a fortune which was why England were so keen to find a solution and play on in spite of being in a bad position in the match. This will no doubt be true for future matches too.

Don't you think it bizarre that both Kramnik and Topalov think that they're opponents are favoured because they're playing at home?

rdh and I agree on the quality of the games! At least we are enjoying the chess! :)

Regardless of the mutual suspicions, it's a sure thing that both sides have used computers in the right way, to fortify opening analysis and provide rigorous training. I expect that if we were to go thru old WC matches with modern engines, we would find a lot more "inaccuracies" than these guys are playing.

I would say that it rather illustrates the absolute importance of decent officials. The entire purpose of the two-hour provision (both of them) was to ensure that these problems do not appear at the last minute before a game.

Obviously one takes the point about sponsors, but justice has to come before sponsors. If you play with the conditions changed uncontractually to your disadvantage, and lose because you’re upset by a biased decision made an uncontractually short time before the game, then THAT is the point you will never get back.

It’s very hard to imagine what on earth Macro and Azmai thought they were doing entertaining this protest. One wonders whether they had actually read the match regulations at all.

I don't imagine for a moment Topalov really thinks Kramnik is favoured because he's at home; it's simply the propaganda Danailov is pumping out for domestic Bulgarian consumption. Obviously anti-Russian stuff will play well there. And I don't think Kramnik complains about the location so much as the officials.

rdh you or your bar association or inn of court or whatever have not patented the word "law", and the rest of us, even an "unlegally-qualified blowhard" (is that something like a legally-unqualified blowhard?) like Justin or me are entitled to talk about it.

I didn't see that you addressed his question ...

everyone stop what you are doing and give reverence to the self proclaimed know it all of contract law rdh

I don't know the name of the Bulgarian, who insisted 64.ru in publishing lies, when they distributed a picture of Topalov's declamation of a poem, here is confirmation, published in Bulgarian newspaper Trud:

Q: Would you ever go back to Kalmykia?

VT: I will answer with the lyrics of our technical expert:
Elista is a nice town
Kalmykia is the land of wonder
And from here I don’t want to depart.

And more from Veselin:
Q: Do you think that players of his type (Kramnik - Vlad Kosulin) are a good advertisement of chess?

VT: One thing I can say: the place of the sportsman is in the field or on the stage in front of the audience, and not in rest rooms or toilets.
Q: After all, Kramnik was one of the “break aways” and stayed away from the FIDE tournaments.

VT: True. He has never adhered to any principles and has always been led by his current personal interests.

I can't be sure, but it may have been 3-4 minutes that Topalov spent on the blunder f6?? I was looking at the position for a wee while wondering what was the best way to meet the Nd7 threat. I was stunned when Topalov played f6?? spending a tempo to provoke that very move! I just can't understand what he missed - the whole line seems very simple and forced.

I resent the RDH guy/gal throwing digs about people analyzing with computers. Lets face it, if we all understood everything there was about planning, tactics etc. we'd be the ones up there playing.

Playing along in a chess program helps the average rookie like me understand whats going on. For example if I don't understand the threats present, I make a move and the computer trashes me and I then see oh ok Kramnik is threatening this or that, or Topalov has a mate in 3 I didn't see - and neither did he!

Does it make us experts? No. But it beats watching a bunch of moves 800+ points above our abilities that we may not understand.

And if the 2 top players miss a mate in 3 as do the commenting GM's, its obvious how important the computers really are.

What are you the self proclaimed legal expert and self proclaimed chess expert as well? There's always one in every forum who thinks their sh1t don't stink!

Ragey, you are so right. Kramink would probably have his prizefund massively reduced if FIDE took it self seriously.

The point is, that we probably wouldn't have sunk so low as to discussing toilet issues, if FIDE was better organized.

There may be something odd in the food or the air or the electronic jamming! Yes I know I sound wacked out but these moves aren't normal even as blunders go. I cannot imagine how a good player could make the following moves with enough time on the clock.

In game 9 Kramnik allows Rxf7. In game 10 Topalov plays f6. Both could be described simply as beginner's mistakes.

You don't have to bow down to me, Justin. But equally unqualified statements like "does the contract say players can refuse to play because they don't like a decision?' Nope." merely demonstrate that you have no idea about the law. It would be better to pose questions rather than make such confident statements about things you have no clue about.

Interesting grammatical point, DQ. I think "unlegally-qualified" is what we would write over here to mean "not qualified in law": "legally unqualified" would tend to mean "not technically qualified but nonetheless possessing some relevant expertise". But it doesn't really matter; clearly Justin has neither.

Rookie I think he's just saying that if all the engines were critiquing previous WC matches, there would be a lot of criticism of them too. No offense to anyone. What am I doing, I'm agreeing with rdh twice!?

rdh for what its worth, you are crawfishing and jockeying for any potential way to justify Kramnik's refual to play when in fact there is no basis in the FIDE rules to allow for this.

You can say whatever you like - he felt wronged, he felt injustice, whatever. It doesn't change the fact that Kramnik exercised a right that does not exist within FIDE's rules. It simply does not exist.

There are mechanisms in place for him to address any perceived injustices. Refusal to play is simply not one of them, whether you like it or not.

It is really not that important, but there was no forced mate in Game 2.

David, I agree with that assessment. I've played over a few classic games in the computer too and seen better moves.

In fact I have a program to help me get better called chess mentor. Anyway last night there was a problem from a steinitz game. I tried what I thought was right and it indeed forced mate in 1 less move and it was duly noted in the software when I chose it.

I have seen more than a few gm's say things like rbh said. I think its an inferiority complex of theirs to know that a $50 program can see moves they miss with 20 years experience.

But we are, after all, only human.

Lastly if it were not for computers I wouldn't play chess much at all. The wife stinks and occasionally plays just to make me happy. Other than that the computer is always willing and ready to play me whether its a quickie before work or a long game after dinner etc.

I still stink but at least I know it ;-) and at least the computer can be set to play around my level.

Justin, DQ, I've posted endlessly about this: go back and flick though if you want. FIDE rules have nothing to do with it. It is a matter of the contract and of contract law. The only reason FIDE rules or the regulations apply at all is because, and to the extent, that the contract says so. This is true of any sporting event.

Rookie: sounds like you use computers sensibly, if I might say so, to supplement and test your own ideas rather a total substitute for them. If you want to see the other method I'm knocking, go watch a game on ICC.

I suppose I consider myself a legal expert, relatively speaking, because I've been practising litigation law for 20 years and my own firm for 13. I know that the contractual question is difficult and that I don't know the answer, possibly not even the right questions. It is therefore vexing to have people who are convinced that they do making BS statements about what the rules say or what the law is, when it is clear to me that they don't have the first idea about it.

As for a chess expert, I'm an IM and 2400 punter. I have no real idea why these guys do what they do, but at least I'm smart enough to know it.

rdh are you saying the conditions, as if toilets are playing conditions, cant be changed because that right is not in writing...

but kramnik has the right to not play and not be penalized, which is not in writing???

make some sense dude

My marriage would be much worse if my wife played chess! But every marriage is unique.

Topalov declined a doping test!!!!! reported by http://www.veselintopalov.net/
That one may be big.

rdh thanks. Not sure what you mean by watching ICC I know its online chess but I'm not sure what you are getting at.

i use the computer both as an opponent who is always available and for a few other things like: 1. what happens if I try... 2. analyze my games because hey if I was good I'd be good at analyzing! 3. my new found toy egtb's to practice endings against best play. i then turn egtb off and try against low settings to be ready for even weird dumb moves like i make! 4. to go over games way above my head and try to make sense of what is going on. lastly 5. tutor program i have is like taking lessons.

Oh the computer also helps me learn openings and has really helped with tactics. I often wondered ok how do you fork with a knight when the other person avoids that spot like the plague? Then I see a capablanca sacrifice that FORCED the person onto that brutal square. Nice.

Lets face it I still suck but I know I suck and I enjoy myself. Then again I'd retire from chess forever if I had to play kramnik every day. what fun would that be? It'd be like my sister fighting mike tyson ;-)

I hope the games will continue. It will be awful to stop just a few games before the end

Um, you have that the wrong way round: Kramnik refused to take the doping test.

ops tahts right, i should read more corefully:)

Indeed it seems like they say it was Kramnik who refused to take a doping test. It is not clear who asked for a test and why they wanted to test Kramnik and not Topalov after Topalov's two victories. Seems like another bulgarian lie to me, and who knows, maybe it is a little preview of Danailov's press release.

but still it can be big. In soccer if you decline going to a test you lose a game......

What are the doping rules concerning this match? What is banned?

Mark, you are absolutely right about the financial implications of defaulting: it's potentially catastrophic, and would certainly scare sponsors off (among the ever-growing list of such things). Chess players in general don't seem to have a problem with biting the hand that feeds them (e.g., grandmaster draws) -- and we'll just have to disagree slightly, I suppose, about where the self-interest lies in Kramnik's case (and how justified it is).

The amusing thing about both teams claiming the other to have "home-field" advantage is how it makes Kirsan look: every time the Bulgarians complain about the Russian setting, it diminishes Kirsan to Putin-pawn status; every time the Russians bring up the utterly-FIDE setting, it makes Kirsan look like an omnipotent god. He must feel torn, the poor thing...

Russianbear, the site implies that Topalov was to be tested also, and that he took the test. They say it's odd that the test was asked for after two victories of Topalov (games 8 and 9).

well, topalovs website were the first to bring the toiletgate scandal. I think we can see another one here.
I really hope I am not right and the games continue.

David, unless I am misunderstanding it, I don't think it is implied Topalov has been tested at all. They only say Kramnik refused the test - they don't even say if it is some sort of official testing or not. For all we know, Kramnik was asked to take the test by Team topalov, and Danailov was the one who was going to examine the urine sample.

For a test to be called after 2 Topalov victories -- do you think Kramnik only would be tested? Get serious, unless both players were tested it would not happen and everyone knows it.

I am seeing that the chess professionals have mostly banded together to paint a false image of the sport. We hear that no drug can improve chess results. Now we read that Huebner refused drug tests (thanks Vorhaul) and rumors that a drug test was refused here.

I'm mostly interested in the pharmacology here. What good stuff are people using? It would be good to know before playing in chess tournaments, taking exams, etc. Maybe a memory enhancer?

We know virtually nothing about this test, David. So I will not assume Topalov was tested until I have more information available. If you know so much, enlighten myself and others - what exactly happened?

Yeah, that's it, a friend just told me that if somebody misses a drug test he must be expelled from the event........

David Quinn: fearlessly spanning the ever-increasing chasm between shaky premises and spectcular conclusions...

Oh great. Wait for the Topalovites to start shrieking that Kramnik is taking drugs at the loo.

Perhaps we could wait for some verification of this whole dope test claim before starting the ball? Or is that too much to ask? I suppose it is.

Nothing in the only public document we have (I think) says anything about drugs (testing or otherwise) -- unless it's in the section referring to other parts of the normal FIDE code.


kramnik is taking drugs in the loo


Gotta love this.

I think elitsa was correct - that Topalov's site indeed was the first to bring us the Toiletgate. Wouldn't it be fun, if in addition to Toiletgate, Danailov also started Druggate?

Is it possible that Topalov's team have an unhealthy obsession with Kramnik's urine?

I mean, first the Toiletgate, and now this :)

Any guesses on what substances Kramnik is taking? Maybe cocaine before game 8, pot before(during?) game 9 and extasy before game 10?

I don't know what Kramnik is taking, but it looks like Topalov is afraid of being beaten to death after the match is over :-)

Vlad, that was revealing.

Russianbear I can believe pot for game 9. But ecstacy really works eh?

It's certainly within the rights of chess professionals not to submit to drug tests if they don't want to. Of course its also within the rights of potential sponsors to not bother with investing in chess if players are unwilling to support rules and program that maximize the quality and integrity of tournaments and events. Substance abuse is one area where an out of control player can do serioues harm to the public perception of a sporting activity .. whether it be thorugh the use of performance enhancing drugs or illegal narcotics or over indulgence in legal drugs, like alcohol.

Drugs to improve chess-playing ability? Try Modafinil (Provigil)

Perhaps Kramnik's refusing to take the drug test because he's already all peed out - it must really take it out of you, going 50 times during a game.


You are VERY bad at pretending to be English, a lawyer, or an IM.

Such a pity it’s not under English law… in front of a judge of the Chanceery Division.
..to provide that no protest is valid which is not signed by the player himself …
Another unlegally-qualified blowhard sounding off about contract law..
All this bollox …
The only reason FIDE rules or the regulations apply .. is becuase the contract says so..
I’ve been practicing litigation law for 20 years and my own firm for 13 ..
I’m an IM and 2400 punter ..

'The World Championship fiasco has not gone down too well with the 36-year-old (Veselin Topolov accused Vladimir Kramnik of taking too many bathroom breaks, suggesting that he was cheating). "It's great entertainment, no doubt. But there is no place for such things in sport. He (Kramnik) was accused not of something he actually did, but something he could have done, and losing a game was extremely unfair to Kramnik. To say that it could have been handled better would actually be putting it mildly. The event is tainted now," he said.' Anand interview

To all who keep insisting that Topalov is somehow in the right, where is his support at the professional level? While there have been hundreds of GM's supporting Kramnik and many famous players signing open letters also in support of Kramnik, I can't find any who support Topalov. Maybe I am wrong, so can Topalov supporters tell me what GM's support him? Is it only Bulgarians and amateur Ninja nutcases that support Topalov?

"I can't find any who support Topalov"

GM Susan Polgar has openly supported Topalov, even if she has tried to hide and deny it. She seems a bit dishonest person to be honest.

i do not care about how many professionals support Topalov
they are biased -- Anand is too: he isnt in Elista, right? what do you expect of him to say? They're great players better than me?

Past is past.
Susan Polgar does not support Topalov.
As Susan Polgar wrote many times, she tries not to take any side, and I couldn't find any word of her support to Topalov in the conflict for anything behind the board.
And I watch her blog all the time.

'i do not care about how many professionals support Topalov
they are biased' thenewone -- mmm... I wonder who is biased here...

'GM Susan Polgar has openly supported Topalov', Johnster -- the only reason Susan Polgar supports Topalov is she wants to have his baby. : P

Ah, that deflating sound would be all the air of moral superiority evaporating from the room. Nice job, chillirat.

Theorist, it was a joke. The fact is Susan likes Topalov but has NOT condoned his actions. Instead od attacking me why don't you answer the question?! That sound you hear is silence.

Ah, the pffft was the sound of a joke falling flat. My mistake.

And I agree: I haven't found any support for Topalov's actions in Polgar's recent writings.

I have read Susan Polgar from the beginning. She definitely supports Topalov. for those who do not believe this. then her simple attempt to claim that she is neutral and that kramnik must be just as much at fault as topalov is the juice that has turned her web site into the crazie topalov fan club. the blog has gone berzerk over there.

her neutrality is to blame kramnik at least equal to topalov. that only gives energy and credibility to topalov's injustice. and she defends it with an iron will that I have only seen in a woman and Nixon stonewalling it over watergate. Of course Bush stonewalls Iraq and so far he is holding on. but when you are wrong then you are wrong.

Many older posters are very disappointed in susan polgar. many have left her site in disgust with her fake neutrality. I think she would do better if she were simply more honest and said she supports topalov. at least then she can be honest about her opinion.

I suspect that she is angling for a job with fide. and she really wants to support kirsan and fide so she can get the job. I guess everyone is kissing kirsan's bugle now that he is so entrenched.

and topalov sees this. so he must say to himself. it works for kirsan so it will work for me. corruption is the way to go.

what else can be happening. corruption only leads to more people joining the corruption for the money. money money. oh boy. they say it makes the world go around.

Anyway I feel that Susan has really hurt her reputation with her stand on the match.

Barnie, you're one of the few people complaining about Susan who is able to write a whole post without inappropriate references. Congratulations, at least there is something worth replying to in your post.

I respect your right to support Kramnik. I lean more to Topalov. As such I don't think she shows corruption by her past support of Topalov. I don't actually see the bias in her current work; in fact she wrote a rather pro-Kramnik open letter.

I'm sure she has hurt her reputation with some and helped it with others. With the political gang behavior I am seeing now among the GMs, I think it is a very tough political environment right now for the chess professionals.

For what its worth Topalov makes a better champion.

Why? First there is the controversy, something to give people to talk about at the water cooler. Do you hear people talking about the Terrel Owens because of all of the controversy? Yup. Whether they like the game or not, whether they like him or not, he draws attention of the masses.

Second, his style of play is far more exciting than someone hunkering down in a bunker hoping to survive the storm, and if by chance they do, then they can win.

What's a more exciting style of play to watch to the masses? Topalov's attack of game 2 or kramnik converting a blunder in the drawn endgame of game 1? No contest.

Someone wrote way up above that Kramnik plays chess like a lawyer chasing an ambulance. I agree wholeheartedly.

Kramnik as champ? Boring defender hoping for a blunder, personality with the life and spark of a dull rock... even if he is a strong player.

There is more to being a champion than positional defense. Look at Kasparov, a chess ambassaduer.

Frankly I see neither one of them as much better than the other. Its a sad state of affairs. I miss the days when you have a clear first that no other player is within the same league. You know, when the GM's at any given tournament openly admit they are all fighting for 2nd place because they know the champ is there and 1st place is WAY out of reach.

They may be talking about chess at the water cooler. But I doubt whether they're talking about how this is a product they want their company to be associated with.

I didn't see sponsors stop sponsoring NBA when players got HIV for having sex with fans, nor sponsors abandoning football for more escapades than you can shake a stick at (prostitutes, drug parties etc) nor sponsors abandoning major league baseball with steriods etc.

The old saying is true, even bad press is good because it gets your name out there and on people's tongue.

About the doping testing: I just read a minor note in a Bulgarian paper about the so called doping testing that was discussed earlier. No idea how accurate or relevant the story is. Here is a translation:


The Russian chess player Vladimir Kramnik did not appear for a doping test after the 10-th game in the World Championship match against V. Topalov in Elista, was reported by the staff of the World Champion.

The test was requested by the chief of the medical commission Yana Belin (sp?).

The Englishwoman requested the chess players to be tested before the game, but the match referee stated that this should take place after the game.

After the game, which Kramnik won he disappeared, which caused the test to be rescheduled.

Jivko Ginchev from Topalov's press-service qualified it as strange that the doping demand came after two consecutive victories by Topalov.


P.S. I hope the accusation shenanigans stop here. Two more games remain to be played. Hopefully they will pass in peace and quiet.

If Kramnik actually had been notified to take the test after game 10 but "disappeared", I guess he would forfeit at least the game just finished.

According to the article, I guess Topalov took the test even though he lost on the board. But I would like to know for sure.

Regarding possible forfeit, that would only be if the article is correct and everything is as it seems. But this is the standard rule for a drug test.

Kramnik could not have disappeared for long; he gave a press conference after the game. It would not be long after the game, according to match rules. Most things can't be neutralized in the blood or urine that fast as far as I know. So I have questions about the article.

Taking a doping-test in chess under the fIDE rules is a question of good will
Kramnik can not be forfeited for not taking such a test.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 8, 2006 7:02 AM.

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