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Nashville Gone Wild

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Wow. I could exhaust a thesaurus of adjectives on how incredible this event is. Just so fantastic to see so many chess kids, parents, coaches, and everyone else having such a blast here at the Nashville SuperNationals. Despite having to navigate the wonderful chaos constantly, I've had a pretty cloistered view of it all, following along behind Garry through the massive Gaylord Convention complex. Garry's keynote presentation, "My Life in Chess," went over well today, if to certainly the easiest audience he's ever had. As he said in the intro, usually in his speeches he has to worry about how much chess the audience can handle. Here it was practically the opposite, as each anecdote from his chess childhood led to another and it was clear he was enjoying the reminiscences of youth tournaments and Botvinnik as much as the audience of 300+.

That number was really the only negative, since it was obvious from how fast the free tickets were given out (and by the hordes of disappointed) that there could have been five times that number of spectators, if not ten. But for whatever reason, no larger room was made available, so it was a relatively intimate affair. Garry's 25-minute talk turned into 45 and then another 20 of Q&A after that. Slides showed childhood photos, including one of a 10-year-old Kasparov in plaid pants looking at a position with Botvinnik, and a brief montage of recent Hollywood movies with prominent chess placement. (Righteous Kill and Traitor, the first two.) Aside from the biography, the message to the scholastic crowd centered on hard work and how the lessons of chess will stay with everyone. The conclusion:

For most of my life, my life was chess. That will not be the case for most in this room. What is important is to take chess, and what chess teaches you, everywhere for the rest of your life. The enjoyment, the concentration, the work ethic, the pride, the friendships - all are more important than rating points or the ability to find a mate in four. But for a few, chess is like a native language, as beautiful as any music, as any work of art. And maybe it will become as special to you as it was, and is, to me. Thank you.

I'll put up some pics of our trip later, here or elsewhere. If you don't think it occasionally got a little wild for the world's most famous chessplayer negotiating around 10,000 chessplayers, check out this photo from the opening of today's 5th round at the 4-6 grade section. He made the honorary first move on board one and was asked to give a brief "go get'em" from the podium.

The sea of raised cell-phones always looks funny to me. It took 10 minutes to walk the 20 feet to the exit! Basically this happened any time he stopped out in the open for more than 20 seconds. Everyone was very friendly and all the kids adorable, but the sheer force of numbers could be overwhelming. The book signings were also astounding, with well over 300 books on each day in the two allotted hours. Garry had a good time and was beyond impressed with the turnout here in Nashville. I met quite a few Dirt readers and ICC Chess.FM listeners, always fun. Of course I haven't followed the actual tournaments here at all, which I feel a little bad about. And leaving before the end is a bit weird. But already tonight it was back to the much less enjoyable topics of mayoral races in Sochi and battered human rights activists. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Congrats and thanks to the USCF for this opportunity.


Now i need to see that picture with Botvinnik ..

"He made the honorary first move on board one "
It's a measure of Garry's greatness that after years of retirement he still remembers how to move at least some of the pieces. He is for all time!

How much did Mr. Kasparov get for this? Like $10000?

I don't think I need to say how jealous I am.

Chessshire cat: Kasparov hasn't been retired for that long - 4 years or so. He is, after all, the greatest chessplayer the world has seen.

5 years.

Rumor has it that Gary plays anonymously on the internet on a regular basis so he must still remember a thing or two about chess.


(the sound of a comment going over someone's head)

Very nice blog post, Mig. The peroration of Garry's speech that you quoted--and probably wrote ;-)--is really great.

He did the first move thing three times. Each time he chatted with the players a little bit while the photo insanity went on and shook their hands. He asked which move the player with white wanted and made a little chit-chat. (He's of the opinion that the honorary first move is supposed to stand, instead of just being something random then retracted so the player can move. Apparently there are schools of thought on this, based on my chats with various arbiters. Oh, the little things we worry about.)

The player who requested 1.e4 in the K-6 g(the photo above) got an extra, "that worked best for me, too." But I'm sure both kids were too flash-shocked and overwhelmed to hear anything.

Results are up, btw. Hess swept with 7/7!

At the very least, Kasparov certainly still knows/remembers enough about chess that there will be no need to correct the first move. I heard of other occasions when honorary first movers (politicians without chess background ,:) ) grabbed the wrong pawn because they don't know the difference between 1.e4 and 1.d4 ... . In any case, this task is easier or less embarassing than making the "opening move" of a baseball match !?

One question, though: How would Garry react if the white player insists on something weird as 1.g4 or 1.Na3 ,:) ? Unlikely to happen on board 1, though.

He has a suicidal pill in his belt , ready to be ingested before commiting such atrocity.
Of course first you have to survive a sambo figh with his bodyguards.

figh: fight

Ha I remember there was a rapid match Karpov-S. Polgar with Gorbachev making the honorary first move. To Karpov's horror he played 1. g4 and insisted that it be left stand!

Just got back from Nashville myself, great tournament, fun times. My friend and co-coach snuck up to the front of the pictures and shook Garry's hand, and he was like a 50-year-old kid for the rest of the afternoon. I have to admit the possibility of just seeing Garry was my deciding factor in attending this year.

September 11, 1995 in the WTC: Rudy Giuliani plays 1. c4, but Anand retracts to prefer 1. e4 in Game 1 of the PCA champ, sponsored by Intel.

Can a ceremonial first move be a draw offer?

Check out this interview with Topa, Mig:
Finally , some polemic statements to feed hunger Trolls from all ideologies.
My favorite:
¨ it is not a secret that had Kramnik won the match in Bonn, nothing would be changed in the rules, and Anand would be forced to fight for the return of his crown by going through the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk¨

At the bottom of that interview (on the Russian site), there's a comment from Danailov, the arch troll.

"I think that no-one now doubts that Veselin Topalov is the best chess player in the world. He has the highest rating, and he plays better than everyone else. We shouldn't forget that Vishy Anand only became world champion in Mexico City because Veselin Topalov didn't take part. They didn't let him play there. If Veselin had played then I don't think Anand would have become champion in Mexico. That's for starters.

Secondly, I'm sure that wherever or whenever that Anand-Topalov match takes place, his karma, his fate - the fate of the match! - is predetermined. I'm not saying that Veselin will achieve a crushing victory, that would be going too far. But about Veselin winning - I haven't the slightest doubt!"

That should probably be: "its karma, its fate". Good to see we don't need to wait for the match for the Danailov games to begin :)

I wonder why that comments are not available in the english version.
I agree that the outcome of Mexico would have been different had Topa played there , and for the rest it just sounds like a manager being supportive.

In any case, interesting to compare Danailov's statement with what Topalov said in the interview:

"Frankly speaking, by comparing my play in the match with Kamsky and the level demonstrated by Anand in his match against Kramnik, one can say that this goes clearly in favor of Vishy, but I will be well prepared and I hope to capture his world champion title.

They also missed out chunks of the interview (e.g. there were 4 questions about the Kamsky match at the beginning), so perhaps they just didn't have the time to translate it.

In a way I agree with you about Danailov - maybe it's just that in chess we're not used to people just coming out with empty "spin" to support their guy rather than sensible opinions. For what it's worth I object to:

1) No-one doubts Topalov is best... this is just untrue. Of course you can argue he's the best, but it's not obvious - rating proves little - he was down in 5th/6th just 6 months ago before doing well in a few tournaments, but they weren't quite top level except for Bilbao - where Anand was hiding all his opening prep & Ivanchuk, Carlsen and others were coming off a very heavy schedule to play a rested Topalov. Not to mention his previous glass cube experience :) In the interview even Topalov points out there's no clear best player at the moment.

2) About Mexico City - of course Danailov forgets to point out that it was his idea that the loser in the Topalov/Kramnik match wouldn't play in Mexico - and they signed the contract (Topalov again talks about not breaking contracts in his interview). So there was no "they" conspiring against him. In any case, even if he had won there (odds against, as in any big tournament, even if you're the favourite) he'd have had to beat Kramnik before it meant anything.

3) The whole idea of karma is ridiculous. Topalov's only getting to play a match with Anand because Danailov managed to bamboozle FIDE into giving him the Kamsky match. True karma would be more like Danailov being eaten by his toilet...

The Sofia dictionary: half-baked Dan/Top statements are "polemic." Folks who notice half-baked statements are "trolls."

"Topalov: Therefore, any changes in the cycle that is already running...well ... it is not a good thing."
--Wasn't his match with Kamsky a change in a cycle that was already running?

I missed u greg , but you are out of form , i said : " to feed hunger Trolls from ALL ideologies."
I was including both sides on my statement, take it easy.

@mishamp : (about your points 2 and3) Remember that Topalov (Danailov , Bulgarian federation ) not only challenged Kramnik according FIDE rules , but after that option was cancelled (against regulations) they asked them to include Topalov on Mexico. And they (russian mafia , Kirsan , Woody Woodpecker) refused yet again , that is why i would consider the match with Kamsky a fair compensation.
And he is absolutely right that the changes to the current cycle are a direct consecuence of Kramnik being crushed in Bonn.(dont like to say i told you so but I did pointed exactly that here when that happened, ehem).

Yes, Manu, you've got the Danailov line down pat, but the "challenge" was never more than an empty bargaining move. Only FIDE's stupidity/corruption actually allowed it to work.

They gave me a nice bumper sticker for my persistence, they promised a t-shirt if things goes well.

In the past decade, ratings differential would have predicted substantial victories by Kasparov(2000) and Topalov(2006) and a closer match last fall.

If Danailov has a saving grace it's that while he obviously doesn't believe half the nonsense he's spouting, he doesn't expect that you will either. The problem is that his player does believe it: see Topalov quick-playing in 2006 so that Kramnik couldn't receive assistance conveyed through unknown means by chess-retarded FSB agents .

I believe that ratings dont mean that much in match play were another factors have a lot of weight,but they do mean a LOT in regular tournament play .
Topalov has been the dominant force in tournament play since Kasparov retirement, just count his victories.
In that aspect he is clearly number one , folowed only (but close) by Vishy.
Exactly what the rating list suggest.

Manu still in love with Topailov - Scarry.

I love Topalov's chess but he could only draw his classical match with Kramnik. Anand crushed Kramnik. I also find it difficult to believe that Topalov's tournament record in the strongest tournaments is better than Anand's. What are their Linares records? I think its pointless to say Anand is not supreme top dog right now.

"I love Topalov's chess but he could only draw his classical match with Kramnik."

Looks like everyone else got it wrong. Check out the deliberately false ICC report: http://www.chessclub.com/resources/event/elista06/

And you'd have expected more class from Topalov's Wiki page!!

"The unification of the FIDE World Title (held by Topalov) and the Classical Chess World Title (held by Vladimir Kramnik) was fervently encouraged by the chess community. Kramnik defeated Topalov to become the first undisputed champion in thirteen years."

d_dear, you'd better climb on that page right away and change the offending phrase to

"Kramnik drew with Topalov and was inexplicably crowned undisputed champion."

It's time for you to make it right -- for all of us. Good luck.


Stop being so snarky.

d_tal is merely suggesting that they demonstrated equal ability in the classical time-control portion of their match. The same way a match with six Kramnik-over-the-board-wins and six Topalov-forfeit-wins would have done.

Kirsan will have to do more than what is doing right now to help Kramnik get to another WCH final , if he believes that seeding him to the qualifier tournament is enough he will go down in history as the most naive dictator ever.
There is no chance in hell that Kramnik can win that tournament.
@d_tal : I said since Kasparov retirement, check it out.

The underlying assumption is that Kirsan wants Kramnik in another final by all means, and that his dictatorial powers are sufficient to achieve this (suggested) goal.

However, the situation is different: The Grand Prix, at least in its original setup, is the best way to determine a worthy challenger (rather transparent invitation policy, same number of chances for each player). However, several players couldn't participate because they were occupied with high-level matches including months of preparation beforehand. Taking this into account, who would deserve to be seeded into the qualifier tournament?
- the loser of Anand-Kramnik
- the loser of Topalov-Kamsky
- the (presently unknown) loser of Anand-Topalov
- all of them
- none of them

"I hate Kramnik" is an irrelevant argument in this context ,:) .

¨However, the situation is different ¨

Nop is not , the cycle has been modified and Kramnik has two or three more chances to be seeded to a final tournament to decide a challenger for the winner of Vishy vs Topa.
I just want to see Kramnik actually qualifying for a WCH match ,at least once .
I hope he proves me wrong and do what many others did ,i just dont think so.

And one answer to your little poll could be : ¨anyone who actually won a qualifyer tournament¨ or ¨the highest rated player (champion excluded)¨

Under the heading of "Nashville Gone Wild", we find incessant jabbering about whether Anand or Topalov or Kramnik is a stronger player. Meanwhile, Mig said, 5 days ago, that he would put up some pictures of Nashville "later". Well, "later" hasn't happenend, which is probably why we end up with this misplaced and repetitive jabbering....

The mokeys went crazy , coz u didnt give them bananas.

Discussing Kramnik's privileges would be a little less absurd if he'd actually been given any yet :)

"the cycle has been modified and Kramnik has two or three more chances to be seeded to a final tournament ...."
Maybe I missed the most recent changes to the cycle ,:) , can you name the 'two or three more chances'? I see only the World Cup - and while winning it is an achievement, it is still sort of a lottery ... .
"I just want to see Kramnik actually qualifying for a WCH match"
I will not comment on the past, but in the current system indeed he still has to do so (prevailing over seven strong opponents). Maybe he has "no chances in hell", but I would give him (outsider) chances 'in heaven' ,:) - finishing second in Mexico wasn't THAT bad after all (not quit deserving the "loser" stamp some people gave him) ... .

"And one answer to your little poll could be : ¨anyone who actually won a qualifyer tournament¨ or ¨the highest rated player (champion excluded)¨"
This wasn't part of my poll, but actually I agree with you. I only wonder if you would insist as much about 'highest rated player' if his name was, say, Carlsen rather than Topalov [certain chances in both heaven and hell that this might happen in the near future].

Clubfoot a little less sarcasm and a little more thought before posting might be called for. They drew the Classical part. Kramnik won the tie break. That's how he was crowned the champion. Got it?

Equal ability? I guess if you use subjective interpretations and forget rules, anything goes. Lets say forfeits don't count. Let anybody not play when they don't want to. But while we're at it, I think the result doesn't count either. I think a better measure of ability is absolutely won positions, and somebody spoiling it with one move by being nervous or believing your opponent is cheating doesn't count. Hey what do you know, Topalov just won that match. Welcome to planet Mr and Mrs Gregfoot.

"a little less sarcasm and a little more thought before posting might be called for."

I agree, which is why I pointed out your thoughtless mistake which, considering its several repetitions, is now a deliberate falsehood. Or perhaps you're just trying to wish a different outcome on the match. Let's see...

"I think a better measure of ability is absolutely won positions, and somebody spoiling it with one move by being nervous or believing your opponent is cheating doesn't count. Hey what do you know, Topalov just won that match."

And there it be, in plain language. So my mistake: not a falsehood but a wishful untruth borne of your transparent yet resilient delusion. Now let it ring in your ears just once more:

"They drew the Classical part. Kramnik won the tie break."
.....a necessary tiebreak to determine the winner of the match, which would otherwise have been declared drawn what with two champions (or two challengers) involved. No draw. Kramnik won the match.

By the bye, had Topalov won the tiebreak, any Dirt poster engaging in "Kramnik drew with Topalov in Elista" tactics would be both an utter fool and called out as such (correctly) by posters like you.

Topalov's pretty good, you know -- in fact, right now he's probably the world's strongest and I'd pick him in a match with Anand. But he lost to Kramnik and he doesn't need your help to pretend he didn't. Danailov is paid to do all that for him anyway.

Fully agree with clubfoot´s last pharagaph, IMO Topalov lost a close match with Kramnik on tie breacks under very crazy conditions.
Of course we will not concur on the nature of those conditions and who is to blame for that.
But it was his first important match , and the guy seem to adapt very fast.
He already showed that he can win a tough match against a better prepared and very talented oponent without playing his best chess .

Listen to Kirsan (the guy who had meetings with Putin while Elista was on fire, the pseudo-russian dictator, the guy who took a ride on UFO,
the president of FIDE) himself name Kramnik in this interview:
We will discuss Carlsen´s superiority when it happens, IF it happens.
I like his style of play a lot.

d_tal wrote:
"I think a better measure of ability is absolutely won positions ...."
A fair point, but how should this be applied in practice? An arbiter assisted by Rybka finishing the game immediately as soon as the evaluation is +2 or +3 - abandoning the traditional need to win a won position? Of course I am joking, but - a bit more seriously - Topalov might face two problems:
1) a computer may not understand his exchange sacrifices and declare him lost before he gets the chance to prove his long-term compensation
2) a computer will not appreciate his decisive advantage in game 5 of the Elista match

Clubfoot wrote:
"By the bye, had Topalov won the tiebreak, any Dirt poster engaging in "Kramnik drew with Topalov in Elista" tactics would be both an utter fool and called out as such (correctly) by posters like you."
We don't know (and maybe don't want to know) what would have happened next in such a situation. After all, Kramnik had played from game 6 under protest, reserving the right to take legal action after the match.

"Listen to Kirsan ..."
Yes, he mentioned Kramnik's name (as a potential participant in the candidates tournament), so what? Kramnik is presently #4 in the live rating list and thus a logical name - notwithstanding the fact that he moved up during his parental leave because several competitors lost rating points in the meantime.
"(the guy who had meetings with Putin while Elista was on fire ..."
I won't defend Kirsan (maybe having meetings with Putin is a bad thing by itself), but this leaves a wrong impression - as if he ran away _during_ the complications. Fact is that Danailov "put Elista on fire" _after_ Ilyumzhinov was out of town, some people suspect that the timing was not coincidental ... . In any case, organizers of the Anand-Kramnik match could have left town for a day or two without having to worry about anything in the meantime!?

¨Yes, he mentioned Kramnik's name , so what? ¨
so what? , it is not very polite or unbiased to say the least.
He has meetings with the president of one of the WCH players , while there were playing...
so what?...
In fact Kirsan stated in an interview that Putin said to him something like: ¨go there , fix it.¨
so what?..
Nothing fishy in there you think? Yes , sure.

"He already showed that he can win a tough match against a better prepared and very talented oponent without playing his best chess."

In which match was this shown by Topalov? Just recently against Kamsky, or when he defeated Bareev in the Sparkassen 2002 semifinal tiebreaks? The trick to "showing that you can win" is winning.

Manu - if you're talking to a Russian journalist in Russian about a clause that means that a host country would be able to nominate a player... then it's hardly out of line to mention Kramnik as an example.

Re: having a meeting with Putin during the WC - truly shocking! The tinpot dictator of a minor Russian region has a meeting with his boss. How dare Russia keep operating during a chess match? (I despise both men, but that's by the by).

If Putin told Ilumzhinov to help Kramnik out then I don't know how the latter kept his job... considering Kramnik was forfeited the game, and went on to turn a 2:0 lead in a 3:2 deficit. But don't let the facts get in the way of the conspiracy theory...

He kept his bathroom , and the right to sue later anyway.
From that moment Topalov would be losing whatever the outcome of the match .
Since you claim that im forcing a conspiracy theory , i want you to know that i would be gladly retracting my statement if you could quote Kramnik being critical of the police state which runs his country.
If not , please accept that someone might not feel comfortable with the facts i mentioned.

I admire your patience, mishanp.

There was no "his" bathroom. They swapped each game. I don't quite see how sharing or not sharing a bathroom is supposed to alter the chess.

The "right to sue later" is just a right everyone has, always (whether it succeeds is another matter). Danailov knew what he was doing when he implied Kramnik was cheating to try and change the course of the match. It might have worked (in terms of points), but it was always going to turn most of the chess world against Topalov - and any victory would be tainted. But that was Danailov's gamble, not a Russian plot. I guess he thought he had almost nothing to lose.

I don't mind a good conspiracy theory, but you need at least a flimsy basis for it. Give us some spiel about ceiling cables or random FSB guys signalling Kramnik during the play-off. If you won't then it's just no fun at all. It's hard to disprove a bit fat nothing.

So you never heard him say anything about Putin , cool , i thought so.
So let me have my doubts about who was pulling dirty tricks in Elista, thx u very much.

Yes, Kramnik has said that the image of Russia is a bit distorted in the West. He has said that sometimes there seems to be a lingering Cold War mentality left. He has said that the government isn't all that bad. He has said he strongly disagrees with Kasparov's anti-Putin activities.

Here is one example of where he is talking about it at some length: http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=178

A quote:

"If I have to choose between a totally open society, where most of the citizens live in total poverty, and the current system, which perhaps is not so open, but people are simply not dying like animals, then I prefer Putin’s Russia to the one of Jelzin."

Now what's your point, Manu? He is not allowed to have the same opinion on Putin as most Russians?

Im not allowed to be on the side that consider Putin a dictator and murderer?
Look in history and you will find the importance that sports had for almost all dictators, Hitler, Mussolini , Videla , you name it .
Can i be a little suspicious of the Russian guy ?

Yes, you are allowed to think whatever you want, but I thought the subject was the World Championship match between Kramnik and Topalov.

"So let me have my doubts about who was pulling dirty tricks in Elista, thx u very much."

You're most welcome to your doubts, manu, but please share them with us.

By dirty tricks at Elista are you referring to Danailov's claim that 70-some percent of Kramnik's moves lined up with the computer?

Or are you referring to Kramnik climbing up on the toilet, removing the ceiling panel, and attaching a connection-less length of cable to ....?

(Yes, Topalov and Kramnik alternated the use of that cable-bathroom, but perhaps you believe only Kramnik was tall enough to stand on the toilet seat and reach the ceiling.)

Was he standing on the toilet using a computer during Game Two, when he missed a two-move crush? After Game Four, when the bathrooms were monitored?

Or are you persuaded by Topalov's claim of chess-retarded FSB agents who assisted Kramnik by means unknown?

Or do you have your own theories? And if so, please put up.

Im just saying that the concerns surrounding the acusations were very real , thats all .
And i already mentioned what things i consider to be dubious ,please dont put Danailov´s words in my mouth.


Let me try to restate your position:

"...the concerns surrounding the accusations were very real..."
--Kramnik's pacing in and out of the security-swept but unmonitored bathroom was odd, if not suspicious, and justified Danailov's complaint.

--if there was error in showing Danailov the tapes ex parte, in considering Danailov's complaint even though it was made after the post-game deadline, in closing the bathroom (arguably violating the match contract), the match officials are to blame, not Danailov.

"...please don't put Danailov's words in my mouth."
--you don't buy Danailov's "concerns" about VK's moves matching a computer,
--you don't believe Kramnik was cheating with a ceiling cable, or chess-retarded FSB agents.
--you don't believe Kramnik cheated at all.

"And i already mentioned what things i consider to be dubious..."
--you agree that monitoring the bathrooms was a proper resolution to Danailov's complaint
--but you object to the method (Russian pressure?) through which that resolution was obtained.

Do these statements represent your position? Did I leave out anything "dubious"?

Ah, bless. I was wondering where all the flaming had gone. I should have known: where else would the Topalov/Kramnik loonspiracy theories resurface than in the Nashville thread?...

You left out some facts of different influence on what happened there:
The meeting between Kirsan and Putin , the previous acusations against Topalov , the ¨under protest¨ status of the match after game 5 , game 5! (like i said , if it was Kasparov or Anand they would show up and kick Topa´s ass , but not showing leaves room for a doubt even a tinny one),the local status of Kramnik , preassure that the Bulgarian team might had ,chessbase , GM Short´s ¨sinister¨ statements,the fact that it was the first time that anyone made a formal acusation of that caliber , among many things.
And of course its ok because is a long and complicated subject .
I just feel that it is not that crazy to believe that the russian camp might had some holes in their attitude.
I really dont think that any of Danailovs allegations are particullary wrong or right , i just find Kramnik´s professional behaviour and inluence particullary related to corruption acts and unfairness (playing Shirov´s match , not giving Garry a rematch ,¨lending¨ the crown to Anand, among some other privileges).
I dont like being told who i have to trust , and here i believe that there are enough reasons for not buying the Danailov-is-evil story.
If i had to make a guess now , i would say that Kramnik´s team played with the idea of cheating as a psycological punch on a very impulsive and unexperienced opponent , and they were extremely succesfull.
But on the other hand i wouldnt be surprised if some day in the near future a repented KGB monkey confess that there were extra assistance (and bananas) for Kramnik on that match , or that there were putting some kind of preassure on the Bulgarian team.
I guess that in your case you wouldnt be surprised if the oposite happens , the difference is that i dont consider you an idiot for that.

Anyone remember what this post was originally about? Me either.

Mishanp already stated why it made sense for Kirsan to mention Kramnik's name to a Russian journalist. Beyond that and more generally, three players out of the present top 4 (or indeed top 20) could not participate in the Grand Prix and thus would have only the World Cup lottery as a qualifying chance - Kramnik is one of them.

"He [Kirsan] has meetings with the president of one of the WCH players , while there were playing"
Maybe a little bit fishy, but at least less so than the double role of Danailov during the Sofia match (organizer and manager of one of the players).
However, I consider Kramnik's nationality and personal political opinion as rather irrelevant, just as other non-chessic things (religion, sexual orientation, whatever).

"Putin said to him something like: ¨go there , fix it.¨ "
We don't even know the original (Russian) words, but 'fix it' may simply mean 'make sure that the match continues'. This notably included convincing both players (but particularly Kramnik) to return to the chess board. It didn't even include (sufficient) pressure to the Bulgarian side to retract their cheating accusations.
Maybe you would have preferred if the match had ended after game 4 (or "game 5") and Topalov had been declared as winner. While there was a somewhat similar precedent (Karpov becoming WCh without playing a single game against Fischer), Topalov defending and/or obtaining a WCh title with an OTB score of +0 =2 -2 would be very strange indeed.

¨Maybe you would have preferred if the match had ended after game 4 (or "game 5") and Topalov had been declared as winner.¨
Why would i? He was losing at that particular time .. Please try to make sense, Thomas.

Theorist, MD and (earlier) Luke - you have a point, but let's recapitulate how this could happen:
1) Manu posted a link to the Topalov interview - maybe hoping or expecting that Mig would create a separate thread. But apparently Mig does not consider this newsworthy enough - I would agree, because there is hardly anything new in the interview.
2)Others commented anyway, and the discussion was there. And I also reserve the right to comment on things I disagree with.
It is remotely on topic though, the title of the present thread is "[Nashville] Gone Wild" ,:) . So I feel obliged to comment on the 'wildest' part of Manu's latest post:

"the fact that it was the first time that anyone made a formal acusation of that caliber"
In the context of the entire post, it seems like many people, countries and institutions have to be blamed: Kramnik, Short, Ilyumzhinov, Putin, Russia, FIDE, ... while two (Danailov and Topalov) were 100% innocent and not at all involved. A remarkably creative interpretation.

Maybe the Bulgarians will even succeed concerning another legend, Topalov unfairly excluded from the Mexico tournament. Fact is they fell into the trap they meant to create for Kramnik - but forgot or ignored the possibility that Kramnik could win the Elista match. Excessive confidence and arrogance from the Bulgarian side, and now they are complaining .... .

"three players out of the present top 4 (or indeed top 20) could not participate in the Grand Prix and thus would have only the World Cup lottery as a qualifying chance - Kramnik is one of them"

The argument that some players could not participate is at least debatable. Nothing prevented Kamsky from playing the qualification and nothing would of course have prevented Kramnik from participating either. But why participate and risk failure when you can buy a spot instead?

There is little sense on your interpretation of what i said , it must be my fault , sorry 4 that.

The original thread is about a guy who fights the police state Manu gets so passionate about.
I appreciate a good conspiracy theory, but it lacks color. You have to mention Azmai, Makro, and Zhukov. They are at the core of every plot worth mentioning.

Conspiracy theorys have colors , real conspiracys are often grey and absurd.

@Manu 4:57AM:
So over-the-board results are still relevant, good that we agree that far.
However, you didn't get the point I wanted to make: What would have happened if Kramnik had, under the circumstances, refused to continue playing? "While Elista was on fire", several GM's stated that they would understand such a decision, and might do the same in a comparable situation.
Most likely, Topalov would have been declared winner of the match (notwithstanding the fact that he didn't win a single game over the board, irrelevant that he had better or objectively winning positions at certain stages).
But another option could have been to disqualify Topalov+Danailov for unsportive behavior - several people (you, Manu, included) suggested rather drastic measures or punishment against Mamedyarov ... .

gg, I implicitly referred to one of my earlier posts. Yes, Kramnik and Kamsky could have played the Grand Prix - but they were busy and preoccupied with matches and match preparation at the same time.
They still played tournaments, but had to hide their opening preparations and consequently had 'modest' results (Anand in Bilbao is another example). So IF they played the Grand Prix, they would have a disadvantage compared to the other players.

I don't understand what you mean with "buy a spot" - do you mean to imply bribery? The - debatable - issue is whether they DESERVE a spot based on rating and past achievements. This also applies to Carlsen who decided to quit playing the Grand Prix (his reasons for doing so are rather irrelevant).

I really don't think that any of Danailovs allegations are particullary wrong or right..."
--I think I get it. Suspicions that Topalov cheated at San Luis are reprehensible. And Kramnik, and Hensel and their Elista team are responsible for them even though none of them has ever accused Topalov of cheating. But allegations of cheating via a ceiling computer cable or chess-retarded FSB agents by Topalov and Danailov are appropriate and reasonably arguable.

"...and here i believe that there are enough reasons for not buying the Danailov-is-evil story."
--Kramnik's policy of keeping any personal suspicions about an opponent to oneself and dealing with them through negotiations to ensure a cheating-proofed venue for both players is responsible and appropriate. On the other hand, Topalov and Danailov's cheating allegations against Kramnik, set forth above, are absurd nonsense. And spreading absurd, nonsensical allegations against an opponent, I'm sure you'll agree, is evil.

"I don't understand what you mean with "buy a spot" - do you mean to imply bribery?"

I think FIDE refer to it as "fees", but what it means is that Kramnik's sponsor paid FIDE hundreds of thousands of Euros so they would change the rules of the ongoing cycle so he could be given a spot.

As for Kramnik being at a disadvantage if he had played the Grand Prix or World Cup, one could also say that he is at an advantage now. He can prepare for the candidates final, while all other players have to show something before the event. Good for Vlad, but it (or the Bonn match) would never have happened without UEP's money.

Could we at least wait until Kramnik has actually been GIVEN the spot that virtually everyone seems to take for granted that he will get? He might well get it and especially assuming he returns to reasonable form in 2009 he would not exactly be the least deserving, but nobody knows yet. It's quite possible that a lot of people are going to look pretty stupid - it's happened before. Some were convinced Kramnik would not play in Mexico, for example, even though he had never ever said he wouldn't.

"Conspiracy theorys have colors , real conspiracys are often grey and absurd"


Clubsy dear, try to read what I say. Topalov did not win the match, he DREW the CLASSICAL part of the match. Got it? That is why they played rapids, because the classical part was drawn? Do you get it now? Kramnik actually won the match. As for ability, that thesis was a thought experiment to try and persuade your husband Greg that rules exist for a reason. Come on, you're below par today.

You are now putting your words in my mouth and they taste a lot worse than Danailov´s.
Please dont , stick to your reasoning without pushing broken logics into another person line of thought.
No problem. Ceasar assasination ,Napoleon assasination, Pol Pot assasination , but of course it will depend on what you consider to be colorfull.

bla, bla, bla. Topalov, Kramnik, Anand. bla, bla, bla. Robert Hess swept the high school section at Nashville 7 - 0 and is currently 5 - 1 at Foxwoods.

Meanwhile, bla, bla, bla about Topalov, Kramnik, and Anand.

Rules do exist for a reason. There was a match contract rule that each player would be accorded a rest area and a bathroom and the players toured the facilities before them match and approved them And there was a rule specifying that protests filed more then two hours after the preceding game would not be considered, Both rules were violated by the Elista match officials. And the hapless Carsten Hensel failed to file any formal protest about anything, thus waiving his client's rights. Thus the result of the classical portion of the match is officially 3-3. But that's not what we were discussing.

It's simple. If you believe that the forfeit arising out of this vaudeville show is translatable into over-the-board performance then you, like d_tal, would use it to predict the future over-the-board performance of Topalov and Kramnik. Following this argument, FIDE should incorporate the Game Five forfeit into each player's rating.

This fight is over , pick up your tooth from the ground and go have some drinks with your friends .


But that's the point, manu, you don't have a train of thought.

When challenged to "put up" you flake out and start babbling about Caesar, Napoleon, and Pol Pot.

It was, indeed, silly of me to treat you as a serious person with an argument rather than as a twit who flits around between threads spouting nonsense and refusing to defend it.

Makes a person appreciate d_tal; give him credit for hanging in there and standing up for his ideas.

You guys need an impartial arbitrator. Would you be willing to abide by the arbitrator's decision?

I also assumed that the UEP bid (including a spot for Kramnik) has been accepted - after all, it was the only bid ... maybe acirce is right that this hasn't even been decided yet. Anyway ... quoting gg:
"Kramnik's sponsor paid FIDE hundreds of thousands of Euros so they would change the rules of the ongoing cycle"
If that was true - first UEP giving money to FIDE, then FIDE changing rules of the ongoing cycle - it would be bribery in my book. But (to the best of my knowledge) FIDE changed the rules and then started the bidding procedure which was open to any potential sponsor. They may have known beforehand that UEP would be interested, but at the very least there was no guarantee for Kramnik.
"He [Kramnik] can prepare for the candidates final, while all [?] other players have to show something before the event."
I count four players (out of eight) already qualified:
- Anand or Topalov (depending on the result of their match)
- Kamsky
- Carlsen (assuming he gets the 'highest rating' spot)
- Kramnik
I am not even sure if Kramnik could have played the Grand Prix. He was WCh at the start of that competition - so assuming he succeeded in defending his title AND prevailed in the Grand Prix, he would play a future WCh match against himself!? Of course this wouldn't make sense, that's exactly my point.
"it (or the Bonn match) would never have happened without UEP's money"
What do you mean? Rather no Anand-Kramnik match than one sponsored by UEP? It is difficult enough to find sponsors, no need for bashing an active and powerful one just because he has certain ties with a certain player, who happens to be unpopular among certain bloggers.

Thomas, the UEP bid has been accepted, but when did they say that they would give their spot to Kramnik? Maybe I've missed something?

"I am not even sure if Kramnik could have played the Grand Prix. He was WCh at the start of that competition"

Anand was the World Champion at the start of the Grand Prix (and is against the cycle change), and Kramnik could of course have played the series or the World Cup if he had wanted to. Baku 2008 was played more than half a year before Bonn, and the last events didn't interfer with any match. If for example Aronian can play Corus, Linares, Bilbao, Grand Prix, World Cup, everything, it shouldn't be too much to demand from others to play a qualification. In any case, if something was wrong with the rules the right time to say it would have been before it started and not after it's almost finished.

"it (or the Bonn match) would never have happened without UEP's money"

"What do you mean? Rather no Anand-Kramnik match than one sponsored by UEP?"

The Bonn match wouldn't have happened without UEP's money, simple as that. It's not a question of if this or that alternative would have been better, it's more a question of that the rules are different for different players, Topa naturally included.

"FIDE changed the rules and then started the bidding procedure which was open to any potential sponsor"

This was how it was on paper, but does anyone think they would decide about such a change without all being decided with UEP in advance? It was much, much money involved and no other sponsor was ever discussed, and Kirsan even said the cycle change was made because it was hard to find sponsors. If so it was hardly logical to demand all these millions from a sponsor if the deal wasn't already done.

Kramnik's own sponsor and manager won't pick Cheparinov for the sponsor spot, that much is certain. UEP could just have sponsored the Anand-Topalov match if they didn't do it to get Kramnik a spot, it is after all more logical to sponsor the upcoming title match than one that comes years later. But whatever rules FIDE cook up, it all just isn't that interesting anymore. The World Championship is just getting more and more devalued with every year, and I'm bored with the whole subject :)

I did a bit of Internet searching, here are the results (I was wrong twice):
1) Indeed the UEP bid doesn't mention anywhere that Kramnik will be their nominee. So here I succumbed to recurrent, unproven [though maybe plausible] insinuations by several posters ("third parties").
2) All of Anand, Kramnik and Topalov could have played the Grand Prix - the Grand Prix rules explicitly state that if the overall winner 'happens to be World Champion at the same time' the qualifying spot will go to #2 in the final standings.
Yet, none of them did play ... and now only Kramnik is criticized. IMO, the comparison with Aronian's busy schedule is also not completely justified: he played numerous events, but not one of them was the single most important one of the entire year - quite a difference with those players focusing on matches and match preparation. IF Kramnik had played the Grand Prix, one might even wonder about the psychological message to Anand: "You know I am not sure about my match chances, probably I will lose, so I already think about the next WCh cycle ...".
Concerning sponsors, well they should retain freedom about which events they choose to support and which players they nominate (within imposed limits, i.e. the nominee has to be rated 2700 or higher). Probably UEP will not invite Cheparinov (why should they? IMO he is not even one of the more obvious candidates), likewise MTel does not invite Kramnik. Dortmund doesn't invite Topalov (because the organizers have some ties with Kramnik?); Dortmund is not part of the Grand Slam (because Danailov rules in the latter event series?). So the notorious Kramnik-Topalov animosity has influences going in both directions.

gg, Hensel is not Kramnik's manager now, only Leko's. Insofar as Hensel has a say, maybe Leko could get the spot if he has a great year and Kramnik another bad year. That's just one possibility, I'm sure there are others.

Kramnik _is_ the one single _most_ likely UEP nominee out of all the plausible alternatives, I certainly agree with that. But I wouldn't say it reaches 'certainty' or even 'near-certainty' level.

Can you guarantee that they would really ignore Carlsen, for example, if he raises his level even more, starts winning supertournament after supertournament but still fails to qualify in the World Cup? (You could say that would guarantee him one of the rating spots, but as far as I know we're not sure yet what rating list will be used for this purpose.) Let's say that at the same time Kramnik continues to perform at his 2008 level.

It's needless to debate what would follow from the currently published status of WCh regulations.
If they want to include Carlsen, they will find a way. Bend the rules, break the rules. It's a matter of money, connections, and pleasing the Kirsan.

Leko may be difficult to "justify" considering his 'mediocre' performance in the most recent Grand Prix tournament [however, later on this could turn out to be a negative outlier]. Anyway, here gg _may_ have a point, it's then arguably wiser not to participate in the Grand Prix.
As far as Carlsn is concerned, I would say yes he belongs into the candidates tournament, just like Kramnik - I put Carlsen as rating qualifier, but acirce may be right to consider this tentative.
And, as there were earlier rumors that the organizer's (sponsor's) nominee has to come from the organizing country: We may even end up with Naiditsch (provided he keeps his rating [slightly] above 2700) or Georg Meier (who had several 2700+ performances, not enough yet to break this ELO barrier). Of course those are not the most obvious names ... .

Troll fight!

Clubfoot, I'm still waiting to understand what you were ranting about. Do you accept that you didn't read what I said, and just started screaming as is your wont?


The ball's been in your court since 4/11 when I posted a response on the issue. I, and probably others, thought you'd moved on to bigger and better things.

This discussion is going way beyond tedium, but I can't imagine how it's possible to include Topalov's Game Five forfeit-win in an assessment of his over-the-board playing abilities.

If Kirsan woke up this morning, noticed that Kramnik hadn't paid his 2006 FIDE dues, and awarded Topalov a 12-0 Elista match forfeit-win would we suddenly think more of Topalov's chances in an Anand match?

Greg, forgive me but I'm generally not interested in your rabidly biased ramblings and often skip your posts. Besides, Clubfoot can speak for himself I think. All the best.


Since he doesn't read my posts, I can't ask him. But why do you think d_tal responds to your rabidly biased ramblings and not mine?

I think the three of you are smart people. Smart enough to realize that your incessant jabbering and bickering about trivialities is something that the rest of us are not impressed with. No matter who is right or wins your debating game.

Do you want an impartial arbitrator?

Luke, you know a wonderful thing? You don't have to read something if you don't want to. That guy with a gun to your head is just that last whisky sour making itself known. If the only (non) contribution you can make is to say somebody else shouldn't post, why not apply that same lofty standard to your own worthless meanderings?

Ok, fair enough. Goodbye.

You wouldn't need anyone's permission to arbitrate the unimpressive, incessant, trivial bickering in this thread. A very dirty job and a mighty generous offer I'd say. Go for it!

Aww is lukey wukey offended by D. tal?
Come visit the Chesshire Cat "recession sales"-
All you need to survive on the dirt!! get yours now!

Rough hides: 50 dollars
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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 4, 2009 8:47 PM.

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