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Kramnik-Topalov g8

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Kramnik finally gets to play the white pieces today after holding off Topalov in three consecutive blacks with relative ease. Kramnik leads 4-3. Some game 7 notes here and here. Kramnik isn't the sort to let emotions get the best of him. I don't see him going for the killer blow if it's not there. He's a deadly match player for exactly that reason; he stays within himself and doesn't try to take more than he's sure he can get. But it's still a chess game and Topalov is no slouch, so we can hope for another interesting game. Kramnik's Catalan hasn't been spectacular, but it rarely is. Topalov had a nice novelty against it in game one but skirted serious trouble in game three.

Press conference with Kramnik after game 7. Analysis of game 7 by my old co-worker Belov that includes some comments from the players on the game. As mentioned below, Topalov wasn't taking questions on anything but the game. Why he gets to decide this I have no idea. At least make him say "no comment." I wonder how aware he is of what Danailov has been doing and the chess world's reaction to it.

Update: It looks like Kramnik is about to get mated. He seemed to become dejected and began playing quite quickly in a precarious position. His pawns looked desperate but he really hastened the end without getting much in the way of counterchances in exchange. Odd. Oops, yep, he just resigned on move 52 with what looks like a mate in four on the board. Game here.

Topalov had some sharp and interesting prep in a Meran and got a material imbalance of the sort he plays so well. Kramnik basically had no choice but to give up two knights for rook and pawn and pressure that didn't pay off. Topalov got his knights in gear and took over the position quite quickly. Nicely played start to finish by the world #1. So Topalov gets his first real win and it's all even at 4-4 after eight games. Another crisis?


This match has turned into a bore.Both players are playing conservative chess.Of course,thats Kramniks core character..play within self.But I am really surprised by Topas play,especially yesterdays game.Of course,now I dont want socres level after 12,because of what may follow..legal challenges etc.We need one champion,so that chess world moves forward.

If Kramnik manages to win today's game it will be a complete disaster for Topalov.

Actually, Kramnik leads 4-3 ...

well I am hoping for at least one more win by Kramnik in this match. now is a good chance. But then if Topalov did not press real hard as white, then he probably will not press hard as black.

so the game will probably proceed with both sides hoping the other will make a mistake.

Leko tried to float through on one game up. I am not comfortable with only the one game up. I like 2 games up much better. this fact has already been shown in this match how unfairly one point can be lost.

there are 5 games to go. Danailov began his attack with game 1 and has not taken a break. Of course he will attack again.

I expect a tense fight. It's easier for Topalov to choose a fighting opening with black. Also Kramnik wants some points with white. Maybe we won't see a draw this time.

Is it just me or has Topalov's style of play sharpy changed? In the first few games, he took much more risk than in recent games. Considering the match situation, it should have been the other way round.

Radjabov: If Kramnik wins against Topalov, and he agrees to play a match with me, ofcourse, I want to play! Also I hope to win this match for a Title of the world champion both against Kramnik and Topalov.

Interview on WCN. http://wcn.tentonhammer.com

I'm not sure that it isn't that Topa isn't trying. He is. But you just can't do anything against the Slav or QGA. 1.d4 just doesn't cut it, it never has. Topa needs to change his first move, and fast. Of course, 1.d4 is fine for Kramnik, he only wants to draw. Topa's defence to it doesn't look very good - Kramnik had an advantage in game one out of the opening, while in game 3, he twice could have had just about a decisive advantage, if he could only be bothered to exert himself to play for a win. He should have shut Topa out of the match 3-0 in this game, but was too gutless to do so. If Topa wants soundness, he should play the Slav or QGA himself, as he's not getting any winning chances with what he's playing anyway. If he wants a win, perhaps he should consider something like the Modern Benoni, which ironically enough was played by his opponent in a desperate situation in his previous match.
Kramnik hasn't won anything so far, except on his opponent's gross blunders (lest people forget).

As a matter of interest, Mr B, what's your rating?

I think that Topalov is not such a bad guy. Actually Danailov is putting great pressure on him because Topalov's financial future is really very dependant of a victory in this match (1 million dollar against Radjabov + probably 300000 in Mexico are big money, without all the possible incomes linked with world champion status).

But Topalov, as we could see in his press conference, feels bad, because ... it's not him. Saying publicly that there's nothing to be proud of is a clear message. He feels also destroyed by Kramnik's play (chess result on 7 games is 4.5 to 2.5, which is undoubtfully a slaughter). And the guy also reads posts and sees his whole reputation destroyed.

He also feels bad because his chess level isn't as good as it should have been (missing a mate in two would have been disappointing and psychologically catastrophic even for a 2200 amateur like me).

So on the whole :
- Missing mates in two,
- Being leaded 4.5 to 2.5 otb,
- Becoming the new ass___e of the chess community
is probably a little bit too much to play under good psychological conditions and to display his best chess level.

You know, that's exactly like in common street fight : when you feel morally outraged, you suddenly 1) don't care any more about the pain and 2) punch twice stronger as you would under regular conditions...

Furthermore, do you think that it's a good match strategy swap your openings every day? And why do you think that Topalov plays a brand new system every day ???

Kramnik's team, with the help of Bareev and Svidler(both huge theoricians), Rublevsky, Motylev and Illescas, not even taking into account a huge amount of spontaneous phone calls by top russian (and maybe even other country) GMs to offer some concrete analysis to Kramnik, all this CERTAINLY explains why Topalov can't hope any more to replay a system twice without having high chances to get a rapid draw with white and be crushed with black.

Just think about it : you, as a person, would certainly help Kramnik right now if you could. Right? When even Shirov and Kasparov, who both hate good reasons not to cherish Kramnik too much, support him publicly... well you can be certain that right now, a good 50% of the +2700 players are sending friendly analyses to Kramnik's team !!!

Ruslan, I think it's unlikely that random analysis sent by random top GMs would be useful to Kramnik. But I definitely agree that topalov would be adversely affected by a feeling that his opponent has a superior moral stance.

one question though: just how often do you find yourself in common street fights?

and to Chris B: saying "d4 doesn't cut it, never has" sounds ridiculous to me. You think he'd have more winning chances against a petroff or berlin?

rdh: About 2000. My weakness is tactics. But that doesn't stop you getting a general impression or understanding the annotations.

Mr Veltman,

Why do you say random analysis? And why random GMs? When I say 50% of the +2700 players on earth, when those players certainly watch the games, what do you think about their analytical power and ideas?

With N suddenly coming from so many chess players, Illescas, Rublevky, Bareev, Motylev and Svidler ... are just what you need to collect information, compare, choose the very best and offer pure caviar to Vladimir.

That, combined with Kramnik's natural talent and rock-solid defense, certainly explains why, in the last three games, Topalov couldn't achieve better than = in three different systems.

That's why I'm really curious to watch today's game : Kramnik with white, feeling offended and insulted day after day, equiped with the biggest bag of N he ever had in his whole life, will be terrific.

why not kings indian by topa?

I’m surprised it’s as high. Still, Kasparov’s was even higher, if I remember, and he used to think 1 d4 ‘cut it’ to a sufficient extent to play it regularly in all his world championship matches. Can it be that it’s a better move than you think?

My point is that if he got an email off some GM with some analysis, I don't think he'd trust it. If I was him I'd stick to the stuff him and his team has come up with in the last few months.

Does anyone know why there has been no commentary
by Inarkiev during the games since game 4?

Interesting press conference with Kramnik from what seems like today before the match(?).

Anyway, his thoughts on the accusations and so forth:

Name me one game where Kasparov played 1.d4 in the 1987 match in Seville.
And Kasparov knew his opponents Karpov and Short wouldn't defend with the Slav or QGA...
To be fair, I am talking tongue in cheek a little bit, to stir things up.
But isn't that what the great Bobby Fischer said!? He never once played 1.d4 in a serious game. Those games that he didn't play 1 e4 in the 1972 match started 1 c4. This was to avoid defences like QGA and Slav... (among others). They got into QGD. But you can hope for advantage against this. If you could guarantee me a QGD, I, too, would play 1.d4.

OK, whatever.

Anyway, none of us saw this coming - the semi-Slav; game four reversed. Kramnik's reply doesn't look terribly pressing to me - can he really be willing just to draw? - or is this all theory well-known to everyone but me?

And in the same link (a la guerre comme a la guerre) some comments from Topalov at his press conference, including 'why do we have to pretend we are on friendly terms with Kramnik'.


Chris B,
"d4 doesn't cut it"

Open your database, and compare d4, e4, c4 and Nf3 winning, loosing and drawing chances. You'll probably understand why d4 is the main opening move of more than 70% top GMs.

I play e4 myself since my young years. I would love to swith to d4 but I never did because it would represent too much work. But I can tell you, from 2200 patzer experience, that playing with black against d4 I feel a constant advantage for white, and that playing against e4 (I play caro kann or petrov) I feel strictly no white advantage (I think that it requires at least 2500 to understand where the tiny white advantage exists in the Caro Kann, while on the other hand understanding winning chances with black in the resulting endgames is quite clear, even for me).

Against e4, the sicilian (and in particular the sveshnikov) is a weapon, chosen by black, giving equal winning chances to black and white. Find me such an opening against d4. The Berlin, the Marshall, the Petrov and the Caro-Kann are four different weapons, all giving a GM very, very high chances to get the draw.

d4 is the best move with white. As an e4 player, I just regret I don't play it !!!

And to those who tell me that analyses coming from "random" GMs are useless... well Kramnik is playing today exactly like Karpov did under his golden age, with novelties coming from the whole russian chess world, with a big team of seconds collecting the job and handling him all this on a golden plate... Kramnik suddenly went from his regular team with three 2650 GMs, to a team with 2 super GMs, three 2650, and a lot of data coming from all over the planet. The whole chess world feels ashamed and offended by Topalov's manners; the whole chess feels that Danailov's attacks harm our community; the whole chess world reacts.

Your reactions, apart from posting, as a 2000 patzer are useless. Mine are useless as well : we are only part of a huge movement of people who feel angry. But the ideas of a "random" 2700 player watching the game and opening his N bag are priceless.

You probably don't even imagine how many novelties with good winning chances you'd find in any +2700 main CB opening tree. If, let's say, Bareev, Svidler, Lautier, and 5 or 6 other 2700 range players spontaneously offer open access to those ressources to Kramnik, then the whole opening phase suddenly becomes a mine field for Topalov. Good reason enough to swap openings day after day. In a match, you should analyse the variations in which you got a plus, and replay them till you either win or force your opponent to swap systems...


Nice work.

"an e-mail of some GM with some analysis" ... we live in modern age, and Kramnik, as a chess player, has connections with top chess players all over the world. A CB opening tree isn't "some analysis", but sumarizes a top GM life of work.

Suddenly opening the catalan CB trees of Grischuk, Svidler, Bareev, Lautier, Adams, Bacrot, Vallejo Pons, Karjakin (who are a few of his top level close friends) ... is, to give you a clear image, a weapon of mass destruction on a chessboard.

Haven't you noticed how easily Kramnik has equalized in the last two games with black, when compared with the three first games he played in the match?
Believe me when I say that Kramnik's winning chances with white (3 games left) suddenly rose from ... not so much to ... a lot more !!

Anyone could giva a computer evaluation of the current position? Are they still in the book?

Vallejo Pons is one of Topalov's seconds, n'est-ce pas, Ruslan?

My punter evaluation is that Kramnik has made a bold intuitive sacrifice in a position which Topalov has analysed, judging by the times, and again I'm rather worried for him. I do hope he hasn't had one of his quixotic intuitive turns a la VK-Deep Fritz.

But I agree one would prefer an informed view.

With all this talk of Kramnik having access to top GM analysis, the fact is that he's solving these positions over the board. Just read the press conference. He acknowledges that Topalov's novelty yesterday was unexpected.

Look at the think time in today's game. Once again, Kramnik is solving it in real time.

Ahh... I confess to having my doubts about starting this...
I agree with much of what you say.
I don't like 1.e4 either. The Petroff and Berlin are so depressing against it. [I agree with you passarino veltman.] And the Sicilian is a fantastic defence. My thing is 1.c4 avoiding QGA and Slav and a lot of work in general. (But of course, there are problems here, too, as in any opening.)
I can't say I feel any white advantage when defending against against 1.d4.
And if 1.d4 is so good, just what do you do against the Slav or QGA? It seems to me that Topalov has come to a dead end against them.

Wow, Shipov in his comments came up with an amazing variation:
"19.b3! Qb5 (19... Qa6 20.Bxb4!) 20.Qxa7! Rc8 (20... 0-0? 21.Nxe7) 21.Nd4 Qb8 22.Rxc8 Qxc8 23.Rc1 Nc5 24.Bxb4 Nd7 25.Bxc5 Nxc5 26.Qa4 Qd7 27.Qa8 Qd8 28.Qxd8 Kxd8 29.Nc6 Kd7 30.Nxe7"
"Long variations - wrong variations" (Larsen?), of course, but very interesting.
Kramnik unfortunately went for 19. Nxd8

It looks bad for Kramnik today.

Isn't Topalov much better now (after ...f5)?

We're now into the kind of sharp, unbalanced game that Topalov prefers. As we've seen earlier in the match, Kramnik is a tenacious defender, and Topalov doesn't always convert.

I hope V. Topalov is not playing Rybka's moves now...

1. d4 actually only gives you a 78 percent winning chance

It would be interesting to see which move actually leads to better results statistically at super-GM level--without that data, anything we say is just so much yapping. And that's without even considering that:

1. There are certain particularly drawish/particularly sharp debuts which are only played in situations where you are in a "must win" or "must not lose" and the statistics are radically spiked as result.
2. I have always felt that at every level of play, e4 debuts are more familiar and researched than d4 debuts. Even people who still can't tell you the setup for Grunfeld and Catalan know a few lines and variations of Ruy Lopez and Sicilian.
3. For many years, d4 was considered the drawish move. People who played Queen's Gambit were made fun of and Indians were an oddity more than anything. 1.e4 on the other hand was considered the best move for opening player. Which led to greater research, better familiarity with opening mistakes and strategies.

I've been happy with the openings, its 1.e4 that's been the total bore recently. You wanted a match of Petroff's and Berlins? Long lines analysed to death in the Sicilian? These games have had content a lot of the recent 1.e4 has been theory straight to endgame and drawn. 1.e4 simply been played too much by the elite players, its time to give it a rest for a bit.

Soikins, in Shipov's variation instead of Rc8 which is bad, black can play Nd5, and Fritz just told me that Qb6 is possible as well, both variations looking fully playable for black.

So what's Fritz got to say now? This is just the sort of position where we punters can't tell whether Black's just winning or White's holding comfortably. I'm feeling more hopeful now about the latter.

Interesting by the way that Kramnik says that Topalov’s percentage of Fritz moves was higher in San Luis. How does he know that, I wonder – was similar pseudo-analysis wagged around in the Russian press after San Luis?

There was acouple of publications on this, but noithing based on truly scientific approach, of course.
But I am sure that during the match preparation team Kramnik performed a deep analysis of every move made by Veselin, including computer analysis, to find his decision making and behavioral patterns. Of course, these analysis are not for distribution.

To be sure, but they wouldn't faff about trying to match his percentage to Fritz, you wouldn't think.

Glad to see from other sources GMs don't know who's better either - gosh, I must be just as good as them!

I hate to join the mass of kibitzers second-guessing players 1000 points stronger, but Kramnik's f3-f4 looks hideous to my patzer eyes. Perhaps he hopes to eat the advanced Black g-pawn after an eventual Ke2-f3. Still, when your opponent has knight(s), aren't you supposed to use your pawns to take good squares away from them -- not give them beautiful squares (e4, g4)?

well after reading Topalovs comments after game 6 and his below-par play since the whole charade began I think he isn't too happy about how Danialov is handling this... but as somebody already has pointed out I can't shake the impression that Danialov has something to keep Topalov under his control...

Ruslan, I don't think that Svidler and Bareev are going to be of that much help for Kramnik chesswise... his opening preparation will already be more or less determined before the beginning of the match... and for the moment his preparation has worked very well... maybe they can do some minor checking but I think their psychological support is far more important...

Actually, I think there has been only one game where Kramnik was clearly better out of the opening. Topalov's openings have actually produced more winning chances than Kramnik's. Of course, Topalov hasn't produced a winning chance in every game, but no one could expect that against an opponent of Kramnik's calibre.

Topalov's problem to this point has been inaccurate play after he was out of his preparation.

Jeez, where’s the fun if we don’t all sit around trying to second-guess people 1000 points stronger than us?

I suppose 41 e4 would more or less force Black to trade away the …f5 pawn giving him the outposts you mention, Jon J? Although clearly there are some issues - it's a very sharp position.

Ah yes. Some issues like ...Nc5+ if White recaptures on e4. Difficult game.

What? Kxg3?

Kramnik lost now?? Looks like that b7-Rook gets trapped if it stays on b-file. And if it doesnt, then white's b-pawn falls.

The rook is not trapped. 42. Rb5 looks fine.

Yep, unless I'm missing something dreadfully obvious, it's all but over. White must surrender his b-pawn or lose the Exchange. Once the b-pawn goes, his remaining pawn weaknesses will likely doom him.

colp99, If 42.Rb5 Nc3 43.Rxc3 (or Rxc5) Ne4+ (what did I say earlier about handing great squares to opponent's knight(s)?). Or 43.Rb6+ Kb6 and that R is indeed trapped.

Rb5 attacks the knight on c5, so the rook is not trapped. But still White is terribly placed according to the machines, I hear.

What price 2 knights v pawn, I wonder......

What a shame. If he wins this game, Topalov proves what a good player he is. However (and I speak as a Topalov fan before this thing blew up) I can't feel any excitement about this victory.
Say Game 5 was drawn, imagine the excitement if it was 4.5 - 3.5 with four games to go. Now every Topalov victory is because of the stress on Kramnik. A Kramnik win in the match is the only way this can be resolved.

3rd time in the match topa outplayed kramnik.

Looks totally clear....42.Rb5 simply cannot be played, it loses the Exchange outright and then White would simply be a piece down. This must be why Kramnik is thinking so long now, he must have missed the hole in his Ke2-f3xg3 plan. Might he even resign on this move? (rather than surrender his b-pawn by moving R off b-file)

Jon J - 42 Rb5 Nc3 43 Rb6+ Kc7 44 Rb5 holds for the moment as if 44...Nxb5 45 Rxc5+. But just ...Ne4+ and ...Rg8 looks terribly strong.

36. Rcc7 looked better than b3 previously, haven't checked it with a computer though.

Well, Vlad didn't resign, but from the position now it seems he might as well have. All the White pawns will soon fall.

If I've gained any fans from the above, those who live in New York can see Susan Polgar dissect one of my games in her weekly lecture at her chess center tonight at 6:15.

How many times it has to proven: sport is not about who is the fairest player. Topalov might be able to crush Kramnik just the way he has crushed many other top level player in recent tournaments.

When it comes to sportsmanhood, I'm not sure Kramnik is the gold medalist here either: he is the one who didn't want to play a game after being insulted by his opponent's manager.

Both players have regretted their childish behaviour or (in case of Topalov) their manager's. Now just let the games go on.

raindeer, what is your point here?

Whites position is looking hopeless @ move 51. Kramnik better have some more tricks up his sleeve.

Apart from being wrong, obviously.

Apart from being wrong, obviously.

Kramnik knows that K vs K+Kn+Kn could be a draw even against Topalov. So he manage simply to exchange rooks and give a rook for 3 pawns. Your computers do not understand this and give around +6.00 to theese type of positions.

Kramnik knows that K vs K+Kn+Kn could be a draw even against Topalov. So he manage simply to exchange rooks and give a rook for 3 pawns. Your computers do not understand this and give around +6.00 to theese type of positions.

My point is, I'm happy to see Kramnik losing this game. He has played so uninteresting chess it would be terrible thing Kramnik would win the championship.

The emotional support given to Kramnik during this messy affair is of course very touching, but I don't see any connection between being a world's best chess player and the amount of emotial support you receive.

My personal opinion is that Topalov is better player, even though he lost two games in the beginning. I'm sorry if that offends someone, but this ain't no Big Brother where you vote off the people you don't like.

Boom, boom! The Mighty Bulgarian is back!
A lot of people will suffer after the end of the match. Boom, boom!

Kramnik resigned.

It is time for Kramnik to resume game 5 discussion, while he is still ahead 2-1 in actual wins. If they don't let him replay game 5, he should abandon the match.

And it's offical. Kramnik resigns, and Topalov ties the match, even though he's behind 4.5 - 3.5 at the board. Chess doesn't deserve sponsors.

Russianbear, you are right! It's Kramnik's only hope not to lose the match :))).

bobo, no, its the only way to be fair to him, after all the crap bulgarians threw his way.

Kramnik had his chance with game 5- he had to either fly out of Elista or continue until the end. He can't just continue playing until things start to go wrong and then pull out. Going back to game 5 will not help his reputation or his chess. He is resilient and I hope he will be able to withstand Topalov's next white.

It would be nice to have a few posts about the chess. Whatever you think about the jerk who manages him, Topalov has just played a brilliant game.

I don't think you can chalk it up to the off-board distractions, because after the forfeited Game 5, Kramnik played two very solid Black games. Topalov's novelty today was clearly prepared, and it got him exactly what he needed — a winning chance. No player of his strength is going to bungle those chances every time; and even a player of Kramnik's strength is going to misplay them occasionally, as happened today.

Not counting the forfeited game, this match so far has come down to tactics calculated over the board. So far, Kramnik has the edge in that department. As far as preparation goes, I think Topalov's has actually been better to this point, as he has generated more winning chances out of the opening than Kramnik.

My #1 hope for this match was to see exciting chess, regardless of the eventual victor. Today's game virtually guarantees that we have more excitement yet to come.

Ok, finally Topalov got his first "real" win. This would be the perfect time to give back the point in order to regain respect as a sportsman.

I say its time to go back to game 5. Threatening to leave worked for Topalov, maybe it will work for Kramnik.

Besides, it is not like Topalov's victories can be considered real ones, after all the psychological pressure they put on Kramnik.

I'd still rather see 'uninteresting chess' win the match than 'the scumbag scoundrel tactics' Vaseline Toiletlov and his crooked poor excuse for a manager are now (in)famous for. Down with Topa.

Wow, Thievalov won a beautiful game with Black!

Finally Topalov plays a nice game. Great for Chess, dunno what it means for the match. Certainly they should replay game 5, but that they revisit it now is somehow even more repugnant. That would be pathetic, and evem more indicative of a Topalov bias on the part of the organising committee.
On a chess level, beautiful, brilliant game by Topalov. Completely outplayed Kramnik; those who were bashing him (in a chess sense) should eat their words. This was a HIGH CLASS effort. Also deserving come-uppance for Kramnik (in a chess sense) in that his slow manoevering game was taken apart.

Kramnik 0- Topalov 1 game eight, nuff said!

"It is time for Kramnik to resume game 5 discussion, while he is still ahead 2-1 in actual wins. If they don't let him replay game 5, he should abandon the match."

If he was going to abandon the match, the time to do it was after the forfeit was declared. If he walks away the first time he loses a game at the board, it looks bad.

The fact is, even with the forfeit counting, the match is still tied, and Kramnik has a lifetime plus score vs. Topalov. He could still win the match at the board, making the forfeit moot. If the forfeit provides Topalov's margin of victory, he can always sue later on.

Topalov played with immense energy. Kramnik has not played with one imagination in his games. Topalov has pressed and has finally been rewarded with an OTB point. I wouldn't be surprised if Topalov scores +2 with four games left.

Simon H,

Your logic makes no sense.


If Kramnik starts discussion about game five and threatens to quit, he will have lost all goodwill he gained.

Marc Shepherd: I don't care if it looks bad. It is not a beauty contest. Suing FIDE later won't help if Topalov manages to win on tie-breaks, ofr example. I just don't think it is fair for Kramnik to take so much abuse, get a win taken away from him and still continue the match. Quitting now it the least of two evils, in my opinion, and I suspect that he was going to quit if the next decisive game didn't go his way. Soon we will know if he will do that.

"The emotional support given to Kramnik during this messy affair is of course very touching, but I don't see any connection between being a world's best chess player and the amount of emotial support you receive."

True, but no one was saying that Kramnik should win simply on the basis of emotional support. What people didn't want was a situation in which the outcome of the match is decided by psychological games off the board. Even now, with this Topalov victory, one cannot rule out the possibilty of it being as a result of the antics of Danailov.

As for who is the better player, that is not clear at all yet. And it will remain unclear after the match unless Kramnik wins.

So Topalov plays his best chess, needs psychological ops and a cheated point to get an edge, and manages to finally outplay his opponent. Let's put this victory in perspective... Kramnik is now, what +14 -6 against Topalov. Ok.

That was not the Kramnik we know today. He has been under intense psychological stress. Perhaps it's affecting his chess?

The result of the game 5 could become the burning question now, before game 9, because it's result would have consequences on both contenders's match strategies in the remaining four games.

Well, I'll be facetious and claim that at the start I did say that Topa should play Slav or QGA, and that 1.d4 was a crap move.
Speaking seriously, it really is time Topa gave back that forfeit point. This match is a shambles.

Daaim Shabazz: I don't know if Kramnik will lose all goodwill he gained if he tries to revisit game 5. Many people said he should not have continued with game 6 anyway. He gave it a shot, but it probably wasn't fair to him to even try resuming the match on game 6. So I think a lot of people will support him revisiting game 5 result. He never said he won't go back to it, in fact he said just the opposite. I think (and I hope) that he will do it now.

Kramnik wont revisit game 5 until the end of the match. If he does try to revisit it now, it would be a huge mistake because it would be too stressful and wouldnt be conducive to the brilliant positional chess he displays when he is on his game.

"That was not the Kramnik we know today. He has been under intense psychological stress. Perhaps it's affecting his chess?"

This comment just makes no sense. After the forfeit, Kramnik played two super-solid games as Black. Before the forfeit, he handed Topalov a gift win in Game 2, which Topalov amazingly failed to capitalize on.

Kramnik is a very fine player who loses occasionally. Topalov is a very fine player who is capable of winning occasionally, even against Kramnik. I know the Kramnik fans think that, but for the forfeit, Topalov was incapable of breaking through against their guy. That's just not reality.

A very nice game by Topalov today. He played very well. Questions are:
1. Does he now have Kramnik's number (his weaknesses)?
2. Will he continue to out play him in the future games?
3. If he does happen to win the Championship, if it is not by 2 or 3 points, will everyone recognize him as the champion, or will they say he is not a true champion because he stole one point?

"Marc Shepherd: I don't care if it looks bad. It is not a beauty contest. Suing FIDE later won't help if Topalov manages to win on tie-breaks, for example."

That's an emotional response, not a logical one. Kramnik should say, "I have a significant lifetime plus score against this guy. I can smoke him at the board."

If Kramnik walks now, he looks like a quitter in adversity. The best case is that he proves it at the board. If he loses (even in tie breaks), everyone will know Topalov's victory is tainted, and Kramnik preserves his legal options.

Leopold. 1 game will give Topalov confidence, but I hope Kramnik will be resilient. It will be hard now as Danailov will probably put the boot in.

If Topalov wins the next 3 games to take the championship he will not in my eyes be a world champion. His team cheated (with the connivance of the appelas committee) and should have been disqualified.

This isn't just about personalities- the future of chess depends on a Kramnik win. Otherwise we will end up with deciding the world champion by an occasional 128 player knockout played at a 30/30 time limit to

I did a detailed analysis of Topalov's play today. With Rybka. The match was nearly 100% with only couple of variations in the end when he was already winning. I even compared the time Topalov spent on his moves. When it became Topalov's turn, I started Rybka. And when Topalov made his move, it was nearly always the one Rybka was suggesting. Some of these moves were not suggested by any human players on Playchess or ICC. This is inhuman. The purpose of the anti-Kramnik shenanigans has not been only to push Kramnik off his game (and win the point in game 5) but also to take the spotlight away from Topalov! Just like in Mtel in 2005 and 2006 and just like in Linares 2005 and 2006, Topalov starts without outside help. Then some way into the tournament, usually midway through it, Topalov switches to computer assisted chess. You can analyse this statistically from all those tournaments. You can easily conclude it is two different players. As was the case here. Without a doubt Veselin Topalov is cheating, with outside computer assistance. Not anyone should question this fact anymore. In Topalov's camp there are people from the Bulgarian secret service. They have some very sophisticated methods to cheat. How they do it, I do not know, but Topalov is cheating. He was a 2700 player, now he is 2810. No other player ever in the history of the game has made such sudden jump in playing ability. Never. And his moves match with computer from the past two years. 85%!. He even played 20 consequent Rybka first choices in one of his San Luis games. This cheater need to be caught red handed and then kicked out of the chess world.

It was probably initiated by Danailov. Danailov said, listen we do this and this and we can make lot of money, and now the plan is in action. These dirty tricks they can do, then of course they can also cheat given the opportunity. And they have found the way to do it.

Like said, this cheater need to be caught red handed and then kicked out of the chess world. Because anyone who knows something about chess and computers, knows that Topalov has been cheating in the past two years.

wow.. definitive I guess, Fermat has spoken

Al, not necessarily. A Topalov win might provoke a long overdue mass revolt against Ilyumzhinov by the major federations and top players (except perhaps Topalov). In that case, it has the potential to be the best thing that could ever have happened.

Marc Shepherd: Do I really have to go over the reasons why Kramnik can abandon this match anytime he wants?

I am not saying Topalov cannot win a game against Kramnik. I am not even saying he cannot win a match against Kramnik. I am just saying, that winning a game, multiple games or even a match against Kramnik NOW, AFTER GAME 5 and subsequent cheating accusations doesn't really prove anything. I am saying we don't know if Kramnik was at 100% today or maybe at 50% of his strength because of what happened earlier. So in a sense, Topalov cannot really win this match, only Kramnik can - because even if Topalov wins, it will be too easy to dismiss his win as psychological games rather than chess. If Kramnik wins, he will win despite all that and will be a worthy champion, but if Topalov wins, it doesn't mean anything at all anymore.

Well, now we'll see what Kramnik is made of -- both morally and physically. I hope he continues to play -- and I also hope he wins in the end.

I am glad to have seen a very nice game, with material inbalance, good stuff. We should focus on chess. right?

This is the kind of arguments we have seen so far:

- If Kramnik wins, is because of his bathroom tactics to distract Topalov, that psychologically might affected him.

- If Topalov wins, is because of Mr. Danailov tactics for perturbing Kramnik, that psychologically might affected him.

In other words, to every defeat of Kramnik, now we have an excuse and for every time Topalov does not win, we have an excuse!!! Is still Kramnik the champion of excuses? Is not the same situation we had years ago?, IN 2001? (of course with different excuses each time). Stop the excuses!

In every sport, including chess, we have seen a lot of tactics, anti-sportmanship, provocation, etc; of course, the factors have changed with time. In chess, in world championship matches, is not the first time it happens.

So, let the best player win, the one who was lucky enough to resist all the pressure to win more games. Kramnik has won 2 (even if Topalov's blunders were the main cause), Topalov has won 1 and Kramnik forfeited 1 game (note that I don't count this as a Topalov victory).

That's all, no more excuses.

- Topalov has been always a nice guy, and respectful person. Kramnik too. Unfortunately, due to some people who want to see "fight", the match has become a political event and a war off the board ... Sad...

- Note: The programmers of Fritz must be very happy of the publicity to their product ... maybe this is the main reason CHESSBASE put so much coverage ton the issue. Given computers like Junior (the world champion) and others arguably stronger or not so materialistic, people here has created his own vocabulary, the most used is the term "Fritzy move" (to denote a good move of an opponent". Nobody associate with other machines (something like "Veselin Juniorov" or "Vladimir Rbyknik", or "Junior move", etc.... commercial triumph of Chessbase.

this is just so sickening...

Fermat, just about everyone who caused a car accident has eaten mixed pickles at one point in his life. So, clearly, eating mixed pickles increases the likelyhood of causing car accidents.

If you find that argument somehow strangely flawed, you might want to start meditating a bit about the difference between correlation and causation.

This whole discussion of psychological pressure on Kramnik seems to be misdirected in my mind. The rough sequence of events, as far as I understand them, are:

- Kramnik wins game 1
- Kramnik wins game 2
- Games three and 4 are drawn
- The psych warfare begins after game 3 and/or 4
- Kramnik forfeits game 5
- Some compromise is obtained
- Game 6 is drawn
- More psych warfare happens, from both sides now
- Game 7 is drawn
- Topalov wins game 8

Now, I can understand how Kramnik could be feeling the pressure in game 4 once the nonsense had started, and again in game 6, when he came back after the forfeit. But not in game 8, when nothing has translated into an OTB win for Topalov.

If anything, I would think that Topalov would have been facing pressure coming into game 8. He loses the first 2, one with a relatively simple win (mate on board). Then two draws, then all the psych tricks come out, and his opponent still puts in two more solid draws. At this point, I would have to be thinking "What can I do to beat this guy?"

I agree that this has been handled badly on a number of levels. But attributing a loss in game 8 on any psychological pressure on Kramnik seems to be off-track.

From a purely chess perspective, I would love to see Topalov win the match, because I like the quality and style of his play better. But, like others here, I think he needs to win it with a +2 or +3 score to insure that there is no "the forfeit point was the whole difference" argument. Yes, the psych games can also be a factor, but given that it happens in almost every WC match, the chess has to speak more clearly.


If all the off-board activities were not going on, even Kramnik fans would be praising Topalov for a well-played game today. I thought it was magnificent chess by him!

As a Kramnik fan and a chess lover, it was great to see a battle on the board today, even if my guy lost.

4-3 Kramnik still. You got one more to draw even.

I still think Topalov cannot win this match anymore. He can only lose it.

Topalov did today what Kasparov was not able to.


85% is normal at the top levels of chess. Even 90% is normal.

You, obviously, know nothing about chess and computers.

'Nuf said.

I've never eaten Mixed Pickles, yet, strangely, I have been in car accidents. Is there a connection? Find out at 11....

Reading Fermat's post, now I understand how is possible the existence of a person like Danailov ...

Now, this match for some people is the "beauty contest "I want this guy to win, because he looks so moral, so decent person, intead of the other...", or the statistical contest "The number of moves predicted with Rybka".

Jeff Sonas has done an excellent job collecting statistics of the past, it seems that some others are looking for a Job ... "number of moves that agree with the predictions of a computer -even ignoring that computers may change preferences according to the time you run the machine-". The presence of strong machines unfortunately didn't came with education of some users, who now vilify grandmasters when they make mistakes or misses forced mates, when they are running their machines and don't think by themselves. Now, some moves that would deserve !! in analysis due to their extreme creativity, now are just trivialized because the machines also saw them... without taking into account how difficult is to produce them on the board, how difficult is to become a top grandmaster, how many hours of study, physical preparation ... and little rewards in comparison.

Radjabov Interview (from http://wcn.tentonhammer.com):

In spite of busy schedule, GM Teimour Radjabov has kindly agreed to give a quick interview for WorldChessNetwork.

WCN: Greetings Mr. Radjabov, thank you for accepting the interview with WorldChessNetwork. Let's start with the hot topic - World Championship unification. What do you think about the match so far? Who will win?

TR: Now, I think that Kramnik has more chances of success in a match. However, if Veselin will play with the strength he has shown before, I am not sure about the outcome of the match.

WCN: You have scheduled World Chess Championship match against Veselin Topalov (if he wins his current match). Supposedly Kramnik wins match in Elista, would you play him on the same terms you were/will to play Topalov?

TR: I think that it is a question of our managers. If Kramnik wins against Topalov, and he agrees to play a match with me, ofcourse, I want to play! Also I hope to win this match for a Title of the world champion both against Kramnik and Topalov.

WCN: You have already broken many records, youngest GM back then, youngest player to enter the top 100, youngest player to beat world *1 (Kasparov...) What will be the next record set up by Teimour?

TR: I never think of breaking records, it just happens. I do not know what record I might break next. But new records will undoubtedly come.

WCN: Which game of yours do you consider as best so far?

TR: I am very proud of my victory over Garry Kasparov. He is the great chess player and I have won against him a brilliant game. Furthermore I have many beautiful victories over the strongest chess players of the world (Topalov, Anand, Ivanchuk, Svidler, Gelfand, Karpov, Korchnoi and many more).

WCN: How do you prepare for the tournaments?

TR: I can write so many things about this. I don’t have any special technique. Every single Grandmaster and every single tournament demands a special and different approach. It all depends on the conditions and on the moment..

WCN: Playing at the highest level is very demanding. How do you keep good physical shape?

TR: I am still young and I have no special physical preparation. Ofcourse I am doing several sports, but it is more for my soul than for my body. I just like sports.

WCN: You are also Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. What are your duties?

TR: I can use my reputation to bring media attention to various health problems affecting children. At the moment I am working with the problem of children that have an iodine deficiency in Azerbaijan especially, and in the world in general

WCN: Azerbaijan has many young Grandmasters in world's top 100. Can you take the gold medal on next Olympiad?

TR: Yes! That I hope very much! It is my dream, and it will be a very happy moment in my life!

WCN: Thank you for your time Mr.Radjabov

The match has just equalized. Whats to gloat over here. Kramnik will surely beat this guy

The question remains: Did Topalov win this game or Rybka?

Fermat, Rybka wasn't even available during San Luis. The first beta came out in Dec 2005.

jhoro, that certainly will not have stopped Topalov from using it! ;o)

Just as Fischer apparently was unimpressed in the seventies that Fritz8 wasn't yet available - his games clearly show that he used it back then!

Russianbear: So they offered Kramnik instead of losing Game 5 to play 2 more games in the match.
Why did he refused? Afterall the real bad was his for not coming to play in Game 5. In any sport if the refery is wrong the player does not stop playing!!! And if the bulgarian team did something wrong this can be proved in coart not by you or any other Kramnik00 fan.

SS: I am not a Kramnik fan.

As for why he refused to play 2 moregames - why should he? It was not the agreement. Besides, we don't know for sure if he even got such an offer.

And I think it was explained multiple times why Kramnik didn't play game 5. If you didn't get it yet, chances are, you won't get it after I explain it 1 more time. Playing conditions were altered without consulting with Kramnik - that was illegal according to match regulations. That's reason #1. Even Team Topalov's protest itself was illegal. That's reason #2. It was illegal (i am not even talking about the moral side here) for FIDE to even give Danailov access to camera footage. That could be used to see Kramnik's reaction to certain opening positions or some other things. That's reason #3. Kramnik didn't refuse to play game 5, he was there to play it, but he could not for a number of reasons, listed above. If soccer teams comes to play the second half and their goal is two times their opponent's goal of course they won't play. That's obvious.

It is the same Topalov kinda play that we have been witnessing several times since last two years.Start with a negative score and end up winning the tittle.It may happen again.Don't see any reason,that Kramnik is at psychological disadvantage.Infact I feel that about Topa.After all most of the media , I don't know about whole world though,is depicting him as villian.Danilov is a bad guy etc.. is now a history.We all knew that he messed up.Kramnik had the last laugh in that mess..well, except the game 5.I still believe Kramnik should have played that game under protest.Or should have taken a principled decision either not to press for it or walkaway from the match.
Now , I don't see how Kramnik can get back that forfeited game.He will be a moral winner if that games decides the outcome.If Topalov wins +2 or more,I beleive he should be considered the champon.If Kramnik believes otherwise, then he should say it now and quit.In that context visiting game 5 now make sense.

Anyone who tosses out these silly computer move matching percentages needs to explain their methodology first. It takes considerable time and effort to do this sort of analysis in mediocre fashion. To do it well it takes a lot of time and accurate record-keeping.

Russianbear: If something was illigal, Kramnik refusal to play was definitly not legal. Who could have protested offically and play the game. But he did not protest officialy and did not play the game. To me the only illigal thing here is done from Kramnik's team.

Topalov is very dangerous when he starts a winning streak. He has tasted blood and now he will be unstoppable. Kramnik knows this so the best option for him now is to rake up the issue of game 5 and on that pretext get the match halted. I hope he heeds my advice and saves the prestige and honor of all Russians.

I hate to say it, being a big Kramnik fan, but Kramnik should have shown up at the board for game 5. There was no excuse for not playing, and he was legitimately forfeited.
He should have played the game under protest. Just because the appeals committee made a decision he didn't like doesn't mean Kramnik can simply skip the game and reschedule it at his convenience.

In my view, the score is legitimately 4-4, and I look forward to even more exciting chess in the last four games.

Russianbear, the worst possible result for chess would be for this match to be inconclusive due to the withdrawal of one player.

Best scenarios:

#1: Kramnik wins the match, without resorting to quickchess tiebreaks.

#2: Topalov wins the match by at least a 7-5 score (thus accounting for the forfeit win).

#3: Topalov wins by a close score and offers Kramnik a rematch!! (Yes!)

I'm an optimist here. I'm just glad they are playing at a good Classical time control.

Appeal to all Tournament Organizers:
Please boycott Danailov & Topalov in all your future chess tournaments. They are a big disgrace to chess. I no longer regard Topalov as champion, even if he wins this match. Their behaviour sickens me.

Apart from all the political blah-blah, the fact is that Topalov is playing real chess. Every game in a creative way, always for a win and a draw is his last choice.

With all of Danailov's non-sense all you Kramnik fans seem to forgot that Topalov is simply a superior player to Kramnik. He lost two games in the beginning of the match just because of himself trying too hard to win, not because of Kramnik.

So get yourself together and pray that Kramnik keeps it to 6-6. In that case he can abandon the match and continue to claim that he is Steinitz's and George Washington's successor... :-)

Could Mig or another high ranking chess player/director, etc. speculate on what the outcome of Topalov's shocking behavior during this match will be on his relationship with the chess world? If not any real political implications, then what about his relationship with the other top players who all seem to be on Kramnik's side?

Except for Botvinnik's win over Tal, no champion suceeding another has ever been older than the one replaced as champ. Topalov has that chance, being the older by about 3 months.

Don't give Fermat a hard time.
He had a truly marvelous demonstration of his cheating proposition which the margin of this message board is simply too narrow to contain.

The most important question is not whether Topalov won or lost. The important question is how many times he went to the bathroom.

The second most important question is who did we fail to observe going to the bathroom in our anxiousness to observe Topalov's bathroom walking.

I am rooting for Kramnik, but Topalov deserves credit for a fantastic game today. This was not Danailov's doing - it simply was a beautiful game.

I pity the naivety of those who can't see Topalov for the cheat he is. You can't name any one player in the history of chess who would have made such a drastic 100 point improvement at the age of 30. To hide it Topalov always starts normally without assistance (expect in San Luis where the stakes were too high) and then plays like 3000 in the second half of the tournament. There is no such thing as "slow starter" in chess. You play to your ability whether it is the 2nd or 11th game of the tournament.

Many well known GMs have openly accused Topalov of cheating. OPENLY. In private, on ICC, on playchess and elsewhere on the net and even when having a smoke during open tournaments have several other GMs suspected whether it is humanly possible to play the chess Veselin has shown in some of his games in the last two years. Ask the GMs in Russia whether they think he is a cheat.

And ask yourselves: is it somehow more unethical to cheat compared to the foul tricks by Danailov here? Isn't the purpose the same? To win at all costs.

Topalov is a computer cheater. Half of the GMs know this already. Their method of cheating is like the Balco laboratory of chess, they are not easily caught. If you cheered when Ben Johnson run 100 metres in 9,79 in 1988, then you might just as well cheer for Topalov here and pretend there is no "doping" in chess, that chessplayers would somehow be more ethical than others.

Topalov wins at all costs. He is in the complete control of Danailov, and will do whathever he asks. Including cheating. And it is upto the chess world to put an end to it.

Svidler and Bareev call for sacking Makropoulos and Azmaiparashvili http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3404 but the real target has got to be Kirsatan

Kramnik looks tired, ill, and not confident on the photos before the start of the game.

Sadly the selfmanagement takes his price. Now the adrenalin going down, all the energy wasted in the off board defence tells.

Fermat (writing as JeffL) wrote:
"Don't give Fermat a hard time.
He had a truly marvelous demonstration of his cheating proposition which the margin of this message board is simply too narrow to contain."

I had to read that TWICE to find the cynicism in it, yet, there was none.

You cannot be serious thinking his scientific study is in any way proof of anything other than how he wasted a couple hours time.

If you are serious, then there is a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like you to look at. I can get it for you real cheap...

What about Botvinnik-Smyslov 1958 and Alekhine-Euwe 1937? Admittedly, these are return matches, as is the one you gave.

Great! I now have people pretending to be Russianbear (post from 13:21). I guess Topalov fans lack class kinda like their idol does.

SS: refusal to play under conditions you didn't agree to is no illegal. Something is illegal if it contradicts a rule or regulation, like a contract.

How could Kramnik continue the match after what he found out before game 5? I mean, Topalov's team had access to tapes of him which they shouldn't have and that could be used against him by observing his reactions to different things in games. That is almost like wiring his appartment so that Topalov could have access to home preparation done by Kramnik and his seconds. Whoever doesn't understand why Kramnik could not play game 5 is either extremely biased or extremely confused. Situation was totally unfair, as Kramnik was forced to not play chess, but to be on some chess reality show.

Kramnik and his manager felt they would win the case if they had to sued FIDE and I happen to agree with that. I also think that this is a good time for Kramnik give an ultimatum - either they should replay game 5, or I quit. Its about time Bulgarian voyeurs and their FIDE puppets got some jsutice.

topa outplayed kramnik yet again and finally converted it without a blunder. its about time.

I've not seen anything really impressive out of kramnik other than converting blunders.

As for the game 5 "controversy" - I say topalov should give the point back to Kramnik -- right after Spassky gives the game 2 forfeit back to
Fischer ;-)

A ground rule is if you don't play - you forfeit - regardless if you are whining, crying, complaining, etc. You don't play, you forfeit.

Kramnik is not a big risk taker on the board but he took a major risk in game 5 and blundered away a point. Stupid mistake but one he needs to grow up and live with.

"Great! I now have people pretending to be Russianbear"

are you "A Russianbear" or "The Russianbear"? ;)

This was all to be expected. First, Topalov loses 2 games in a row. Second, he resorts to a dirty trick. Suddenly, the whole chess community thinks he's going down in flames and Vlad the Savior will reign forever. No, it's not that easy. Topalov is the highest rated player, the FIDE champion, and a winner of elite tournaments.

If Kramnik wants to win, he ought to stop managing himself and conserve his energy to fight the most serious threat he faces. And it's not Makropoulus, Azmaiparashvili, Kirsan, or Danailov.

patzershmatzer: It may be a ground rule for you, but I suspect Sports Arbitration Committee will take Kramnik's side in this dispute.

And as for blunders, all wins/losses are results of blunders, and that includes Topalov's wins.

I agree with you, Russianbear. Indeed, I think that now Kramnik is only one point ahead on games, there is a considerable likelihood of just such an ultimatum occurring before the next game.


"Many well known GMs have openly accused Topalov of cheating. OPENLY. In private, on ICC, on playchess and elsewhere on the net and even when having a smoke during open tournaments have several other GMs suspected whether it is humanly possible to play the chess Veselin has shown in some of his games in the last two years. Ask the GMs in Russia whether they think he is a cheat."

Who? I have heard of ONE GM accuse him - Sokalov(?).

Russian GM's are a BIASED sample - excluded.

Give some concrete names, concrete examples of their accusations, and then maybe we will consider your insane rantings something other than - insane rantings.

I am a Kramnik fan. I also think Topalov is a scumbag and it annoys me to no end when people blame his hireling but try to shield him. Its TOPALOV'S team that is engaged in this conduct. Danilov is not some nutty Bulgarian fan, that Topalov has no control over. Topalov has COMPLETE CONTROL over what statements his team will make and how his hirelings will act.

Obviously if Kramnik were to win or just keep the score this woudln't be an issue. But now it is an issue. Kramnik won the first two games and obviosuly he should play conservatively if hes up 2. Even with one win he should play conservatively. But now what? Knowing the score of the match is important in making decisions in the games. It effects the chess played.

Now we have a real problem.

Fermat: "I did a detailed analysis of Topalov's play today. With Rybka"... He even played 20 consequent Rybka first choices in one of his San Luis games"

Jhoro: "Fermat, Rybka wasn't even available during San Luis. The first beta came out in Dec 2005."


Conclusion: Fermat is a moron

Mark: JeffL is certainly not a reincarnation of Fermat. For me, his post of 13:34 is the best one in this thread.

Try to google "Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi. Hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet."

don't worry, guys,
Topalow will win at least 2 more and will render the issue of the forfeit irrelevant.

niceforkinmove I fully agree with you on this. With the scores tied at 4-4, the situation is very critical for Kramnik. Topalov has got the momentum going and as the more attacking player, he now has the upperhand. The best thing for Kramnik would be to pack his bags and go home citing the unfair point loss of game 5. This is of course a valid reason which a lawyer like you can understand. Maybe he will engage you as a lawyer to fight his case.

He feels also destroyed by Kramnik's play (chess result on 7 games is 4.5 to 2.5, which is undoubtfully a slaughter).

-- Ruslan

Utter nonsense. I am glad Topalov has finally won a game OTB in order to tone down your ridiculous pro-Kramnik rants.

Topalov has -dominated- the games (but not the score) of this match. The score could easily be 2-0 Topalov, with Topalov wins in Games 2 and 8.

Kramnik is quite fortunate this match is tied.

Has there been even -one- game in which Kramnik completely outplayed Topalov, like Topalov has done to Kramnik in Games 1, 2, and 8?

This is not about Danailov, Topalov, nor Kramnik. This is about under $50 software which can challenge best chess players in the world. Computers changed the game for ever and it does not fit with narcissistic personality of chess masters. Let's face it, these problems were in the offing since Kasparov - Deep Blue match.

I doubt this. It's not like there was anything preventing Kramnik from playing the game AND disputing the conditions. He could have even announced he was playing the rest of the match under protest before game 5. But in no sport is not showing up the proper way to deal with a problem.

"How could he have continued the match?" By sitting down at the board and making a move. Crazy, I know! But it might just have worked.

This is not to say that Kramnik deserved to lose the point, or that it wouldn't be nice for Topalov to have offered it back; but Kramnik is the one who chose not to play for what was an issue that could have, and should have, been dealt with entirely away from the board. I think that while any body of arbitration would likely concede that Kramnik was screwed by the appeal committee, they'd also find that he chose not to play a scheduled game, as bad a situation as it was.

"I pity the naivety of those who can't see Topalov for the cheat he is."

Given his many inaccuracies in the earlier games, I think he needs a new method of cheating. I mean, if you're going to cheat, why not do a better job of it?

Whoops! Seems like what I tried to quote didn't end up in my last post - it was in response to the idea that an appeal to a higher sports body would end up finding that Kramnik should not have been forfeited.

Russianbear, so you want Kramnik to chicken out now ? Just one victory by Topalov and all russians and kramnik fans seem to have pressed the panic button. Kramnik wanted to be a hero but now if he runs away he will become a zero.

As the match was spoiled by the second wave of accusations (Kramnik playing like Fritz and thus with Fritz), Kramnik should now return the unsporting favour and play the remaining games out, resigning in around move 10 or less. This to secure that he is paid his half of the prize fund, while making the mockery of the match which his opponent has insisted upon. Do not believe for a moment that Topalovs manager is acting "on his own", as some wish to make us believe...

"Kramnik looks tired, ill, and not confident on the photos before the start of the game."

He just played Black in three straight games and totally neutralized Topalov. He had no reason to be doubting his confidence today.

Even great players lose sometimes. Don't over-analyze it.

I doubt this. It's not like there was anything preventing Kramnik from playing the game AND disputing the conditions. He could have even announced he was playing the rest of the match under protest before game 5. But in no sport is not showing up the proper way to deal with a problem.

Posted by: OrangeKing at October 5, 2006 14:31

Both Kramnik and Topalov have learned alot in this match.

Kramnik has learned that you must play on, even under protest, but under no conditions can you forfeit a game.

And Topalov has learned how important it is not to blunder and have complete control over your nerves in a World Championship match.

i would consider Vlad champ at +1, or Topalov at +1 (if they play out game 5), or Topalov at +2 (if they dont play out game 5). thats it.

no psychological damage excuses. both players can make an excuse - Vlad being accused of cheating, and Topalov that opponent visits bathroom 20 times per game (even if legally allowed i think anyone would be suspicous if opponent does that).

Russianbear, so you want Kramnik to chicken out now ? Just one victory by Topalov and all russians and kramnik fans seem to have pressed the panic button. Kramnik wanted to be a hero but now if he runs away he will become a zero.

Posted by: Instant Karma at October 5, 2006 14:37

It's not just one win by Topalov. Kramnik is being completely outplayed by Topalov. The score in the match could easily be 2-0 Topalov.

Just look at Games 1 and 8. Topalov utterly outplayed Kramnik in queenless middlegames, which is supposed to be Kramnik's specialty! Kramnik is very fortunate that Topalov just gave him a free point with 57 ... f5??.

I thought Fermat was kidding. A spoof of Danailov's press release. Hence the pre-Rybka Rybka joke. I thought it was kinda funny.

Was it just me?

Guess so.

If Kramnik walks now, he looks like a quitter in adversity.

Not so. He made it very clear that he was not conceding the theft of that point. He was merely postponing a judgment on it for the sake of the match.

It was one thing to continue playing while the stolen point didn't affect the lead anyway, but now that it actually matters, the question must be dealt with. He shouldn't walk out, but he should give them the choice: Game 5 next, or none at all. If they refuse, then the match should be postponed. A VERY long time while the Sports Arbitration Committee rules on the legality of the forfeit (since Kirsan refuses to take the responsibility himself).

If they rule (as they surely would), that the forfeit was illegal and you blame Kramnik for not accepting it, well, you have the right to be irrational.

The idea that he can just play now and sue later doesn't work. Remember the Susan Polgar case. The Committee ruled that she had been wronged by FIDE and awarded her wads of cash, but they couldn't give her her title back after it had been awarded to someone else.

If the title matters (and to us, that's ALL that should matter, since the cash doesn't affect us), then the matter has to be dealt with before the match ends. Kramnik was magnanimous and played for a while with the matter unresolved. It's time for someone else to show an interest in saving the match for a change.

>>Except for Botvinnik's win over Tal, no champion suceeding another has ever been older than the one replaced as champ. Topalov has that chance, being the older by about 3 months.

So Botvinnik and Smyslov (as well as Alekhine and Euwe) were exactly the same age? That's new to me, as I'm sure it is to everyone else.

I too think Fermat is kidding. But he didn't say when the analysis was made.

>>Not so. He made it very clear that he was not conceding the theft of that point. He was merely postponing a judgment on it for the sake of the match. <<

Which is what he SHOULD have done by lodging a protest AND playing game 5.

People keep saying he shouldn't have done that. Really? Then why has he played since then?

Because he now realizes failure to play is a forfeit. Ask Bobby Fischer who forfeit game 2 in the WC and was shocked the FIDE actually applied the forfeiture rules.

Its amazing some of the brightest players don't have enough common sense to fill a shoe.

I pity your naivety. "There is no doping in cycling". Topalov is win at all costs. That includes doping, i.e. computer assistance. Never before in history of chess has a top player been able to suddenly raise his level of playing by 100 points. Anand and Kramnik and Kasparov used to beat him comfortably. Then suddenly he is 100 points better. At that level 100 points is like 400 points at 1500-1900 level. From Shirov level player to Kasparov level player. Practically overnight.

Playing 2680-2700 level in phases, then playing suddenly 2900-3000 here and there, when it is required to win a tournament.

Morozevich did a detailed analysis to a Russian paper which proved that Topalov is a computer cheat. It was published in the name of his second, but it is no secret who was one of the three participants in San Luis to accuse Topalov of computer cheating. 3/7 of his opponents in San Luis accused him of cheating on the spot there and didn't applaud him. Think about it. If you can do the Danalov tricks, you can also cheat. Because the lack of ethics is the shared basis for both these violations of fairplay.

gmnotyet, let's not get crazy here.

Topalov indeed outplayed Kramnik in game 8. But game 1? Topalov did not outplay Kramnik there. Look at the result. Topalov equalized and wanted more and made an error - so it was he who was outplayed. Kramnik outplayed him in game 7 in a very similar game, except that he did not lose afterwards :)

So let's not start on how Topalov has competely outplayed Kramnik.

Kramnik played 3 games with white and 4 with black. He won two games, was pressing hard in game 3. In other two games Kramnik equalized easily with black. In game 7 Topalov- thanks to his preparation- had an hour time advantage and had an excellent position out of the opening but by the time they reached time control he was two pawns down and fighting for a draw. So who is outplaying whom? This match was a lot closer to 4-0 Kramnik lead than it was to 2-0 Topalov lead.

Fermat, since topalov (unlike 50 potty trip kramnik) sits at the board the overwhelming majority of every game, how do you suppose he's getting computer moves?

Mental telepathy? Invisible tinfoil hat with moves transmitted by Israeli IDF agents in a plot to undermine the Russian chess machine?

And if it is true, how did the computer blunder a mate in 3?

gmnotyet you are absolutely right. In fact I will say it should have been 3 - 0 Topalov with wins in games 1, 2 and 8.
Kramnik got free points from Topalov in games 1 and 2 which were like gifts. Topalov is clearly the better player.
I would like to see a Topalov vs Anand match because I belong to Chennai in India which is Anand's hometown. Trust me Anand will not try to disturb Topalov by going to the toilet 50 times during a game. Maximum he will go 5 to 6 times only because he is not a scumbag like Kramnik.

Of course both Topalov and Kramnik are cheating. So does everybody else. Lower rating players cheat using some MS-DOS sotftware versions with defective transmission systems, which explains why they commit so many blunders. Too bad for Kramnik that KGB´s feeds him with Fritz 9 moves instead of Rybka´s, Topalov´s choice.

P.S. A cheating GM told me that whenever GM´s draw a game, it is because they use the same technology.

patzershmatzer, Topalov only cheats in some games, not in every game. To disguise it. Playing at the 2900-3000 level in every game would be too obvious. If we knew their method of cheating we could catch them. It is obviously something very sophisticated and technology-based. But Topalov cheats. This is 100% obvious to everyone who knows something about chess and computers.

>>don't worry, guys,
Topalow will win at least 2 more and will render the issue of the forfeit irrelevant.

It doesn't matter whether he does or not. Don't you understand that in the eyes of the public, he can't win this match now, no matter what he does? Even if he did as you say, people would just say that he cheated, by disturbing his opponent with a smear campaign and an illegal forfeit.

By any rights, he should have been disqualified from the match after the second press release, and replaced with someone like Anand, who would wage a fair fight.

He's already lost the match. The only question is whether it will be officially registered that way.

Mark. Re, the Fermat/margin post -- It was a joke, albeit quite a math-geeky one:

cb: "JeffL is certainly not a reincarnation of Fermat"

OUCH! Et tu, Brute'?

But, sadly, this is a fact to which all my former mathematics professors can painfully attest.

"This match was a lot closer to 4-0 Kramnik lead than it was to 2-0 Topalov lead."

Very funny. Here's a radical thought: the correct over-the-board score is precisely what it is: +1 for Kramnik. Everything else is "would've, could've, should've."

If Topalov has method for computer assistance, there would no need for all this off-the-board noice, Team Topalov has generated.

>>Playing at the 2900-3000 level in every game would be too obvious.<<

Fischer played at over a 3000 performance rating in his crush up to the WC - what program was he using - Rybka beta?

Instant karma: indeed I hope you do see such a match. For a classy guy such as yourself, perhaps a match against Danailov and his chess-playing puppet is what a doctor ordered.

i followed the whole game with my rybka, and only one move of topalov's was not its first choice 26. Ra8, it gave Rc8 instead. I dunno what to think of this guy. He may have created the whole fuss so as to shield himself from further accusations.

but he looked ill and tired on the photos. Look at them.

i think the theory of Fermat
Posted by: Fermat at October 5, 2006 12:08
has its strong points. It needs to be checked. Many of us feel, that it might be so.

ICC and PLaychess have strong expertise in finding computer assistance. I think they should analyse the topalov case.

I understand your point.
He might have lost in the court of public opinion,
but FIDE does not regard it as relevant.
I don't agree with Danailov's tactics either, but Topalov disquialified on what basis? Can you quote me an article from the FIDE regulations, that will help disquialify Topalov after the second release?

We have a new word and definition

Thiefalov = a thief by night with a day job where he does a good job

Others have pointed out the lunacy of claiming Rybka usage during the WC tournament (before Rybka was available).

Another of Fermat's points is similarly upended. He harps on Topalov's rise. What I see in his FIDE chart is the following: a stable period peaking at 2744, followed by a slight decline, followed by a two year rise to 2813 (70 points above prior stable peak).

Compare to Fischer, who rose well over 100 points in a steeper climb in 1970-71, at the age of 28.

Graeme do not be such a spoilsport. Your idea is totally insane. Do you know how difficult it is to organise a world championship match ? Let us complete the match otherwise chess players will become the laughing stock of the whole world. Kramnik should now try for 2 - 2 in the last 4 games which is not difficult. I am not asking for too much. Do not worry, Game 5 will be replayed after that. Kramnik is still ahead by one point.

Graeme & Co.

Keep going. Soon you will make Danailov shine compared to you. The more you talk, the less bad I feel about Dabnailov's last blunder.


Just to mention that today Kram was at his bathroom for about 18 times according to Zhivko Ginchev's interview on bTV /a bulgarian TV channel/. Zh.Ginchev is an official member of Topalov's crew in Elista.

How would anyone other than Kramnik and the officials who have access to the rest area videos know how often a players was in the restroom? Going into his rest area isn't the same thing since there is video of the rest area but not of the rest room.

JeffL: "But, sadly, this is a fact to which all my former mathematics professors can painfully attest."

No insult intended ;-)


To Mig

You should check it yourself dude, thats what I think! You have friends, you have connections, everyone knows that! Besides, ysterday I also told how many times Kram was in the bathroom according to the same very person and it was also said in a TV interview which is broadcasted allover Bulgaria. You can purchase an official recording of the tv interview. I can assist you with links how to do it.

So let me get this straight. Supposedly, it was agreed that noone except match officials gets access to video's of players' rest rooms. but now, there is an "official" bulgarian information on how many time Kramnik went to the bathroom? I guess those Bulgarian secret service people didn't come to Elista for nothing. Mig, maybe indeed that is worth checking out.

To Russianbear

You must be on drugs or perhaps on "vodka". Suppose that there is smth irregular with the information of Kramnik's visits in the bathroom and the way this info was gathered, then would have some official member of Topalov's team tell it live on a tv channel which is nationally broadcasted ?? Try to use your brain, instead of drinking vodka.

i think that fermat has a point i never in my life saw something like this going -2 in the first half in a tourny then bonus bake with +5 in the other half more than once like he was replaced with a chess god and check his games in san lauis not even kasparov played that ches in his prime so how can he do this while he was an average super grand master 2 years ago beside why was he the only gm that supported kirsan in puplic?( sory for my bad english)


what is it with bulgarians and personal insults? Please provide your own explanation how official member of Topalov's crew has access to information that he supposedly should have no access to?

I'm not saying the Bulgarians aren't saying it. I'm saying that according to the current regulations they have no way of knowing. Mostly likely they are just using the number of times he went to his rest AREA. They haven't exactly been accurate or fair in the past. It's worth checking, I suppose, but it's not as if they have supernatural ways of knowing. So the question remains, how would they know?

Oh man--that's priceless post by Vasil right there:

"Of course they can't divulge where they got the information--they stole it!"

It's pretty clear to see how Topalov is doing the cheating: he gets the moves from angels that carry the message of God. Sometime the angels get confused on the way, mixing up the annotation, but usually it works.
If you think I'm joking, read what Topa had to say in the press conference after game 3 or 4 (I think it was game 3). He said he doesn't need to get baptised to receive help from above.
Why, if God could turn Saul into Paul, it will pose no problem to turn a 2700 player into world champion.

To Mig

There are different words in bulgarian language for a rest room and for a toilet or bathroom as most languages in the world. So, if one is talking about a bathroom or toilet, this means that he is not talking about the restroom visits, right ??

To Russianbear

Its not my duty to investigate this, try doing this yourself. You should be more polite and say smth like "thanks dude for sharing this info with us!" because thats the only think I wanted to do.

Looks like Danailov got what he wanted. Vlad looked not good before the game (and much more tired compared to Topalov after the game), and made a consequence of serious mistakes OTB after the first control, IMHO:
41.Kxg3 instead of Rb5(and he spent long time on this move!);
44.Kf3 (a weird Kh2 could still save the game).
After this move the game was lost, and other mistakes do not matter.

To Mig

I am sure you have good friends in Bulgaria, perhaps you may ask them too. Today it was said in the sport section of bTV news which were broadcasted at 19.30 local time. Yesterday it was said in a live show broadcasted on Nova TV at about 17.00 local time.


I'd be more interested to explain my guy's behavior than how this information was obtained. The Russian saying applies -- "trust, but verify". Are you suggesting thet the Bulgarian team had "no right to know"? Tell that to the KGB.

Then you will try to sell us to the idea that 35 restroom stops (in an unbserved area) is perfectly normal during a WCC game(s). Great!

Soon chess should return to a more conservative formula -- play where you can be seen and rest in an adjacent area.

These issues have beaten to death. Let's see what happens on the board.


P.S. Danailov is no angel, but you guys make it inevitable to need the presence of such. Just some of rhetoric here, so one sided, so biased, makes him actually look good. Just how obscene is the notion that you "decide" not to appear at a game and that's Ok.

Jeff L: ROFLMAO. Great post, easily the best during this match. And even better because of the clown who thought you were serious, or was that meta-troll which went over my head?

Vasil: You don't get it, do you? The point is - how the hell do Topalov's team KNOW what is supposed to be private. Either FIDE's corrupt gang are *still* showing them the private videos, or else they are simply lying.

Looking back on it, we should have known today would be the hardest for Kramnik. He has never been good at drying up the play with White (contrary to the view of his numbskull critics), and this has been his great match weakness (taking on the Marshall against Leko, the sacrifice against Deep Fritz, his terrible results with White against Shirov). This is actually typical of draw kings, I think - remember Schlechter. It's perfectionism that leads Kramnik to draw often, and its the same thing stops him playing for a draw with White from the off.

It's a lot easier too to play with Black when you're angry because a draw is a good result. If you're going to have psychological problems it will be with White; you'll overpress. And that's what happened here: the signs are obvious; the long think before the commmittal Qd4, then running into a novelty and instead of baling out (there were surely quieter alternatives than 17 Rfc1) he heads into what must have been the main line Topalov had prepared, and plays - it has to be said - very badly.

I fear very much for Kramnik now. It's one thing to have the mental attitude, 'they cheated me, but I'm still one point ahead and I'm going to win the match and show them anyway'. 'They cheated me and I should be ahead but I'm not.' is so, so much harder to deal with. I thought when he agreed to play on that if he won the match it would be the greatest feat in the history of the championship. Now, it would be simply stupendous.

Fermat is definitely right about one thing, rightly or wrongly, a lot of GMs think Topalov is dodgy, and virtually none think Kramnik is. Let's face it, if you were looking a priori for the profile of someone who's cheating you'd need the following:

Someone who's made a unprecedented leap in rating late in his career.
Someone who has a corrupt team around him.
Someone who has a loyal and utterly dedicated GM servant to operate the thing.
Someone who is in a position to make enough money quickly enough to make it worthwhile.

For me, I'm happy enough to assume Topalov's not at it until proven otherwise. But after what's happened he'll never be the true champion for me, not that it matters much. After this bollocks event in Mexico next year we'll never have another true champion anyway by the look of it, so the line might just as well end with Topalov prancing about the place as Kramnik giving in and playing in Mexico.

If Danailov lied about frequency of Kramnik's visits (this was officially confirmed by the appeals commitee), why other members of the team Topalov can't do the same?
By the way, on this picture you can see Topalov watching what is going on in Vlad' rest room during game 7:
Shouldn't arbiter prevent him from doing this?

Fermat " Never before in history of chess has a top player been able to suddenly raise his level of playing by 100 points. Anand and Kramnik and Kasparov used to beat him comfortably. Then suddenly he is 100 points better."

Topalov had 2750 Elo in 1996 when he was 21 years old. How many other players had 2750 elo at the age of 21 besides Kasparov, Kramnik and Topalov. Also Topalov had equal score against Anand in classica games even before his rise in 2005. So stop repeating that nonsense about the 100 Elo points sudden rise. Svidler for example could barely break 2700 until 2004, in 2006 he reached 2765, now how do you explain that?

I didn't understand much of what you wrote.

KGB? Are you implying that Bulgarians got their information from bulgarian KGB?

Someone mentioned bulgarian officials know how many times Kramnik went to the bathroom, even though supposedly it was decided that they should have no access to such information. Isn't it logical to ask how they know it (or pretend to know it)?

And yes, 35 bathroom stops is fine, since it doesn't violate the contract. Bathrooms are inspected before and after and there is no limit to how much a person can use his/her restroom. Topalov's team agreed with that after game 5 scandal, so it is weird that some people keep bringing it up.

To all of you that only write posts but dont use braincells /russianbear, rdh, etc./

If it is officially said couple of times on a natioanl TV channels and Kramnik's team didnt complain about it, then it cant be anything wrong, cant you get this simple line ?? Why you should be worried about if its right or wrong if Kram's team is not crying ?? Do you thing there are stupid men gathered there ???

If that is what he's looking at, then yes indeed. But then one thing that has become abundantly apparent in this match is that Gijssen should never again be invited to arbitrate so much as a tea party (which is a good thing since it'll save me learning how to spell his name properly).

Dimi, frankly I don't think anyone sees anything at all 'obscene' in the idea that you shouldn't play when the conditions of the match have been altered to your disadvantage. Let's say we assume that the Appeals Committee acted beyond their powers (not just made a very bad or even wrong decision but did something they just weren't able by the match regulations to do). And let's say Kramnik was upset by that, for whatever reason. What do you say he should have done - played while he was upset and probably lost? I don't see why anyone would think that was a fair solution to the situation.

I imagine Kramnik's team have very much more serious things to think about than what gets reported on Bulgarian TV.

Anyway, the answer seems to be: nobody knows how the Bulgarians might legitimately have this information, no-one still knows how they got hold of the videos in the first place, and no-one can ask any of the match officials because FIDE is a cowboy organisation whose officials do not appear in public to explain their actions and who do not permit such questions at press conferences. Good. That's that one sorted out, at least.

So are Bulgarian TV sort of implying that Kramnik's cheating, then? How is Topalov's concession in the press conference that he wasn't being played over there?

I did leave out Botvinnik Smyslov 58 and Alekhine Euwe I mentioned Tal Botvinnik. Topalov would be the First New Champion older than the one replaced.


Try to not insult others - it makes you look like Danailov.

And me and others explained to why bulgarians giving "official" info on Kramnik's bathroom visits is a problem - THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE THAT INFORMATION. Either they are lying or Kramnik is being screwed by Danailov/FIDE once again. So which one is it?

And by the way - it may come as a shock to you - pretty much noone in the world watches bulgarian TV other than bulgarians. Yes, of course Kramnik's team didn't complain yet. Are you so self centered that you think Kramnik and his team spend their days and nights watching bulgarians TV?

We are all missing the most important point here. Think back to when you chose chess over other games, contests and pastimes. What was it about our game that makes it the best? Of course there is a visual beauty based on geometry that rivals music, but there is something else inherent in chess. It is the naked honesty of human connection and conflict. No biased judging of a performance, no roll of the dice, no bloodshed if you fail. In the deepest sense the person on the other side of the board is YOU, and win or lose we are all in this game together. This analogy of life is the noble truth of chess. And this amazing human achievement is exactly what is being threatened at the chess summit. The sport of chess is currently controlled by liars, cheats and incompetents, and until that changes there is a dark shadow over the brightest of games.

I give it up. Russianbear, wish you another bottle of vodka.


>I didn't understand much of what you wrote.

That doesn't surprise me.

Anyway, let's see what happens tomorrow.


Oh, I see. Russian = vodka. Brilliant.

Dimi: That doesn't suprise me.

Of course it doesn't. I bet you would be suprised if you yourself understood what it meant.


What does the arbiter have to do with anything? His only job is to enforce the rules of the game. His decision to declare the match a forfeit was the correct one, as far as his authority extended.

Whether it should stand is another question, but it was not the wrong decision at the time.

It's funny how people get so irrationally worked up about all this.

I am cheering for Topalov,and I think Kramnik was wrong not to play. If Topalov had done the same thing as Kramnik, and forfeited, I would think Topalov was wrong. I am trying to be reasonable.

It doesn't bother me if Kramnik's staff spits out crap all day long about how Topalov is cheating, just as I ignore the crap that Topalov's team puts out. I am trying to be reasonable because I know it's all part of the game, like it or not.

Dear Vasil,
Why did not you complain about frequent visits of Russianbear to bathroom? What if instead of vodka he anonymously drinks brandy there? Ask KGB about details, they should know.

Guess I'm a little late with this (I was doing work for the past couple hours), but the line about "fermat" unable to fit a "proof in the margins" was indeed one of the slyest and wittiest remarks I've ever seen on this blog.

The guy who took it literally and insulted it, needs to stop wasting his time on the Internet, and return to school until he's more qualified to share our air.

For those who didn't get it, the original line was a play on "fermat" handle. The original Pierre Fermat, who Fermat's Last Theorem of number theory is named after, allegedly claimed he had an elegant proof of his conjecture written (or not written) in the margins of some notebook that was never found. The conjecture - that no integers satisfy the condition a^n + b^n = c^n for any n greater than 2 - defied solution for 500 years. It was finally proved in the late 1990s by a young British mathematician, building on earlier work published in Japan.

I knew that, and I'm not even a mathematician.

To Vlad

Because I really dont care about if he is drunk or on drugs. I tried to share info which was not invented in my head and then one started that conspiracy theory. Sorry, its not my fault.

It's Baguio City deja vu. The match is becoming more and more exciting from a chess perspective and, at the same time, more and more disgusting from a human perspective. The most exciting and most disgusting have yet to come, I think

Is this world championship heading for an ambiguous outcome? Wouldn't that suit both participants, each of whom has $1m contests in the near future, provided they play as "world champion": Topalov against Rajabov, and Kramnik against Fritz 9 (or 10, whatever).

Interesting tidbit:
Today Topalov inflicted Kramnik's first loss of 2006.

aa; Yes, you're right in theory of course. But nonetheless Gijssen's supposed to be a class act. He's turned out like Darrell Hair (and just like Darrell Hair, he's not an ex-player). He may be right by the laws, but look what's happened because he didn't have the guts to stand up and do something sensible. Of course, he may have tried and failed. But if he'd have just declared a time-out until the next day, how much trouble we'd all have been saved. Didn't Lothar Schmid take some unilateral and wholly irregular action that saved Reykjavik?

I don't know about 'irrationally' worked up. We're going to have a 'world champion' whose manager spends time running round the press during the match saying his opponent's cheating on the basis of stats that everyone knows are rubbish. Our game's in all the papers with drivel about potty breaks. What do you say it would take to get people rationally worked up? (about chess, that is: I do realise people are dying of starvation etc.)

As for 'it's all part of the game', words fail me. It's not part of Kramnik's game, or Anand's, Svidler's or any other of the top players.

I venture to disagree with zero. I predict we've seen the last of the shenanigans. Danailov has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. And I fear the rest may not be exciting either, although we'll see. I fear Kramnik may be gone. Of course the sight of Topalov's gang celebrating will be pretty disgusting, if that's what you meant.

"Is this world championship heading for an ambiguous outcome? Wouldn't that suit both participants, each of whom has $1m contests in the near future, provided they play as "world champion": Topalov against Rajabov, and Kramnik against Fritz 9 (or 10, whatever)."

I don't know what we're headed for, but I can assure you that both players wan an UNambiguous outcome. Neither one wants another guy out there claiming he's the champ. A championship is always more valuable when it's undisputed.

Kramnik's match against Fritz is locked in, but has nothing to do with any kind of championship; it's an exhibition. Topalov's match with Radjabov happens only if he beats Kramnik. Radjabov says he'd like to play either winner, but his contract is with Topalov.

Anyhow, an unambiguous outcome requires a Kramnik victory by +1 or a Topalov victory by +2. Some people are saying that a Topalov victory is tainted no matter how he gets it, but I don't buy that. If he wins by +2, I think he's the real deal.

Right now, Kramnik beating Topalov by +1 is looking more likely than Topalov beating Kramnik by +2, unless Topalov has one of his patented furious finishes.

Right now, Kramnik beating Topalov by +1 is looking more likely than Topalov beating Kramnik by +2, unless Topalov has one of his patented furious finishes.

-- Posted by: Marc Shepherd at October 5, 2006 17:53

Topalov is going to take this itty bitty world by storm, and he's just getting warm.

Actually, Topalov only needs +1 (and not +2 as some wrongly report) to win this match.

Also, if the match score is 6-6 and Kramnik wins the tiebreak games, he's the real champ. I agree that Topalov would need +2 to give himself validity.

A small correction to Jon Jacobs: Fermat never claimed to have written his proof, but in the margin of one his textbooks it says: "I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition that this margin is too narrow to contain."

"Actually, Topalov only needs +1 (and not +2 as some wrongly report) to win this match."

You need to read the context more carefully. He needs +2 to win the match *without* the forfeited game tainting the result. If he wins by +1, an awful lot of us will think that it's a cheapened title, since Game 5 would be providing the margin of victory. And in that case Kramnik will almost certainly sue, tying up the whole mess in litigation for months, or conceivably years.

Does anyone know what is the current status on the protest of game 5 by Krammnik's camp? According to Nigel Short, it was going to the sports arbitration in Lasagnne.

Let me repit it: The appeals comittee decision is binding on the arbiter. Gijssen had no choice but to accept it, and continue the match as instructed. It happens often that the appeals comittee overturns an arbiter's decision. The arbiter should obey such decision, even if he knows that it is wrong.

The match in Rejkavik was not saved by Lothar Schmidt. True, he tried to concile both parts, but it was clearly Spassky who accepted the compromise. If he did not accept the ping-pong room compromise, Fischer would have forfeited game 3, and most possibly the match. By the way, did not Lotar Schmidt started the clock on game 2, even when it was clear that Fischer would not play?

It is obvious that no compromise was possible in the bathroom issue. So, Gijssen just had to follow the rules, as he duly did.

"Mark: JeffL is certainly not a reincarnation of Fermat. For me, his post of 13:34 is the best one in this thread.

Try to google "Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi. Hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet."
LOL!! Very clever JeffL. Thanks for pointing this out cb, I completely missed it despite reading Singh's book on Fermat's Enigma earlier this year.

"It is obvious that no compromise was possible in the bathroom issue. So, Gijssen just had to follow the rules, as he duly did."

And the FIDE site has credited Gijssen with the suggestion to postpone Game 6, rather than set up a second Kramnik forfeit. Mind you, it seems a rather obvious thing to do, but *somebody* had to suggest it, and FIDE says that Gijssen did.

(With thanks to Louis)
Lasagne it is.
Several layers of dubious matter, covered with a sauce of obscure provenance.

agreed, topalov +2 is champ, Topalov +1 if game 5 played is champ, Vlad +1 is champ.

no tainting after that. if the loser cries "i was psychologically damaged by this and couldnt play my game" he'll be a sissy and should not be the champ.

Topalov +1 without playing game 5 is a mess and back to square 1.

On the rest room videos: invasion of privacy is a rather serious breach of ethics in any culture of the world, including Kalmyk culture.

The privacy of Kirsan's guest of honour has been invaded on Kalmyk soil, but there was not even a single word of apology in his numerous press conferences.

That's too bad. It would have been nice for the score to be decided over the board. I guess then chances of game 5 being nullified are close to zero, even with the outpouring of support. L.

Like many others I feel sorry for Kramnik, since the Topalov team viciously attacked him in a desperate effort to disturb his psychology. From a sporting point of view, I would like to see Topalov personally address the game 5 "gift." On the one hand, you could argue that Topa didn't deserve the forfeit, but you could equally argue that Kramnik had no business skipping the game. It was a really stupid move on Kramnik's part to skip that game. He has created a controversy by having done so.

Yet I admire Kramnik for deciding to continue the match as any abortion of the contest would be devastating to the chess world. I do appreciate his statement that he was doing this in consideration of the chessworld as he recognizes the consequences of skipping out.

But in the end, I find myself rooting for a Topalov victory. Why? Kramnik has been playing his version of "anti-chess." One can't even claim that he's playing like a computer, because at least computers are ruthless when opportunities arise. Kramnik had sat on his title, which could be considered a manifestation of "anti-chess." He did claim illness, and we have to accept the truth of that claim. But there was all the excruciating public wrangling about his chess matches. It's more of this "anti-chess." Then we see him play like this in the Topalov match. What happened to the old Kramnik before he won the title? His games had some sparkle.

Although I have the widest respect for Kramnik's gifts and chess knowledge, I think back to all the controversies and chess match wranglings; and I see the "anti-chess" style in his match games, and I have no choice but to cheer for Topalov. Remember the last match game against Peter Leko. Kramnik can play chess if he wants to. He just prefers not to. Sorry, I hope Topalov wins the match, even if his team reverted to slanderous tactics during this match. And again, I'm not referring to accepting the game 5 forfeit. I'm referring to the vicious public accusations put forth by Danailov.

If Kramnik comes to the board and actually tries to fight, then perhaps I can cheer for him again.

Schlechter? He lost the critical 10th game to Lasker in 1910 as Black, not white.

goooo topa:)

In defense of Gijssen, since this has come up, I honestly don't know what he could have done differently.

Now, in saying that, I know that I am taking issue with GM Seirawan who wrote on chessbase.com that Gijssen had a duty not to start the clock for game 5 :

"Now the Chief Arbiter, Geurt Gijssen, compounded the first two mistakes by making a mistake of his own: 22 minutes after game five had been due to start, he pressed the clock and the game officially began. With hindsight it can readily be seen that Gijssen should have realized that the playing conditions had been changed without the approval of both players. Indeed, it was quite obvious to everyone that one player, Kramnik, was in his rest area, clearly protesting that his bathroom door was locked. .....

"Instead of starting the clock, Gijssen should have called for a further delay to settle the issue of the bathroom. Indeed, he should have insisted that the playing conditions of the previous games be reinstated until both players were in agreement. If the issue could not be settled in a timely manner, Gijssen should have called the game an official time-out."

Well, GM Seirawan is experienced with these matters and I am not. However, I don't think his argument against Gijssen makes logical sense in the context of the other points in his own article. In the first part of his article, GM Seirawan argues that when the Appeals Committee received the first Topalov protest, they ought to have rejected it because should instead have been directed to the Match Director, who oversees the facilities, and not to the Appeals Committee, which deals with appeals from the decisions of arbiters concerning the games. Well, this may be so. He then argues that by closing the players' personal toilets the Appeals Committee breached the contract by making a change in the playing conditions without the consent of both players. Well, maybe that is so. Although in re-reading the contract just now (posted at www.susanpolgar.blogspot.com at 9:28 AM on 9/29) I was struck by the following passage:

"After the World Chess Championship Committee agrees with the Organisers on the arrangements in respect of the tournament hall, facilities, accommodation and meals, transportation, telecommunication, ceremonies, etc., no objections from the participants shall be acceptable as long as the conditions are in accordance with the rights of the players granted in their agreements."

The application of this seems to depend on the exact terms of the "agreements", and whether these have specific terminology going beyond the contract itself. Suppose the Appeals Committee took the decision that the "agreements" with the players are satisfied as long as there are rest rooms and toilet facilities at the site, and that the separate toilet facilities were not a necessary part of what the players "agreed" to? Are there "agreements" which were written down at the time of the site inspection which go beyond the very general terms of the contract (regulations)?

But I certainly feel that the Appeals Committee made an unwise decision, and lets assume that GM Seirawan is right in saying that it was not merely unwise but also a breach of the contract with the players.

Nevertheless, I don't know how he makes the leap from this to the proposition that Gijssen, as arbiter, had the power to approve a suspension of the match unilaterally in order to remedy a breach of the contract with regard to facilities. Seirawan's whole argument in the first part of the article is that everything involving the facilities is the province of the Match Director, not of the Appeals Committee and - therefore - NOT OF THE ARBITER. But if the arbiter had the power to stop the match at any time on the basis of his own interpretation of the contract and of the Match Director's alleged breach of that contract, and to require the Match Director to make this or that arrangement of facilities depending on the arbiter's understanding of the requirements of the contract, then the arbiter really would have a super-veto power over all matters involving facilities, greater than the power of the Match Director himself!

It doesn't seem to me that GM Seirawan can logically have it both ways. If the Appeals Committee had no power to make decisions about facilities and the relevant contractual provisions in the first place, then the arbiter, who is subordinate to the Appeals Committee, had no power to approve a suspension of the match to correct the decisions of the Appeals Committee in the second place. Indeed, the whole logic of Seirawan's original argument is that if GM Kramnik came up to Gijssen and said "Do not start the clocks, because the facilities are not correct," Gijssen had no alternative but to say, "That is not my province, you have to argue about facilities with the Match Director."

Furthermore, it seems to me that the arbiter is also bound by point 3.3 of the regulations:

"3.3 No postponement of any game shall be allowed except with permission of the FIDE President."

I also don't see that GM Kramnik is complaining about Gijssen's conduct. It doesn't seem to me that Gijssen should be blamed for any of this.

Kramnik has been wronged. Topalov got a point by unfair means.
Go Kamnik, smash Topalov

ps: I have noticed another poster using the same handle as I, having ridiculous views. Just wanted to clarify for originality sake.

I think I can pretty much conclusively prove Topalov cheats. I showed his game today to my 7-year-old son, and had him guess the next move. Amazingly, my son got every single move WRONG. Since my son is the least computer-like player you could hope to meet, his 0% match rate implies a 100% match rate for Topalov with a computer.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - Topalov cheats!

I thank you in advance for your warm praise of this most definitive proof.


Wait, wait, hold the presses. Amazingly, I have discovered yet ANOTHER conclusive proof of Topalov's cheating. I compared his moves to those of Chessmaster 2000, and by varying the processor speed and ply count for each move I was able to match him 100%!!! That's 100%!!!! If you think about it, varying the processor speed and ply count is much more realistic. A grandmaster makes some moves quickly, and some moves slowly. Sometimes his thinking is clouded by a lack of coffee, a crazy psychological situation, or confusion arising from his latest trip to the so-called "bathroom". Other times he gets really smart for a little while. So the kind of test I applied is much more realistic!!!

Really, I have this down to a science now.


It has been argued that Kramnik was wrong in not showing up for the fifth game (as opposed to playing under protest), irrespective of the merits of his case, because as a sportsman you simply have to show up. In fact, it may well have been a perfectly sensible strategy on his part to attempt to get his way by threatening not to play. Ex ante it certainly seemed very plausible that the organizers would find a way to give in to Kramnik's demands in order to get the game going, much the same way organizers used to give in to Fischer's demands. Had this worked, Kramnik's psychological position would have been very strong relative to Topalov. As another example where such brinkmanship worked, and Mig may remember this, consider the 1978 worldcup final between Argentina and Holland. The referee initially refused to let one of the Dutch players (van den kerkhof) play because his hand was bandaged, and the referee argued this was against the rules. The Dutch team walked off the pitch and did not return till the referee relented, which he eventually did. Of course in this case the stakes were even higher. Cancelling the final would have been unthinkable, and so by sticking to their guns the Dutch got their way (at least temporarily, till the referee did them in later).

You people sound like a bunch of lawyers. Instead of blaming Kramnik for the game 5 forfiet, how about Topalov keeping to his side of the contract in good faith the way Kramnik has?

No wonder these guys lose to Anand in rapid chess - there's just not enough time to visit the toilet 20 times or consult Rybka :)

Topalov^n + Kramnick^n = Kasparov^n, for n>2

Rybka has a proof in its analysis window, which is too long for me to type into this comment box.

Agreed with above, thanks for the best post I read tonite.

Topalov is scum.

If Krammnik had shown for game five those clowns wouldn't have been replaced and they would had continued taking advantage of him.

I just wished that the winner is a winner because he won more games than his opponent. Regardless of who was better or worse in the first two games the match, the bottom line is that Krammnik won both games. The bottom line is up to now Krammnik won two games, and Topalov just one - so he is effectively winning this match. But no, he is not, because Topalov got a point that was not won over the board. Who cares Topalov was better here or there on those games? He blundered and he lost. If there is only one thing that's truly concrete is the score of the game.

"Nicely played start to finish by the world # 1."
----World # 1 CHEATER.

Fermat : "There is no such thing as "slow starter" in chess. You play to your ability whether it is the 2nd or 11th game of the tournament."

Nonsense. Tal (to name but one) would beg to differ. Read Life and Games - Tal moans humourously about his 'slow starts' and his habit of dropping the first game in tourneys.

Just reviewed Game 8 again. There was something Fischersque in Topalov's victory. After move 31, a sudden storm arose that I suspect a pure positional evaluation couldn't appreciate. Whether he will win at the end is unclear, but at least he suggested why he has his rating.

I prefer this style of exciting chess.


Dimi: "There was something Fischeresque in Topalov's victory"

The unsporting and cheating methods used to unsettle the opponent?

I was following again some of the games and reading the analysis, I always found the same sentences (even from Russian analysts): "Kramnik chooses the safest continuation", "Kramnik sticks to his plan of avoiding sharp lines", etc. I like particularly Sakaev's live commentary, as well as Shipov's.

Next, I realize that there are only four games left (!!!) and this match has not been particularly unforgettable for the excitement of games (personal opinion), with the possible exception of games 2 and 8.

So, what would be this match without the whole bunch of accusations? Thanks to the stupidity of the incidents outside the board, blogs here became a space to say: "Go Topalov, go Kramnik, topalov is a cheater, bla bla bla".

Mig can make the experiment of counting how many messages has referred specifically to the games (without mention of the incidents) and the number is surprisingly low, less than in regular tournaments ... now, thanks to the incidents this is a record in the number of posts.

Unlike the language of chess analysis, the language of insults and gossip is universal, so this is something that any of us can make their own opinion, regardless if is absolute crap or has some sense. Even some grandmasters fall in the trend of biased comments, not very different to the ones we see here.

So, the conclusion is that ironically, we may be grateful of the incidents (not from the people like Danailov, for example). They have brought together the chess fans all over the world. A fan who felt inhibited in the past to talk about chess because of the need of discussing opening theory and game plans, now has the freedom to enter into the discussion. Moreover, people who has powerful machines, now express with authority that a move wasn't expectacular because the computer had the same option or even vilify grandmasters and question the level of play.

Whether Kramnik or Topalov win a match with people's support, it was clear before the match that:

- If Kramnik win the match, this is not make Kramnik bashers to stop.

- If Topalov win the match, Topalov's bashers would say the same crap as when he won in San Luis.

So, the outcome would be more or less the same with, or without incidents.

Bad publicity for this sport? I am not sure that this is going to be big news... For the people who already is a chess fan, they know the history and this match is not going to make any difference in the whole organizational mess surrounding chess, none of the big problems is solved after this match even without incidents ... For the rest, well ... if you make a poll on the question "Who is the world champion of chess" among the general public, the three most common answers would be likely:

- Kasparov.
- I have no idea.

... Oh, I forgot the third one... That could be one of the following (depending on the particular sample):

- Karpov
- Fischer
- Do they have world champions?
- "I hear that a computer defeated Kasparov, so now the computers are the world champions now?
- Italy? They won the world cup, right?

Dimi: "There was something Fischeresque in Topalov's victory"

al: The unsporting and cheating methods used to unsettle the opponent?

Did you look at the game? I suggest you look. It was a gem. I think Topalov finallu suggested why he has his rating after all.

Give Kramnik some credit, he doesn't get unsettled that easily. He is a master at what he does.

I still have no idea why you're so disturbed over him attending the toilet 35 times in a game? Is that what unsettles him? There's no
physiological reason for that, really. None. He certainly didn't do it during the press-conference. You guys are all for Jay Leno...


Dimi, very funny. what are you on?


I agree that the events off the board are what this match will be remembered for. It is a shame, because I've enjoyed the chess. IMHO, the best matches are the irresistable force vs immovable object types.

However, I'd rather have a Kramnik vs Leko any day because of the damage this has done to chess. At least that match was played with dignity and there was great chess there too. Just because there aren't explosive sacrifices, doesn't mean that there is bad chess.

Agreed- as far as I can see there were a lot of Kramnik bashers beforehand, who may be greater Topalov bashers now.

For me at the start of the match I had nothing for or against either player- both great players but different styles which provide for a great match. However, I desperately wanted Kramnik to win because FIDE so obviously wanted Topalov to- what is good for FIDE is bad for chess.

Now after the Danailov interventions, I very much have something against Topalov.

I always have been an Anand fan more than anyone else, mainly because of his entertaining playing style (and speed escpecially as a young player), but also because he is a class act. Kramnik has behaved classily in this instance, so he has gone up in my estimation.

Pardon me for being offtopic, but just a short remark about the game itself: although it was excellent play by Topalov, Kramnik actually had good drawing chances even at move 44.
It keeps amazing me how much resource the defending player always has with careful and patient play.

Though Kramnik made some inaccurate and even erroneous moves that were not characteristic for him in such position, Topalov indeed demonstrated high technique.

A bull's eye by Topalov's team on game 8:


"If there is a drawing chance for Mr. Kramnik, he is going to go for it. This is how he did it against Kasparov, this is what he tries to do now. However, today he had no chances."

So topalov is a computer cheater, since his case is singular as there is no comparable jump in ELO in history for an old man.

It follows that Polgar must be also a computer cheater, as her case is even more singular.

The only comparable explanation for a woman to succeed in chess would be that she is a man.

So thats the "logic" of chess players - no wonder why computers are better ;-)

Going back to Gijssen, if he could suggest a postponement of game 6, presumably he could have suggested a postponement of game 5. Of course all the Darrell Hair had-no-choice types are right technically, but a really good arbiter would not have let it get that far.

Moreover, there is the matter of the tapes. They should have been in Gijssen's keeping and nobody else's, and they still should be. Instead, Bulgarian TV is dissecting them and they're being posted on the internet.

Chris B: yes, I think you're right about the colours in Schlechter-Lasker. But Schlechter initiated sharp play in that game and passed by several continuations which would have taken the tension out of the position; creating of course the whole needed-to-be-two-points-up debate.

To the idiots who say Kramnik has been playing defensively in this match: in game 4 Kramnik chose the Semi-Slav, one of the sharpest openings in chess, and gave Topalov the opportunity to play 5 Bg5 and the Botvinnik or anti-Moscow Gambit. In game 6 it was Topalov who chose a quiet continuation exchanging queens instead of various sharper and theoretically approved alternatives. In game 7 Kramnik allowed Topalov the IQP and the identical position from which Kramnik himself smashed Anand in beautiful attacking style in 2001, a very courageous choice which almost led to a win. And in game 8 Kramnik chose a sharp line of the Meran in place of several quieter alternatives around move 11-12, sacrificed material and lost. If he had been taking my advice and acting as you recommend, he would have played 3 cxd5 and proposed a draw. His downfall has been exactly because of excessive ambition.

Meanwhile, both players are playing much the same openings with both colours (agreed Topalov was presumably going for some sort of Nimzo/QID/QGD in games 1 and 3, but that's not exactly earth-shaking).

I'm also amazed by the stupidity of the likes of Dimi, wilful or not. You're playing the most stressful event of your life on stage before the eyes of the entire world, the cameras are on you when you go off-stage, and you really can't imagine why certain psychological types might like a private space to retreat to out of sight of the world, especially since it's clear that the arbiters are not keeping the tape private as they should do?

What ridiculous trash from veselin-topalov.net. If this stuff is really from Topalov's team, one's respect for him sinks even further.

These people are like limbo-dancers. There is a certain bizarre interest in seeing how low they can actually go.

Is there any truth in the claims that Topalov was caught using computers during a game in a super tournament some one and a half years ago?

Obeserver: "he had been caught"-no, this is not true.
He was just suspected and there was an interesting statistical evidence, backed up with several GM opinions(or even super-GM? is it true that Moro said he has been cheating, even though his trainer?).
But nothing has proven.

Dear Obeserver (?)

More gossip? Maybe with all this crap of speculation, is not enough for you and you need to invent some history?

Rematch? If Topalov manages to with this odds match, will he give Kramnik a rematch? [same odds of course]

From Chessbase;s transcript of Krmanik's posy game 7 match interview:

"I am convinced that all major events like world championship, etc., must be played under total control aimed against using external assistance. The earlier it happens, the better it is. This is like doping control in other sports. Here in Elista the players do not have even a theoretical chance to use external help. One requires very strong imagination for inventing stories like Mr. Danailov does."

Clearly he himself feels there is no cheating. Would like to know what happened at the press conference after game 8.

Very well said, Theodulf.

Here is a something different. Just listened to this on my iPod today so it’s a few days behind. But here is my namesake Howard Stern of all people talking about the World Chess Championship controversy. There is no need to explain who Howard Stern is to Americans and particularly New Yorkers, but for our Eastern European friends, he is a perhaps the most famous radio personality in the United States. Since Stern specializes in raunchy humor, his talking about chess is quite unexpected, though recently Howard has been describing his newfound interest in chess (he is a member of ICC!)

Like many lax observers, Stern does get some of the details wrong, but that that in itself is interesting – a chance to hear what a person who just read a passing account thinks about the whole bathroom controversy. He also does some of the exact same analysis I’ve posted here before regarding Kasparov and Deep Blue and how that affected chess sponsorship. He also talks about Fischer.

I have it in MP3 format. It’s about 6 and a half minutes long. The filesize is about 1 Meg, tiny. I will host it on an ftp server for a while. For linux or more sophisticated Windows Command Prompt users, you can:

ftp to
anonymous login is enabled so you can use the username ‘anonymous’ and any password
get hschess.mp3

“ls” is enabled if you want a directory listing, but just this one snippet of file is available for download.

For less sophisticated users, you can copy and paste this link into your web browser and hopefully it will come up and start to play for you (so if you are at work, beware that it will start immediately and has one swear word in it):

Note that it is supposed to start with ‘ftp’, not ‘http’ so that is not a mistake.

Hope this works. I will be hosting the file for just a short while. Let me know if you have problems accessing it, I don't know if I've got it all set correctly. It’s an amusing listen.

rdh kramnik was playing defensingly in this this match. he has basically just converted 2 blunders from topalov in other games he just went to exchange as many pieces as possible. in game 8 he was caught up by topalov's novelty and it was too late to bail out. and in the complicated position which arised he was dully outplayed. so please refrain from calling ppl who pointed those facts out idiots. tnx.

Note: My ftp server only supports one user at a time so you would be doing others a favor by downloading it instead of accessing it through a web browser. I just noticed that. Same person is still listening to it via his browser.

So for a while, I'm going to turn off anonymous login, so you will NOT be able to listen to it via a webbrowser. You have to 'get' it instead from an ftp client or command prompt (Windows has ftp client abilities built in). That way more people can grab it fast instead of one every 6.5 minutes.

Should be reset momentarily, again it's an interesting take on the WCC controversy.

Using an ftp client:

username = chess
password = silviosux

I'll host for a few hours.

Rdh, it hurts to read the truth... Even from veselintopalov.net :-)

So keep calm and pray... Maybe your favorite will hold 4 draws in the last games and save himself. Maybe...

Well, I was wrong about one thing and that's game four; Kramnik only went for the semi-Slav after 5 Bg5 was already impossible.

As to the rest I'm afraid you're just yapping unless you want to back up what you say by reference to the games.

Kramnik was clearly outplayed yesterday. Not for the first time in this match. What's new is that he lost this time.

Topalov IS the better player. He has been much better than Kramnik for the last 2 years. He plays with guts and imagination.

You may think what you want about his manager, when It comes to chess Topa is number 1 at the moment.

Topalov said this on yesterday's press conference: "The result is of course important, but I arrived in Elista not to win in the match, but to show champion’s play. People must enjoy our games, otherwise what are we playing for?"

HUH?? How very noble. Well, someone should seriously have a talk with him and ask him what he thinks happens when the above applies to the issue of game 5.

One would expect someone who is as highly paid as Stern to get the facts right...
We'll pass lightly over "Big Blue", but Spassky beating Fischer is a bit too much...

It was actually know-it-all-(NOT) Robin who said Spassky beat Fischer, not Howard. Frequent listeners will note that Robin butchering facts is as common as a Danilov complaint letter.

At least they got the jist of most of it. It's interesting to note how the major impression Howard got was from the first wave of publicity (i.e. against Kramnik for 50 bathroom breaks), and almost none of the 'backlash' against Topalov. I wonder if this is true for all who did not bother to follow up on more than the initial sensational story.

anonymous login enabled again, I will host as I sleep, discontinue after I wake up some hours from now.

Hi Stern,

thanks. Downloaded by anonymous access and I'm listening to it now!


Stern – yes, of course it is typical of non-chessplayers. A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on. Which brings one back to why FIDE should have stamped so hard on this nonsense at the beginning of course, and in turn the question of why on earth anyone could vote for Ilyumzhinov. Which I don’t think has anyone on here baffled either.

Hey, you have to tell them that Fischer beat Spassky and not the contrary.

Good for Howard to talk about chess though.

Although they took the piss off chess for a bit. but I'm surprised how interested Howard is.


From Kramnik's game 8 press conference. "I don’t believe I lost because I was complacent. On the contrary, I played aggressively today, trying to win. But the game developed unsuccessfully – the opponent was lucky to see all his pieces arriving at proper locations sharp on time. His position did not fall apart almost by a miracle. Then I overpressed, and ended up in an unpleasant endgame."

I guess after all that has happened, it would be too much to hope for some grace and admit he was completely outplayed on the board in a Chess sense. Similar soundings from Toaplov, in addition to refusing to attend the press conference. I guess a (good) chessplayer who's also not a sore loser is as rare as an altruistic politician.

Ling: "Lasagne it is. Several layers of dubious matter, covered with a sauce of obscure provenance."


Dear d,
Regarding game 8, Topalov did not completely outplay Kramnik. Krtamnik mad a huge mistake 41.Kxg3, and also his move 45 was far from the best. After that his position was destructed immediately. After 41 Rb5 his position would be slightly worse, but the draw would be the most expected result.
The only game where Topalov could claim he outplayed Kramnik, is game 2, IMHO.
Looking at pictures of Kramnik before and after game 8, I disagree with Vlad: his outlook was terrible, he looked tired and frustrated before the game began, and exhausted after the game.

It occurs to me belatedly - probably everyone else had thought of this already - was that the reason Danailov does not want Topalov at the same press conference at Kramnik is so that Topalov will not hear of the things that have been done in his name (the Fritz press release in particular) by hearing Kramnik asked questions about them.

Dear Vlad Kosulin,

Regarding game 8, Topalov did indeed completely outplay Kramnik in the opening, middlegame and endgame.

"Kramnik made a huge mistake 41.Kxg3, and also his move 45 was far from the best. after that his position was destructed immediately. After 41 Rb5 his position would be slightly worse, but the draw would be the most expected result."

Well I guess you know better than Kramnik himself, who said he didnt see a way to save the game after 37..g3. Congratulations, I hope to see you in at least one of the super tournaments in the future.

Russianbear wrote:
And I think it was explained multiple times why Kramnik didn't play game 5. If you didn't get it yet, chances are, you won't get it after I explain it 1 more time. Playing conditions were altered without consulting with Kramnik - that was illegal according to match regulations. That's reason #1. Even Team Topalov's protest itself was illegal. That's reason #2. It was illegal (i am not even talking about the moral side here) for FIDE to even give Danailov access to camera footage. That could be used to see Kramnik's reaction to certain opening positions or some other things. That's reason #3. Kramnik didn't refuse to play game 5, he was there to play it, but he could not for a number of reasons, listed above. <<

1. What playing conditions were altered? Potties are not playing conditions they are hospitality conditions. Unless of course both players are sitting on toilets during the match. The contract never specified two potties, just that one would be available.

2. If Topalov's protest is "illegal" then Kramnik's certainly is as he didn't file anything within the required 2 hours - FIDE stated this openly. Topalov's came within two hours of discovering the bathroom behavior from watching the tapes.

3. I agree neither side should be able to see tapes but this was not in contract so its open season technically speaking.

4. Kramnik in fact DID refuse to play game 5 whether he showed up to the game or sat in his underwear in his hotel room he REFUSED to play.

"Regarding game 8, Topalov did not completely outplay Kramnik. Krtamnik mad a huge mistake 41.Kxg3, and also his move 45 was far from the best....The only game where Topalov could claim he outplayed Kramnik, is game 2, IMHO."

Practically everyone who makes such comments has a rooting interest, and this taints their views. Most GM analysts considered Topalov better even before 41.Kxg3 was played. Whether he had a winnable position before that is very much in dispute. This could very well be one of those games that gets debated for years.

In any case, I think it's dubious to say, "Kramnik wasn't outplayed--he just made mistakes." Part of being outplayed is making more mistakes (or worse mistakes) than your opponent.

If you have not read this:
[url=] http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=70701 [/url]

Sofia News Agency reads:
[quote=""] There is a change in Vesselin Topalov's strategy; he undertakes fast and well-planned moves and they aim to discourage Kramnik from leaving his seat, the sources add.[/quote]

[quote=""]Fans define the events in the Kalmik Republic as an advertising trick initiated in order to raise greater public interest in the championship. There are rumours the two competitors have been paid by an additional sponsor in order to perform that theatrical play.

I'm curious to know which additional sponsor the Sofia Agency is aiming at. Mr. Danailov and his two business partners in FIDE?

Posted by: bizz at October 6, 2006 08:32
>>Topalov IS the better player. He has been much better than Kramnik for the last 2 years. He plays with guts and imagination.

That's what you think, but it is *not* what Topalov thinks. He's already admitted for the world to see that he didn't think he could win the match without a free point.

Too bad, so sad, but it's too late to unsay it now. When a guy threatens to walk out of a match if he can't keep an unearned point, it's pretty clear what he thought of his chances without it.

well, not necessarily. He could be (mistakenly perhaps) standing up for a principle. The "unearned" is in the interpretation. I agree with almost everybody else that Kramnik should not have been forfeited. However unlike you, I dont have the power of mind reading, and thus do not know what he thinks. If he was genuinely convinced by Danailov that Kramnik was cheating (which is ludicrous btw to me), in his view both losses he suffered were "unearned" as well.

Just reviewed Game 8 again. There was something Fischersque in Topalov's victory. After move 31, a sudden storm arose that I suspect a pure positional evaluation couldn't appreciate. Whether he will win at the end is unclear, but at least he suggested why he has his rating.

I prefer this style of exciting chess.

-- Posted by: Dimi at October 6, 2006 01:32

Yes, like him or not, Topalov is clearly the strongest player in the world.

The way he has -completely- outplayed Kramnik in the queenless middlegames of Games 1 and 8 is simply remarkable.

"and thus do not know what he thinks." should read "and thus do not know what Topalov thinks."

I think Topalov will win easily now. I predict a +2 outcome for him.

Boris Spassky didn't hand back his forfeit win over Bobby Fischer, even though he agreed to give Bobby what he was asking for.

As in any sport, there usually are no do-overs once the game is over, even when it turns out the officials made the wrong call.

Yes, Topalov so completely outplayed Kramnik in games 1 and 8 that he should be happy he got 1 point in those two games.

Fischer won, with a justly deserved forfeit for not playing just like Kramnik deserves. Spassky wouldn't relinquish nor should Topalov there is a precedent.

Are we saying Fischer can win with a forfeit but Kramnik can't?

I didn't see Fischer applying to anyplace on earth he could nor filing lawsuits etc over his forfeit. Nor should Kramnik. Accept the results of a bad decision to not play and move on.

Spassky-Fischer is different story. Bobby demanded changes and refused to play under existing conditions. Therefore, he breached the contract. Kramnik refused to play, because his contract was violated.

What exactly is the difference between being "completely outplayed" and "partially outplayed"? How about "not played with one imagination" and "one or two imaginations"? With all the statistical analysis going on, can anybody give me any factual basis for those kind of statements?

I believe it was Voltaire who said that nothing cheapens an argument more than rhetoric.

You would think that the score would be enough of an indicator of who outplayed whom. But, no. Harcore fans will always try to make themselves feel better by saying their guy "outplayed" the other guy, even if their guy is losing more than he is winning.

64.ru is giving a forecast of the match based on horoscopes and the position of the sun, the moon and other distant forces that are usually referred to.


I've never seen anything quite like it published on a chess site.
I'm not qualified to translate such detailed scientific analysis to English, but one thing that immediately strikes me is that since the games are no longer played on the original dates due to the forfeit and postponement, the whole second half of the prognosis can be discarded.
Too bad the astrologist didn't see that coming.

Altogether, as far as anything concrete can be derived from it, it seems to be favouring Kramnik.

Russianbear, the total score is generally an indicator of who outplayed whom in the match. As I have always said, 2-1 to Kramnik means he has outplayed Topalov in the match. Topalov missed a 2-move combination to force mate, but so what, you need to bring the bacon home, and Kramnik won that game.
However in game 8, Kramnik was completely outplayed in the kind of game he normally excels in. It was my opinion that he should have been more graceful in the press conference and acknowledged this. I think you are actualy precisely one of those hardcore fans you decry; hardcore fan of Kramnik that is. You love to take things out of context, pick and choose what comments you address, and somehow make out Kramnik is the best at everything. How about Kramnik for president of the Universe?

Russianbear, the total score is generally an indicator of who outplayed whom in the match. As I have always said, 2-1 to Kramnik means he has outplayed Topalov in the match. Topalov missed a 2-move combination to force mate, but so what, you need to bring the bacon home, and Kramnik won that game.
However in game 8, Kramnik was completely outplayed in the kind of game he normally excels in. It was my opinion that he should have been more graceful in the press conference and acknowledged this. I think you are actualy precisely one of those hardcore fans you decry; hardcore fan of Kramnik that is. You love to take things out of context, pick and choose what comments you address, and somehow make out Kramnik is the best at everything. How about Kramnik for president of the Universe? Does that make YOU feel better?

"You would think that the score would be enough of an indicator of who outplayed whom."

Once the match is over, that is certainly true. But while it is going on, I can guarantee you the players are looking at the CAUSE of the results, and not just the results themselves. Any coach will tell you that you cannot hope to improve, unless you look hard at WHY your results (both good and bad) are happening.

Besides, the WHY is what makes the debate interesting. It only takes a sentence to say the score is 4:4 (or 4:3 at the board).

"64.ru is giving a forecast of the match based on horoscopes and the position of the sun, the moon and other distant forces that are usually referred to....Altogether, as far as anything concrete can be derived from it, it seems to be favouring Kramnik."

I'm sure if I hired the right astrologer, my grandmother could be confidently predicted as the next world chess champion.

For goodness’ sake, chessdude, if you’re going to pontificate about the contractual position at least take some trouble and get it right.

I think everyone knows by now that the contract says that ‘each player will have a restroom and a toilet’. Obviously the restrooms are to be separate. It follows as a natural matter of construction that the toilets are to be separate. Even if that were wrong, the parties all clearly thought it meant a separate toilet for each player, until it became appropriate for Macropoulos to construe the phrase differently.

There is also clause 3.18.3 of the match regulations, which contrary to what you quote reads “After the World Chess Championship Committee agrees with the Organisers on the arrangements in respect of the tournament hall, facilities, accommodation and meals, transportation, telecommunication, ceremonies, etc., no objections from the participants shall be acceptable as long as the conditions are in accordance with the rights of the players granted in their agreements.”. It is hard to suppose that the toilets are not included in ‘facilities’. Unfortunately World Chess Championship Committee has not been defined in the Regulations, but I think it is probably meant to mean the Appeals Committee.

So far it is completely obvious to any lawyer (UK, at least) that Kramnik is in the right and is entitled not to play until the contract is met. The question is whether the Appeal Committee were entitled to overrule the contractual provisions. Unfortunately the rules and regulations were drawn up either by an incompetent or by a capable lawyer who had been instructed to make sure that they were not clear. The ambit of the Appeals Committee’s powers is not set out and consequently they have to be inferred. Obviously they are not literally unlimited. To me it seems probable that they were not to be able to overrule these provisions about playing conditions, especially the one in the contract itself rather than the rules and regulations. But this is where the debate should occur if it is going to occur.

If is it correct that FIDE are asking Kramnik to play under terms different from those he contracted to play under then the question of Kramnik protesting, in time or otherwise, is irrelevant. Kramnik is not purporting to comply with the contract; he is precisely saying that he is not going to comply with the contract until FIDE meets its conditions. There is no question of the contract's machinery continuing to operate, and there is nothing for him to protest against.

In any case it does not matter for two reasons (i) it is clear that the Committee did in fact consider his protest, made out of time or not, and did not reject it on the grounds that it was out of time, (ii) the Committee clearly does not regard these stipulations as to time as being of the essence of the contract, since it accepted Topalov’s protest, which was also out of time.

I would say by the way that Voltaire is wrong. Nothing cheapens an argument more than childishly calling the toilet a potty. It merely demonstrates that the speaker has no confidence in his actual arguments.

I am glad to see that Chessbase has made some progress, in that Macieja has actually read the document he’s going on about, unlike Yasser Seirawan’s ludicrous piece. Still they would do well to get a lawyer to give an opinion if they’re going to bother, and in particular one who knows something about Swiss and sports law, since I assume the governing law is Swiss. Without this everything I have read on the internet on this subject is so much piss and wind.

As to the tapes, you have of course no idea what is in the contract, but let us assume you are right. Even so this was a clear breach of natural justice. Moreover the committee in considering Topalov’s protest clearly failed to give Kramnik the chance to make written representations, clearly accepted a protest which was out of time when they should not have done and clearly failed to make a decision in time. All of these things were ample grounds for postponing game five. The entire purpose of the stipulations as to time is that a player shall not be confronted with a change in circumstances shortly before a game, as Kramnik was. (This by the way is what Gijssen should have done: he could have used this as a reason to postpone the game.)

Of course Kramnik refused to play game five. The question is whether he was contractually entitled to do so. The answer is a difficult question of law which depends on a contract none of us has seen and (I am guessing) the law of a country none of us knows anything about. Lay people sounding off about it is just irritating and makes them look stupid (are you listening, Yasser Seirawan?).

The horoscope for game 5 is quite interesting:
The question is not in who will press harder, and not in for how long this pressure should be sustained, the question is who is on the right way?
The anxiety will rise before the game, especially in team Topalov. The peak will be reached during the opening."

Oh and incidentally, Mig, with regard to your top-players-CMA stance, what do you make of Svidler's call to sack Macropoulos and Azmai?

d: I don't understand why you and some other people seem to be after me. All I do is express my point of view, and I have as much right to do it as any other poster.

As for why Kramnik didn't say he was completely outplayed in game 8 - well, the answer is simple. He didn't do it

1)because it is a stupid and moronic thing to say. Noone says these things. Like someone wrote - "completely outplayed" - how is that different from simply "outplayed"? But anyway - why should Kramnik be more upset and dramatic than he really feels. He felt he played badly at certain points and overpressed, so that's what he said at press conference.

2) because after the garbage he had to endure during the match from Topalov and Danailov, it is not exactly smart to be all goody goody to Topalov. After loads of accusations and psychological pressure put on Kramnik by Topalov's Team, after they stole a point from him, you still want him to curtsy to Topalov as if he were a chinese emperor? What kind of world do you live in? A match is a competition where you don't want to show any kind of weakness, much less to unsportsmanlike thugs like Danailov, his chess-playing puppet and company.

Ah, so the score is an indication.

Up until game 8, Kramnik had two wins and Topalov zero. Which means that up to that point Kramnik completely outplayed Topalov. Then Topalov won a game, which means he completely outplayed Kramnik, but only over the course of that game. Judging overall score obviously Kramnik outplayed Topalov 66 percent of the time.
We may be able to say that their level of play is equal but only after Topalov wins one more game and provided Kramnik doesn't win any more.

On contractual disputes, I don't understand the "Kramnik did not appeal in time" argument at all. It assumes that Kramnik should have filed an appeal with the commitee in response to ... the committee's decision on Topalov's appeal. Appealing the decision to the men who handed it down. Does that make sense to anybody? In the US, and I am sure in most other countries, if one party files a lawsuit or an appeal, the accused/opposite party doesn't need to counterappeal, it takes its approach to the next highest institution, such as an appellate court. The contract seems to suggest that for this match such an institution is the FIDE president, who Kramnik did write to, or perhaps there is no higher institution in which case Kramnik should take his appeal to other venues, like the court of law. If I sue Mig for defamation, and 3rd District Court rules in my favor, it doesn't make any sense to have Mig file a new appeal with the 3rd--they just ruled on the matter.

By the way, the new Appeals Committee rejected Kramnik's claim, because "the appointment of the new Appeals Committee does not mean that the new one appointed has the power of overruling any decisions taken by the former Appeals Committee which are absolutely final."
However, according to Regulation 3.17.1:
"The Committee may decide on the following matters:
c) a complaint alleging false interpretation of the regulations,
d) a request for the interpretation of specific regulations,
e) a protest or complaint against any participant, or
f) all other matters which the Committee considers important."

Kramnik's case is clearly covered by part c), but even if the Appeals Committee believes that parts c,d, or e are not the case, there is part f! This means that the Appeals Committee just belives that the Kramnik's case is not important!!!

$10 000 bet!
if they allow me to do 50 runs to the unsupervised rest room a game i would beat the world champion 3 times ih a row


I would take your money in a heartbeat; yours is a fool's bet. If the facility is searched beforehand, you are searched beforehand, and interference is run so that transmission cannot get through, feel free to take 100 breaks if you would like; you would still fall in fewer than 30 moves.



Vlad Kosulin: Kramnik refused to play, because his contract was violated.

When such shallow dictums remain unchallenged they get promoted to a Party Line.

No contract stipulates the number of potty breaks. But in all walks of life, excessive overindulgence in such always activities always raises questions, humorous or not. During a WCC event the issue becomes vastly more acute. To refuse to play because of it is unheard of and certainly a new precedent.

Kramnik should find a better line, more commensurate to his status of a leading GM.


I left my Rybka engine as white play against my Fritz engine as black and white won.

So my prediction is white winning the next game with a certitude of 78% because Topalov plays like Rybka and Kramnik plays 78% of the move of Fritz.

Russianbear, people are possibly after you because you're an overbearing, ignorant jerk. "Its moronic to say completely outplayed"? What, are you giving me an English lesson now? Listen son, stop advising people on what you know nothing about, in this case the semantics of teh English language.

Yes, Topalov so completely outplayed Kramnik in games 1 and 8 that he should be happy he got 1 point in those two games.

-- Posted by: f at October 6, 2006 11:58

Kramnik was taken to school in the queenless middlegames of Games 1 and 8 which supposedly he is the master of.

Deal with it.

"Kramnik was taken to school in the queenless middlegames of Games 1 and 8 which supposedly he is the master of."


Dear d,
People are definitely after you because you are "an overbearing, ignorant jerk".
You better stop insinuating other people, and go learning from college students what the word "moron" means.

gnnotyet, keep repeating it, maybe then the one point Topalov barely salvaged from games 1 and 8 will magically turn into one and a half or two points.

thanks kosulin, i already know the meaning. Incidentally, your rather lame attempt at sophistry with the fragment on learning from college students piqued my curiosity, and I realised it was because it reminded me of a poem called "The Sun Rising" by the brilliant John Donne, "Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide late schoolboys, and sour prentices.."
Pray, what did YOU mean?

So let me get this straight --

If Topalov wins than all his cheating, unsportsmanlike, political power play, win any way possible approach is acceptable??? The ends justify the means??? That is what many of you are saying just because you like Topa's style of play. I like his chess too but the WCC title match loses all integrity and value when it is run like a corrupt police state.

Also Kosulin I guess you're upset because I pointed out that your definitive verdict on Kramnik's loss was not shared by Kramnik himself. Any smart comments on that?

There is only one man who is consistently able to successfully attempt sophistry that piques d's curiosity. That man? You guessed it, Mikhail Nekhemeyevich Tal.

wow... I never cease to be amused by this blog! hehe

did not work for me. can you check it out to see if it works for you


You are wrong saying "your definitive verdict on Kramnik's loss was not shared by Kramnik himself".
The truth is, Kramnik's verdict on why he lost is not shared by me ;-)

By the way, during the press-conference Kramnik said that he does not analyse games during the match. May be, whaen after the match Kramnik does a fresh analysis, he will agree with my verdict!

You are late, the ftp server is gone.

Re Schlechter, I agree he may have been trying for a win. However, the fact that he was black does somewhat invalidate your argument. Nevertheless you may have a point. Leko seems to be the guy you should have picked. His choking at the end of important events with either colour is simply amazing. Although the losing-with-white-when-only-a-draw-is-needed thing doesn't appear to apply to Karpov or Petrosian.
Also,in an earlier post, you were incorrect in stating that Kasparov-Anand was in 1996 - it was in 1995. And yes, Korchnoi-Spassky 1977/8 was a Candidates Final.

I did not particularly appreciate being called 'beyond reason' on the Kasparov-Kramnik issue. I feel I have gone to great lengths to present a reasoned argument on this issue under 'Elista Entourage' and feel I have a very good case for what I believe based on evidence. I have recently replied to a post of niceforkinmove's there which I had missed due to it being on an old thread. I do not wish to get into name-calling; I would like to argue on the evidence. Could I ask you, therefore, to objectively read what I have posted there and tell me what you think. If you have serious evidence to refute what I say there, I am prepared to listen; I am not beyond reason. Any reply should be posted there, not here, of course; Mig doesn't want this argument yet again on another thread.

Chris B. Can't find it now, but I read it at the time. I couldn't follow your stuff about Dortmund at all. To me it's simple. No question of an immediate rematch because everyone agreed unifying the title was needed. Prague a sensible deal agreed on by everyone. Kramnik delivers. Kasparov doesn't - probably no fault of his I agree. I don't recall Kramnik saying he wouldn't play the winner of Kasparov-Kasim, nor that that was the reason K-K didn't happen. I do recall Kramnik saying that he wasn't obliged to play the winner, which must have been right, but he left open the question of whether he would or not. And fairly enough too - he's always said his priority was to work with FIDE to get the title unified, and it wasn't clear how FIDE were reacting after Kasparov-Pono went down the toilet.

Gazza was stiffed by FIDE for sure (much the way he stiffed Shirov), and I never understood how it could happen that Pono wasn't simply defaulted under Prague and Kasparov-Kramnik scheduled. And like everyone else I wish it had; a great match, some great games, Gazza would still be playing instead of making a fool of himself in the WSJ, and we wouldn't have to put up with this toerag Topalov strutting around the place. Where I differ is this notion that it was the fault of the wicked and dishonourable and frightened Kramnik. What marked Kramnik out in the 90's was precisely that he wasn't afraid of Gazza the way others were, and in his every public statement I've ever seen he's spoken consistently, honourably and courteously, as I've seen it.

I do not remember reading such stuff at the time. Are you sure you are not meaning the Owen Williams document which everyone seems to quote, and which came out 2 months after the Dortmund format announcement?
I am somewhat puzzled as to why you cannot follow my Dortmund stuff. I have reread it and it seems pretty clear to me. Possibly you need to read the previous post as well to put it into context. If you have done so, and still do not understand it, let me know what it is about it that you cannot follow, and I will try to clarify.
Well, there was no sign of an immediate rematch - this is why Seirawan came up with his title-unifying proposal 'A Fresh Start' as I explained. This was a fantastic opportunity to sort out the whole mess once and for all. It was sobataged by Kramnik, and him alone. More than anything else, this is what makes me angry against him.
The Prague agreement a sensible deal? What's sensible about excluding the World No.3 Anand?? Agreed on by everyone? I don't recall Anand agreeing on it. Nor Ivanchuk, nor Grischuk, nor Shirov, etc, etc.
Kramnik delivers? You must live in a different universe to me. How can you say Kramnik saying he wasn't obliged to play the winner is right? - this is exactly what the Prague agreement did oblige him to do (except for the technicality that it was supposed to be the winner of Kasparov-Ponomariov, not Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov - as if that was anybody's fault but Ponomariov's). This statement of Kramnik's, with its obvious implication, was the real main reason Kasparov-Kasim didn't happen, because Kasparov then knew Kramnik had no intention of playing him, anyway.
It should also be remembered that Kramnik did not make this statement until after the Tripoli event which turned up Kasimdzhanov. If he felt this strongly about it, why didn't he make it 3-4 weeks earlier and save everyone the trouble? It was of course because he had to wait until he had retained his 'title' against Leko. If he had made it before the Leko match, and lost this, he would have looked like a welsher for no gain. But once he had retained his 'title', he could afford to make this statement.
Kramnik's public statements may very well have been courteous. And consistent all right - consistently full of verbiage that said virtually nothing, apart from the statement above.
I agree with you in that I, too, do not understand why Pono wasn't just simply defauted under Prague. Or at the very least that the previous FIDE Champion, Anand, wasn't given his place - this would have been a very fair solution to one of the main defects of Prague. [Well, actually, I do understand. It was in the interests of the chess world, but was not perceived by Ilyumzhinov to be in his best personal interest. And what Ilyumzhinov says in FIDE, goes.]
I agree with you that Kramnik wasn't afraid of Gazza in the 90's - his record against him then is very good. But this changed after their match. Gazza came ahead of him at Wijk-Aan-Zee 2001, beat him and came ahead of him at Astana 2001, and beat him in their 'mini match' at Moscow 2001. After all this, Kramnik did become afraid - very afraid - and did everything possible to avoid another match with him, as we have seen.
Kramnik had condemned the format of the FIDE Championships before the Kasparov match. That he had in his heart retained such a view of this format is revealed in an 8 May 2005 interview [ http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2376 ], where he says: "The knockout world championships of FIDE have experimental character." Yet he approved of, and insisted on, the Dortmund format, which was very similar. How hypocritical is that?
Finally, then, can you answer a question that Greg Koster is obviously disinclined to answer: If Kramnik is the good guy in all this, why did he approve of, and insist on, the Dortmund format, which even niceforkinmove says 'stinks'?

Chris, quite honestly I don't want to have this discussion. I've had it before with Kasparov diehards and there isn't any point: if Kramnik's own eloquent defences of his position haven't persuaded you, I'm not going to.

I'll answer one question though; approving Dortmund wasn't hypocritical at all. Kramnik said it in that interview: it's up to FIDE how they choose their champion; then let him beat me in a match.

Can you point me to where FIDE approved 'A Fresh Start'?

I thought Anand refused to play at Dortmund, rather than being excluded? And as to the rest of them - Grischuk and so on, jeez, how inclusive is it supposed to be? I don't remember anyone asking me if I'd be able to make it to a suitable qualifier either.

Anand was excluded from the beginning because of contractual obligations with FIDE. However, Kirsan in a diplomatical gesture overruled that and said that he (and Ivanchuk) would be welcome to play Dortmund anyway, in fact insisted on it. But according to Seirawan, Anand still refused, saying that he shouldn't have to play in a qualifier if Kasparov didn't, and that he strongly thought unification would come first - he would just wait until the next cycle.

I agree with the position Anand took as regards Dortmund. But this truly DREADFUL event should have been binned anyway - period. But Kramnik insisted on it being held, thus vetoing the good proposal - Seirawan's 'A Fresh Start'. True, 'A Fresh Start' didn't have Anand seeded either, and it should have, but I'm sure with a minimum of goodwill on all sides this defect could have been rectified.
In 'A Fresh Start', the remaining places in the match part of it were to be decided by a 196 player Swiss. Is that inclusive enough for you? Even you might have had a chance to qualify - you can see what a superior proposal that this was to Prague. But as we all know by now, thanks to Mr Kr ...
FIDE's [=Kirsan's] approval of 'A Fresh Start' had been secured, eg see fairly early in Part 2 of Seirawan's 'From a Fresh Start to a New Dawn' where Seirawan says "He [Kirsan] liked 'A Fresh Start', as he saw it as inclusive and fair." Indeed Seirawan had managed to persuade a most reluctant Kasparov to meet with his then arch-enemy Kirsan for precisely this purpose [near the end of Part 1].
I can't understand your comment about the Dortmund hyprocrisy. At that time (15 July 2001), Dortmund was to decide Kramnik's opponent; the idea of the FIDE Champion playing Kramnik hadn't even been considered at all.
Eloquent defences aren't necessarily honest ones, and Kramnik's certainly weren't honest in my opinion.
I am not particularly a Kasparov diehard [though his life results are obviously much superior to Kramnik's], my position is more anti-Kramnik. As I said in an earlier post, I had thought Kramnik was an OK guy until I saw the Dortmund format - I was amazed at this. And to destroy 'A Fresh Start' [which would have allowed him to undo the Dortmund hypocrisy] was particularly unforgiveable.

OK, I give up. In truth, I can't understand a word you say. So you must be right.

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