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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 #8     Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006     0-1
    · Game #10     Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. Topalov threatens to abandon the World Championship Match, Chessbase, Sep. 9 2006.
    2 Kramnik may stop playing the match, Chessbase, Sep. 9, 2006.

 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0752006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
2. Topalov vs Kramnik 0-1632006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
3. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½382006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
4. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½542006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Kramnik vs Topalov 0-102006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchA00 Uncommon Opening
6. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½312006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½602006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
8. Kramnik vs Topalov 0-1522006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-0392006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0432006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchE00 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½662006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½472006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½472006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
14. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0452006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-0502006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0452006Kramnik - 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)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 157 OF 1167 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-19-06  Dionyseus: <well, seems like he found sponsorship for two deep fritz matches, the leko match and the topalov match. thats a pretty good track record from what i can see. > He had a lot of trouble finding sponsors for the Leko match, a cigar company and a tiny purse of $750,000 saved it.

I don't know why you insist in including the Fritz matches as successes, even Mickey was able to get a match against a computer. The second Fritz match is a given because of the drawn result of the first one.

And then we have the Topalov match, which first fell through and was finally sponsored by FIDE. If the UEP proposal failed, what makes you think any other similar proposals wouldn't fail?

<your last statement seems to imply that being with fide would allow for a legitimate cycle, but its not true since fide's KO championships, which are qualifiers by themselves, never included all of the top players. the simple fact of the matter is that dortmund was no more laughable than anything fide has put together aside from san luis, and even that didnt have all of the top players!>

I believe that FIDE provides the most legitimate cycles. Kramnik's qualifier consisted of a Dortmund tournament with short KO matches. I don't know how you can possibly compare FIDE's qualifier cycles with Kramnik's.

Sep-19-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  NakoSonorense: Kramnik looks like 20 centimeters taller than Topalov!!! That's it, Kramnik will trounce him...
Sep-19-06  midknightblue: Hey man, don't leave us Americans out of your conversation. Now I gotta go calculate 20 divided by 2.54 to find a reference point. Anyway, I was surprised to see that height difference. Should I change my pick to Kramnik now. Fortunately for me, I lost all my chessbucks already when i put $1000 on Arno to play 8...Nf6
Sep-19-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <And then we have the Topalov match, which first fell through ... If the UEP proposal failed...>

The issue was Kramnik's ability to find sponsorship, and he very easily did. That Topalov refused was in no way his fault.

Sep-19-06  midknightblue: <Maatalkko> Please, it is no simple task to check the personal references of the five sorcerers. Please, no more. And what is this evil faction you refer to as "university of phoenix" churning out these potent non-player characters?
Sep-19-06  mdamien: <I will add that I really doubt that Kramnik would actually repeat Kasparov's mistake and split away.>

My impression is that Kramnik rightly considers himself the world champion and FIDE as an organization is just the means to arrange this match with Topalov. After Kramnik destroys this pretender (I'll predict +4 =7 -1) he may see what FIDE has to offer in terms of returning to championship matches with a legitimate contenders cycle, but I doubt that he'll throw his crown into the ring with any upcoming tournaments.

Kasparov's splitting away was the right move, he just didn't follow it up properly.

Sep-19-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If Topalov is gonna rely on Sorcerers, then I'm guessing that Kramnik has a Witch Doctor (or two) out there ready to counteract those nasty hexes. lol
Sep-19-06  square dance: <He had a lot of trouble finding sponsors for the Leko match, a cigar company and a tiny purse of $750,000 saved it.> ok, maybe he had trouble, but at least DID find sponsors and play the match unlike fide in their two failed attempts. once again, kramnik 1/1 and fide 0/2 means that kramnik was clearly more successful than fide in this regard and thats been my point this whole time. a tiny purse and delayed match is still infinitely more successful than the kasparov vs pono/kasim matches turned out, right?

<I don't know why you insist in including the Fritz matches as successes, even Mickey was able to get a match against a computer.> because it shows that he's able to get sponsorship outside of fide. <The second Fritz match is a given because of the drawn result of the first one.> its not a given at all. if it was such a given then why did they wait until late this year for the rematch? why not a rematch with deep fritz 8? btw, didnt bareev play a 4-4 draw with some program a few years ago? maybe they're negotiating the rematch as we speak.

<And then we have the Topalov match, which first fell through and was finally sponsored by FIDE.> the UEP deal fell through because fide told their champion not to get involved. i believe <iron maiden> already gave an explanation that is supported by the facts. <If the UEP proposal failed, what makes you think any other similar proposals wouldn't fail?> in this hypothetical scenario fide wouldnt be in the picture so i see no reason why any future UEP offers would fail since it was fide who torpedoed that deal. remember, according to the topalov camp, they initially agreed to the deal. and what chess player wouldnt want to play a title match for a portion of $1million + US?

<I believe that FIDE provides the most legitimate cycles. Kramnik's qualifier consisted of a Dortmund tournament with short KO matches. I don't know how you can possibly compare FIDE's qualifier cycles with Kramnik's.> well, fide's qualifiers since 1999 have been KO tournaments at faster than normal time controls. you think that is a legitimate qualifier? im not sure how that qualifies as the most legitimate kind of cycle.

Sep-19-06  Xeon46: <I hope Kramnik gets back to his best. I wish both players all the best and hope they can give us a great battle of the titans for the history books.> (Apr-04-06) {Page 1!!)

The problem with the history books part is these heroic players don't get the fame they deserve.All great runners,cricketers,soccer players etc. get their name on history books yet chess players don't.

Just look at the hullaballoo created before the Soccer World Cup and when the World Chess Championships start some people don't even know its happening.The world of chess is trapped within it self but sports are sprouting wings and flying in everyone's heart. That is my opinion

Sep-19-06  hidude: <from chessbookie> Draws are very inevitable.


click for larger view

Sep-19-06  Dionyseus: <ok, maybe he had trouble, but at least DID find sponsors and play the match unlike fide in their two failed attempts. once again, kramnik 1/1 and fide 0/2 means that kramnik was clearly more successful than fide in this regard and thats been my point this whole time. a tiny purse and delayed match is still infinitely more successful than the kasparov vs pono/kasim matches turned out, right?>

FIDE has sponsored far more than that and you know that.

<because it (the two Fritz matches) shows that he's able to get sponsorship outside of fide.>

Well I guess you're free to include the Fritz matches, I mean there's really not much else you can use.

<in this hypothetical scenario fide wouldnt be in the picture so i see no reason why any future UEP offers would fail since it was fide who torpedoed that deal. remember, according to the topalov camp, they initially agreed to the deal. and what chess player wouldnt want to play a title match for a portion of $1million + US?>

How would FIDE not be in the picture? If another split happens, another unification match would surely have to follow someday. Also, FIDE can discourage players from participating in any non-FIDE sanctioned qualifier or championship.

<well, fide's qualifiers since 1999 have been KO tournaments at faster than normal time controls. you think that is a legitimate qualifier? im not sure how that qualifies as the most legitimate kind of cycle.>

I certainly do think they were more legitimate than Kramnik's Dortmund qualifier. I don't think they're the most legitimate kind of cycle, and neither did FIDE seeing as how the KO championship was replaced with the San Luis championship.

Sep-19-06  sandmanbrig: Go Topalov!!!
Sep-19-06  square dance: <FIDE has sponsored far more than that and you know that.> and they've also failed to find sponsors and kramnik hasnt. that is my point. find me the example where kramnik was unable to find sponsors for a title match. until then ive proven my point and you dont have an argument to dispute it.

<Well I guess you're free to include the Fritz matches, I mean there's really not much else you can use.> well, with or without the fritz matches he's still found sponsorship for two title matches. he hasnt had a long reign as champion so it only makes sense that he wouldnt have to find sponsorship for many matches, right?

<How would FIDE not be in the picture?> well, if kramnik splits from fide...is this even a serious question? <If another split happens, another unification match would surely have to follow someday.> sure, someday. by that time kramnik might not even be champion anymore. <Also, FIDE can discourage players from participating in any non-FIDE sanctioned qualifier or championship.> they can do their best, but if kramnik wins the unified title he'll easily be able to attract sponsors immediately. at least it would seem so. for example, do you think radjabov would refuse to play kramnik in a match for the classical title?

<I certainly do think they were more legitimate than Kramnik's Dortmund qualifier.> ok, thats your opinion. you're entitled to it, but i think you should consider that there is a reason why most people hated those ko's and why fide subsequently changed them to a part of the qualification process rather than the whole qualification process and championship wrapped into one. btw, making the ko's part a part of the qualification process like they did was actually a good idea, imo.

Sep-19-06  Whack8888: I hope Topalov does not cry too much when he loses this match. It is embarassing to see a grown man cry.
Sep-19-06  Dionyseus: <and they've also failed to find sponsors and kramnik hasnt. that is my point. find me the example where kramnik was unable to find sponsors for a title match. until then ive proven my point and you dont have an argument to dispute it.> Apparently you're pretending as if FIDE has never found sponsors for their KO championships, their Junior championships, and San Luis.

<well, if kramnik splits from fide...is this even a serious question?>

I'm not sure what you mean. Are you saying FIDE would cease to exist?

<they can do their best, but if kramnik wins the unified title he'll easily be able to attract sponsors immediately. at least it would seem so. for example, do you think radjabov would refuse to play kramnik in a match for the classical title? >

You think it'd be fair for Kramnik to give Radjabov a shot at his title, without any qualifiers? Someday, he'd need to set up qualifiers, who would fund it? Why did Kramnik fail to set up any qualifiers in 2005 and 2006?

To me it's obvious, Kramnik knows where the money is, knows FIDE is the only answer, and this is why he decided to play for the FIDE title. There's no way he'd split.

Sep-20-06  doremi: FIDE's official match page appears to be here http://www.worldchess2006.com/main....

I can't think of a worse web site for a worldchampionship match, but at least there is one where live transmission is at least planned for!

Sep-20-06  square dance: <Apparently you're pretending as if FIDE has never found sponsors for their KO championships, their Junior championships, and San Luis.> apparently you're putting words in my mouth. my argument is not that they've never organized championships, or cycles, but that they've failed on some occasions during kramnik's reign and he hasnt. you said that kramnik wouldnt be able to find sponsorship outside of fide if he split and ive given you four instances where he did when he only had the classical title as opposed to the unified title. surely you would agree that he should be able to draw more interest as the unified champion, no?

<I'm not sure what you mean. Are you saying FIDE would cease to exist?> i was saying fide wouldnt be in the picture in the same way they werent in the picture for the pca or brain games cycles.

<You think it'd be fair for Kramnik to give Radjabov a shot at his title, without any qualifiers?> we're not arguing fair here. im demonstrating that i believe kramnik would be able to find sponsors to defend his title. <Someday, he'd need to set up qualifiers, who would fund it?> i agree that it would hurt his title if he was defending it against any gm with money once every 2 or 3 years. but again, this is not the issue. the issue is would he be able to find sponsorship. <Why did Kramnik fail to set up any qualifiers in 2005 and 2006?> saying he failed implies that he tried. as far as i know he didnt. i believe his plans were for unification after the leko match. although he apparently felt differently at some point by saying that he thought unification was dead. of course thats off topic and another can of worms. ;-)

<To me it's obvious, Kramnik knows where the money is, knows FIDE is the only answer, and this is why he decided to play for the FIDE title. There's no way he'd split.> i also think its highly unlikely, but, once again, thats not the issue we were debating.

Sep-20-06  positionalgenius: By the way FIDE is having trouble right now funding the candidates matches. <still dancing>
1 more day!!
Sep-20-06  Dionyseus: <surely you would agree that he should be able to draw more interest as the unified champion, no?>

He wouldn't be the unified champion. FIDE would set up a championship to determine their new champion, and around in a circle we go.

<i was saying fide wouldnt be in the picture in the same way they werent in the picture for the pca or brain games cycles.>

Perhaps you'd like to remind us what happened to PCA and Brain Games, oh and also tell us about the "Einstein Group" or whatever it was called.

Sep-20-06  percyblakeney: <I doubt that he'll throw his crown into the ring with any upcoming tournaments>

We'll see... He did sign an agreement, even if that might not mean that much if he wins the match. There were some interviews also after the Prague Agreement where it sounded far from certain that he was actually going to play Kasparov.

This time the interesting question will be what Kramnik's line will be, and how FIDE will react to it. To begin with, let's say that he wins and Radjabov's match offer comes also to him, once again the proper way through FIDE. Will Kramnik:

1/ Accept

2/ Refuse

3/ Say it's a good offer and that he'd like to play but his schedule is busy and maybe some other time

According to FIDE's rules he must accept like Topalov did to keep the title. But I wonder if FIDE really would dare to take the title from Kramnik if he chose line number 3. Few would see Kramnik not wanting to play such a match as a valid reason to take the title from him.

Then comes the tournament. Hensel has already made it clear that Kramnik thinks he doesn't have to play the tournament to be the World Champion, and that is said already before the match. The question will be if Kramnik will refuse to play the tournament if it comes to a simple yes or no decision, maybe depending on how many that would still consider him World Champion if he broke away.

Sep-20-06  square dance: <He wouldn't be the unified champion.> yes he would be. of course fide could create a "cracker jack" title and that was the point i was making. that title would have no legitimacy for chess fans or the chess public.

<Perhaps you'd like to remind us what happened to PCA and Brain Games, oh and also tell us about the "Einstein Group" or whatever it was called.> this point actually strengthens my argument in that if one sponsor disappears another one pops up for the legitimate world champion. interesting to note how two matches for the fide world championship fell apart during kramnik's reign.

Sep-20-06  lazydaisy: quote of the day: <I have never had the satisfaction of beating a completely healthy opponent. --- Burn>

chessgames.com must be joking. i notice quotes are repeated sometimes and i was wondering what will be written after topalov beats kramnik and this quote is given again? I have never had the satisfaction of beating a completely healthy opponent. --- topalov, (instead of burn)?

by the way, how is kramnik's health? i hope everything is ok with him because i don't want anything bad to happen with him. who will i then laugh at?

Sep-20-06  percyblakeney: <fide could create a "cracker jack" title and that was the point i was making. that title would have no legitimacy for chess fans or the chess public>

Most people would see Kramnik as the World Champion if he did break away from FIDE, but I wonder if everyone really would support another split that unconditionally. I doubt that FIDE's title will lose all legitimacy as soon their Champion refuses to play in their cycle.

I wouldn't see it as if FIDE created a new title if Kramnik broke away, they would just keep following their cycle and play the same World Championship for the same title as has already been agreed to by everyone. The only difference would be that the system with two Champions would stay.

Sep-20-06  square dance: <pb> fide's title could start to regain some legitimacy if someone other than topalov won it. but the minute it was created it would be viewed as a "cracker jack" title.
Sep-20-06  percyblakeney: <square dance> You may well be right, and I don't doubt that Kirsan is praying for a Topalov win...

The Russian version of the official home page mentions that Inarkiev will be commentating the games, maybe he'll be unbiased even if he has said before that there is only one World Champion and his name isn't Kramnik.

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