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Kramnik-Topalov g11

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It's crunch time in Elista. Game 11 begins in a few hours with the match tied at 5:5 and two games to go, plus tiebreaks. Topalov has White today and we have seen three decisive contests in a row. Topalov lost game 10 with a monumental blunder.

Several new documents up at Chessbase.com. Hensel - rather needlessly from what I can tell - sends in a recap of Kramnik's complaints in order to prepare the ground for legal and PR action in case Kramnik loses. (I rather doubt he'll insist on replaying game 5 should he win the match. It would be amusing to play with a loss in hand, however!) Also, nice photographs and report from Elista by Savinov.

Update: Game drawn. Kramnik broke in the center and held easily, even having the superfluous better of the draw by the end. He'll have white in Thursday's final regulation game. The press release linked to above makes explicit that Kramnik won't recognize Topalov's victory should he lose the match.

Kasparov: "29.Bxe6 fxe6 30.Rb3 with an eventual b5. Maybe not real winning chances for White, but Black has some problems and b7 is weak. White can play for win with no risk. Can you imagine facing Karpov with white in that position?"


Keep things related to game 11 and the match, please. At least until tomorrow. Hijacks will be deleted. Thanks. There are message boards here. You can start your own threads and use pretty little icons, too.


Another novelty (8.Rb1 is new in the databases I searched in spite of everything under the sun being played there) followed by 13.f4 which sets new problems. Any thoughts as to the merits?

One thing is absolutely clear, Topalov has a great deal more knowledge and preparation with opening theory than does Kramnik. You can bet that f4 the other day was the first time Kramnik ever saw it, whilst Topalov is very familiar with the resulting positions.

I'd wager to say the same thing about the novelty this morning.

After 13.f4 White has a lot of weaknesses. If K can survive till the endgame, he may be best. But that's a big if.

The Kramnik team's letter (mild rel to Danailov) does make a point : it is telling Topalov he is white and must win today. Rope-a-dope strategy intensifier.

This just once again shows that Opening Theory is blind. There are tons of unique ideas that noone has played before and therefore noone has researched them before. Novelty on move 8 in a well known position!

Visually I'm feeling the knights more in that position. Does Black not have enought time to engineer ..f5 and plop a knight on e4 with the big lockdown and few losing chances? Just anti-stonewall instinct after seeing f4.

I think this is the new approach Topalov has brought to top level chess. He doesn't care about the objective merits of his ideas, he wants comlicated positions that set problems for his opponents above all else. He researches them in detail and even if his opponents thread their way through they'll be in time trouble and Topalov will have an idea how he'll defend the position. This contrasts with Kasparov who took the idea of playing the best move in an opening to its absolute logical conclusion.

I don't think we can be sure that T does not have one of his trademark exchange sacs planned against a N at d4. But I do think T is bluffing.

One thing I have to say is that Topalov brings excitement to the match. Imagine two positional defenders like kramnik vs petrosian etc. Lets see how many possible moves can be made before one side blunders and the opponent is no longer afraid to take risks and attack. It'd be about as fun as watching paint dry.

Once again Kramnik down a half hour on the clock in the opening. Topalov is well served to continue this approach.

Win or lose the match you can be sure Kramnik realizes he needs to do better opening prep than an 1800 club player does.

Great post Mark, about the difference between Kasparov's and Topalov's approaches to opening theory. Great insight, thanks!

very insiteful comment by mark crowther. I think you are correct. that makes sense to me.

Anyone feel comfortable playing chess with their king as wide open as topalov seems to be comfortable with? I know I'd rather be in Kramniks position right now if nothing else based on king safety.

Wasn't it Lasker that said his favorite move is the one most disturbing to his opponent? Seems to keep in line with what Topalov likes. The clock is always ticking.

I like that comment too, Mark. Just curious (a curiosity born of ignorance): that seems to describe how I thought Tal approached a game over-the-board. Is there an essential difference between Topalov's approach and Tal's? (You suggested Topalov's approach was new).

What does T have? He's just losing now (22), right?

Position reminds me of Shirov-Kramnik game that got into awesomely complicated tactics (With a Black offering a rook on e4). It was part of Shirov's best games in Fire on The Board.

Oops, saw a pawn that wasn't there.

You can compare Topalov's approach to a Tal or a Lasker but modern players have a new situation to contend with. Everyone has perfect information, they have all the games, they have computer programs to analyse and they're used to playing their preparation which not only includes specific moves but they'll also investigate the general qualities of the middle game and endings. They can bale out to a generic ending typical of the opening a pawn down confident they'll hold it. The next logical step for some players will be to try and set their opponents a different set of problems.

I wonder if Kramnik calculated that he can play 25...Nc2 here. Looks like a tough endgame to defend for black.

I disagree with the assertion that Hensel latest open letter is "needless". I think that Hensel's key point was missed altogether in that comment.

IMHO, the key point is that Topalov will not be recognized World Champion by Kramnik (and many others) if he needs to steal a point in order to do so.

I am just commenting on an assertion made in the header of this thread, implying that Mig invites a discussion on that assertion, I believe.

Also, important difference is Tal was incredibly good at tactics. He wouldnt have missed a 3-move mate, unless he wanted a 25 move mate instead.

lol :D

Nice comment by Crowther. I think a poster mentioned Lasker also - good comparison.

"d" is right about Tal. I saw one spoiled brilliancy of his where he was quoted as saying afterward that he had seen a clear winning line during the game (already deep into a sacrificial sequence he had launched 7 moves earlier) but rejected it because the continuation "seemed to me too prosaic." Instead Tal went for a more spectacular follow-up involving further sacrifices ... which unfortunately had a hole in it. His opponent, Sveshnikov, found the hole, and in the end Tal was fortunate to be able to get out of the game with a half-point.

zero, what point did topalov 'steal'? I'm aware of one that kramnik threw away for free and now wants back once its too late, but can't see how topalov 'stole' one.

Oh, please. Let's not beatify Tal. He made many a mistake in calculations, by his own admission. I think it was Shipov who said that Tal succeeded not because his combinations were flawless, but because he threw so many punches at his opponents that by the time the GM blocked all of them he was too punch drunk and exhausted to continue defending. Topalov may be utilizing a similar approach, but Tal had difficulty against a supreme defender like Korchnoi, and Vesselin is much more blunder prone than the Rigan wizard.

yuriy makes a good point about topalov being blunder prone. even moreso is his self perceived invincibility factor. reminds me of fischer when he'd take drawn positions and end up losing because he was "too good" in his own mind to accept the draw. by all rights game 1 was a draw but topalov wasn't satisfied. game 2 he had a win and blundered it away when i can't see fischer/tal/kasparov etc missing that kind of mate

What's the evaluation of this position after time control move 40? Is Topalov just holding so far?

That is precisely why I think ratings are extremely inflated. Do I think on his best day at 2800+ that Topalov would be able to bring down the Fischer of 1971/1972 at 2780? Hell no. For that matter I don't believe Kramnik would've been able to defend Fischer of 71' 72' either. He'd certainly have gotten mated in game 2.

Ratings are absolutely out of whack. I do not believe at all in ratings which are actually lifetime averages.

Ever see a football team who is ranked for life as #2? Of course not. Each season they are re-ranked from scratch. Thus I believe only in performance ratings.

The Fischer of 1971/1972 was playing, at one stretch, at nearly 3100. 3100! To me that was his rating at the time then, but Elo has us figure in his games from when he was 12?! that's pathetic.

Do I honestly believe these two guys playing now with a <2700 performance rating would've been able to deal with Fischer who was performing at nearly a 3100 (albeit OFFICIALLY rated lower than Topalov is now)?


Fix the rating system. Performance ratings are all that count. They should be seasonal just like any sports team. I don't care about factoring in a lifetime of games for a chess player anymore than a football team.

I predict a draw...

Topalov struggling after 39. ...Bh2 perhaps?

Oh, please, let's beatify Tal y all means. He made many a mistake in calculations, by his own admission, because he was human, and not a computer, and his mistakes were in lines tens of moves deep, which many others dismally failed at. Shipov was certainly right in saying Tal succeeded not because his combinations were flawless, but because he threw so many punches at his opponents that by the time they blocked what threats they could see, they realised that Tal was only just warming up, and they were too punch drunk and exhausted to continue defending. Tal had difficulty against a supreme defender like Korchnoi certainly, but it was quite probable that this was more down to psychology as Tal himself explained, especially when he lost the first game against a particular opponent and tried to win when it was objectively impossible. This is borne out by the fact that he rarely lost as Black, but most ofen as White to Korchnoi.

I meant to add, Topalov is trying to play in the same vein, but he isnt good enough at tactics in my opinion. Of course it may work against Kramnik.

I think Kramnik's going to win a pawn.

steve, if we just go by the semantics of "to steal or not to steal", then even the Bulgarian prime minister wants ALL the games played, thus including playing game 5 over the board. We could also say that FIDE stole the point and gave it to Topalov, and there are many other lines of this kind of semantics, including yours.

However, if we go by the more substantive principles of sportsmanhip and fairness, then the no-stealing-beyond-doubt aspect (or whatever words you may want to use) gets reinforced, particularly for someone seeking recognition as the undisputed World Champion.

I think Kramnik's press release is required. At this stage it is important to clarify that he will play the tie-break, if needed, under protest. This is needed as there has been a lot of speculation about it. Doing so now would be better than doing this after the result.


50.f6 looks like it could force a draw.

Kamsky and Short are having a fight on playchess chat about their match a dozen of years go, don't miss it!

Wonder why Short waited so long to question Gata on his father's dirty tricks.

Hasn't Gata parted ways with Rustam? Rustam was a real pain in those days. It was a relief for the chess world when he decided that Gata would get out of chess.


How do I watch this discussion on playchess.com - do I have to join or can you post a direct link to the discussion? thank you in advance

It will be quite impressive if Kram manages to make something out of this. I was about to write the game would very soon end in a split point, but now I'm less sure. Seems like Vlad will succeed in keeping Topalov's Rook away from the Black pawns, then the Black pieces may be able to harass the White K. Still with so few pawns left and B's of opposite colors, it's hard to see the Black initiative yielding enough of a dividend to tip the balance. The latter I think would require either winning BOTH White pawns -- not just one -- while Black kept both of his; or else snaring the White K in a mating net.

It's especially impressive because for most of the game it appeared that Black was struggling to hold equality, rather than the other way around; and unlike in some previous games, White didn't make any obvious blunder that I could see.

Fascinating discussion. Game looks like a draw

I believe, in his last Letter Hensel confirms Kramnik will play to the end, including tie-breaks, but will sue FIDE is game 5 is not being played, and he loses.

Polgar's blog has details of the Kamsky-Short spat :) There is indeed a lot of similarity between that match and the current one (Danailov is also considered to be a father-figure; Rustam was far more crass and physical than Danailov).


Interesting linguistic point – everyone knows what offering someone ‘outside’ in a pub means, but what does ‘outside’ a chatroom mean?

Do they do this sort of thing regularly? What a pity Moro and Topalov don’t chat much on the ICC.

Check out Susan Polgar's blog for a bizarre (I assume true) exchange between Short and Kamsky as they comment on the 11th game.

Poor Gata is caught. He can't admit he made a mistake nor can he defend his father's loutish behavior.

Yet, listen to Polgar's "neutral" statement:
The reason why I brought up this LIVE battle between Nigel and Gata is to show you that when you play in a match this big, people do and say things that they normally do not do due to extreme pressure. For those fans who sit at home and make judgment, it is not always as easy as 1, 2, 3 as it seems at home. Imagine that EVERY move you make will be a part of history. How you walk, how you talk, how you sit, how everything will be magnified 1,000 times. I may have said something during my World Championship match that I am not proud off. That is why when I met Xie Jun again at the Olympiad in 2004, we went out for coffee and chat to put any misunderstanding behind us and focus on doing things to help chess in our respective countries."

Kamsky in those days was as much at fault (or more) than Toppy is now. Since he is her friend, she is trying to brush the whole thing aside as a "pressure" thing. And then there is the gratuitous reference to her WC match.

I am sure Anand also has horror stories of the Kamsys but he istoo much of a gentleman to open up like Short (in fact, his recent losses to Kamsky indicate that there are still some scars).


Polgar's blog has details of the Kamsky-Short spat :) There is indeed a lot of similarity between that match and the current one.

There was no Internet then to force an immediate verdict in the court of public opinion. Also, Rustam Kamsky's antics seem to have done Gata more good than Danailov's antics have done for Topalov.


Once again Susan Polgar, the Queen Of Chess, shines on her thrown.

Must be wonderful to be her...

Will the doping come out now?

This game was a microcosm of the match. Once again, Topalov had the novelty with a better middlegame. Once again, Topalov spoiled it with an ill-advised pawn push. The only difference is that Topalov held the draw this time (or Kramnik failed to prosecute the win, depending on your viewpoint). A win for Kramnik here would have been almost devastating.

Strategy for Game 12 now gets interesting. It depends on how the players assess their chances in rapids.

John -- I agree with you about the problems of an inflexible ELO. Even at the lower levels it is frustrating to play a person who earned a low rating in high school and now plays 600 points higher. Frustrating to lose to him and frustrating for him because it takes so very many tournaments for his rating to catch his true playing stength, if ever.

The ELO system would be much more interesting and accurate if it averaged the performance of a players last X games. The trouble is figuring out a reasonable value for X. Some of us play 50+ rated games a year while others play less than 5.

Your second question: Would either Toppy or Vlad hold a chance against Fischer in his prime? The Toppy of San Luis (at least the first half) certainly would have. And the Kramnik that defeated Kasparov also would have. So how to account for all these blunders?

The trouble comparing Toppy or Kramnik to Fischer is that opening preparation has totally changed, with computer analysis playing a big part of it. How would Fischer have fared in "modern" chess? He took himself out of the game, to ensure we would never find out!

When you mention how would Fischer compare to today's opening prep? Bobby was usually better prepared than anyone else when it came to openings.

If he had computers in his day he'd have been equally ahead of his peers just as he was then. It was his motivation, not the technology.

I too think ratings are a joke and agree that it should be seasonal, regardless of the # of games played. Something needs to be done about this to make it fair. That's why fischer rarely played. He'd take a year off, come back much stronger, take time off, come back stronger etc. And he knew what draws did for your rating as well.

That's why he disdained draws so much and preferred to play "to the kings" down to the last pawn if need be.

I'd personally love to see a new tournament rule. No agreed upon draws. Only positional draws like insufficient material. This would change the game and no more kramnik wants to watch soccer type games or russians drawing amongst themselves to conserve energy against fischer etc.

It would promote fighting chess as never before.

On chesspro.ru forum they are joking that they visited www.kramnik.com and after they they tried to go to www.topalov.com and thought the picture was appropriate :)

Well, Kramnik and Hensel seem intent on ramping up the pressure. Of course, that could always backfire. Clearly, Kramnik played out the last 20 moves of the game merely to gain a psychological edge. The advantage on the board was merely symbolic, and Topalov wasn't "tortured" by the defensive task. However, Kramnik did show that he had fight, and still had energy. Plus, if he is pushing for the win as Black, it must give Topalov some pause for thought about Game 12.
Presumeably, Topalov thinks that the chances are with him, should the match be decided by tie-break games. Therefore, all he wants to do is just survive the last game. Will he play "out of style" and be passive and cautious? That would play into Kramnik's hands.

During an interview taken Sept.30, Mr. Danailov explained why they agreed to play this match after throwing away much better offer made by Kramnik a year ago.
The offer to play this match was made directly by Kirsan. Topalov agreed to play with Kramnik to support Kirsan, because they got an un-official but very sound informnation that if the match is not going to happen, Kirsanov will not be re-elected:

After this public statement all this BS about Topalov playing on the enemies land, is quite obvious BS.
And it is quite sure now that Kirsan will do his best to let Topalov play in the next WC tournament even if he loses. And if the tournament takes place, of course.
And my guess is, Kramnik will not participate there if he wins the match. He will decline an invitation if Topalov is invited. Looks like unification failed again.

From my pre-event preview:

"If the match comes down to a rapid or blitz playoff then they've played 23 games with Kramnik winning 9 Topalov winning only 4 and 10 draws (14-9 to Kramnik).

In addition Kramnik won their mini-match playoff in the FIDE World Championships of 1999 on a rapid tie-break.

I don't doubt Topalov can win the playoff but I doubt he has the advantage.

One thing is sure, Kramnik is toast against deep fritz. He's back and forth with topalov who is blundering and kramnik isn't finding strong initiatives out of the opening.

Fritz doesn't blunder or make opening mistakes.

Kramnik is in serious trouble w/fritz but since chessbase/fritz are paying him anyway, he won't care what the outcome is so long as its a paycheck.

I'm not so sure Topalov doesn't hold a playoff advantage. He can play much faster than Kramnik who keeps running into time pressure.

A nice reserve novelty or two unleashed by topalov in quick games is certain to send kramnik up against the time wall.

My guess is that Kramnik likes his chances in classical chess better than rapid, so he'll be looking for the kind of opening he got in Game 10.

I think that Kramnik already considers himself the moral victor, regardless of the outcome at the board, because the *most* Topalov can do now is to win with the help of the forfeit point he got in Game 5.

This is something!!!

What's the schedule? When is Game 12, and if there are tiebreaks, when are they?

According to David Bronstein, long time control frequently limits strong GM strength. Usually strong GM can see the best move almost immediately, and spends most of the time proving this or looking for other opportunities. Too frequently during this reflection GM can fall for some miracle, and lose the track. Kramnik spending more time is not a measure of who is better in rapids. He just managed to distribute all time he has better than Topalov. He had some time troubles only once, IMHO, and this was far from real time troubles, but he blundered at that moment and lost. But if you look at how Topalov played, almost all his blunders were made when he was playing fast.
The psychology will lead tie-breaks, IMHO. The coolest will win.

funny topalov site. being that its in russian doesn't surprise me. they'd sell their own mother for a nickel to keep the tittle in russian hands. always have, always will.

it's not in Russian, it's in Bulgarian. BTW, looks like a geniune site created by some Todor Topalov.

"If you look at how Topalov played, almost all his blunders were made when he was playing fast."

Interesting point. Topalov had something like 1'15" left on his clock after the second time control (move 60). But what good did it do him? He was a pawn down in a drawn endgame. I don't think a draw was his objective today.

The site topalov.com is in Bulgarian.

I'm sure that the owner of the site has no clue about his instant fame in chess circles... The site sells equipment for video surveilance.


Mig enhanced the header of this discussion thread with: "Kramnik won't recognize Topalov's victory should he lose the match." This is inaccurate if not misleading, because Hensel's point is not that unqualified.

The Hensel open letter item #3 makes it quite clear that Kramnik does not recognize Topalov as the World Champion (and here comes the qualification) ***if the unplayed game 5 has an influence on the awarding of the World Championship title***

Kramnik is certainly not alone in wanting game 5 actually decided over the board in awarding the ***undisputed*** World Championship title.

But Topalov/Danailov/FIDE would be more than happy with a tainted World Championship title, at least that's the impression that they gave to the public sofar.

This is Bulgarina site created in 2003.
whois info for topalov.com:
Momina Krepost
VT, VT 5000

Domain name: TOPALOV.COM

Administrative Contact:
Topalov, Todor admin@topalov.com
Momina Krepost
VT, VT 5000
Technical Contact:
Topalov, Todor admin@topalov.com
Momina Krepost
VT, VT 5000

Registration Service Provider:
dom.BG - .COM .INFO .BIZ - $13.90 - $8.90

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 04-Sep-2006.
Record expires on 09-May-2007.
Record created on 09-May-2003.

Controversy draws attention, see the very top of this page, the first posts. The more controversy, the more news. The more news, the more people interested. The more people are interested, the more sponsors there will be.

Look at professional sports, MLB has steriod controversies, NFL players caught in parties with prostitutes and violence arrests, NBA drug use and HIV (all mentioned above).

No sponsors have abandoned the sports and you'll find people who don't care for sports actually discussing controversial personalities from sports.

Even bad press is good press for sponsors.

So if Kramnik were to win game 12 Hensel's letter is requesting they play game 5 right afterwards?! Then Kramnik could lose that game, and the match would go to tiebreaks; or if he were to draw game 12 and play game 5 and lose, Topalov would win!
Seems like Kramnik's taking a big chance here, no?! (Even though he would've had White in game 5, if I remember correctly)Anyway, I wonder if either of these scenarios would come to pass, i.e., if Danailov - who is nothing if not an opportunist - would take up Hensel on his offer if he thought his man might lose otherwise (i.e., especially if Kramnik were to win game 12). But, of course, that would probably piss off (sorry) Kirsan for changing the rules...?!

I suspect that FIDE would not agree to replaying a forfeited game purely on the basis of principle. It will open a dangerous precedent.


It's all posturing. The time to replay Game 5 was before Game 6. If they didn't agree to it THEN, they won't agree to it NOW.

Didn't FIDE replay game 1 of 1972 match after Fischer forfeited it? Of course, both Fischer and Spassky agreed to it then.

Sorry, d, your request for canonization of Tal is denied for the very reasons you cite in your response--his attack was quite fallible. I don't think there is a true fan of chess who doesn't love Tal, both because of his personality and his gameplay. Just like every other GM on the planet, he might have and could have missed a 3-move mate.

Russianbear the Fischer match was a forfeit in game 2 not 1. In addition Fischer accepted the forfeit like a man, played on and that was that.

Fischer accepted personal responsibility for his risky decision resulting in the forfeit. Kramnik should do the same thing.

"So if Kramnik were to win game 12 Hensel's letter is requesting they play game 5 right afterwards?! Then Kramnik could lose that game, and the match would go to tiebreaks; or if he were to draw game 12 and play game 5 and lose, Topalov would win!"

No, if Kramnik wins the 12th game, the standing is 6,5-5,5 if you count the game 5 forfeit, and 6,5-4,5 if you don't. There's no way the match victory could be taken from Kramnik then, unless he were to get -0,5 for a game 5 loss, and Topalov would get +1,5 (perhaps that's what Danailov would insist on)!

Brian, I believe Fischer originally forfeited game 1, too, but Spassky agreed to give it back.

Russianbear, if I remember what I read before, Fischer missed the opening ceremony and was late for the first game (only a few minutes though).

Not sure if the first game had to be rescheduled.

Fischer was over a week late and didn't even show up for the drawing of lots to see who'd play white. The Russians wanted Spaasky to call the match off via forfeit. Lothar Schmidt saved it but you have to tip your hat to Spaasky.

Fischer showed up to play every game, including game one after the match had been postponed. The only game he didn't show for once the match had begun was game 2.

That game was forfeit and the point not only not returned to Fischer, but Bobby didn't put up a stink to get it back. He accepted it and moved on.

funny thing is after losing game 1 and forfeit game 2 bobby was ready to head home and get on a plane. They disabled his car and then cooled him off and the rest is chess history.

Like Kramnik, Fischer thought the match was so important they wouldn't "dare" give him the forfeit. they did. and it stuck.

Bobby may have known better but Kramnik certainly knew better as there was the fischer incident to show him the precedent, that the point will not be returned.

In all honesty they can't return the point, else any GM who feels wronged will feel jsutified in just abandoning a game to make a point or get their way. It cannot be allowed to happen. There are proper channels like what Kramnik wisely decided to do since then, play under protest.

For what its worth, Spassky was insulted that Bobby didn't show for the drawing of lots and at Kremlin direction, refused to proceed until Bobby apologized in writing, which bobby did.

You have to remember Bobby didn't have anything personal against Spassky. Bobby had it in for Russia and for match pay & conditions. Spassky just happened to be the one who was accross the board.

I think Spassky was more of a gentleman than almost any other WC I've ever heard of. He could've walked away with the title and told Bobby to go 'f' himself. However he actually APPLAUDED Bobby on stage after one of his wins - along with the crowd. You'll never see that happen again.

Kramnik not good in rapid??!
Kramnik and Anand are amongst the best rapid players in the world. The Intel Grandprix rapid tourneys were shared between these two and Kasparov and Ivanchuk.

Bobby actually is a sad story, turned into a wackjob. But he claimed he'd undo what the Russians did. He claimed a champion would play in every tournament and always be available.

The other thing he was going to do was "Bum of the Month" match where he'd play a "bum" (GM of course) each month to do something exciting.

He clearly didn't have modesty issues lol.

A few points:

1. I generally agree with Crowther's comment about Topalov's style, although I wouldn't necessarily equate it to Tal. Tal was more concerned with the situation on the chessboard - the spectacle for him had little to do with his opponent's comfort or lack thereof.

2. I doubt Fischer, at 2780 or otherwise, could win a match against Maghnus Carlsen, let alone a Kramnik or Topalov. The level of technique and preparation is higher now, and while ratings are "inflated" in the sense that there are higher ratings out there, this is because ratings measure -relative- strength. And there are more strong players now than there once were. I doubt Fischer could score 25% against Kramnik.

"I suspect that FIDE would not agree to replaying a forfeited game purely on the basis of principle. It will open a dangerous precedent."

Not "on the basis of principle" but "on the basis of law". Before deciding what to do (after the opponents did not reach a compromise) FIDE has consulted their lawyers. They also probably asked them also about the notorious "illegal release of private video images". (It is interesting to know if actually AK has contacted them even before taking their decision). Obviously FIDE are sure that no point of the match contract (or any other FIDE regulations) has been breached in the AK decision (incl. the video release).

I also think it will not only set a “dangerous precedent” (to play the 5th game), but it will simply be illegal to do so. It could easily be attacked by Topalov’s side in the same court. IMHO, even not the best, the decision taken by AK about the “toilet appeal” is legally correct.

Yes, Fischer forfeited Game 1, Spassky gave it back on condition that Fischer write an apology and Euwe admit in writing that he'd broken FIDE rules to save the match.

Of course in that case, both players agreed to play the forfeited game. The precedent for playing a forfeit *without* the consent of the forfeit winner was set at the Vegas Knockout in the Macieja-Milov match.


Kasparov (from Portugal): "29.Bxe6 fxe6 30.Rb3 with an eventual b5. Maybe not real winning chances for White, but Black has some problems and b7 is weak. White play for win with no risk. Can you imagine facing Karpov with white in that position?"

If kramnik can't crush topalov, he wouldn't stand much of a chance against the Fischer of 71/72. The kramnik of 2000? Maybe.

As for the level of preparation these days? This match shows how theoretically unprepared kramnik was in the openings alone, a category bobby was notorious for.

Keep in mind the Fischer of 71/72 was playing at nearly a 3100 level. Even Kasparov said there was never a chess player in history to be so clearly far and above all others. Not even himself.

The question is whether Topalov missed 29.Bxe6, or if he thought that 29.f5 led to some complications that turned out not to be there.

That's three games now in which a Topalov pawn push has turned a better position into a draw, or a drawn position into a loss.

Interesting to see Kasparov mention Karpov - it is as if he is implying that perhaps Karpov could squeeze more out of that position than Garry himself.

Karpov was well known to win by applying tight pressure making 'easy' moves. Kasparov's style is obviously different.

Karpov is a worm. Got the title without a move played. Kept title vs kasparov by USSR cancelling match via FIDE when Kasparov was catching up. When Kasparov left, Karpov again comes in and takes the title. He was neither better than Fischer or Kasparov yet both times took the title when they left and cancelled the match when he would ultimately lose it.

And Karpov now says he'd have walked out if Kramnik? Karpov has the morals of a gutter tramp, he was a communist stooge from day 1.

Did Kasparov comment 40..Rg2!? that everybody's engines screamed for? Even if objectively better it would have been a bit messy.

Fischer didn't forfeit game 1, the entire match was delayed. Fischer did however miss the drawing of lots for which spassky demanded a written letter of apology.

Do a google search of the fischer spassky match in the video section, its well documented and covered. No game from the match was replayed. Game 1 was not forfeit, the entire match was delayed until Bobby arrived.

Karpov was well known to win by applying tight pressure making 'easy' moves. Kasparov's style is obviously different.

Sorry, no more right now. It was just a toss-in while talking about work stuff. He has a speech at a big business expo tomorrow in Estoril (death site of Alekhine if you're superstitious).

It's no secret that the endgame wasn't Kasparov's best department, relatively speaking only of course. Obviously generalizing greatly, Garry has in the past broken down the last three K's as follows:

Karpov = middlegame + endgame
Kasparov = opening + middlegame
Kramnik = opening + endgame

That is, the phase missing in each case was the relative weakness of each. Karpov preferred to absorb the opening ideas of his team, Kasparov didn't have the methodical patience for the endgame, and Kramnik lacks consistency in dynamic play. Not that all three of them aren't superior in all phases, of course.

May be Karpov is a worm. But he won matches vs. Polugaevsky, Spassky, and Korchnoi before Fischer played chicken.

The only purpose of delaying the match Spassky-Fischer was to avoid forfeit.

Good stuff, Mig. It may have been a toss-in, but it made me interested in reading Kasparov's opinions on Karpov further. I am ordering his Predescessors book on Karpov from Amazon right now :)

Vlad I agree that the delay was to avoid forfeit, that's why there was no forfeit of the match. Spassky was the true sportsman and gentleman. Everyone credits Fischer with his demands for pay & conditions for improving the sport. What they fail to mention is if not for Spassky's sportsmanship, the match would've defaulted and Fischer not have achieved anything on the board, or off.

I hope Spassky is doing well after his stroke. I consider him one of the finest sportsman chess has ever seen. Ever hear of another chess player give a standing ovation to their opponent along with the crowd, for beating him?

As for karpov, he didn't beat bobby before him, nor kasparov after him. I consider him a space filler but not a true world champion in the sense of the word. How could he be FIDE champ while Kasparov left FIDE and is stronger and already had beaten him every single time they met?

My point of view is quite different. I belive, that all the mess with sudden demands, last minute rule changes, public scandals, etc. was introduced to chess by Fischer. And we all should say him thanks for this.
Of course, there were conflicts before him, but those were resolved more or less in gentle manner. And most - behind the closed doors, so general public could see chess as a gentlemen game, not the covard field, as it is now.

'The question is whether Topalov missed 29.Bxe6, or if he thought that 29.f5 led to some complications that turned out not to be there.'

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he didn't miss it.

You can consider Karpov whatever, of course, but the truth is, the total score of Kasparov vs. Karpov is just +1 (+22-21, draws not counted). Not that impressive, hah?

Comment from chesspro.ru: Both players were asked to go through a doping test.

Interesting "fact" from Mr. fact. Karpov couldn't do anything about the fact that Fischer refused to play in 1975. Karpov then defeated Korchnoi twice. From 1982-90, he played five matches with Kasparov, and there was---what, only +1 or +2 difference between them. That's a fifteen-year run of being the #1 or #2 player.

After the split, he regained the FIDE title, obviously a cheapened commodity at that point, but nevertheless defended it easily against all comers. There was the famous year at Linares when he went 11/13.

Overall, that's at least a 20-year run during which, by any measure, he was either the #1 or #2 match player in the world, and a pretty formidable tournament player too. That puts him in pretty select company.

Karpov was never popular in Bulgaria due to his party connections (real or invented). But to discount Karpov's chess legacy in such a brazen manner is shocking. He was at the top for 10 years during which he did not go unchallenged.
It strikes me to see just how polarized to the extend of mindlessness the chess crowd can get. Wow! I've learned something while closely monitoring this championship. Are chess fans smarter on the average than wrestling fans?


Just to reiterate the point I made in the last game thread: I think this latest press release again shows again that Kramnik knew he couldn't "lose" when he came back to play the rest of the match. He could still easily have won the match outright; he could end up in a tiebreak, and win that (or lose and claim it never should have happened); or Topalov could win the match, and no matter what the margin, the forfeit could concievably change the outcome (as I pointed out, even if Topalov had won the next 5 games post-forfeit, leaving him up 7-3, that's still only 6 "real" points - leaving Kramnik, and others, the option to not recognize Topalov as champion - though it would look ridiculous when taken to that unlikely extreme).

I'd never suggest he originally took the forfeit for this reason; that's ridiculous. It likely did, however, play into his decision to go on with the rest of the match. And Kramnik saying that he'd only dispute Topalov's win if Game Five is relevant is just clever word play - if Topalov won, no matter what the score, Game Five would prove to be relevant. And only in the most extreme cases - like the 7-3 scenarion, which was extremely unlikely - would most people agree that Topalov really won (and there'd still be room for disagreement).

Karpov was good, no doubt. He was not, however, the best at any time when he held any title. Bobby was better as was Garry. +1 or +100 he still lost. Would you sing Topalov praises if he loses -1?

Wow I am amazed. Karpov beat Korchnoi while Fischer and Kasparov were not there.

That's like saying you beat up your sister while Tyson was fighting Holyfield.

Who is the best? Who would beat whom? Is that all that matters? Does anyone remember the magic of these players or just the results? Does the chess matter or only the result? Do most people understand so little about these players and how they played that all they can talk about is results??

Very classy comment by Kasparov recognizing Karpov as the expert on that sort of position.

"Karpov was good, no doubt. He was not, however, the best at any time when he held any title. Bobby was better as was Garry. +1 or +100 he still lost. Would you sing Topalov praises if he loses -1?"

At the time Karpov first took the title, Fischer hadn't played a professional game in 3 years. It is far from clear that Fischer could have come back and beat him. Until Garry came along in the early 1982, you certainly have to say that Karpov was the world's best active player. It's also not a slam-dunk that Kasparov would have won their first match had Campanomes not cancelled it.

Karpov lost out to Kasparov (barely) only after a long period at the top. Topalov has not yet done anything nearly the equivalent of that.

To prove somebody is better, they have to play. Karpov was the No.1 since 1974 till his matches with Kasparov for 10+ years. And during matches with Kasparov, there was no clear edge. And just saying that Kasparov was the best is not correct. I belive they shared the top till 1990 after which Kapsarov became clear No.1.
By the way, last time Karpov won match vs. Kasparov was year 2002, but this was rapid, 4 games only ;-)

I would suggest that people ignore the trolls. There is this guy who uses different names(sometimes the names of other regulars) and keeps posting the most ridiculous things. I guess he wants to get as much response as possible because somehow it is fun for him. I suggest ignoring that person.

Fischer didn't forfeit Game 1 because Spassky gave the forfeit back. Read the text of Fischer's apology in which he talks about how disadvantaged he'd be if Spassky insisted on upholding the forfeit.

Making up statistics doesn't help your cause, Vlad. When they are shown to be lies it makes us doubt everything else you say. Kasparov has 28 career wins against Karpov in classical chess against 20 losses. If you wish to include other time controls and exhibitions, add three wins for Kasparov and two for Karpov.

And how does "no clear edge" translate into one cancelled match, one drawn match and three wins for one player and no wins for the other? There is more to winning than the numbers. Ask Karpov.

russian online daily writes that both players are to be tested for doing and kramnik is said to be the first to be tested and the samples are to be sent to a moscow lab for analysis. http://www.polit.ru/news/2006/10/10/doping.popup.html

does not mention whose initiative though.

Mig, I believe the statistic people were trying to mention was +2 for Kasparov over 5 matches (and I think over 140 games). So they only counted World championship games. That is pretty close - hard to be much closer, really. Had a game or two gone another way, maybe Karpov would be the champion for 15 years and Kasparov 10 years, and not vice versa. Noone is arguiing that Kasparov was the better player in the matches, but it is quite obvious that Karpov was really close. As for their lifetime stats, I think it would be closer if Karpov retired soon after loosing the title, like Kasparov did. But Karpov kept playing and their lifetime record is a little misleading, because at the time they were fighting for the World championship, they were much closer than the lifetime record suggests. If you consider that Karpov was past his prime during most of his matches with Kasparov, it makes his accomplishments all the more impressive.

Just to chime in on the Karpov discussion. Karpov's stellar tournament record in the 1970's was equaled only by several other world champions at the peak of their careers. He was clearly the world's best player. Don't take my word for it, just ask any of the top GMs.

Both players will be tested and the lab will be in the home country of one of the participants? I'd prefer a neutral nation doing it, thanks.

Regarding the score, I shall agree to your total count, my initial search in CB online DB had games missing, so I did another search in Chess Assistant HugeDB to get the same result.

But here are numbers which confirm that Kasparov had no clear edge over Karpov before 1990 (+ means Karpov won, - means Kasparov won):
1984 +5-3
1985 +3-5
1986 +4-5
1987 +4-5
1988 +1-2
1989 -
1990 +3-4

Regarding the match count: 1 match was cancelled when Karpov was ahead (we can speculate forever on who would win if it was not cancelled, of course), 1 match was drawn, and 2 matches were won by Kasparov. I do not count the rapid match won by Karpov, by the way. Where did you found 3 Kasparov wins?
Thje total match score is +1=1-2 or +2=2-2 if we count the rapid one won by Karpov in 2002.
And where do you see the clear edge in their total match score +19-21=104?

Kasparov said several days before Linares-1994 that the winner could rightfully be called the world champion of tournaments. Karpov won 11 of 13.

Nowhere did I say it wasn't close. I'm not criticizing Karpov at all, I was just pointing out errors. There's also something to be said about always winning the close ones (or, as in 87, drawing them!). Nor am I sure Karpov wasn't playing as well or better in the 90's than he was in the 80's. The competition with Kasparov raised both their games. It was seeing the powerful new generation come in in the mid-90's that seemed to sap is will to work so hard.

Yes, it does make things easier when you pick and choose your numbers. Why not just stop counting after the first half of the 1984 match and conclude Karpov was dominant? I see a clear edge in winning. You don't get any bonus points for margin of victory. It's about winning and it's about the title. Even in 1984 when Karpov was demonstrably superior he couldn't win the match. Then he couldn't win on demand in 1985 as Kasparov did when faced with exactly the same situation in 87. I don't consider it a coincidence that even though the score was incredibly close and their play was very evenly matched, Kasparov always held on.

Kasparov won in 85, 86, and 90, by the way. I believe that makes three wins and one draw in 87. C'mon.

Please don't insult us by counting the 2002 X3D rapid exhibition. (Especially after stopping your other counting at 1990.) Apart from being automatically disqualified for being rapid, it was far from serious conditions. At least the Siemens events were professional conditions.

I'm not even sure what you are trying to argue anymore. That Karpov was a great player? Obviously. That he won in Linares 1994 with a fantastic score? Of course. But don't denigrate the match tradition by implying it was luck that allowed Kasparov to take and defend the title every time across those 144 games with Karpov.

The doping test arrangements, according to that article.

1. Why not test them both at the same time? If "first one, then the other" means that Topalov will be tested in a few days, what kind of test is that?

2. A lab in Moscow?? Gimme a break.

Yeah, I was gonna say, surely 1987 wasn't +4 -5!

Can someone tell me something about the ELO system? Say I'm 2600 and play a game and lose to, say, someone rated 2200. I drop ten ELO points on the game. My understanding is that mathematically there does come a time when my ELO gets back to the same as it would have been if that game had been won (assuming I have the same results from then on). Is this true? And anyone know how long this period is?

rdh, as a 2400-rated IM you must surely already know how the ELO system works?

The rating effect of an old result decays exponentially as new results come in. The current rating is a weighted average of all past results, with the weights emphasizing the recent results.

After enough new results are obtained, the old results have approximately zero effect.

For further perspective on the doping tests, I noticed that the article in the Russian magazine doesn't even refer to the players by name. It calls them "the Russian" and "the Bulgarian".

They must be getting a good chuckle out of it. Couldn't Danailov arrange anything more likely to be unbiased?

The following might not answer your question, rdh, because I've read that the Elo system (it's really wrong to call it ELO since it's no acronym, but the name of a person, i.e., Dr. Arpad Elo, who invented ratings) as currently employed by FIDE differs in significant ways from the version used by the progenitor, the USCF.

Still you might be interested to know that the cover story in the October Chess Life is all about the nuts and bolts of (USCF) ratings calculations, as explained by Mark Glickman, the math professor who heads the USCF Ratings Committee. (I haven't seen it yet; I just saw somebody complain about it on the USCF's own blog, saying the subject was too dry to merit a cover.)

notalawyer: get real, man! If one 2400+ player in a hundred could answer my question, I'd be surprised.

artichoke: yes, I understand that in principle. According to my limited understanding, for each game you have an expectancy (which is .75 if you outrate the opponent by 192 points, I believe.) and for that game you rise and fall by a capital amount, so if you win your rating goes up by .25, multiplied by a constant which in my case is 10, contrary to what notalawyer believes. This is then rounded over the tournament, and every quarter your rating changes. So in my 2600-losing-to-2200 scenario, at the next quarter, no matter how many games you have played, your rating will be 10 points lower than if you had won the game. But that will mean your expectancy for future games becomes lower, and consequently if you perform at the same level your rating will creep back up towards whatever it was before. My question was: how long will it take before the effect of any single game is entirely lost?

Actually writing it down like that I understand that there can be no answer, because if you play 50 games a quarter your rating will be adjusted less frequently (ie less frequently per game) than if you pay 10. So there cannot be a fixed number of games after which it will no longer matter: nonetheless an estimate would be interesting given certain parameters (say 20 games per quarter).

Another statistical question which always interests me is this; say your strength is 2400 (a fairly meaningless notion, but bear with me) and remains constant. Sooner or later, like those ghastly mathematical coin-toss conundra, your rating will hit both 2300 and 2500. How long is this likely to take? Of course this too depends upon how consistent a player you are, but there are statistical tests which would yield some sort of expectation (aren't there? trespassing way beyond my expertise here).

This contributes absolutely nothing to the discussion, but I simply have to tip my hat to rdh's (accurate, needless to say) use of "conundra".

rdh, may I ask how, if your strength is 2400 and remains constant, could your rating change? Aren't you then performing at a 2400 level, and so you wouldn't gain or lose points?

In case you mean what's the probability that a player with an actual strength of 2400 is rated in the range of 2300-2500, then you have a different question I think. You could take the density function for an extreme value distribution (which, I think is used to calculate player's ratings), and then integrate over the range of values at interest. At least I think that might work in theory.

Integrate Density function DOES NOT SUFFICE. what he needs is a Monte Carlo simulation, still based on the density function for 2400, plus some reasonable distribution of opponents, e.g. based on his typical tournament preferences. In this way the variation in rating could be analyzed.

FrankM, doesn't it depend on which question you're answering? If you're just looking for the probability that a person's whose true strength is 2400 has a rating between 2300-2500, I don't see why you'd need to do develop a Monte Carlo algorithm.

If you wanted to see how likely it is, given some "universe" of opponents to be faced, that a person whose rating is accurately placed at 2400 drops to 2300 or goes up to 2500, then I agree, a Monte Carlo simulation would be reasonable.

Without being provided a set of opponents in the pool, however, you can't compute any probability of going to 2300 or 2500, which is why I instead gave some reasoning for the probability of being rated in that range.

By the way, in an attempt to get back on topic, I don't see what's so dangerous about Kasparov's suggestion there on move 29.

After 29.Bxe6 fxe6 30.Rb3, say Black plays 30...Ra2 (threatening ...Bh4); then 31.Kf3 looks reasonable, which Black can meet with ...Bc7 (threatening ...Bxf4); then 32.Bg3 (guarding both h2- and f4-pawns), which Black can meet with ...Rc2. How is White going to do anything?

Well to answer rdh's question exactly, various integer effects would enter so that enumerating it would not be worth the trouble. What I wrote is, as rdh says, close enough for government work.

Ratings are stored as integers, I believe. Adjusting the model I wrote for that, the effect of a prior result is exactly null when the integer value of the rating is the same as it would have been without it.

vsb rdh was asking within what time frame, or with what probability the rating could fluctuate up or down. That is more like a random walk sort of problem, best answered, IMO by Monte Carlo sims. There might also be some OK theoretical approximations. Of course the opposition matters as well, partly based on inaccuracies in the win/loss percentages predicted by the rating formula, especially near the cutoffs.

Back on track, http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3418 has a potpourri on WC reactions, including an opinion of UK Lawyer John Cox contradicting the opinion of FIDE Lawyer Morton Sand.

But to be an ***undisputed*** champion, one has to rise above legalities to at least the sportsmanship/fainess level.

If Topalov wins, there will be certainly undisputed champion, considering the potpourri on chessbase is still 95% pro Kramnik.

Only if Kramnik wins, there will be an undisputed champion, at least for 95% of the public.

1. Absent integer effects, the time frame (measured in subsequent rated games) for decay of a given game's rating effect can be viewed independently of the fluctuations. (Even with integer effects, the extent of error is bounded and small.) As such, the answer is as I described above.

2. I think that more data is needed to answer the question about fluctuations: the standard deviation of one's performance rating around true strength. This may vary per player. I asked the USCF rating statistician about the assumption embedded in the current USCF system and he didn't answer. I don't recall exactly why I thought it had to be assumed, maybe no assumption is needed but even so it would be an interesting statistic for the rated population that I would expect him to be familiar with.

3. The question of how fast expected rating will adjust to a change in actual strength is simple and requires no assumptions. It's the same as the first question: the rating effect of the old strength decays exponentially and eventually vanishes.

With the old simple formulas (and maybe also with the new ones), no Monte Carlo simulation is needed to answer these questions. The answer obtained would be approximately right for the current system as well.

vsb I am not looking at board so I could be forgetting something but why not 33.Ke4 at the end of your line? If 33 ...Re2+, 34. Kd4 with clear initiative.

Oops, I meant to say in my previous post

If Topalov wins, there will certainly be ***no*** undisputed champion, considering the potpourri on chessbase is still 95% pro Kramnik

I take the opportunity to point out that legalities are the bottom drawer and not really suitable for deciding on an undisputed champion, IMHO. Justice, as distinct from legalities, would be a tad better, but not quite sufficient either. Sportsmanship/fairness is likely to be sufficient in this real world, and in a perfect world one could aim for impeccable ethics.

David, what does 33.Ke4 do? Say I just play something like ...Ke7. I just don't see what constructive plan White has. His pawns on the 4th rank (plus the h2-pawn) seem like too big a set of liabilities to ever stir up anything.

vsb white does have initiative. isn't white's rook now on b3? how about kd4 and i think white threatens both of the following ideas:

(1) b5 so as to crash thru the queenside, get the rook into black's cramped position (b7 square), or maybe instead

(2) ra3, rb2; be1 (maybe kc3 is simpler), bxf4; ra7 winning b pawn.

black may be able to defend for sure, but he has to worry, i think that was kasparov's point


Didn't you realize by now that the "other" website has a clear agenda?

On one side they bash Danailov for his actions, on the other side they accuse Topalov of cheating, make threats through this fat guy, etc.

One thing I learned throughout this experience of reading more about the chess circles lately is that such concepts as right and wrong and severely skewed by interests. Even the veil of pretense is non-existent.


P.S. I wish the chess community Kramnik as a champion. It will be an enjoyable experience, no doubt. Anyway, I value his chances at 70% at this point.

So after the Elista War we have a Blog War POLGAR vs. CHESSBASE!

Polgar threats to cut off free speach in her blog!

Here a citation direct from polgarblog:

Blogger: "I am tired of people accusing you and ChessBase of bias,"

Susan: "I apologize. It is very unfortunate that some people really have gone out of their ways to repeat the same insults. I will see

what I can do to cut that down."

Both blogs are biased. Compare for example the headlines about Topalov trug interview and decide:

Polgar headline: "Topalov: He has never adhered to any principles"
Chessbase headline: "Topalov: My manager Danailov did an extraordinary job"

There are uncountable other examples. The point is, Susan constantly denies being biased. Thats not honest! She works as a spin doctor

for Topalov.

Btw, as I heard, Susan demands from her business manager and friend Truong to spam ninjablog with "tommy" and "russki" items. The tommy

spam was traced back to the polgarblog, another great work completed be mig.

To get back off topic again, the real question you should be asking is, if my true strength is 2400, what is the chance that my published rating will be between 2300 and 2500? You would think it would be near certainty, but unfortunately the standard deviation of the error in your rating is at least 50, and in all likelihood far higher. So unfortunately even for such a large range (2300-2500) you can only be 95% certain at most that you are measuring your true strength within 100 points. I did these calculations for my Chessmetrics ratings which are somewhat more accurate than Elo ratings, so for Elo ratings the error is even worse. As you would expect, this standard deviation is proportional to the inverse square root of the density of games played ( I don't have the same exponential decay in my formula, which is based on games played across a certain time period). But the short answer is, the standard deviation of the measurement error in Elo ratings is at least 75. The subsequent question of how accurate a performance rating is as a measure of strength, is going to be dependent on the number of games played for that performance.

Ellrond -- I am glad there's space like this one and Polgar's where people can respectfully share their views.

This "other" website is not a blog, but a highly controlled medium.


yes, i am glad about it too. Its now 2 hours that my above item was not deleted as before.

The controlled Site chessbase now also pretends to be neutral, which its clearly not the case. It has a totally biased article "Krieg und Frieden in Chess City" from Dagobert Kohlmeyer, so they favor Kramnik.

Why cant Chessbase admit to favor Kramnik and Susan to favor Topa? There is nothing wrong in it.

But pretending to be neutral and then give all news a subtle tendency by carefully choosing words and headlines and so on is not amusing.

Look at the Kamsky case, where Susan tries to reduce Rustams severe attacks to some minor "pressure things".

Take position clearly! The only neutral behavior is seen by Mig.

Jeff, indeed. So it is presumably possible to say that if my true strength is 2400, my chance of hitting 2500 over, say, 250 games (assuming I start at 2400) is x%. I was interested in getting an order for that: is it 1%, or, say, 50%. (I imagine somewhere in between those two, but you know what I mean).

On my other question, I suppose looking at it terribly simplistically, if my rating plunges by ten points, my expectation per game goes down by (about) .01 of a point. So I will gain back .1 of an ELO point with every game. If I were to play 100 games actually in the next quarter, then the effect of the previous loss would disappear. Of course it's trickier because my rating adjusts quarterly during those hundred games, and with it the expectancy. So it will take more than a hundred games before I totally flatten out a loss of that kind. Is that roughly true (I am not a statistician, as is probably obvious).

That's certainly something for GMs to bear in mind in the first round of opens....

Jon J, yes of course Elo not ELO is right. Those of us of a certain generation are led astray by memories of a popular beat combo of the 1970’s called Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO for short, and hence fall into this trap.

Dimi: everyone and every site is "biased" for many reasons. The key phrase is "for many reasons". One reason this site here is "biased" is the spammer that post anti-Kramnik babble under 20 different handles. And yet, at least 95% is pro-Kramnik. The "other site" has also at least 95%. Coincidence? Not likely, the at least 95% does reflect public opinion.

Good to see you're watching this blog Jeff. Any stats on opening choices by Kramnik for game 12 and % winning odds v Topalov. You posted really interesting stuff on this topic for the 2000 KvK match

For what its worth there's a reason Chessbase is pro Kramnik. Who distributes Fritz which Kramnik endorses? Chessbase.

They have a vested financial interest in Kramnik. If I had a lot of money from a businses on Kramnik my site would be pro Kramnik too.

If DGT had a board and news section, being the official equipment supplier to Kramnik as advertised on their website, do you think it would be pro Topalov?

I would also say that nobody can expect a truly objective site when there is a commercial interest at stake. Chessbase is a commercial product. Their interest is in their finances, not objective news. Would you go to Coca Cola.com for objective news about soft drinks?

Rookie, you're falling into the same correlation/causation logic trap. Just because a Chessbase product has a match with Kramnik doesn't mean their coverage is inaccurate or biased. You can't convict on motive alone. If it didn't obviously reflect the majority opinion it would be worth accusing them of this, but it's not like there's a big outpouring of support for Topalov anywhere else. I see a half dozen public forums, from the ICC to various message boards and sites, and it's all pretty much the same.

By the way, your posting under a dozen different names to the same thread is getting old. It's abusive. Pick one please.

All media has influence problems. Nothing is truly objective, period. Unless the subject is computer chess products I don't see why their coverage would be any more at risk than the way the TV networks are sponsored by Coca-Cola and Toyota and Budweiser. Not just the news, but all their programming reflects these money-based influences. TWIC is sponsored by a shop that sells Fritz and other ChessBase software but they don't have a tradition of printing reader mail like CB does. As Mark has posted here, it's about the same in content.

These arguments about letters from readers is becoming very funny.

Of course the letters expressing support to Kramnik will be more. He is the one who is complaining, not Topalov. And his friends in ACP were the ones who provoked the "letter of support" asking other GMs to sign it.

So let's use other statistics instead. Take the number of GMs wordwide (about 1,000) and see how many publicly supported Kramnik in his toilet issue. Surprise? A very small percentage indeed! Not more than 3% or 4%. As you can see, we can all play with numbers...

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, so I'm posting this in case anyone can clarify: here's an excerpt - from Chessbase - of one of Kramnik's answers during a press conference: "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. "
Does that mean that he can move the pieces around on the demo board?!? Is that possible/
ethical?! Or is it just that there's a display of the current position, e.g., on an electronic board where he can't shift wood, which would make sense?

Of course he can't move the pieces around. The demonstration boards are only there to provide the current position. They were put there after Topalov requested that the live monitors be removed.


Nobody is stopping other GM's to sign a letter supporting Topalov. Chessbase will post it, but of course there is no way of proving they will. For all we know, they might be hiding such letter right now!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 10, 2006 5:02 AM.

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