Kramnik-Topalov World Championship Match (2006)
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.
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:
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'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.
FINAL SCORE: Kramnik 8½; Topalov 7½
Reference: game collection WCC Kramnik-Topalov Elista 2006
1 Topalov threatens to abandon the World Championship Match, Chessbase, Sep. 9 2006.
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