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Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006
Toiletgate in Elista

In 2006, the schism which began with the Kasparov-Short World Championship was to finally end, unifying the World Championship title after 13 long years. Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov, the winner of the 2005 FIDE World Championship in San Luis was due to play Vladimir Kramnik, the Classical World Champion, and the winner was to emerge as the single, unified, World Chess Champion.

 Kramnik-Topalov 2006
 Kramnik and Topalov, Elista 2006
The contest began with Kramnik winning both of the first two games, and due to the extreme brevity of the match (a mere 12 games) this established an early commanding lead. After two more drawn games, on a rest day, Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov, issued a press release which threatened to abort the match. The press release read, in part:

The careful study of the video recordings from the rest rooms done by the technical experts of the Bulgarian team revealed the following facts which we would herewith like to bring to your attention:

  1. After each move Mr. Kramnik immediately heads to the rest room and from it directly to the bathroom. During every game he visited the relaxation room 25 times at the average and the bathroom more than 50 times - the bathroom is the only place without video surveillance.
  2. Unlike Mr. Kramnik, the World Champion Veselin Topalov spends his time mainly at the playing table. The average number of times he visited the rest room and the bathroom is 8 and 4 respectively.
In our opinion these facts are quite strange, if not suspicious. ... Should this extremely serious problem remain unsolved by 10.00 o'clock tomorrow (September 29th, 2006), we would seriously reconsider the participation of the World Champion Veselin Topalov in this match. [1]

The FIDE Appeals Committee, after viewing the video tapes, found that the frequency of Kramnik's visits to the toilet had been exaggerated, but nevertheless took these allegations seriously, and decreed that the private toilets would be closed and a common toilet opened for both players.

Kramnik Forfeits Kramnik's team rejected this decision, declaring: "The protests of the Topalov team and the suspicions in the press release of Mr. Topalov are utterly disgraceful and are touching Mr. Kramnik's privacy."[2] Kramnik refused to play under the altered conditions, and as a result, Kramnik forfeited game 5.

In a state of chaos, the match was placed on hold while FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov flew to Elista in the hope for bringing a solution to this crisis, which by this time had been given the pejorative name, "Toiletgate." After several days of strife and intense negotiations, Ilyumzhinov declared that the match would continue. The members of the Appeals Committee had been replaced, the access to the toilets was restored, and the forfeited game 5 would remain a loss for Kramnik.

As the match continued, Topalov won both game 8 and game 9, giving him a one point lead with only three games left to play. His lead was not to last long, as Kramnik scored a brilliant victory in game 10, thereby tying the score, and after two more draws the match was sent into overtime.

The first phase of the tiebreaks was a four game mini-match played with 25 minutes per side, and a 10 second increment. Kramnik's victory in game 16 allowed him to win the mini-match. Vladimir Kramnik, after 13 years of chaos in the chess world, had thus become the the solitary undisputed World Chess Champion.

click on a game number to replay game 12345678910111213141516
Topalov00½½1½½110½½½010
Kramnik11½½0½½001½½½101

FINAL SCORE:  Kramnik 8½;  Topalov 7½
Reference: game collection WCC Kramnik-Topalov Elista 2006

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #2     Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006     0-1
    · Game #10     Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006     1-0
    · Game #8     Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006     0-1

FOOTNOTES
1. Kramnik may stop playing the match, Chessbase, Sep. 9, 2006.

 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-075 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
2. Topalov vs Kramnik 0-163 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
3. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½38 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
4. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½54 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Kramnik vs Topalov 0-10 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchA00 Uncommon Opening
6. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½31 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½60 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
8. Kramnik vs Topalov 0-152 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-039 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-043 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchE00 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½66 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½47 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½47 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
14. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-045 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-050 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-045 2006 Kramnik-Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <I said <might have>. Speculation. Psychology has been known to be used in chess contests.>

But it doesn't make sense for the reason I mentioned.

Dec-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <acirce> I'll take your word for it.
Dec-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Kramnik's toilet - 'according to chessninja.com' - Page 190 of Topalov-Kramnik, 2006 World Chess championship - On the Edge in Elista:

http://www.novinite.com/media/image...

Dec-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I remember when <hayton3> used that toilet photo to bother AJ. (months before it was used on Kramnik.)
Dec-29-09  bmulligan: Danailov knew Kramnik was a chronic bathroom visitor. (Kasparov complained about it in the 2000 match when arbiter Eric Schiller ordered both bathrooms to be monitored).

In the pre-match negotiations Danailov could have demanded that the Elista bathrooms be monitored and Kramnik would have immediately agreed, as he did in 2000.

But Danailov kept his protest in reserve, ready to spring at the appropriate time, after Game Four, when Topalov was down two points and showing few signs of life.

Congrats to Kramnik for winning the match in the face of one of the best (worst?) distraction campaigns in WCC history.

Dec-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I remember that Kramnik had to play three blacks in a row.
Dec-29-09  Mr. Bojangles: < Congrats to Kramnik for winning the match in the face of one of the best (worst?) distraction campaigns in WCC history.>

Word.

Jan-25-10  Compeanoff: A lot of smart people struggling to be the best brains.
Jan-31-10  keithbc: not sure why people prefer kramnik. His play is dull and uninspiring. Topalov has been world champion and hopefully he will beat anand. His play is like fischer and korchnoi - always tried to win and complicate the game - great for spectators. Still think kramnik should have explained all those absenses from the board. when that happened in korchnoi-spassky 1977, spassky tarnished his reputation as a gentleman.
Jan-31-10  whatthefat: <keithbc: not sure why people prefer kramnik. His play is dull and uninspiring.>

He has dignity.

Jan-31-10  SufferingBruin: <not sure why people prefer kramnik.> He's not represented by the biggest SOB in chess (Danailov).

<Still think kramnik should have explained all those absenses from the board.> Kramnik does not need to explain a thing. Just because Danailov lives in his own reality doesn't mean the rest of us have to join him.

Jan-31-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <not sure why people prefer kramnik. His play is dull and uninspiring.>

Apart from his moral superiority off the board, preferences as for chess style are entirely subjective. I find Kramnik's play very inspiring -- and certainly not just that of this supposed "new Kramnik" of 2009-2010.

Jan-31-10  badest: <Apart from his moral superiority off the board ...> Wow ... material for a great quote ... lol ...
Jan-31-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <His play is like fischer and korchnoi - always tried to win and complicate the game > Maybe his will to win is similar, but in terms of chess style, at least with the White pieces, Kramnik's style is a lot closer to Fischer's than Topalov's is. And even with Black, the only opening Kramnik plays that I can't imagine Fischer playing is the Petroff. I don't know where people get the idea that Fischer is some kind of swashbuckling attacker. He was basically an aggressive positional player, and the last thing he did was complicate the game when he was White. He only complicated the game with Black because he liked having the initiative. But give him a safe edge, and he would milk it for all it was worth.
Feb-05-10  keithbc: [Kramnik's style is a lot closer to Fischer's than Topalov's is...]?

I mean his will to win - this is fantastic. I would go to see Topalov play but not Kramnik who could agree a short draw where necessary - this is killing chess. Kramnik never plays e4; Fisher always played e4!

Feb-05-10  CruyffTurn: <keithbc: ... this is killing chess. Kramnik never plays e4; Fisher always played e4!> What utter nonsense. What does the choice of first move have to do with anything? So when Aronian, Morozevich, Carlsen, Topalov, Ivanchuk etc. play 1.d4 they are guilty of killing chess?
Feb-05-10  schroedingers cat: chroedingers cat: <keithbc> The difference between opening e4 or d4 shows nothing of your will to win, it just shows your approach to the game. Also it's not like that d4 leads to a drawn position for white, if black wants to play an aggressive game, he/she can always try to play the botvinnik semislav, grünfeld, king's indian, or benoni type of positions, which are for me and many other chess players occasionally much more interresting than sicillians. btw. Kasparov ("an aggressive player, who didn't kill chess" opened d4 more often than e4) Repertoire Explorer: Garry Kasparov (white)
Feb-20-10  keithbc: the e4 / d4 issue was regards to 'style' read that part please.
May-16-12  solskytz: The one and only WC match

(the one and only where WC is understood in both senses)

Aug-16-13  butsekik: so let us change the venue.inside the toilet maybe better
Aug-20-13  Paraconti: I was suspicious of Topalov's amazing sudden increase in playing strength in 2005, and in 2006 I was disgusted with his petty gamesmanship. Thank goodness Justice prevailed in the end.
Nov-06-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <TrueBlue: this remainds me of game 7 of Montreal vs. ? . It was when Montreal won the cup if memory surves me right (1992, 1993?). Anyways, with 1 minute to go in Game 7 of the playoffs, Montreal couch call the official and wants an official mesurement of the stick of one of the opponents. It turns out it is illegal, Montreal gets an extra man on the ice and they win the game.>

In game 7 of the 1979 semi-final vs Bruins, Canadiens were down a goal late in the third period when Boston were called for too many men on the ice.

Montreal scored on the power play and won in overtime to face Rangers in the final, where they lost the first game, then won four off the reel for the last of four consecutive Stanley Cups.

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