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Homeward Bound

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In the words of Victor Hugo, "When liberty returns, I will return." Except that I wasn't in exile and I'm coming back regardless. Vacation is ending all too soon. Anything going on out there in the chess world? Step right up...


Seems like the Caro-Kann is alive and well. Morozevich and Grischuk, both very enterprising players, decided to play it today.

Where is Grischuk playing today?

Caruana popped Moro after Moro took some risks, but other than that, all quiet.

Today Vachier-Lagrave just went wild against Ivanchuk, sacrificing a piece with black in what before looked like a slow maneouvring game. Is it correct? Is it speculative given Chukcy's upcoming time trouble?

Seems like Vachier-Lagrave's sack was Rybka's recommendation as well and the best way to equalize. They should have played out the final position though. It might still be a draw at the end, but it's far from obvious. Here Sofia rules certainly would have helped.

Blunder by Moro (..e6), but what an interesting one!! Another nice position going down in flames after a miscalculation?

Here's the game, which is nicely played by Grischuk:

[Event "XXIV Int'l Ciudad de Villarrobledo 2009"]
[Site "Villarrobledo/ESP"]
[Date "2009.07.25"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Almenar, V."]
[Black "Grischuk, A."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B19"]
1. e4 c6!
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4. Nxe4 Bf5
5. Ng3 Bg6
6. Nf3 Nd7
7. h4 h6
8. Bd3 Bxd3
9. Qxd3 e6
10. Bf4 Qa5+
11. Bd2 Bb4
12. a3 Bxd2+
13. Qxd2 Qxd2+
14. Nxd2 O-O-O
15. O-O-O Ngf6
16. Nde4 Kc7
17. f3?! Nd5
18. Rhe1 b5
19. Rd3 Rhe8
20. Nc3 Nf4
21. Rd2 a5
22. Re4 Nd5
23. Nxd5+ cxd5
24. Re3 g5
25. hxg5 hxg5
26. b3 Rh8
27. Kb2 Kd6
28. Ne2 b4
29. axb4 axb4
30. Nc1 Nb8
31. c4? bxc3+
32. Rxc3 Nc6
33. Kc2 Rh1
34. Kd3 f5
35. Rb2 Nxd4!
36. Kxd4 Rd1+
37. Rd3 Rxc1
38. b4 f4
39. Rc3 Rd1+
40. Rd3 e5+

Moro experiencing yet another collapse. First Caruana and now punked by Alekseev.

Yes, Morozevich's blunders are at least interesting. Gelfand's blunder against him was trivial and simply unbelievable - though preceded and made possible by an interesting dubious plan (transferring his rook to the h-file).

Now 4 out of 5 decisive games included Morozevich, and I turned out to be right when I wrote in another thread that he hasn't crushed the tournament yet ... .

@noyb: Don't take it personally, but I would rather say Morozevich was punked by Morozevich today. I vaguely remember a GM who kept saying during a really bad tournament "it was not my opponent who beat me, it was me!" - does anyone know who I am talking about [because I don't ,:)]?

Yes, nice game - but maybe his opponent's rating (2056) should be mentioned ... .

Nice day in Biel. Caruana probably wanted to punish me for calling him silly names, and only played a half game today. Well, at least it was interesting to see Gelfand out-prepared by a sixteen-year-old. The other two games were played more fully, and certainly worth watching. They proved that games that are more or less equal most of the time don't have to be boring.
Ivanchuk's draw offer was a surprise, he could have pressed on without much risk. The black queenside looked depressed and the bishop the wrong piece to play defense. But he is a genius, and I am not.
Morozevich was the guy with the toughest work ethic. Determined to do a full day's work, he took a lot of risks to keep things complicated. I think he used each of his pawn as a lever at least once during this game. But Alekseev proved up to all tasks he presented him today, and in the end, Morozevich took one risk too many. A great game to watch - a pity that gravity prevailed in the end.

Nice report , the best i read about this round, if you could only add one or two pictures of beautiful ladies to the presentation...

Moro is punk(ed) in drublic .

> beautiful ladies
The Kosintsevas were among the last to play on the upper boards of the open tournament, and played next to each other. That drew a big crowd, their endgames were obviously more interesting than Morozevich's efforts to overcome Alekseev.


Kudos to Boris Grachev. Even Fischer never achieved more than 100 %.

July 24, 8:38 PM, Luke wrote to Manu in the “Reappearing Moro Leads Biel” thread:

“I won't ever post again on this site if you don't post again either? Ok?”

July 24, 9:52 PM, Manu replied to Luke, saying

“I agree”

July 25, 4:23 PM, Manu then posts in the “Homeward Bound” thread, asking for pictures of beautiful ladies.

Clearly Manu, you are not a man of your word and cannot be trusted.

Luke, Manu's acceptance of the offer was subject to certain conditions which you probably won't accept - and even then, you would need Greg Koster's agreement (even more unlikely).

In other words, if you cite other posters include all relevant parts of the sentence! Then Manu's quote would be:
"I agree ... if you mail me greg´s head and one of your hands in a nice box"

Thomas -

You really shouldn't dirty yourself being an apologist for Manu. He is not a man of his word and cannot be trusted. You are smart enough to realize that.

Why don't you devise a test for me and Manu to determine who is a man of his word and can be trusted? On second thought, perhaps that would be futile, since whatever agreement he would offer would turn out to be bogus.

No, Luke. Thomas is quite right, and YOU are the one caught lying by leaving out relevant parts of the proposed "deal".

I see you give 1.. c6!, but I also noticed with a smile that Rybka 2 on Chessbomb raised the evaluation of the position by 0.28 in favour of white after this move.

I guess we can conclude that computers don't really understand these kind of positions :)

If the statistics on Chessgames.com are correct, then it should be 1...c6?


Of the 19 moves listed in response to 1.e4, only 1...f6? had a lower win percentage than 1...c6? (25.4% to 25%)

"Of the 19 moves listed in response to 1.e4, only 1...f6? had a lower win percentage than 1...c6? (25.4% to 25%)"

Or you could interpret the statistics in another way, count the draws, and find that the Caro-Kann scores better than the Sicillian!

"Lies, damned lies and statistics"
-Benjamin Disraeli

Sorry, it's 3 AM and my eyes and brain is malfunctioning. That should be that "Caro-Kann scores better than most other black first moves _other_ than the Sicillian".

Now I'll obey my body and say good night!

My used of the exclamation point for 1...c6 was not due to any objective evaluation of the move but rather for Grischuk's use of the Caro-Kann as an offensive weapon. I doubt any engine would assign 1...c6 an exclamation point.

I agree 6 out of 5 by Boris Grachev is fenomenal :-)

"exclamation point for 1...c6 was not due to any objective evaluation" I understood that and just wanted to point out this amusing thing with Rybka. It may also serve as an example of computers not beeing perfect (at least compared to practic human play) in their evaluation when it comes to long term positional concepts, even in the opening. A bad move for a GM may not be a bad move at patzer level, and a bad move for a computer may not be bad at human GM level.

The reason I commented was that you recently jumped at me for 'misquoting' myself ("the list" became "this list") without changing the meaning - and argued that noone would take me seriously if I make such mistakes.
IMO, selective out of context quoting which _does_ change the meaning is worse ... regardless of which person is the victim of such an 'offense'.

First and foremost, this little story indicates that computer evaluations of a few tenths of a pawn shouldn't be taken seriously. But Rybka has a certain point, while being a bit too dogmatic: He (she? it?) probably considers 1.-c6 a bad move because it doesn't help developing any pieces (other than the queen) and even takes the best square away from the queen's knight.

BTW, as Jim introduced the Spanish rapid event here: Naiditsch needed six rounds to score his first 6 points, and then finished clear first with 7.5/9, including wins against Ni Hua, Shirov (with black in a Berlin Wall) and Ponomariov. If rapid means anything, he may well be stronger than his most recent results (Poikovsky, Dortmund) imply. And it will be interesting to see how he does in Mainz next weekend against Anand, Aronian and Nepomniachtchi.

Manu said "I agree"

Whatever silliness he added after that (he wanted greg koster's head and my hand sent to him in a box) do not negate "I agree". Unlike you, I did not add new words, delete words, or capitalize words that were previously uncapitalized.

Thomas, you should quit nuzzling up to Manu. You know what he is. By the way, are you working on the test that will get rid of Manu, or me, or both of us? Get him to agree to give up his polluting obsession with Kramnik's toilet, and get me to agree to stop saying something equally stupid and offensive in return. My original offer still stands however: if Manu doesn't post any more, I won't either. You can join us if you want.

Very impressive performance by Naiditsch. I'm not sure, but I don't think he has ever defeated Anand or Aronian, and I'm not sure about the other guy. If he does well in Mainz, I'll be even more impressed.

I'm not even sure that Greg would consider his head too high a price to pay to stop you posting. He might well go for it.

I'd offer my own, of course, but the literati among you will realize the futility of that.

Why do you so frequently tack on another post almost immediately after one of your jokes? It's almost as if you think whatever you said was so funny that you fall off your chair, laughing yourself silly for 5 minutes, and then get back online for a follow-up, like a standup comedian. Ba da ba boom!

Most annoying and affected.

CC should type out his post, wait five minutes, add any new thought to the original post and only THEN push the button.

And if he has a funny thought five minutes after THAT he should just keep it to himself.


I always tend to be a neutral and quiet observer of the blog. But now I want to say something.
Some people here are mean and stubborn, ironic and humorous or a combination. Others contribute with interesting information or clever analysis right or wrong. Some might post too often.
But your actual comments and too many of the pas, are just the contrary of smart. If someone would say idiotic I could easily agree.
I really hate being inpolite to anyone.
But I wish you would shut up.

I have teased and bashed luke as much as anyone, but it's too early to tell him to go away forever. He's abandoned several of his more annoying habits and his post of yesterday at 8:36 was brief and sorta cool.

Hi TrialandError -

Ok, I'll try to please you. I never said your comments were idiotic. I never wished you would shut up.


Ah, the freshing flinging of Monkey-Poo... What would we do without these simian entertainers?

noyb -

Helpful hint: Try something new. You sound like Johnny One-note with your endless stream of monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo, monkey-poo.

Pretty infantile, don't you agree?

I wonder if Moro's losing the thread in later stages of some of his games is caused by his age/fitness- younger guys have the edge, or whether he loses his nerve/objectivity, or whether the positions are so complex that some mistake is practically certain? Such a pity, cos his play up until these points is usually very fresh and interesting, if he could just finish the job they'd be gems!

Back to chess: If chessgames.com is complete, Naiditsch had just six games against Anand (all classical time control), four against Aronian and two against Nepo [7/12 of these games were played in Dortmund] and, indeed, no victories so far.

As far as Mainz is concerned, I don't expect 'miracles' from him - an 'acceptable minus score' would already be fine!?

Thomas -

It's pretty weak to have a goal like this:

"an 'acceptable minus score' would already be fine!?" (Thomas)

You sound like a patzer saying "I hope I last 20 moves."

Why must you be so negative all the time? And this applies to others here who feel negative and insulting remarks are acceptable. Really, they're not. In fact, it's very tiresome and boring for a lot of us to read these sorts of childish cut-downs. As a matter of fact, I doubt very much you would say these things if you were face to face with one another. Hopefully, somewhere along the line in your life, you've learned the art, at least a tiny bit, of what it means to be a friendly and interesting person. If you can't conduct yourself in a civilized sort of way, then I'm sure most of us would very much appreciate you stop posting until you've learned how to do so without insulting others.

Hey Luke - Couldn't have said it better myself, I'm proud of you. By the way, behavioral psychologists will tell you that repeating one's self is a sign of insecurity and lack of self control... 12 Monkey-Poo's? Guess I hit a sore point with you... lol

Might be offtopic, but Karjakin marries at 19 http://players.chessdom.com/sergey-karjakin/karjakin-dolzhikova

Is this yet another record in chess at high level?

Hmm, does marriage usually mean the raising of a player's game or the opposite? Anyone remember any notable historical examples?

There is a great collection of training chess DVDs and books at http://www.grossclub.com/chess_store.html


How much are you paying Mig to advertise on his blog?

Yes you did because I like monkeys. I don't like their poo. A monkey spit at me once, but I still like monkeys. Actually, it was a chimpanzee. Is a chimpanzee a monkey? Or is it an ape? I went to a restaurant once where there were chimps jumping on the tables. The waiter chased after them with a broom. I was very careful about putting the food into my mouth. There are 6 monkeys looking at me right now. They aren't real monkeys. Gibbons. Cute little things. Some are tan, some have orange above their eyes. They are supposed to be very intelligent. Like you perhaps. Supposed to be. What's that about a psychologist?

Why do you think anyone in their right mind would want to buy anything from that site?

You may have a point, Luke. But winning the Mainz rapid tournament ahead of Anand might be a bit too much to ask from Naiditsch: many others tried in vain during eight previous editions (including Kramnik, Grischuk, Shirov, Aronian and Carlsen) ... .


"Clearly Manu, you are not a man of your word and cannot be trusted."

" Yes, some of what he says is drivel and crap, just like you sometimes, just like me, just like the pussy cat, or the headless Koster, and always like Manu."

"You've been talking with Manu? Careful, you can't believe a word he says."

"You really shouldn't dirty yourself being an apologist for Manu. He is not a man of his word and cannot be trusted. You are smart enough to realize that."

"The best explanation for the ongoing manu-luke dust-up is that the former is about 15 and the latter is 11 or 12."

Is nice to have fans.

Hey some gossip, I couldn't resist researching and now writing a longer post ,:) .

First I thought Leko was at least close to Karjakin, but he was already nearly 21 when he got married (as far as I know, they are still happy with each other).

Shirov (first) got married in 1994 - I found his date of birth (4 July 1972) but not the exact date of marriage. And this is what happened in 1998 just after his match against Kramnik (quote from Fire on Board II): "When I returned to my house in Tarragona I found it empty. ... The same day I learnt that the main bank account had been 'cleaned' by my already ex-wife."
Soon thereafter he played Dortmund to fulfil his contractual obligations and finished last with 2.5/9 - so, not surprisingly, marriage problems do not raise a player's game.

So does Karjakin hold a record? If women also count and Lahno qualifies as high-level, he doesn't even hold the Ukrainian record:
Karjakin born 1/12/1990, married 7/24/2009
Lahno born 12/27/1989, married (to Robert Fontaine) 2/25/2009.

I have a point? Not according to Jim, who took offense on your behalf by spouting "Why must you be so negative all the time?" Poor Jim.

If Naiditsch shows up with an aggressive and confident attitude, he's halfway there already. If he shows up hoping for a respectable score, he might as well stay home.

Kramnik-toilet....why not just get it out of the way?

I think it was rdh who said that Kramnik's newlywed status might be a handicap in the Anand match.

Good luck to Sergey and Kateryna.

Congratulations and good luck to the happy couple.

Hey Chessbase -

You are responsible for Fritz, correct? Why don't you pull the plug on this moron? I know you monitor us. Mig is asleep now. Thanks.

Your friend, Luke

Luke, your comments often border on the manic, they invoke concern.
I don't say this out of spite, nor am I being sarcastic. Attack me if you will- water off a duck's back. But you might want to think about it.

Good evening:

After long und tedious analyzes, me und mein modest psychological team at zi Uni habe concluded zat Luke is zi alter ego of another poster. Ja, und I wish to stress, to clearly remark, zat this is not an uncommon trait. Zie Doppelganger is frecuent among posters of blogs.

His persona as Luke shines as die opposite of his real self und traits: He does and says what die other does not dares to. Luke was created with the intention to liberate this hidden alter ego that lies beneath his shadowy troubled real self, crafted by an extremely strict childhoold und mit continuous strong failed Schach experiences, his LSE, zat is: his Lebens Schach Erlebnis was shattered at some point. Zat is die reason he posts hier als die Luke, his so long, tedious, monophonic, inconsiderate posts are ein extension aus his Schach Self. He thinks along the lines: Ich fühlemich so scheiße! Ich post scheiße hier!

My advice für alle andere posters is: take care of Luke und help him to restore his quiet true persona.

Vielen Dank.

I read somewhere that Kramnik, Anand, Carlsen, Jakovenko, Aronian , Leko will participate in Tal memorial. Can somebody confirm ?

I knew he was crazy. Who's the real poster behind him?

Herr Docter -

You haf gud idees and gud sleeep to. Haf yuo extry pills forr me? I liken you pils ver muches and can you gif me som? Pleeez I ax you pleeez.

I am not Luke

I remember the period immediately following his marriage, Anand experienced a big let down in his chess strength -- he failed miserably in his tournaments during that time. Understandingly, his attention was most certainly focused on his beautiful wife rather than on his chess.

On the other hand, i remember reading when Ivanchuk married to Galliamova it helped him. Go figure if it was the marriage or anything else, the Great Vassily is one of the most unpredictable of players.

Hehehe! Oh man, I love this blog.

Bulgaria wants to be host of the Anand vs Topa match.

Yes, but I would expect such effects to be stronger when Anand first met and fell in love with her, knowing or not yet knowing she will be(come) his _future_ wife ... .

Some quotes and my comments regarding the Chessdom report:

"high prize fund may secure Sofia to be the venue of the 2010 WCC match"

"Stefan Sergiev, President of the BCF [Bulgarian Chess Federation] ... evaluated that the organization of the match will require about 3 million eur ... . About 70% of them will be allocated to the prize fund, the others will go for FIDE taxes and other details. Sergiev relies on the support from the new Bulgarian government, which will be headed by a chess lover - the Prime minister Boiko Borisov."
[so much for the role of big money - sometimes called bribery - and political connections. Something another ex-WCh was recurrently accused of, without ever giving comparable evidence]

"Sergiev ... sent clear messages which side he will strongly support [fine for a Bulgarian and chess fan, but maybe not for a potential match organizer?] and went on saying, "Topalov is a charismatic personality in Bulgaria, much more than Anand in India [Huh??] and a WCC here will surely benefit from this."

"Berik Balgabaev [assistant to Ilyumzhinov] and FIDE have assured me [Sergiev] that they rely on us and they believe that India is not up to the task of organizing the Topalov - Anand match."

Thanks, Manu.

"Topalov is a charismatic personality in Bulgaria, much more than Anand in India and a WCC here will surely benefit from this."

I think they might want to check out: http://www70.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=bulgaria+india

Even if there's only the slightest interest in Anand in India (and as far as I know he's pretty popular) the number of people involved vastly overwhelms the population of Bulgaria. Not to mention that Boiko Borisov, the ex-bodyguard new PM apparently dismissed much of Bulgaria's population as poor human material... Seems like a lovely man.

I find pretty curious that one of the possible hosts is Chechenya , i thought it was like a war zone there.
IMO it would be better for chess if the match is on a place like Japan or China .
On the other hand Bulgaria could be very funny if the Danailov vs chessbase match takes place with reversed colors this time.

Why did Valery Salov retire? He was #5 in the world with a 2715 FIDE rating in January, 1995. This is from Wikipedia: "His best result was in the FIDE World Chess Championship 1996. He qualified for the Candidates and won his first two matches against Alexander Khalifman and Jan Timman, to reach the final 4. He then lost at the semi-final stage to Gata Kamsky.

He has not played any FIDE-rated tournaments since January 2000."

I hope Anand doesn't agree to play in Bulgaria.

> Why did Valery Salov retire?

Salov is a bit eccentric. You can find a lot about his retirement in the comments section over at chessgames.


This site would be so much better if Luke would STFU. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Thank you for being so nice.

Thank you very much. I use Chessgames, but was unaware of the comments till now. (Not referring to Bartleby1) I would love to see the personal attacks stop here. This is the best chess blog on the net. Let's not ruin it for everyone. :)

Thank you very much. I made my first post under Johnny O. Please check it out, my friend: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10992

Dear John,
Salov's own writings are even more revealing than the comments made about him. I can't remember the exact links now but i got them through google. He made so many bizarre allegations (against Seirawan, Kasparov, Karpov, Timman etc)as to raise serious concerns about his mental stability.

"Boiko Borisov ... Seems like a lovely man."

Coincidentally [chess isn't even mentioned ,:)] today there is a portrait of Borisov in a Dutch newspaper. Some quotes:

"He likes to compare himself with American superhero Batman"

"Following a career in the secret service, after the fall of communism he became a bodyguard. Like many of his former colleagues, he earned a fortune protecting companies - which in the Bulgaria of the 1990's became synonymous with blackmailing."

"During a speech to the Bulgarian diaspora in Chicago earlier this year, he held retired people, gypsies and the Turkish minority responsible for the tough task waiting on his government: 'If we have to deal with them, we will mess up within one year'."

I wonder if Turkish Ali Yaznici from FIDE's inner circle likes the last quote, but money might prevail in the end. In any case, yes, Borisov seems like a lovely man.

Thanks! :)

Yes, it's a bit careless to attack over half of your population! If the Wikipedia figures are right there are 1 million Roma, 700,000 Turks, 2.5 million retirees, and a total population of only 7.6 million.

Well, according to the same Dutch article I quoted from he got 40% of the votes during the last elections. Does that mean "(almost) all of the rest" is supporting him?

But shouldn't there be some Turks and Roma among the retired people.

Good point, chessplayer. The number would be less, though obviously still significant.

As to the elections - I guess there are lots of factors. Borisov did backtrack on the comments he made in February, I'm sure the old government wasn't too popular (holding the proud record of being the only EU country to have to return EU funds because of corruption), who knows how widely Borisov's comments were reported in Bulgaria, and so on.

Then there are the usual questions over how democracies function (see the USCF discussion!). The turn-out seems to have been about 60% and I've no idea what proportion of the various groups voted.

In any case, it definitely wouldn't be wise for any Topalov supporters to try and claim the moral high ground when it comes to government support for chess. Not that it's ever wise for Topalov supporters to try and claim the moral high ground :)

Some day I'm going to post my main e-mail address on this blog :)


¨In any case, it definitely wouldn't be wise for any Topalov supporters to try and claim the moral high ground when it comes to government support for chess. Not that it's ever wise for Topalov supporters to try and claim the moral high ground :)¨

Interesting thoughts ,specially after seeing how a Putin´s employee runs FIDE...

Manu, you know you can't win :)

Topalov: "I deeply respect the present head of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. I think that his contribution to chess is enormous, and I hope that this time he will win again".

This is a dejavu ... it is you who cannot beat the fact that FIDE is ruled by Putin´s employee.
Like i said Topalov payed a high price for supporting that criminal .
Did i said criminal? Ok , nothing compared to Putin of course and Vlady doesnt feel very ashamed of being his friend...
If all you can do is to point the finger at the Bulgarian government in such a feeble way , you are getting a bit desperate my friend.
All politicians are corrups by definition, some of them are murderers ,please re-check your list before doing the Topa show.

"Like i said Topalov payed a high price for supporting that criminal."

So you said, though apparently for you a "high price" is Kramnik not having to go to the loo with Topalov, which is an odd interpretation :) Especially when compared to having the appeals committee loaded in your favour and a free point with the black pieces.

"Ok , nothing compared to Putin of course and Vlady doesnt feel very ashamed of being his friend..."

Come on, Manu. Point out one iota of evidence for Kramnik being Putin's "friend".

On the other hand the active interest of Borisov and other Bulgarian politicians in Topalov is there for all to see. If they all despise Ilyumzhinov so much why did he say this recently:

"We are totally satisfied for the fate of the match. I have already met with the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and will soon go to the closing of the tournament M-Tel Masters, where talk to him more directly." Or Sergiev: "Berik Balgabaev and FIDE have assured me that they rely on us...".

You should just face the truth, Manu. Ilyumzhinov and the Bulgarians are a marriage made in heaven.

¨Come on, Manu. Point out one iota of evidence for Kramnik being Putin's "friend".¨


Of course the fact that Vlady is comfortable with the ruling of this murderer helps a lot too.
I am not sure about who is married with Kirsan , but we all know who he works for...

MANU - i see that you are still wastings everybodys time with ridiculous accusations towards Kramnik. You can surely not be to clever and for that i pity you.

I am not clever at all and i really thank your pity.

So either:

1) you're naive and, not to put too fine a point on it, mad enough to imagine that the ruler of a country giving a sportsman a medal means they're friends,

or 2) you couldn't find anything to show the slightest hint of friendship.

Seeing as I think you're actually quite smart I'll go with 2.

On political opinions, Kramnik shares the opinion of most Russians about Putin and Kasparov. Perhaps Kramnik's politics, like his chess at times, are pragmatic, but bear in mind that Kasparov joined the Communist Party (you mentioned murderous organisations!?), changed political allegiances (didn't he support Putin at first?) and aligned himself with left and right-wing extremist groups in opposition to Putin.

I've got a lot of time for Kasparov - I admire his bravery and I even think his voice is a necessary counterweight to the Russian state, but you should admit there's no clear division between good and evil. Even the charge of murder you toss around so lightly is something you'd really want to be able to prove. Has anyone actually shown that Putin was complicit in any of the murders often attributed to the Russian state (unless you're referring to Chechnya, but then he's up there with Blair, Bush and co. and their wars)? Not that he's someone I'd particularly want to meet... but then here's a report by a BBC correspondent meeting Borisov where the Bulgarian producer is physically sick afterwards -


Back to chess - you haven't shown any evidence of Putin's special interest in chess or Kramnik - and certainly no evidence of any special treatment from FIDE (he's currently outside of the qualifying cycle - and the German organisers who seemed to be on good terms with him were rejected, it seems, in favour of the Bulgarians).

Topalov clearly is important in Bulgaria and receives active support from political sources. I'm not particularly interested in taking that any further, but you have to admit that any attempt to claim morally dubious politically support for Kramnik is like detonating nuclear bombs (made of, errrm, stone) in Topalov's glass house :)

First, to be fair, a correction to what mishanp wrote:
"the German organisers who seemed to be on good terms with him [Kramnik] were rejected, it seems, in favour of the Bulgarians"

Here you seem to mix up the Anand-Topalov match (to determine the next WCh) and the candidates tournament (to determine the following WCh challenger).

But I agree with the rest of his post, and will now turn to "financial oddities":

During (or right before) the Kamsky-Topalov match the Bulgarians claimed that they weren't really interested in hosting it, but jumpd in because no other organizers/ sponsors could be found - "regrettably, we had to rely on government money".

Now their new standpoint seems to be "we will spend whatever amount of government money is needed to outcompete other bidders" - i.e. to make sure the Anand-Topalov match won't happen on Indian or neutral ground.

One might wonder if there aren't other (better, more urgent) ways to spend government (tax) money. I could discard this as internal Bulgarian affairs, none of my business, or maybe not: In the BBC interview Borisov says "For a country as poor as Bulgaria, it's vital to get the money from Brussels flowing again." So indirectly, we are also talking about German and Dutch tax money (me and my family)!?

" So either:
1) you're naive and, not to put too fine a point on it, mad enough to imagine that the ruler of a country giving a sportsman a medal means they're friends,
or 2) you couldn't find anything to show the slightest hint of friendship."

I would say 3) Kramnik connection with Putin is at least much more evident and dangerous (Putin is Kirsan's boss !!!!) than the connections Topa could have with the politicians you named...

" Back to chess - you haven't shown any evidence of Putin's special interest in chess or Kramnik "
Yes i did , and i have no problem on doing it again , here is an article on chessbase in which Kirsan (!?!) says that Putin asked for Kramnik's phone to congratulate him personally:
Please look at the lovely picture of Kirsan and Putin with the caption : " Vladimir Putin discussing chess with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov"
Is that showing enough interest on chess or do you need a picture of Putin dressed in thematic pijamas ?

Look mishamp , we just don't agree and we had this conversation already many times , lets give it a rest .

I love the way, as if crawling out of a nuclear bunker to be dazzled by the sunlight, you only now seem to have noticed that Ilyumzhinov is the ruler of a republic that's part of the Russian Federation. I'm guessing Danailov and co. had spotted it sooner, though, and it didn't stop them lending him their full support and using him to their advantage. Danailov has money, however dubiously obtained, which is all Ilyumzhinov really seems to care about (and why they're all still in cahoots, despite their post-Elista lovers' tiff).

I don't know why you say "connections Topa could have with the politicians you named...", as if you doubt the words of Danailov, Sergiev or the other Bulgarians. They all proudly boast of the money and influence. You still haven't shown any way in which Kramnik received any tangible assistance (Putin meets with Ilyumzhinov for a political conference and makes small talk about chess won't really cut it).

But ok - if you stop attacking Kramnik I'll stop defending him. Fair's fair.

¨But ok - if you stop attacking Kramnik I'll stop defending him. Fair's fair.¨

Your book of rules about how Topalov fans should behave started this conversation , it is you who should behave ...

However , when i read comments like : ¨Danailov has money, however dubiously obtained¨ , i want to ask you : whose money comes from feeding chidren or cleaning penguins in this story?...
But i´ll leave it for now ,it is obvious that you are a little sensitive about this , im not sure if it is because the Anand-Topa match is aproaching or maybe it is one of those days in the month for you :).

As I just said A (Anand) in another thread, here is B (Bulgaria):
Chessdom just mentioned the "strong" Indian reaction to the (upcoming) Bulgarian bid for the Anand-Topalov match:
[Times of] India admits that they are rather late reacting to the Bulgarian bid and triumphant mood ("We have all it takes: money and high-level connections to both FIDE and the Bulgarian government").

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 25, 2009 4:33 AM.

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