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Vladimir Kramnik
Photograph copyright © 2007 Milan Kovacs (  
Number of games in database: 2,832
Years covered: 1984 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2811 (2798 rapid, 2744 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2817

Overall record: +514 -150 =917 (61.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1251 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (133) 
    A15 A17 A14 A13 A10
 Sicilian (115) 
    B33 B30 B90 B52 B58
 King's Indian (105) 
    E97 E94 E92 E91 E86
 Slav (99) 
    D17 D15 D11 D12 D19
 Queen's Gambit Declined (96) 
    D37 D38 D30 D39 D31
 Grunfeld (88) 
    D85 D70 D78 D91 D86
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (256) 
    B33 B30 B31 B65 B57
 Ruy Lopez (159) 
    C67 C65 C88 C78 C95
 Queen's Gambit Declined (107) 
    D37 D38 D35 D30 D39
 Petrov (102) 
    C42 C43
 Semi-Slav (101) 
    D45 D43 D47 D44 D46
 Nimzo Indian (74) 
    E32 E46 E21 E34 E54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kramnik vs Leko, 2004 1-0
   Kasparov vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 1-0
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0
   Kramnik vs Morozevich, 2007 1-0
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006 0-1
   Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Kasparov - Kramnik World Championship Match (2000)
   Kramnik - Leko World Championship Match (2004)
   Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007)
   Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hoogovens (1998)
   Cap D'Agde FRA (2003)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   Dortmund (2011)
   Azerbaijan vs the World (2009)
   Linares (1997)
   13th Amber Blindfold (2004)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2009)
   World Cup (2013)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010)
   Qatar Masters (2014)
   Dortmund (2013)
   Tilburg Fontys (1997)
   Chess Olympiad (2016)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Kramnik - My Life and Games by jakaiden
   Match Kramnik! by amadeus
   Kramnik on a King Hunt & vs the World Champions by visayanbraindoctor
   Vladimir, the Conqueror by Gottschalk
   Vladi by fredthebear
   Power Chess - Kramnik by Anatoly21
   English: Vladimir Kramnik Collection by chess.master
   Vladimir Kramnik's Best Games by KingG
   Vladimir Kramnik - Immortal masterpieces by Karpova
   Some interesting games by Kramnik by fgh
   Volodya versus Vesko by Resignation Trap
   Move by Move - Kramnik (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
   Move by Move - Kramnik (Lakdawala) by Insession52
   Kramnik with Berlin Wall by tesasembiring by tesasembiring

   W So vs Kramnik (Apr-25-17) 1-0
   Kramnik vs Harikrishna (Apr-24-17) 1-0
   Topalov vs Kramnik (Apr-23-17) 1/2-1/2
   Kramnik vs Radjabov (Apr-22-17) 1/2-1/2
   R Wojtaszek vs Kramnik (Apr-21-17) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vladimir Kramnik
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FIDE player card for Vladimir Kramnik

(born Jun-25-1975, 41 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Former World Champion Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik was born in Tuapse, on the shores of the Black Sea, on June 25, 1975. As a child, Vladimir Kramnik studied in the chess school established by Mikhail Botvinnik. In 2000 he won the Classical World Championship from Garry Kasparov and then won the unified title when he defeated Veselin Topalov in 2006 to become the 14th undisputed World Champion. He relinquished the title in 2007 to his successor, the 15th undisputed (and now former) World Champion, Viswanathan Anand.


<Age> In 1991 he won the World Under 18 Championship in Guarapuava, Brazil.

<National> He was =1st in the 1990 RSFSR (Russian) Championship in Kuibyshev, Russia, but placed 2nd on tiebreak behind Andrei Kharlov. He was =3rd in the Russian Superfinals (2013) after a last round battle with Ian Nepomniachtchi for =1st and the possibility of the title for the first time. However, he lost the game and scored 5.5/9, placing =3rd.

<World> Kramnik’s early attempts at storming the citadel of the World Championship met with mixed results. In 1994, he lost a Candidates quarter finals match for the PCA championship to Gata Kamsky by 1˝-4˝, and a few months later he lost a Candidates semi-finals match for the FIDE championship to Boris Gelfand by 3˝-4˝. In 1998, Kramnik was defeated by Alexey Shirov by 3˝-5˝ in the Candidates match held in Cazorla to determine the right to play Garry Kasparov for the Classical World Chess Championship. In 1999, Kramnik lost in the quarterfinals of the FIDE knockout championship in Las Vegas to Michael Adams by 2-4, including the 4 game rapid play-off.

Although Shirov had defeated Kramnik for the right to challenge Kasparov, suitable sponsorship was not found for a Kasparov-Shirov match, and it never took place. In 2000, however, sponsorship became available for a Kasparov-Kramnik match instead. This meant that Kramnik was the first player since 1935 - when Alexander Alekhine selected Max Euwe as his challenger - to play a world championship match without qualifying. In 2000 Kramnik reached the pinnacle by defeating long-time champion Kasparov for the World Championship in London by the score of 8˝ to 6˝ (+2 =13 -0) without losing a game, becoming the next Classical World Champion in the line that started from Wilhelm Steinitz. It was the first time since the Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921) that the defending champion had lost a match without winning a game and it was also the first time Kasparov had lost a World Championship match. Kasparov said of Kramnik that: <”He is the hardest player to beat in the world.”>

In 2004, Kramnik successfully defended his title as Classical World Chess Champion against challenger Peter Leko at Brissago, Switzerland, by drawing the Kramnik - Leko World Championship Match (2004) in the last game. Lékó was leading the 14-game match until the final game, which Kramnik won, thus forcing a 7 - 7 draw and ensuring that Kramnik remained world champion. Because of the drawn result, the prize fund of 1 million Swiss francs was split between the two players.

Kramnik refused to participate at the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005), but indicated his willingness to play a match against the winner to unify the world championship. His next title defence in 2006, therefore, was a reunification match with the new FIDE world title holder from the 2005 tournament, Veselin Topalov. The $1 million Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006) was played in Elista, Kalmykia from September 21 to October 13 and after controversially forfeiting the fifth game, Kramnik won the rapid game playoff by 2˝ -1˝ after the classical games were tied 6-6, thereby becoming the first undisputed unified World Chess Champion since the 1993 split. In the following year, Kramnik lost the unified world title when he finished second to Viswanathan Anand at the Mexico City FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007). In October 2008, Kramnik exercised his entitlement to a rematch as a challenger to World Champion Anand in Bonn, Germany, but lost the Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008) match by 4˝ to 6˝ (+1 =7 -3).

Kramnik's tournament performances in 2009 (see below) raised his rating (average of July 2009 and January 2010 ratings) sufficiently to qualify him for the World Championship Candidates (2011). In the first round he beat Teimour Radjabov by the narrowest of margins*: after tieing the classical games 2-2 (+0 =4 -0), and the rapid games 2-2 (+0 =4 -0), he won the blitz playoff by 2.5-1.5 (+2 =1 -1) to move to the semi final match against Alexander Grischuk, which he lost 1.5-0.5 (=1 -1) in the blitz tiebreaker after he drew the classical games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) and the rapid games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4), thereby eliminating him from the contest. Participating in the World Championship Candidates (2013) on the basis of his rating, Kramnik came =1st with Magnus Carlsen on 8.5/13 after both lost their last round games. As the first tiebreaker (individual score against the other player in the tournament) left them level, the second tiebreaker (greater number of wins in the tournament) relegated Kramnik to second place due to scoring four wins to Carlsen's five.

Kramnik was seeded directly into the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), as he met the pre-condition that he participate in the World Cup (2013). During the Cup, he defeated Zambian IM Gillan Bwalya in the first round, compatriot GM Mikhail Kobalia in the second round, Ukrainian GM Alexander Areshchenko in the third round, veteran Ukrainian GM and twice former Candidate Vassily Ivanchuk in the Round of 16 (round four), his third Ukrainian opponent in the shape of GM Anton Korobov in the quarter final (round five), one of the wildcards of the event, French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave match in the semi final (round 6) before defeating compatriot GM Dmitry Andreikin in the final by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3). His win also guarantees qualification in the World Cup 2015, although he would qualify by rating alone. At the Candidates in March 2014, he placed 3rd with 7/14 behind Anand and Karjakin.

He qualified by rating to play in the World Cup (2015) where he met and defeated Peruvian Deysi Estela Cori Tello and Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista in the first two rounds to advance to the third round where he lost to Dmitry Andreikin in the first set of rapid game tiebreakers, thereby bowing out of the event.


Kramnik won Chalkidiki 1992 with 7.5/11, and in 1993, he played in Linares, finishing fifth and defeating the then world number three, Vassily Ivanchuk. Following some solid results in the interim which resulted in him winning the 1994 PCA Intel Grand Prix, major tournament triumphs were soon to follow, such as Dortmund 1995, Horgen 1995, Belgrade 1995, =1st in Dos Hermanas in 1996 and 1997, =1st in Tilburg 1997 (8/11). Dortmund became a favourite stop, as Kramnik has gone on to win nine more times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, Dortmund Sparkassen (2006), Dortmund (2007), Dortmund (2009) and Dortmund (2011), as either equal or clear first; in the 2011 edition of the event he won by 1.5 points despite losing in the last round. In 2000, Kramnik won his first Linares tournament, completing his set of victories in all three of chess' "triple crown" events: Corus, Linares, and Dortmund. Kramnik later captured additional Linares victories in XX Ciudad de Linares (2003) (shared) and 21st Linares (2004) (outright). He won the Tal Memorial (2007) with 6.5/9, 1.5 ahead of Shirov. Kramnik had exceptionally good results in 2009, winning once again in Dortmund and then winning the Category 21 (average ELO = 2763) Tal Memorial (2009) in Moscow with 6/9 and a TPR of 2883. At the time, the average ELO rating of the field made it the strongest tournament in history. He also participated in the London Chess Classic (2009) in December, finishing second to Magnus Carlsen. These magnificent results qualified him for the 2011 Candidates on the basis of his boosted ratings. Kramnik began 2010 at Corus (2010) in the Netherlands, during which he defeated new world number-one Carlsen with the Black pieces in their head-to-head encounter, ending Carlsen's 36-match unbeaten streak. A late loss to Anand knocked him out of first place, and Kramnik finished with 8/13, tying for second place with Shirov behind Carlsen's 8˝ points. He came 2nd in the preliminary Shanghai Masters (2010) to qualify for the Bilbao Masters (2010) against Carlsen and Anand, who had pre-qualified. He then won at Bilbao with +2 -0 =4 over world champion Anand, then-world number one Magnus Carlsen, and Shirov. The 2009 Tal Memorial and the Grand Slam Final at Bilbao were the most powerful tournaments (in ratings terms) ever staged. In late 2011, he easily won the 15th Unive (Crown Group) (2011) with 4.5/6 and a TPR of 2903 and finished the year with outright first at the London Chess Classic (2011) with +4 -0 =4 and a TPR of 2934, recovering ground lost following a mediocre performance in the Tal Memorial (2011) where he failed to win a game. In June 2012, he placed =4th at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2012), with 4.5/9 and in July 2012, =3rd (4th on tiebreak) at the category 19 Dortmund (2012) tournament. Kramnik finished 2012 with a surge, placing 2nd at the London Chess Classic (2012) behind Magnus Carlsen, scoring 6/8 (16 points in the 3-1-0 scoring system used in the event) and a TPR of 2937 to Carlsen's 2994.

His final training preparation for the Candidates tournament in March at the category 21 Zurich Chess Challenge (2013), was less than completely successful in terms of results (2.5/6), drawing five and losing one to Anand, although it seemed to contribute to his game fitness at the Candidates as he placed second by the narrowest of margins, scoring equal to Carlsen who won the event and the right to challenge Anand for the World Championship. He placed =4th with 4.5/9, a point behind the winner, in a low scoring Alekhine Memorial (2013) and then had one of his worse ever results at the Tal Memorial (2013), coming last with 3/9 (+0 -3 =6). However, he returned to form in the Dortmund (2013), placing outright second behind Adams, scoring 6.5/9, jointly dominating the category 19 field to the extent that no other player scored better than 50%. In November 2014, Kramnik competed at the category 20 Petrosian Memorial (2014), and was outright second behind Alexander Grischuk with 4.5/7, signalling a mild return to form after a slump that saw him exit the world's top 10 for the first time since he entered the top 10 in January 1993. There followed 2nd at the powerful Qatar Masters (2014), with 7/9, and =1st at the London Chess Classic (2014).

2015 saw Kramnik starting his competitive year by placing outright 3rd behind the winner Anand and runner-up Hikaru Nakamura, ahead of Sergey Karjakin, Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana respectively, in the standard section of the RR category 22 Zurich Chess Challenge (2015). He won the final section of the Zurich event, namely the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2015), but the added points were insufficient to give him the overall lead and he finished with 3rd prize behind Nakamura and Anand respectively. A relatively poor performance at the Gashimov Memorial (2015) where he scored only 4/9 was followed by a solid performance at the Russian Premier League 2015 (see below) and a below average 3.5/7 for fourth place at the annual Dortmund (2015).

Team Events

<Olympiads> Kramnik has won three team and and individual gold medals at the Olympiads as well as two team silvers. He played in the gold medal winning Russian teams in the Manila 1992, Moscow 1994 and Yerevan 1996 Olympiads, his first gold medal being awarded to him as an untitled 16 year old in 1992 when he scored eight wins, one draw, and no losses to record a remarkable TPR of 2958. In 1994, he came fifth on the second board with 8/11 and a 2727 TPR. In 1996, he scored a relatively meagre 4.5/9 on the second board. He did not participate in any more Olympiads until 37th Chess Olympiad (2006) in Turin, when he again won a gold medal with overall best performance on the top board with 6.5/9 (2847 TPR). In the Olympiad (2008) in Dresden, he scored 5/9 on top board and a 2735 TPR. Kramnik played board one for the silver medal winning Russian team in the Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, coming fifth with a scored of 5.5/9, winning 2 and drawing 7 with a TPR of 2794. At the Chess Olympiad (2012) held in Istanbul, he again played top board scoring 5/9 and coming 7th on that board, leading his team to another silver medal. At the Chess Olympiad (2014), he again played board 1 for Russia.

<National Team Events> In 1991, 2490-rated FM Kramnik represented Russia on board 2 at the World U26 Championship played at Maringá; with a perfect score of 6/6 he helped Russia to win gold, and won individual gold for his performance. He played in the European Team Championships on one occasion, in 1992, when the then FM was rated 2590. Again representing Russia, this time on board 3, he helped his team to win gold with a 6/7 effort, and won individual gold for board 3 as well as a gold medal for the best rating performance at the event, that being a 2863 performance, ahead of Kasparov's 2809 performance that won rating silver. That same year (1992), he also played on the USSR team against the Rest of the World. He played for Russia twice in the World Team Championship, in 1993 and 2013. On the first occasion, he lead his country to a bronze medal, and on the second occasion - at the FIDE World Team Championship (2013) - to a gold medal.

<European Club Cup> Until Kramnik participated in the 2015 Russian Premier League, he does not appear to have played in the Russian or any other national league, his sole club representations being in the European Club Cup between 1995 and 1999 inclusive, and in 2005. He started off playing board one with SV Empor Berlin in 1992 and 1993, moved on to Sberbank-Tatarstan Kazan in 1994 where he helped the club to bronze, then played board one with the powerful Agrouniverzal Zemun team that won silver in 1999. His only participation in the ECC since then was a single season in 1995 playing for NAO Paris, which won bronze.

At the 2015 Russian Premier League, Kramnik played board 1 for Siberia Novosibirsk, winning silver for that board. His effort also helped his team to win gold.


In 2004, he won a simul against the German National Team 2˝:1˝.

In October 2002, Kramnik played an eight game match against Deep Fritz (Computer) in the Brains in Bahrain (2002) match, drawing 4-4 after leading 3-1. In 2006 the German organization Universal Event Promotion (UEP) staged a return match of six games between Kramnik and Deep Fritz in Bonn, which Kramnik lost, +0 -2 =4.

In April 2012, Kramnik and Levon Aronian played, as part of their preparation for the 2012 Candidates Tournament, a six-game training match in Zurich. The Kramnik - Aronian (2012) match was drawn 3-3 (+1 -1 =4).


Kramnik has been an excellent and consistent performer at rapid and blindfold play. He won or shared the overall lead at Amber in 1996 (outright overall 1st), 1998 (=1st with Shirov with 15/22), 1999 Monaco (14˝/22), 2001 (=1st with Topalov with 15/22), 2004 (=1st with Morozevich with 14.5/22), and 2007 (outright overall first with 15˝/22). He also won the 2001 rapid play match against Lékó by 7-5, drew the 2001 rapid play Botvinnik Memorial match with Kasparov 3:3 and the 2001 rapid play match against Anand 5:5, lost the 2002 Match Advanced Chess Kramnik vs. Anand (Leon) 3˝:2˝, was runner up to Anand in the Cap D'Agde FRA (2003), won the 2009 Zurich Champions Rapid (2009) with 5/7 and shared 1st in the 2010 President's Cup in Baku with 5/7. In tandem with the London Classic 2014, Kramnik came =1st in the blitz event and =3rd in the rapid play open.


Kramnik entered the top 100 in January 1992 and has remained there since that time. He rose rapidly in the rankings such that a year later in January 1993, he entered the top 10 where he has been ensconced since, apart from a few months in 2014. Yet during that time he made it to world #1 in only two rating periods.

In January 1996, Kramnik became the world top rated player. Although he had the same FIDE rating as Kasparov (2775), He became number one by having played more games during the rating period in question. He became the youngest ever to reach world number-one, breaking Kasparov's record; this record would stand for 14 years until being broken by Magnus Carlsen in January 2010.

Ironically, during his reign as world champion, Kramnik never regained the world number-one ranking, doing so only in January 2008 after he had lost the title to Viswanathan Anand. As in 1996, Kramnik had the same FIDE rating as Anand (2799) but became number-one due to more games played within the rating period. Kramnik's 12 years between world-number one rankings is the longest since the inception of the FIDE ranking system in 1971.

In July 1993 soon after his 18th birthday, he crossed 2700 for the first time and has remained in the 2700+ rating ever since. In April 2001, he became the second of only eight chess players to have reached a rating of 2800 (the first being Kasparov, followed by Anand, Topalov, Carlsen, Aronian, Caruana and Grischuk). Kramnik's highest standard rating to date is 2811 achieved in May 2013 when he was ranked #3 in the world.


In 1995, Kramnik served as a second for Kasparov during the latter’s successful defence of his Classical World Chess Championship against Anand, and in an ironic counter point in 2010 he served as a second for Anand during the World Champion’s successful defence against Topalov.

Kramnik has a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. In January 2006, Kramnik announced that he would miss the Corus (2006) to seek treatment for this condition. He returned from treatment in June 2006, playing in the 37th Chess Olympiad, winning gold by top scoring on the top board. Kramnik's performance in winning the Classical World Championship in 2000 won him the Chess Oscar for 2000, while his 2006 victory in the reunification match earned him the Chess Oscar for 2006.

On 30 December 2006 he married French journalist Marie-Laure Germon and they have a daughter, Daria, who was born 28 December 2008, and a son, Vadim, born 28 January 2013.

Sources and references Website:; Biography:; Extended and candid interview with Kramnik by Vladislav Tkachiev in August 2011:; Live rating:; *; Wikipedia article: Kramnik

Latest update 19 September 2015

 page 1 of 114; games 1-25 of 2,832  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Oganyan vs Kramnik 0-131 1984 BelorechenskB89 Sicilian
2. Kramnik vs Serdyukov 1-031 1984 BelorechenskB78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
3. Remezov vs Kramnik  0-152 1985 KrasnodarB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Kramnik vs Zhukov  1-038 1986 BelorechenskB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
5. Zaitsev vs Kramnik 0-149 1986 Team TournamentB83 Sicilian
6. Kramnik vs Otsarev 1-018 1987 Baku TrainingB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. Kramnik vs Mayorov 1-034 1987 GelendzhikC12 French, McCutcheon
8. Kramnik vs A Chjumachenko 1-032 1987 GelendzhikB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
9. Shilov vs Kramnik 0-137 1987 USSR Boys' ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
10. I Odesskij vs Kramnik 0-125 1987 URS-chT U16A52 Budapest Gambit
11. Kramnik vs Danislian  ½-½60 1988 Dimitrovgrad U18B15 Caro-Kann
12. Y Yakovich vs Kramnik 1-042 1988 USSRB40 Sicilian
13. G Zaichik vs Kramnik 0-140 1989 MoscowA80 Dutch
14. A Filipenko vs Kramnik 0-140 1989 Sochi (Russia)B00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
15. Kramnik vs Gorelov ½-½18 1989 It (open)B33 Sicilian
16. Kramnik vs A N Panchenko ½-½60 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
17. M Tataev vs Kramnik 0-121 1989 It (open)A81 Dutch
18. Sakaev vs Kramnik 1-021 1989 Ch URSA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
19. Yurtaev vs Kramnik 0-174 1989 MoscowB30 Sicilian
20. Miles vs Kramnik 1-041 1989 Cup World (open)A04 Reti Opening
21. Kramnik vs I Efimov ½-½34 1989 It (open)B33 Sicilian
22. Kramnik vs A Grosar ½-½47 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
23. E Moldobaev vs Kramnik  ½-½23 1989 It (open)A04 Reti Opening
24. Kramnik vs Y Yakovich ½-½14 1989 Sochi (Russia)B33 Sicilian
25. Kramnik vs Anand ½-½19 1989 Moskva 13/565C53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 114; games 1-25 of 2,832  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1102 OF 1602 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-18-08  TigerG: When is Kramnik's world championship match with Anand going to be?
Feb-18-08  Hesam7: <TigerG: When is Kramnik's world championship match with Anand going to be?>

11th - 30th October in Bonn.

Feb-18-08  HolyKnight: If Kramnik beats Anand in this up coming match. Would he be considered one of the best world champions ever? If he does it he would of beaten
Kasparov, Leko, Topalov and Anand. That is an impressive list!
Feb-18-08  you vs yourself: His match record since 2000 has been mind boggling. If he beats Anand in october, there won't be much left for him to accomplish, which is crazy since he's still so young.
Feb-18-08  hitman84: He didn't beat Leko.
Feb-18-08  suenteus po 147: Well, if Kramnik beats Anand, then he still has to face the winner of Kamsky/Topalov, which will be a rematch worth of icing on a very big championship cake.
Feb-18-08  notyetagm: <you vs yourself: His match record since 2000 has been mind boggling.>

Huh? He -drew- Leko and beat Topalov by one game.

If that is mind-boggling, then what do you call Fischer beating Taimanov and Larsen by a combined score of <12-0>?

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <notyetagm> <..then what do you call Fischer beating Taimanov and Larsen by a combined score of <12-0>?>

An aberration. Or, an excessive use of force. Mostly unnecessary :-)

Btw, You forgot 12.5-8.5 vs. B.Spassky.

Feb-19-08  notyetagm: <brankat: <notyetagm> <..then what do you call Fischer beating Taimanov and Larsen by a combined score of <12-0>?> An aberration. Or, an excessive use of force. Mostly unnecessary :-)

Btw, You forgot 12.5-8.5 vs. B.Spassky.>

I also left out beating the "unbeatable" Iron Tigran Petrosian 5-1 in decisive games.

It is said that Russian chess fans did not what century they were in after Petrosian lost 4(!) games in a row to Fischer. They were confused because they had always believed that Petrosian was so unbeatable that he lost back-to-back games only once a century. :-)

Could you imagine beating Kramnik four games in a row in a match? That is the comparable accomplishment that Fischer achieved in his match against Petrosian.

To give you an idea of Petrosian's invincibility, Petrosian's career Olympiad record in 10 Olympiads was <+79 =50 -1>. That's right, in 130 chess Olympiad games Petrosian lost only -one- game, to Huebner at the 1972 Skopje Olympiad (Huebner vs Petrosian, 1972) on time due to a faulty clock in a dead drawn position!

This is the "invincible" player that Fischer beat four games out of four(!!!) to end their 1971 match.

Feb-19-08  you vs yourself: <notyetagm> Fischer had a different playing philosophy. But Kramnik makes his style work too. Whether it's 2-0 or 3-2, a win is a win. Besides, the players Kramnik beat or drew were close to him in strength whereas Fischer outrated everyone by over 100 points.

Fischer's peak was very impressive; he probably had the most dominant run in modern chess. I don't think overall Kramnik would rank over Fischer, Kasparov and Karpov but his match record as the WC is as good as any. Not because of the score but the players he beat.

Feb-19-08  percyblakeney: <I don't think overall Kramnik would rank over Fischer, Kasparov and Karpov but his match record as the WC is as good as any>

It sure isn't bad, even if he only played two matches as World Champion, against Leko and Topalov. Definitely better than Fischer since he didn't play, and for example Spassky, Tal, Smyslov...

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <notyetagm> I posted on Petrosian's page this remarkable Olympic stats You had provided. There are now some additional anecdotal comments there regarding the Skopje 1972 Chess Olympiad.
Feb-20-08  Hesam7: <There's also an interesting interview with Spanish Linares organizer Francisco (Paco) Fernández Albalate, who explains the reason they split the event with Morelia in 2006. "When Kasparov retired the Linares tournament ran the risk of becoming just another tournament. With Kasparov's absence there was a vacuum and it was as if our tournament had become an orphan, as if it had been decapitated. There are many very strong players but none with the prestige of Kasparov." Albalate, who deeply involved in contracting the players, also talks about when and how they choose whom to invite. He laments that they couldn't invite Kamsky, who was in such great form at the end of 2007, because they'd already sent out all the invites.

About Kramnik not being there again: "He's played in Linares many times and in fact won it, but lately we haven't been able to come to an agreement with him for reasons that are difficult to explain since they are belong to the confidential negotiations between the parties. But we will keep trying to get him to return to play. He's one of the best players in the world, but he's not irreplaceable." He went on to answer a question saying he didn't think it had anything to do with Topalov's presence. He added that he was sure the event would continue. He deflected, at length, a question about whether or not the event would be back in Morelia.> -- Mig Greengard

Premium Chessgames Member
  chessmoron: Fischer is definitely not the greatest champion compare to Kramnik by a mile. But Fischer is the greatest chess player and Kramnik still has a bit to proof.
Feb-20-08  Petrosianic: Fischer was the worst champion. With 0 victories, it doesn't come any lower.

But as far as who was the better <challenger>, Fischer beats Kramnik pretty handily. Fischer was the top rated player in the world as challenger, while Kramnik was #2. Fischer had one of the most impressive short-term runs of all time in his drive to the title match, while Kramnik played no qualifiers at all for his title shot, and in fact had lost a candidates match fairly recently before that. Probably no challenger other than (possibly) Capablanca generated as much interest as Fischer did.

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Mikhail Tal had an astounding run from 1957 to 1960.

-- 1957. USSR Championship (up till then the time the youngest Soviet Champ)

-- 1958. USSR Ch. again

-- 1958 Winning the Portoroz Interzonal.

-- 1959. Winning a very strong tournament in Zurich.

-- 1959. Winning the Candidates tournament

-- 1960. Winning the WC Title, the youngest WC up until then.

I don't think any other run compares to Tal's.

Feb-20-08  ughaibu: Why doesn't Fischer's record as a challenger include his losses in 1959 and 1962? And what about the nonsense in 1967? I dont think it's clear that he was a better challenger than Kramnik, for one thing, look at how much older Fischer was, there was 14 years between him qualifying for an interzonal and challenging for the title.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <ughaibu> You just had to spoil it :-)
Feb-21-08  Hesam7: <“At the Superfinal in Russia I had a lot of long games so I decided to take some rest in January. And regarding Morelia/Linares, it’s different. Having experienced all “flavors” last year, games on different continents, in different time zones and climate conditions, I started to dislike this “splitting”. A long flight, and only a three-day break before starting the second half, is not good for my internal rhythm, tone, dynamics. Incidentally, as far as I know, Kramnik and Mamedyarov hold the same opinion.”> -- Alexander Morozevich
Feb-21-08  positionalgenius: <Hesam7> Interesting quote
Feb-22-08  notyetagm: <brankat: Mikhail Tal had an astounding run from 1957 to 1960. -- 1957. USSR Championship (up till then the time the youngest Soviet Champ)

-- 1958. USSR Ch. again

-- 1958 Winning the Portoroz Interzonal.

-- 1959. Winning a very strong tournament in Zurich.

-- 1959. Winning the Candidates tournament

-- 1960. Winning the WC Title, the youngest WC up until then.

I don't think any other run compares to Tal's.>


-- won 1970 Herceg Novi World Blitz Championship by going 17-1(!!!) in decisive games, a 4 1/2(!!!) margin

-- won strong 1970 Buenos Aires tournament by 3 1/2(!) points

-- won 1970 Palma de Mallorca interzonal by 3 1/2(!) points

-- beat Taimanov 6-0(!) in 1971 Candidates Match

-- beat Larsen 6-0(!) in 1971 Candidates Match

-- beat Petrosian 5-1 in decisive games, including 4 wins in a row(!) in 1971 Candidates Match

-- defeated Spassky 6-2 in decisive games to become World Champion in 1972

Simply unbelievable domination by 1970-72 Fischer. He was the complete player. He would beat you with White, he would beat you with Black, he would launch crushing mating attacks (Larsen vs Fischer, 1971: KID mating attack out of nowhere), he would grind you down in the endgame (Fischer vs Taimanov, 1971: greatest bishop versus knight endgame of all time), etc.

Feb-22-08  whatthefat: <-- defeated Spassky 6-2 in decisive games to become World Champion in 1972>

7-3 going by Fischer-Spassky World Championship Match (1972). Not that it really matters.

Feb-22-08  Petrosianic: <Why doesn't Fischer's record as a challenger include his losses in 1959 and 1962?>

Because he <wasn't> the challenger in those years, only a Candidate.

If you want to compare Kramnik 2000 against Fischer 1959, I'd have no idea how to do it. Fischer didn't get a title shot at all, and Kramnik did, but played no games to do so. How do you compare that?

<And what about the nonsense in 1967? I dont think it's clear that he was a better challenger than Kramnik,>

Fischer wasn't a better challenger in 1967, he was in 1972. Things change. Just like Kramnik was a much better challenger in 2000 than he would have been in 1994.

<for one thing, look at how much older Fischer was, there was 14 years between him qualifying for an interzonal and challenging for the title.>

Fischer took 14 years to win a Candidates, Kramnik never won one at all. Again, it seems impossible to compare.

It would be easier to compare Fischer to someone like Karpov or Tal, who won the Candidates on their first try, and very impressively, but not <as> impressively as Fischer did on his 4th try. Then we can compare the whole "Speed of Development" vs. "Domination of Opposition" question.

Feb-22-08  ughaibu: Okay, Kramnik losing a candidates match is irrelevant, in that case. It's also difficult to see why Fischer is the worst champion for not playing but is unpenalised, as a challenger, when refusing to mount a challenge, (1964 and 1967).
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <brankat> Not sure how they compare to Tal or Fischer, but here are other great runs:

Lasker 1896-1900

Won St. Petersburg over Steinitz, Pillsbury and Chigorin

Won Nuremburg over pretty much every leading player in the world

Beat Steinitz 10-2 (with a few draws) in rematch

Won London 1899 by 4 1/2 over all leading players in the world except Tarrasch

Won Paris 1900 with 13 wins, one loss, one draw.

Capablanca 1918-1922

Won New York 1918 undefeated

Won Hastings 1919 undefeated

Beat Kostich 5-0 with no draws

Beat Lasker 4-0 with ten draws

Won London 1922 undefeated over all leading players except Lasker

Alekhine 1927-32

Beat Capablanca 6-3 with 25 draws

Clobbered Bogoljubov

Won San Remo with 13 wins and 2 draws

Won Bled by five points or so

Won Berne

Botvinnik 1943-1948

won Sverdlosk

won USSR championship 1944

won USSR championship 1945 with something like 15 wins and four draws

won Groningen

won Chigorin Memorial

won world championship tourney by a lot

You could say Kasparov had a great run from 1982-2000. I think he was particularly dominant in 1988-1990 and again in 1999.

Karpov rarely ran away with tournaments, but he did have an amazing success rate from the early 70s through the early 80s.

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