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Neither Borrower Nor...

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ChessBase has clips from a somewhat oblique interview with Vladimir Kramnik in Izvestia. The stuff about not caring about results we've heard before. Ditto with the tennis comparison, although I must say it's clear Anand is Federer to Kramnik's Nadal in that one and that's where you want to be.

Kramnik did say what we knew he was thinking (because he said many times before unification) when it comes to what was lost, umm, lent, in Mexico City.

OK, on paper Anand may be world champion. But from my point of view, there is a difference in significance between a title won in a match, and in a tournament. For me, the forthcoming match with Anand is more important. If I lose that, I will accept completely the fact that I have lost the title, but right now, I have no such feelings. At present, I take the view that I have just lent Anand the title temporarily.

It's one thing to say you lost the title and want to win it back. But the "on paper" and "lent Anand the title" comments are pretty weak. When Kramnik beat Kasparov in 2000 he had not a word to say about the man who had held the title for 15 years before him. I charitably chalked that up to nervous shock and naiveté. I hope he can come up with something better than this if Anand beats him in Germany next September. As for the politics, it has come up several times that forces in the Kremlin would love to exploit the guy who beat Kasparov in 2000 by having Kramnik come out against him in domestic politics as well. This is obviously rather close to home for me and my work with The Other Russia, and I hope Kramnik isn't eager to go from king to pawn in that way.

More relevantly for us, let's hope he's not eager to give up chess while he's playing so well and has many good years ahead of him. So back to chess. Kramnik will be in action in a few days at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. He's the second seed behind Ivanchuk, but I'd make him the favorite to win the event. Then he'll play in the subsequent blitz tournament. I'm going to be ticked if they don't produce all the games from that.


>But the "on paper" and "lent Anand the title" comments are pretty weak. >

more "Anand IS" propaganda from Mig in what he knows well that it a dubious situation and the result of a twisted political compromise to save Kirsan committment to the Mexico organizers.
Never before a champion has accepted that the qualified challanger to be regarded as champion (virtual winner) during the time interval preceeding the actual match.
But in the FIDE-wonderland all is possible.

the translation can be improved...
thus, it is hard to understand how "At present, I take the view that" emerged...

what was in the original interview is much more like "let's think that" or "we may think that"
("I have just lent Anand the title temporarily")

i.e. the statement is somewhat less strong

in Russian, after "Будем считать, что" (which I translate here as "let's think that") any nonsense or sarcastic statement may follow...

for example:

"Let's think that Kirsan really was kidnapped by aliens"

it is not the same as

"At present, I take the view that Kirsan really was kidnapped by aliens"

I really would like Anand to seal his world championship with a match victory. Otherwise I would consider all the FIDE champions from Khalifman-Ponomariov-Kasim-Topa-Anand as an asterisk -- or a footnote -- in the record books, and the Kasparov-Kramnik line intact.

The tennis analogy doesn't really work, though, as knock-out tournaments are the norm. If it comes to a one-off game (match) I'd have Kramnik as favourite at anything other than blitz (Kramnik's "clay").

I'd say Kramnik could have been a bit more gracious (though he's only echoing the views of a large selection of chess fans), but then I think Anand could have been more gracious towards Kramnik in his many post-Mexico interviews.

Kramnik is a much smarter and well balanced person than Kasparov. He won't be used as a political pawn, which is exactly what Kasparov is now.

In finding truly the best...

** World championship system of tournaments and matches like candidates cycle greater than
** Series of KO enough length matches (min 3 matches like quarters, semis, final) with everyone starting at same point greater than
** 8-player tournament like Mexico greater than
** One match championship like Kasparov-Kramnik

Some people may try to argue to mislead that the top 2 playing a match would be the best using average rating etc in comparison to a tournament. But this is not very much different from anointing the world # 1 as champion with no contest (instead of a dubious contest with the world #2)!!

Hence, the tournament title is far more valuable than the the sub-classical line (handpicked) title!!

Anand is aginst extra priveleges but some spin it into Anand ducking. Anand wouldn't mind taking on the self-proclaimed match champion Kramnik on a 8 or 4-player matches. Let us move toward a better system!

Why would Kramnik think like that? Is it hard to translate for people who know russian? Are they taking time to interpret based on popular opinion? Something fishy.

All WCC chess games are played with a classical set and a clock set to a classical time-control. The clay/hardcourt tennis example doesn't work.

Better to imagine a round-robin heavyweight boxing championship among the top eight fighters. One-round bouts. Most knockouts wins the title. Joe Frazier wins.

Ali says, "Frazier's the champion on paper. If he beats me a twelve-round fight I'll completely accept that I'm no longer the champ. But for now one could say I've lent him the title."

Works for me.

To Greg, Thanks for posting Ali's comment about Frazier. Do you recall what year he made it?...thanks Bruce...oh and to Ovidlu I agree 100 % with your comments, thanks...you hit the nail right on the head:-)

Chess public using Boxing analogy is like... ok, let us all imagine or think now.. what is the big deal.. Like Boxing fans using chess analogy.. thinking of having 1 round per day with off-days included! Would that result in a better boxing champion if they emulate chess?

Correction: Wouldn't that result..

"I charitably chalked that up to nervous shock and naiveté." "As for the politics, it has come up several times that forces in the Kremlin would love to exploit the guy who beat Kasparov in 2000..."

Let's talk about "naivete" and about being exploited by a repressive regime for politcal purposes.

Reporter Larissa Yudina said, "Democratic freedoms and human rights are violated [in Kalmykia] more than anywhere in Russia."

--In 1998, reporter Yudina was murdered.
--In 2000, Putin, of all people, awarded the Order of Courage to the slain journalist.
--But in 2002, who personally attended the inauguration of Kirsan as president of ultra-repressive Kalmykia? Garry Kasparov.

To transform oneself in three scant years from
a) a prop to dissident-crushing Kirsan to a
b) commmitted foe of dissident-crushing Putin
is one of Kasparov's most remarkable achievements.

"If it comes to a one-off game (match) I'd have Kramnik as favourite at anything other than blitz (Kramnik's "clay")"

....I think Kramniks 'clay' would also include rapid,advanced and fischer random. Anand has a better record in those formats vis a vis kramnik.In blind...maybe kramnik is better.

"if Anand beats him in Germany next September"

Has anything definite been announced? It's not on the FIDE calendar.

For someone who admittedly is influenced by Epicurean philosopy, I doubt that Kramnik would ever want to become directly involved with the venture, uncertainty and capriciousness of world politics. Doesn't fit his style of play.

Exellent post, Greg!

Kasparov's lack of morals has very rerely been exposed in such clear, easy-to-understand way.

The wheel has come a full circle. Kramnik famously asked Kasparov to qualify when he should have given him a rematch. Now he is using FIDE as a crutch to beg for a rematch for himself.

Of course Danailov has gone one better by securing unheard of privileges for Topalov.

Anand - poor chap doesnt have guys like Danailov or Hensel working for him. How can Anand who won the undispuetd title have lesser privileges than Topalov who won a disputed title two years ago. If he had Danailov, he would have a rematch in hand and draw odds (like Kramnik had against Leko) before he consents to a match with Kramnik. Maybe Kasparov should become Anand's manager.

"To transform oneself in three scant years from
a) a prop to dissident-crushing Kirsan to a
b) commmitted foe of dissident-crushing Putin
is one of Kasparov's most remarkable achievements"

If you think about it, his about-face regarding Campomanes was perfect practice for this.

Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree. They should have finished Garry off back in Nuremberg when they had the chance to.

(aka why is it that DD attracts so many idiots)

Mig, please don't editorialize. I see Kasparov's influence spilling forth on the blog much too often. Referencing 7 year old non-remarks from Kramnik about the mighty one are just retrospective. Obviously, Kramnik respects Anand and thinks he is worthy. But the fact remains that Anand didn't beat Kasparov in a match.

Settle the argument over the board. Heck, as a ghost writer you are gifted. I can even sense your work in the WSJ editorials. But, cmon- Kramnik doesn't need to be slammed again by Garry. Grow-up.

But credit Mig for being the first person to suggest that it was KRAMNIK who was suffering from "nervous shock" after the London match.

"Mig, please don't editorialize." Um... wtf? Isn't that what this blog and all blogs are all about? Please find a blog that DOESN'T editorialize.

Kgd's right, blogs are about editorializing. So perhaps sadloser00-07 should have just requested that Mig refrain from taking cheap shots at Kramnik while casually besmirching the WC historical record at the behest of his corporeal co-author.

Or maybe not, maybe it's just a playful poke here and there. Still, coming as it is from a hyper-loyal running dog confidante to a negationist ex-world champion obsessed with eradicating the achievements of his successor...then it kinda becomes a case of poor limpwrist awareness, which admittedly is more entertaining but hardly less pathetic.

"lent Anand the title"

I think this is exactly right. It's funny that people use the fact that Kramnik played in Mexico to declare Anand the "undisputed Champion" and at the same time not give credit to Kramnik for putting that title on the line?! Why did he put it on the line? Because, He was guaranteed a match against the winner. All this talk about unfair advantages might be true in Topalov's case but certainly not Kramnik's!

>...than Topalov who won a disputed title two years ago.

The only disputed part of the title was that the one ill, so called
Champion, refused to participate in San Luis 2005. Not that he would
had fared much better than in Mexico 2007. This, BTW is so unfair to

What fuels my dislike of Kramnik is that while he looks totally
honorable and is undisputedly a great Chess player, he is a weasel of
the ugliest type. Not for the latest comments in Izvestia, as these
were clearly translated wrongly. In the bigger picture he did not have
the honor to let the Chess World not be a captive of his illness. Had
he "lost" and then regained his title in Elista, I would have
respected him 100 times more. But he has used every technicality on
the book to weasel out of relinquishing his, so called "title", which
quite justifiably had "faded" in the process (as someone else said).

And who says that a match is the only proper format to determine
champions? Tradition? Sorry, that has been broken... There was a
Championship very recently that the so called "Match Champ" lost. Now
go find a new pinhead to stuck your devils on... Why do we want to
create "special purpose", match-tuned players who know only one color?
That's not the way to be ranked #1...

This, of course, is written for those who have IQ greater than 64.


Bones: It's funny that people use the fact that Kramnik played in
Mexico to declare Anand the "undisputed Champion" and at the same time
not give credit to Kramnik for putting that title on the line?!

Bones, can you read?

understand? That applied to Topalov as well. Only Kramnik tried to
weasel out of it...


Lol,Dimi. What about the contractual agreement that the loser wouldn't play in Mexico 2007. Surely that wasn't Topalov & Danailov we saw trying to weasel out of that ;)

Misha, I did say IQ > 64, BTW, I'm not sure you qualify.

There was a rule on the FIDE books that allowed a player to challenge the WC under certain conditions. Yes?

There was no rule that allowed the WC to skip Mexico 2007. Yes?

At this point I'll send you a link to test your IQ before you respond again.


Oh, for Christ's sake. Kramnik agreed to play in the tournament. He thereby implicitly agreed that it was a true world championship tournament. He has absolutely no business whining about its legitimacy now.

It's admirable that Dimi is aiming his laughable polemic at the IQ group above his own, but this turns out, as so often, to favor more intelligent and rational people who see through the futile machinations of a fool of the fugliest type.

Plus it's sad that Dimi hasn't done anything of value since The Exorcist. You'd think the offers would have poured in after that.

Kramnik does have a point in saying that a title from a match has more value than one from a tournament, an opinion shared by many I'm sure.
Kramnik does have a point in saying he's better in matches than in tournaments, again an opnion again shared by many I'm sure.

Anyway, that interview was just semantic arm wrestling before the match.
Even if the english translation was bad, that ought to have been clear.
Did you really expect him to say: "I lost the title forever, boohoohoo.."?
Of course he'll say he'll win it back, just like Anand will say he'll keep it.

Speaking of intelligence:

>Still, coming as it is from a hyper-loyal running dog confidante [...]

What a nonsense! Mig has his own standpoints which are not necessarily kongruent to GK's. For example if you care to listen to this weeks John Watson's show on Chess.FM he says that he thinks a functional WCC cycle would have been more important than GK getting an automatic rematch with Kramnik (contrary to GK who feels he was entitled to the latter w/o qualifying).

Also: if you hate a blogmeister and/or his employer the solution would be to stay away from said blog. It's simple. At least for intelligent people.

With all due respect Mig, but it seems to me you're clutching at straws here to criticize Kramnik.

However, I do believe Kramnik said somewhere he thinks things are not so bad in Russia as Kasparov would have you believe. Question is: how do we interprete this further? Does he really support Putin, or does he just mean that the average welfare has improved?
I do hope it's not the former because that would really be somewhat disappointing from somebody (presumably) as intelligent as Kramnik (who's currently living in France).

To Dimi,

Let's assume Kramnik didn't play Topalov. Who would be world champion then? If you think it's anyone but Kramnik then we will never agree. What if Kramnik didn't play in Mexico. Then, Who is world champ? Again, Kramnik. So in fact it was Kramnik who bailed Fide out by playing in there tournament and legitimizing there title, but only under the condition that he gets to play a match. This is how world championships should be played.

P.S Just because you yell does not make your words more meaningful

"The wheel has come a full circle. Kramnik famously asked Kasparov to qualify when he should have given him a rematch. Now he is using FIDE as a crutch to beg for a rematch for himself."

Kasparov didn't deserve a rematch against Kramnik:

1) A Rematch Clause evidently
wasn't in Kasparov's contract with Kramnik--a rather egregious oversight, given that Kasparov so vociferously lamented the lack of contractual provisions which would have entitled him to a rematch against Deep Blue.

2) Kasparov lost, and in humiliating fashion. He was the first player (Champion or Challenger) since Lasker in 1921 to fail to win a single game in a World Championship.

3) The match was painfully dull, and there was not exactly a lot of passionate clamor on the part of the Chess Community to see a reprise of that Match-up

4) Kasparov essentially gave up and threw in the towel mid-way through the match. He ripped off the fans and spectators with his fightless draws which were conceded--even as White-the first move that he encountered which was out of his preparation.

5) If anybody deserved a rematch vs. Kramnik, it should have been Shirov.

If Kasparov had shown some guts, and at least scored a win, then maybe the fan reaction would have been different. Once he was behind, he needed to play deep into endgames (Kramnik did this, playing with ambition), and he needed to play the most dynamic, unbalanced lines when he encountered unclear positions.

In contrast, Kramnik made contractual agreements with FIDE, which provided him with a guaranteed chance at a rematch, if he were to risk his title in a World Championship Tournament (where, because of he playing style, and the fact that he had to defend his title against 7 rivals, the Odds were against a successful Title defense). Kramnik fulfilled his part of the bargain, now FIDE (and Anand) have to do theirs.

"And who says that a match is the only proper format to determine
champions? Tradition? Sorry, that has been broken..."

I dunno? Who makes the claim that the Match format is the ONLY proper format to determine champions? With respect to Chess, there are many who believe that the Match format is the BEST way to determine the World Champion.

Just because a tradition has been broken does not mean that it cannot or ought not be reinstated. For instance, in many a country, Democratic institutions have been broken or damaged, but is is still the best course of action to restore those traditions.

It is ironic that many of those who now criticize Kramnik for his comment that Anand is World Champion (only) "on paper" are the same folks who criticized Kramnik for not having at timely Title defense, and implied that the value of his Title had diminished to the point that he was a Champion in name only (i.e. "on paper").

Kramnik is clearly willing and eager to play a Match against Anand for a chance to regain his Title. There are 3 main sceneraios as to what will happen in the next year of so.

1) Kramnik plays Anand: Anand wins, and nearly everybody in the Chess world, including Kramnik himself, will be prepared to recognize Anand as the true, undisputed Champion of Chess, following in the Steinitzian lineage.

2) Kramnik plays Anand: Kramnik wins, and then most of the Chess woirld will be in agreement that, retrospectively, Anand's Title which was gained by his victory in the Mexico City WC Tournament was not of grat value, and was not indicative that he had demonstrated that he was the strongest player in the world. In other words, like other FIDE World Champions such as Khalifman, Kasimdzhanov, and Ponomariov, Anand was closer to being merely a "paper" Champion"

3) The Match does not take place, and Anand is perceived the have ducked Kramnik. If so, the fact that Anand did not gain his Title in a Match, and failed to risk his Title in a match against the man who was both the previous Champion, and the chessplayer who is nearly universally recognized to be the strongest active rival of Anand's for the distinction of World's best Chessplayer, then I would expect that the Chess Public's perception of the worth and validity of Anand's Title would begin to plummet.

Kramnibeing tacky, but he is merely restating the obviously. Anand needs to man up, and demonstrate over the chessboard, in a fair match of substantial length, with Classical time controls, that he can defeat Kramnik, and is therefore the superior Chessplayer.

[quote]5) If anybody deserved a rematch vs. Kramnik, it should have been Shirov.[/quote]

Like leader, like followers?

From when do we have the tradition of winner asking for rematch? May be from the time when Kramnik the challenger (once-disqualified-now-self-proclaimed-challenger) handpicked his champion opponent Anand?

Would anyone want to play a lifetime champion? Probably not. Win or lose, you can't take the title. It is lifetime!

Anand has more worthy players to play than, lets think/imagine for a moment, this clown with the crown. I am sure Anand would be interested in a 8-players match with quarters, semis and finals to show superiority in match play. I know the clown wouldn't agree for that even though it is a match cause he knows he will be knocked out in quarters!

Can you have underground meetings and unconstituitional contract giving special priveleges to someone? If the answer is yes, it is time for Anand to get his contract in place - draw odds, rematch, semifinal berth in next cycle with the help of New Delhi!!

Without no doubt Kramnik has been one of the best chess players of all times(not the best).I agree with him the match format is the best way to produce an authentic champion.But that analogy only works if that best match player is produced beating some quantity of high ranked players in a determined period of time.Let me explain my point using the Fischer example when he beat 3 candidates and one reigning champion in a row to be declared the best match player in 1972.That example is very representative of a real best match player.The match excuse of Kramnik is his best businnes because he always plays against one single player using a drawish behaviour,when even a tied result is enough for him to declares himself the best match player of the world.I would like to see Kramnik beating at least 4 players in a row in the same period of time Fischer did it.In the 1998 he lost to one single player, in the 2000 Kramnik just beat one single player,4 years later he just tied another single player.A cycle of matches including all the best ranked players is a most to conclude all this circus created by Kasparov and Fide since 1993 that has only benefited the clown Kramnik.The world classic title is not a property but the obligation to show why you are the best.

"Also: if you hate a blogmeister and/or his employer the solution would be to stay away from said blog. It's simple. At least for intelligent people."
-Posted by: poisoned pawn at November 4, 2007 11:49

I can't help but remember the string of disagreements poisoned pawn and his other aliases had with Mig in a past thread which I believe had some negative words directed towards Topalov. Now that Kramnik is being criticized all is well, and anyone who disagress should get lost. A tad ironic I think.

Of course one can disagree on specific issues but what's the point in coming to this blog and criticizing _every_ move GK has ever made and stating for the quadrillion'th time the opinion that Mig is GK's flunky w/o own views as some people do it for years ? I don't care but maybe this might not be the right place for them and they could end their suffering by moving on ?

I believe that DOug with his 15:37 post has nicely summarized how chess history will remember this whole Kramnik/Anand World Champonship episode. Well thought and right on point.

"There are 3 main sceneraios"

Don't over-look the minor-happenstances.

4. Kramnik big-leads but FIDE-violation of bathroom-clause yields dubious-forfeit, drawn-match, and tie-break shoot-out.

5. World-Cup is randomly-cancelled, Topalov is FIDE-added to WC-mix, Ivanchuk is UEP-added as Corus-winner, etc.

My early-guess is #3. Morozevich's inter-view was doubt-expressing. Anand is WC-saddled in (re)match-negotations as match-dodging is not a challenger-behaviour.

As a longtime Kramnik fan, I was both surprised and disappointed to see his comments casting doubts and aspersions on Anand's legitimate title. All parties, including Kramnik, agreed that the tournament winner would be the unified World Champion, and that has happened. Whatever Kramnik thinks about it now is irrelevant.

Obviously Mig and others don't quite understand the art of trash talking to hype up an event:
Kramnik signed contract and thus accepted Anand as WC. Since he is SUPPOSED to get a match against him, he has only LENT the title because he believes he will regain the title.
How can anyone not understand that?
If he regains it, Anand was therefore a weak paper champion as most would see it.. That is what this means.
I see nothing wrong with this statement. I am quite happy he made this statement. Otherwise he would look a wuss.. just surrendering the title in a silly tournament like that..
KGB kremlin and certainly Putin does not give a crap about chess now..What is this some consipiracy theory website?

DOug,resuming your 3 scenarios according to you I can deduct Anand can only show his world superiority beating the -single- chess player Kramnik in a classic match.How can Kramnik prove he has been superior than the single player Anand in the period 2000-2007?.How can Anand prove -even beating Kramnik in the 2008- be better than players like Ivanchuk or another of the 10 high ranked Fide list in a match play?.I think is very feudal,selective and semantic say Anand just need to beat only Kramnik in a match to finally convince the chess audience he is really the worldbest in that format.Why denigrate Anand because the way he has got his world titles?.I wish the hindu wins the single match the next year,maybe somebody like you recognize him as the only chessplayer who has won the title in 4 different -formats-.What about the SCENARIO of a tied match and Anand winning the tiebreaks because his Rapid chess skills,do we have to consider his crown still LENT by Kramnik DOug?

Is my logic below correct?

1. Before Mexico tournament, Kramnik was the undisputed WC
2. If Kramnik were to win Mexico (which he didn't), he needed to play the previous disputed(or undisputed?) WC, i.e. Topalov
3a. If someone else wins Mexico (which Anand did), this winner is the new WC but is obliged to play the incumbent WC (Kramnik) to allow the latter to reclaim the title, or
3b. If someone else wins Mexico (which Anand did), this winner (who is not yet WC) plays the incumbent WC, Kramnik, to determine the new undisputed WC
4. Question: what happens after the Anand - Kramnik match? Will there me a similar scenario like point 1-3 above.

Granda, I'm no great fan of Kramnik. Frankly, like others, I find his style to be a bit dull, and too conservative. But I do think that Kramnik and Anand are the two best players in the World right now. However, I have no compelling reason to deem Kramnik to be superior to Anand--or vice versa. That is why I am keen to see that particular question settled over the board.

Consider which is more meaningful: Kramnik and Anand playing a 14 Game Title Match (the same length as in the Brisaggo Match), or Anand and Kramnik playing in a Double Round Robin Tournament, featuring the likes of Grischuk, Svidler, and Morozevich. Those 3 might have earned their way into the Mexico City WC (Grischuk more so than the other two, who were seeded into the 2007 WC by virtue of their merely finishing in the top half in San Luis.) Yet, it is hard to argue that Grischuk, Svidler, or Moro are good enough on a consistant basis to be a serious contender for the chess crown.

Mexico City had a bit too much "noise" to filter out, which drowned out to some degree the intended "signal" (i.e. who is the best player in the world).

Heck, people on DD have bruited the idea of a Match Tournament. To me, a Quadruple Round Robin Quadrangular event would be a very good and logical compromise between a tournament format and a Match format. Kramnik and Anand would certainly get spots, and Topalov will probably desrve to be in the mix. The tough question is who would be the 4th player? There would be a lot of support to include Ivanchuk (although his status as 2nd ranked player may not last long). Maybe 12 months from now, Magnus would be in the Top 4 or 5. In any case, there would be much less noise, and Anand and Kramnik would bash heads 4 times. With that format, the event would last only 12 Rounds, so it might even be better to make it a true "Match Tournament", and have each player play 6 games each against the other 3. True, the event would then last 18 rounds. This might be physically taxing for some players (e.g. Kramnik), but since the event would be a World Championship, FIDE could lavish a Rest Day on the players after every 3rd round. Since only 4 players would be engaged, the organizational costs would still be rather modest....

With respect to your comments about Ivanchuk: anand has a healthy plus score against Ivanchuk, and so most in the Chess Community are willing to assume that Anand is the better player--until Chukky proves otherwise. An Anand--Ivanchuk match would probably be a lot more exciting than a match involving Kramnik, but Kramnik is the player who did beat Kasparov, and who did hold the "Classical" title for the past 7 years.

If a Kramnik--Anand match ends up in a scenario where they are Tied--and so is decided by Tie-breaks--and Anand wins a Rapid, or even a Blitz Tie-break game to clinch the title, then I would unhesitatingly consider Anand to be the best Chessplayer in the World.

[However, Kramnik is a pretty good Rapid Chess player himself (having beaten Topalov over those
4 Tie-break games, +2=1-1), and is no pushover in Blitz chess either, having tied a 24 game Blitz match with Kasparov. Also, Anand has manifest poor nerves in similar high stakes situations in the past!]


It is not so hard. Kramnik put his title on the line in Mexico. He did not get as many points as Anand, so Anand is now WC.

If Kramnik beats Anand in a title match, he will get his title back.

he will get his title back

What is the "his" reference? If he lost the title, it is not "his" - if the title is Anand's, he should be able to do what he wants with it. In reality, the title seems to belong to FIDE, who crowns whomever they please. There could be three distinct "best players": world champ, #1 in rating, and world cup winner - and don't forget the chess oscar to make four in any given year.

Anand has reacted as shown at chessbase.com. I guess it´s about the psychological war and the negotiations behind the scenes for the match which hopefully will happen.

Topalov lost to Kramnik in the 2006 re-unification match.

Topalov--not Kramnik--should have played in the 2007 Mexico tournament.

The winner of Mexico should be playing Kramnik in the 2008 title match.


Mexico already had a contract before the Topalov-Kramnik match.

Kramnik honored the contract.

Anand won the Mexico tournament.

Anand has the title.

According to the Mexico contract, in the years ahead the title is to again be decided by match.

The contract also has it that if Kramnik lost the tournament, he had the right to challenge the winner in a match. (Note: ChessBase and others repeatedly MIS-characterize 2008 as a REmatch.)

And therefore what?...

A. Kramnik has stated for years that he thinks a title won in a match is more valuable than one gained in a tournament. He argues that it is right--and not just contractually correct--that he, as the last winner of a title match, play Anand in 2008.

B. Anand characterizes the 2008 match as resulting from FIDE's blatant favoritism toward Kramnik.

Who's being honest?

I thought Chessbase translation was somewhat inaccurate and misleading at times. Here is my version of the translation of the key points:

Q: It appears that you are not too disappointed with having to relinquish the chess crown. You held it for 7 years.

A: It is all a formality, of sorts. Yes, on paper Anand appears to be the champion. But, in my opinion, the importance of the world championship title that is won in a match is nevertheless different from that won in a tournament. For me, the future match against Anand is of greater importance. And if I lose the match, then I can be absolutely sure that I lost the title. I don't have that kind of feeling now. Let's just say that I have lent Anand the crown.

Q: Wasn't Vishi the strongest? Or did he just get lucky?

A: You can compare chess competitions to tennis, which has different kinds of surfaces. Federer, who is a stronger player than Nadal, can't beat him on clay courts. My "surface" is matches, and Anand's is tournaments. He is an experienced tournament fighter, he is very even and stable. He draws those in the upper half of the cross table and soundly beats those who are in the bottom half.

Q: Perhaps you are just comforting yourself?

A: You know, after 15 year career, my definition of success has changed. In that sense I am closer to the Buddhist understanding of it: I am very calm about victories and failures. I am responsible for the quality of my labor, but not for the result. If I feel I did my job badly, I become upset. But if the work is done well, and the success didn't come, I do not get frustrated.


Also, Chessbase claims Kramnik's wife "speaks excellent Russian". That is not actually claimed in the Russian original. The interviewer mentioned that Kramnik's wife LOOKS Russian, and Kramnik concurred, and mentioned that Russian tourists often approach her with questions because she looks Russian. But no claims were made about how well she speaks Russian.

Yeah the chessbase translation is below par.

Kramnik's shot "For me, the future match against Anand is of greater importance." is clearly a symmetrical reply to one of Anand's interview where he tried to talk down the importance of the upcoming match and talk up the importance of Mexico.

So the preparations to the war have started on both sides. Let's hope this 2 remain civil and battle it out on the board.

Hello again, all SORE RUSSIAN LOSERS :)I have now added 'sour grapes' Kramnik to this list of sore-russian losers.

Long before MIG I have been repeatedly pointing out that Kramnik behaved in the worst possible manner after his win against Kasparaov (in a 1-off match illegally obtained) but not mentioning one word of appreciation for arguably the greatest chess player ever. Then he endlessly politked to keep Kasparov out of a return match.

Now with his latest interview Kramnik has shown (again) that he is the worst thing that ever happened to WCC title.

IF Kramnik had an iota of grace, which clearly he doesn't, he would have said, 'yes I have lost the WC title, but I still have a chance to REGAIN it and I hope I can do it.'

Btw, are his reported stmts in the Izvestia interview a violation of his LEGAL contractual agreement (even if he "only" said, "let us think that")? Does that automatically legally strip him of the rights for a return match with the current WC? I hope it does.

Until this interview, I was looking forward to Anand to play and win this return match with the sore-loser Kramnik. NOW...hmmm I am not so sure. I rather hope this match doesnt take place and Kramnik can continue to sit by the sidelines (he is unlikely to win any super tournament or a match ever now)and keep wimping "I was never beaten in a WC match if you discount my loss against Shirov even for the qualification" AND ROT :)

>Anand has reacted as shown at chessbase.com.

The "Hindustan Times" article is amusing in its attempts to make up stuff so as to keep Anand afloat at any costs :

"Kramnik said he would accept Anand as the champion only if Anand wins their rematch next year"

what re-match ? does anyone have the scores of their match ?

"..hmmm I am not so sure. I rather hope this match doesnt take place and Kramnik can continue to sit by the sidelines"

Krishna, of course you are not so sure, because it's much easier to beat the likes of Grischuk than to win against Kramnik. That's why Anand is not so eager about the upcoming match too :)

I want to disappoint you though: no interviews in the world can legally strip Kramnik from his match right. Moreover, Anand will have to play it. He has a 1 mln match waiting and these are not that easy to come by these days. His title belongs to FIDE, so should he refuse, FIDE will have a new champ in the nick of time, just like it happened with Ponomariov and that's both title and money wasted for Anand. I'm sure he would have prefered to weasel out of this match and play Grischuk instead, but that won't happened.

The "rematch" was propagated by dubious champion (kramnik) as well as his supporters and dubious title (hand-picked) supporters. I pointed this "rematch with no prior match" out long back and I am sure many would be aware of that somehow now. But still, if you ask someone this "what did Kramnik sign in his contract for?". Almost everyone would go "Rematch!!"

Sorry to disappoint you though. You can't fool all people all the time. Is that a threat or what? Losers would use that as their last resort!

Who has played enough matches to compare with Kramnik's claims of being a better match player? I don't think Anand played any match after beating shirov (3.5-0.5??) by whom Kramnik was disqualified. This claim, again from the wwf style chess clown, is like claiming "I am the card board champion!!" "I am the marble board champion!!" cause no one else other than me (and of course my opponents) plays!

> But still, if you ask someone this "what did Kramnik sign in his contract for?". Almost everyone would go "Rematch!!" >

I have already done that and everyone's reply was "a match with the winner of Mexico".

However it is heartfelt amusing to read that even the Hindu newspapers feel the need to lie about a ghostly, never happened, match to defend Anand as a real WCh..LOL..this I didn't forsee from Anand fans.
I expected them to stick to "Mexico-2007 tournament is as good as Karpov-Kasparov or Kasparov-Kramnik-2000" or "Kramnik has signed and what is signed is good signed, you can't pull back afterwards", and others of such sort.

''even the Hindu newspapers...''

surely you meant Indian newspapers!

The chess world will be split again. Anand will not play the match against Kramnik. FIDE stages a match between Kramnik and Topalov to produce the next FIDE world champion. Kramnik puts his crown back on.

Anand defends his tournament world championship in Linares. Anand gets re-crowned in Linares. Anand's successors all get crowned in Linares.

Topalov defends his rival tournament world championship title in Sofia. Topalov gets re-crowned in Sofia. Topalov's successors all get crowned in Sofia but they all get killed by Danailov soon after.

>The chess world will be split again. Anand will not play the match against Kramnik.>

Likely so, as far as Anand is concerned he just lack motivation.

He tried at his proper time to become WCh but he just failed.
Today, at 37, those times of youthful and lofty ideals are long gone. Likely, he doesn't give a damn on how he got to "be" WCh as long as there are naives who take him as such and thus he can enjoy the status.

At 25 I would have refused myself being paid with money which I knew were made thorugh fraud or stealing... nowdays ?....who the heck will know and care in few months where did they come from ?

Ovidiu: If you think Anand lacks motivation, then you probably do not know its meaning.

Even at 37, Anand still maintains his tremendous form and energy and just won a supreme tournament championship in style. Whether Kasparov and Karpov are still around or not, Anand has always played to his best and maintained his #2 ranking for years and now is #1. Look at what happened to others: Topalov came and stayed there briefly only to fall down sharply (needless to mention the cheating allegations); Kramnik who was #2 once, went down and is finding so hard to come to the top; Ivanchuk, Shirov all considered genius and highly creative players couldn't stay at the top consistently. Before you write blasphemy on Anand, you better think a little.
You sound as if Anand got lucky to become World champion. If at all anyone is lucky that would be Kramnik or may be you for having survived so far without much of thinking.

"Lacks motivation" is hardly an appropriate term indeed to describe someone who stays on top for so long. However, if I were rooting for Anand, I'd be quite worried about the outcome of the upcoming match.

Here we have 2 players which are, let's face it, probably equal on chess skills. They have that match coming with a hefty paycheck and the place in history at stake. But one of them is clearly looking forward to the match, while the other seems a bit reluctant to play. If I were to place a bet, I'd go with the first guy, no hesitation.

>You sound as if Anand got lucky to become World champion...>

I think about Anand as being a very strong ( clearly world-champion material) but a very
unlucky guy ( unlucky not only him but his whole generation).

Had it not been for Kasparov's abnormal, unusal, long and overwhelming domination Anand would have become the natural next champion in 1995 (a 1985-1995 span for Kaspy would have been the normal
life-cycle, evolution, for his age group).

However Kasparov's overachievement, and with devastating strenght, has inhibated and prevented a whole generation to reach maturity.
They ( as Gelfand, Anand, Ivanchuck) try now with their last resources to put an heroic last effort to compensate for the "forbidden", lost time of youth.

Anand was unlucky to live during an anomalous period of chess history. Then it was "too early" and now perhaps it will be "too late".
We will see next year, hopefully.

Completely off topic, but I just noticed that Mig now has a Wikipedia page.


The irony is that it was created by none other than Sam Sloan, who Mig doesn't particularly seem to like...

It looks like a sinister plot to highlight Mig's USCF rating.

Mig & Sam Sloan had very nasty exchanges a few years ago, revolving around Mig's USCF rating.

The heck with Kramnik-Anand. I want to see Mig-Sam.

Ovidiu, you better go and see a doctor, you doesn't make much sense..

To Anil, No, Ovidiu, your comments are RIGHT ON. The unatural long reign by Garry, did prevent Anand from a place on Everest, IMHO as well. Which leads to me another situation while off topic, somewhat, did the unatural zero reign by Bobby allow Karpov to have his reign? Had Bobby held the crown thru the '75, and '78 matches, which would have been the natural chain of events, even if Karpov had taken the 1981 match, and that is NOT all together for certain, Karpov might have never had a reign. Then again, playing Bobby, his "Rabbit", sort of speak, for 3 full matches, Karpov's strength would no doubt have been elevated for his matches with Garry in the 80's!...oh well IMHO


don't be so sure Fischer qwould have beaten Karpov, even in 1975...

For one, Fischer never faced someone as strong as Karpov. Remember how easily Karpov beat Boris Spassky in their (1974?) match. I think Spassky himself said that it was not clear at all that Fischer would have beaten Karpov, had the match taken place.

Bottom line: we will never know. As is always the case with the great champions, it seemed they were invincible at their peak: Capa, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and now Kramnik (yes, Kramnik, because very few people would put money on an opponent in a classical match, not to mention that beating Kasparov in a 16-game match without a single loss is quite an achievement).

If Fischer had continued playing actively after the 1972 match, I would give him the edge over Karpov in 1975 (if only for sentimental reasons). But by 1975, Fischer was already well into his schizoid withdrawal from chess and the larger world. So, under those conditions, I think Karpov could have beaten him.

I always had the sense that Fischer's fragile psyche could not risk putting his title and self-image on the line against Karpov and a whole new generation of players.

Anyway, isn't it a simple matter of programming two computers, one with Fischer's games and one with Karpov's pre-1975 games, and have them play each other? That should definitively answer all the "what-ifs." :)

"Greengard also maintains the official English website of the Russian pro-democracy coalition, The Other Russia." (Wikipedia).

I did not know this! (Though I saw a site). Is it possible to find a complete list of Wikipedia pages, created by Sam Sloan?

Kramnik's comments about "lending" Anand the title are utterly ridiculous and showcase his lack of grace and sportmanship. He didn't sit back and think to himself, "I'll just throw Vishy here a bone" - he lost it outright. Oh right, he's still champ despite the pesky fact that he had his chance and Anand outperformed him? Why not hand him the title permanently to incubate like a brooding hen?

Also, why is it so PC to defend Kramnik mindlessly? If I recall right, he has a dull style, a startlingly high percentage of draws and a well-documented tendency to duck competition. To think in terms of some sort of sacrosanct lineage of world champions is anachronistic. Sure, the system has flaws, so it's lucky there's now a unified WC with some cred: #1 ranking, only 2800+, spotless track record (no schism-inducing rabble-rouser). If Kramnik were any kind of fighter, he would be plotting his comeback instead of sour grapes gripes from the sidelines.

"Is it possible to find a complete list of Wikipedia pages, created by Sam Sloan?"


On second thought, a Mig-Sam match is no way to determine the best chess player. A better idea...include both of them in a double round-robin.

osbender: ...because it's much easier to beat the likes of Grischuk than to win against Kramnik.

Apparently not. Look at the scores and who got the points. Kramnik's
obscene insistence that the World revolves around him is starting to
get very irritating.


What do you mean Anand is a very strong player? He is argubly the strongest chess player ever lived! You can easily make a case for Anand by studying his game. His OTB skills, fast thinking, handling complicated positions, handling minus positions, end game skills etc. Opening preparation is just one component of it. Cause you and many people don't know the facts like Anand beating 2 russians GMs in regular time control games in just 15 mins when he was a teenager. We didn't get to see a Kasparov-Anand for political and various other reasons. You can't harp on the inexperienced Anand vs Kasparov for player comparison. Probably, an Anand-Kasparov would clear the air. But I doubt Kasparov would want to take the risk.

Now wait.. Anand will first make sure his demands (draw odds, rematch, semi-final berth) are met. Then see what happens next!

PircAlert wrote:

"We didn't get to see a Kasparov-Anand for political and various other reasons."

We saw it. Anand lost without a fight.

I remember that Anand put up a very good fight in the New York match. He won against Kasparov's Najdorf once and achieved good positions in several games. He eventually lost to a superior force but hardly 'without a fight'.

By all standards it wasn't a very good fight. There was equal play until Anand opened up the score. After that he immediately lost back and completely disintegrated. If that's a good fight, tell me what is a bad one.

"Also, why is it so PC to defend Kramnik mindlessly? If I recall right, he has a dull style, a startlingly high percentage of draws and a well-documented tendency to duck competition..."
Posted by: ecg at November 8, 2007 14:14

It's no more PC to defend Kramnik than to attack him. It's a free world.

You might dislike his style, but that's just a matter of opinion. I'm about the same age as Kramnik and remember him as a teenager being a complete breath of fresh air - finally someone who wasn't afraid of Kasparov - and played fantastically complex attacking games.

I think before the Kasparov match he decided he could trade blows with him and the chances would be 50/50 (as in their previous games), so he came up with a specifically anti-Kasparov style of chess. It was a brilliant achievement to win without losing a game, but I do think he didn't need to keep playing quite the same style against the other top players.

Still, I don't think he's dull nowadays - perhaps you equate "excitement" with tactics? I find computer chess (and a lot of the top players nowadays play a type of tactical computer chess) fairly dull. I'd take Kramnik's positional crushes any day.

"If Kramnik were any kind of fighter, he would be plotting his comeback instead of sour grapes gripes from the sidelines."

Errrr, you did spot Kramnik's interview was talking about a match where he was aiming to take back the World Championship? ;)

Small quiz: When and where did a match with the following result take place?

Vladimir Kramnik 3
Veselin Topalov 1

Kramnik-Topalov 3:1 happened same place as Adams:Kramnik 4:2

Korchnoi on Russian radio Mayak: I consider Kramnik to be world champion because he is the strongest.


Korchnoi, is famous though, at least as Anand tells it, for thinking that Anand has no idea how to play chess.

Korchnoj thinks nobody has any idea how to play chess, except himself. I'm surprised that he called Kramnik the strongest, he probably ate something funny that day.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 2, 2007 11:50 PM.

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