Sunday, October 08, 2006


There is 12 game Chess World Championship Match happening in Elista between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov. It’s been the most entertaining affair. A small synopsis for all you guys who don’t have much of an interest in Chess but are still reading this-

1. After 4 rounds, Vladimir Kramnik the lesser-rated player of the two leads 3-1 with two wins and two draws from 4 games.

2. Topalov’s team then submits a protest based on video evidence saying that Kramnik visits the bathroom around 50 times during the game, insinuating that he is cheating and demand the following
 That both the private bathrooms attached to the players restrooms be sealed
 That a common bathroom be made available for both players.
 That an attendant accompany both players inside the bathroom
 That all video footage relating to visits made to the bathroom be made publicly available to both teams and the media.
 They also say that Topalov will also not shake hands with Kramnik (Am not sure till now whether that’s because of his cheating or his lack of hygiene)
 If the above conditions were not met, they threaten to abandon the match.

3. The appeals committee hurriedly convenes and says the following
 That the number of visits to the bathroom made by Kramnik have been exaggerated by the Topalov team but are nevertheless unusual and
 Both private bathrooms will be sealed
 A common bathroom will be made available for use by both players
 Considering respect for privacy, an attendant will not accompany the players nor will any video footage be made available public from the toilet premises.

4. The Kramnik team then protests and says the following-
 That playing conditions were agreed to within the contract and they cannot be broken midway through the match.
 Security checks are done before and after every game of the player’s facilities and hence Topalov’s allegations are hence baseless, insulting and cowardly.
 That Kramnik likes to walk during his games and uses the space of the bathroom area for walking.
 That the appeals committee through their decision has exposed their incompetence and bias towards Topalov and hence should be sacked.
 That as per terms of the contract, his use of a private toilet be restored.
 If the above conditions were not met, he threatens to abandon the match.

5. The fifth game starts. While Topalov is at the table, Kramnik is waiting in his restroom for his toilet, which has been sealed, to be opened. He loses the game on time and Topalov is awarded the game by forfeit. The score stands at 3-2. Obviously, they didn’t shake hands.

6. The World Chess community steps in. It’s a public relations disaster for Topalov and the Appeals committee as Grandmasters around the world and the chess loving public and press support Kramnik’s position and flay the decision of the Appeals committee.

7. FIDE, the governing chess body steps in.
 They sack the members of the appeals committee.
 Restore use of private bathrooms to the players.
 But insist that the score will stand at 3-2 as per the forfeiture.

8. Kramnik plays the sixth game under protest but in the ‘larger interest of the game’. The game ends in a draw. So does the next game. Score stands at 4-3 for Kramnik.

9. Topalov’s manager does a press release where he says that 75% of Kramnik’s moves in the first four games matches with the first choice of a leading chess software, Fritz. Kramnik’s team rubbishes the claim and says that Topalov’s manager knows nothing of chess.

10. Past greats like Karpov and Korchnoi ask Kramnik to abandon the match. One of the members of the sacked appeals committee explains that the signed contract promised both players use of a restroom ‘and’ a toilet and not a restroom ‘with’ a toilet.

11. Kramnik loses the next two games. The score now stands at 4-5 for Topalov after nine games. Three more remain to be played.

Personally, I feel that Topalov is a much better player and a deserving world champ. His dynamic playing style has reinvigorated the chess scene like nothing else since Kasparov retired. But I feel sorry for Kramnik as he has been done in, a bit. I hope Topalov wins by a wide margin so that the result of the forfeited game is not called into question.

Oh yes, they have been shaking hands.

Update: Kramnik has won the 10th game. Score now at 5-5.


Aravind Cadambi said...

Update: Kramnik won!!!
How's Mumbai by the way?

dazedandconfused said...

Yeah, have to admit, Kramnik was better in this match. Sound in Defence and made fewer mistakes. Sadly, that's what counts in the top level of chess nowadays...