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Kramnik 
Photograph copyright © 2007 Milan Kovacs (www.milankovacs.com)  
Vladimir Kramnik
Number of games in database: 2,487
Years covered: 1984 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2777 (2773 rapid, 2757 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2811
Overall record: +465 -137 =841 (61.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1044 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 English (117) 
    A15 A17 A14 A13 A10
 Sicilian (109) 
    B33 B30 B90 B52 B58
 King's Indian (105) 
    E97 E92 E94 E81 E86
 Slav (98) 
    D17 D15 D11 D12 D19
 Queen's Gambit Declined (92) 
    D37 D38 D31 D39 D30
 Grunfeld (76) 
    D85 D70 D87 D86 D82
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (256) 
    B33 B30 B31 B65 B57
 Ruy Lopez (110) 
    C67 C65 C88 C78 C84
 Petrov (102) 
    C42 C43
 Semi-Slav (100) 
    D45 D47 D43 D44 D46
 Queen's Gambit Declined (77) 
    D37 D38 D39 D30 D31
 Nimzo Indian (73) 
    E32 E21 E34 E46 E54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kramnik vs Leko, 2004 1-0
   Kasparov vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 1-0
   Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0
   Kramnik vs Morozevich, 2007 1-0
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 1/2-1/2
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2001 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?]
   Horgen (1995)
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens (1998)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   Tal Memorial (2007)
   Cap D'Agde FRA (2003)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   Dortmund (2011)
   Azerbaijan vs the World (2009)
   Linares (1997)
   Tilburg Fontys (1997)
   13th Amber Blindfold (2004)
   World Cup (2013)
   Dortmund (2013)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2009)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010)

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
   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
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1990-1999 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 2000-2010 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Volodya versus Vesko by Resignation Trap
   Kramnik with Berlin Wall by tesasembiring by tesasembiring
   Kramnik & Carlsen play the Catalan by suenteus po 147
   Book of Samurai's favorite games 6 by Book of Samurai
   Kramnik g3 by Jason Harris

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


VLADIMIR KRAMNIK
(born Jun-25-1975) Russia
PRONUNCIATION:
[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.

Championships

<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 1½-4½, and a few months later he lost a Candidates semi-finals match for the FIDE championship to Boris Gelfand by 3½-4½. In 1998, Kramnik was defeated by Alexey Shirov by 3½-5½ 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 8½ to 6½ (+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 been beaten in 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 2½ -1½ 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 4½ to 6½ (+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 likely qualify by rating alone. At the Candidates in March 2014, he placed 3rd with 7/14 behind Anand and Karjakin.

Tournaments

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 8½ 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%.

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.

<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> Kramnik 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.

Matches

In 2004, he won a simul against the German National Team 2½:1½.

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).

Rapids

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 (14½/22), 2001 (=1st with Topalov with 15/22), 2004 (=1st with Morozevich with 14.5/22), and 2007 (outright overall first with 15½/22). 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) 3½:2½, 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.

Ratings

<Classical> In January 1996, Kramnik became the world top rated player. Although he had the same FIDE rating as Kasparov (2775), Kramnik became number one by having played more games during the rating period in question. Kramnik 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. He is the second of only six chess players to have reached a rating of 2800 (the first being Kasparov, followed by Anand, Topalov, Carlsen and Aronian). 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.

Currently (May 2014), he has a rating of 2783, remaining Russia's #1 player. He is the world #6.

<Rapid> 2773; and

<Blitz> 2782.

Other

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 Wijk aan Zee (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: http://www.kramnik.com/; Biography: http://www.kramnik.com/eng/biograph...; Extended and candid interview with Kramnik by Vladislav Tkachiev in August 2011: http://whychess.org/node/1605; Live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/; * http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp...; Wikipedia article: Kramnik


 page 1 of 100; games 1-25 of 2,487  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Oganian 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. Zaitsev vs Kramnik 0-149 1986 Team TournamentB83 Sicilian
5. Kramnik vs Zhukov  1-038 1986 BelorechenskB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
6. Kramnik vs Mayorov 1-034 1987 GelendzhikC12 French, McCutcheon
7. I Odesskij vs Kramnik 0-125 1987 URS-chT U16A52 Budapest Gambit
8. Kramnik vs A Chumachenko 1-032 1987 GelendzhikB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
9. Shilov vs Kramnik 0-137 1987 USSR Boys' ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
10. Kramnik vs Otsarev 1-018 1987 Baku TrainingB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
11. Y Yakovich vs Kramnik 1-042 1988 USSRB40 Sicilian
12. Kramnik vs Danislian  ½-½60 1988 Dimitrovgrad U18B15 Caro-Kann
13. Kramnik vs B Podlesnik 1-037 1989 Sochi (Russia)B33 Sicilian
14. Yurtaev vs Kramnik 0-174 1989 MoscowB30 Sicilian
15. Kramnik vs Y Yakovich 1-035 1989 It (open)C50 Giuoco Piano
16. J Ivanov vs Kramnik ½-½12 1989 Sochi (Russia)A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
17. Sakaev vs Kramnik 1-021 1989 Ch URSA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
18. L Basin vs Kramnik ½-½49 1989 It (open)A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
19. Kramnik vs Campora  ½-½26 1989 Cup World (open)C50 Giuoco Piano
20. Kramnik vs A N Panchenko ½-½60 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
21. Kramnik vs G Kuzmin ½-½42 1989 World Cup ( open )C55 Two Knights Defense
22. Kramnik vs B Taborov  ½-½35 1989 It (open)B06 Robatsch
23. A Filipenko vs Kramnik 0-140 1989 Sochi (Russia)B00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
24. Kramnik vs Y Yakovich ½-½14 1989 Sochi (Russia)B33 Sicilian
25. V Arbakov vs Kramnik 0-173 1989 It (open)A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
 page 1 of 100; games 1-25 of 2,487  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1387 OF 1601 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <blueofnoon: <I am not pro-Kramnik. I am anti-idiot.>

<Nice. Since you know you cannot justify what you have said about FIDE, its champions and their fans, you now started personal attack. >

I can't justify what I said? Let's bring in this distinguished witness.

<Nov-09-08
Vladimir Kramnik

blueofnoon: <danielpi> I do not know how relevant your comment is to the point I made.

First of all, I agree without any hesitation FIDE has been a complete mess in last 10 or 15 years. Probably it's only his mom that believes Kirsan has been doing fine job.>

FIDE-basher.

As for the rest of your post, I didn't say anything about anyone's fans or any champions. I have and will continue to criticize the anti-Kramnik trolls that infest this page.

Apr-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Wow, this is like a wrestling match. I remember Sweet Daddy Siki vs Black Georgy. But this match is a no holds barred match. Good luck Kramniks v. Anti-Kramniks, break clean when I say so, no poking eyes and no hitting the "sensitive area". Come out fighting!
Apr-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <blueofnoon>
<How many times have you said things like FIDE championship is lottery, and likes of Kasim, Pono, were just luckey? Or Anand became the champion only after Bonn?>

As far as I know, I'm the only one that's said that, and I stick to it. Kramnik doesn't even enter the picture, though, since I was discussing world championship formats. With the exception of his 1994-2000 period, when he played some of the most amazing attacking games I've seen to date, I'm not even a big fan of Kramnik. What's annoying is the endless stream of spam. The occasional joke made me laugh - the continuous, childish namecalling is just dumb.

Apr-27-09  Woody Wood Pusher: Surprisingly it isn't his victory over GK that Drawnik remembers his time in London for the most.

After the match he went site seeing in Soho but decided to quickly check his electronic fan-mail on the way, so he went into a public toilet and asked the first guy there "excuse me, do you know where I can plug this in?"

Apr-27-09  grkoste: While camping out in a Soho public toilet (to collect chess news, of course) WWP was approached by a genii.

The genii promised Woody that if he posted 1,000,000 inane comments on the Chessgames Kramnik page, all painful Kramnik-related memories (Kramnik's winning records against GKK and VT; his match victories over both of them; Kasparov begging Kramnik for 15-move draws while behind in the match and playing the white pieces, would fade away forever.

Keep at it, Woody! Only 998,157 inane comments to go!

Apr-27-09  Pawnsgambit: Kramnik is history, he won't be remembered for long, but his draws will never be forgotten.
Apr-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  SetNoEscapeOn: <acirce>

I was on the road for a few days. You certainly answered my question completely.

Apr-27-09  kamalakanta: <grkoste: While camping out in a Soho public toilet (to collect chess news, of course) WWP was approached by a genii.

The genii promised Woody that if he posted 1,000,000 inane comments on the Chessgames Kramnik page, all painful Kramnik-related memories (Kramnik's winning records against GKK and VT; his match victories over both of them; Kasparov begging Kramnik for 15-move draws while behind in the match and playing the white pieces, would fade away forever.

Keep at it, Woody! Only 998,157 inane comments to go!>

Thanks! Well said!

Apr-27-09  Augalv: <grkoste>, great post!

LOL

Apr-28-09  Akavall: <grkoste> Nice one.
Apr-28-09  Vasilyev90: You can't even compare Kramnik with George W.Bush coz there is a great disparity.Kramnik is a GREAT player and also serves an INSPIRATION among many players and forever remembered for his victory over GK plus his contributions to the chess world while Bush is a Naz* p*ece of @#$% who is loathed all over the world and would be remembered for his crimes against humanity. For you Super GM Vladimir Kramnik if you're reading my post: Get on with your life,never mind the frogs,those suckers will croak all the time.Do your job and give a great performance,your best argument is always a job well done.The best revenge is a life well lived.

This statement credited to Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps the most eloquent defense of the man or woman living where the rubber meets the road that has yet been offered:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”---This is for you Kramnik bashers!!

When it comes to critical people, always remember that they’re croaking frogs.

And when the criticisms begin to hurt you, simply remember the mango tree. Why? Because: Jealousy breeds criticism. Nobody throws stones at a fruitless tree. If what you do is right before men and God then do it with all of your might and don’t let the suckers get to you.

And to the frogs who continue to malign, slander, hurl verbal abuse and criticize people unfairly and unendingly; may I offer a simple advice? Be reminded of what the Bible has to say: That out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. So watch your mouth or better still, watch your heart.

Good luck Mr.Kramnik!!!

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: <Vasilyev90: You can't even compare Kramnik with George W.Bush coz there is a great disparity.Kramnik is a GREAT player and also serves an INSPIRATION among many players and forever remembered for his victory over GK plus his contributions to the chess world while Bush is a Naz* p*ece of @#$% who is loathed all over the world and would be remembered for his crimes against humanity. For you Super GM Vladimir Kramnik if you're reading my post: Get on with your life,never mind the frogs,those suckers will croak all the time.Do your job and give a great performance,your best argument is always a job well done.The best revenge is a life well lived.

This statement credited to Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps the most eloquent defense of the man or woman living where the rubber meets the road that has yet been offered:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”---This is for you Kramnik bashers!!

When it comes to critical people, always remember that they’re croaking frogs.

And when the criticisms begin to hurt you, simply remember the mango tree. Why? Because: Jealousy breeds criticism. Nobody throws stones at a fruitless tree. If what you do is right before men and God then do it with all of your might and don’t let the suckers get to you.

And to the frogs who continue to malign, slander, hurl verbal abuse and criticize people unfairly and unendingly; may I offer a simple advice? Be reminded of what the Bible has to say: That out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. So watch your mouth or better still, watch your heart.

Good luck Mr.Kramnik!!!>

Well said! Thank you!

Apr-28-09  unsound: <kamalakanta> OK, for most of us scrolling is admittedly not the hardest thing to do in the world. But was it really necessary to quote in full the long post in front of yours?
Apr-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  amadeus: Hey, I like George W. Bush! Didn't he throw up on the japanese minister, or something like that? If I am not mistaken, he passed out after eating a donut - that was a great achievement too.

Can Mr. Obama read a book upside down? Don't think so. Does he have an alien probe on his back? Nope. So let's stop the Bush-bashing here. You're probably jealous of him, his 61 memorable games, and his inherited thousand points of light!

Apr-28-09  Anzer: http://www.kramnik.com/eng/news/vie...

hmmm has anyone read this yet?

Apr-28-09  nikiml: <Augalv: <but Historians in 2058 might see some positives in what he did.>

Positives?!

What "positives" can any decent historian might see in 2058?>

I don't know about 2058, but in 2059 they'll say : "It is good that this was more than 50 years ago" ...

(just could not resist:))

Apr-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Vasilyev90: For you Super GM Vladimir Kramnik if you're reading my post: Get on with your life,never mind the frogs,those suckers will croak all the time.>

I had to smile at this. The notion that the trolls would keep on 'croaking'.

I hope that Kramnik's career would not croak pretty soon. I am looking forward to his playing in a lot of tournaments after June, as he said he planned to in an interview.

Apr-28-09  s4life: <Woody Wood Pusher: Surprisingly it isn't his victory over GK that Drawnik remembers his time in London for the most.

After the match he went site seeing in Soho but decided to quickly check his electronic fan-mail on the way, so he went into a public toilet and asked the first guy there "excuse me, do you know where I can plug this in?">

Lol! maybe he's been in Japan :)

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: <Anzer: http://www.kramnik.com/eng/news/vie...

hmmm has anyone read this yet?>

Anzer, I just did, and it clarifies a lot of issues that are discussed here. A lot of people have believed Kasparov's statements about Kramnik avoiding a match with him, and yet this is not true!

So here is the "cut and paste" coopy of that article, in at least three parts, 'cause it is too big to do it in one.

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: Kramnik, My Side of he Story, Part 1

My Side of the Story
Vladimir Kramnik, 4/21/2009

After reading Kasparov’s article in the last issue of New In Chess with the ambiguous title ‘An Old Cat Learns New Tricks’, I decided that it was about time for me to write something too. Due to my constant participation in tournaments, World Championships, or the process of preparing for them, I didn’t have the opportunity to waste time replying to the continual attacks on me by my great predecessor in the most diverse media outlets, including this magazine.

An Old Cat Learns New Tricks, NIC Magazine 2008/8
Garry Kasparov: ‘It will not be easy for the new generation of stars to take his crown. The Tiger of Madras may be an old cat, but he is still learning new tricks.’

I thought that with time Garry could ‘digest’ his London defeat and would become more objective with the passing years, but I see that this isn’t happening. That’s why after Vishy Anand recently provided me with a certain amount of free time, I decided to use it to explain my position on various issues to the readers concerning the ‘newest’ chess history. I hope it will help chess fans to have a clearer picture about the events that took place in the chess world a few years ago.

Just as in his time a myth was created that Alekhine completely evaded a return match with Capablanca (which, judging by the archival materials, doesn’t wholly correspond with reality), so the 13th world champion for however many years now has been trying to convince the entire chess community that I also avoided a return match with him under all kinds of contrived pretexts. In connection with that I wanted to describe how it all actually happened, not based on emotional claims or conjectures, but on proven facts and clear logic.

So, at the end of March 2000, after the breakdown of negotiations with Anand (to play a world championship match against Kasparov – ed.) at the last moment (I don’t exactly know why that happened), I received a proposal from the newly-formed company Brain Games and personally from Kasparov to sign a contract to participate in a World Championship match. For me this was completely unexpected, especially taking into account the fact that two years earlier, as everyone knew, I’d lost a qualifying match to Alexey Shirov.

In answer to my question, why wasn’t Brain Games trying to organize a Kasparov-Shirov match, the situation was explained to me in the following way: the sponsor (or, to be more precise, the main investor in the company) would only give money for a match that had some sporting intrigue. At the time he thought this could be guaranteed by only two opponents – Anand or Kramnik – and he didn’t intend to participate in the project if any other chess player was chosen.

Thus I found myself faced with an unpleasant choice. On the one hand, I understood and still understand the absurdity of the fact that despite my defeat in the Candidates’ match (although it was already two years old) I’d nevertheless received the opportunity to play a World Championship match. But was this my fault, when it came down to it?

On the other hand, by that point it had already become clear to everyone that a Kasparov-Shirov match would probably never happen. And if I was ‘standing in line’, as they say, then for reasons that were independent from me I was highly unlikely to play in a ‘real’ (by my definition) World Championship in the long term. As FIDE by this time was already firmly set on the path of holding knock-out championships, and I had always been opposed to producing a world chess champion by that method. Moreover, I didn’t ask to be put directly into the final match, and if I’d had the opportunity to play in a new qualification cycle, I’d have gladly agreed to it, but that opportunity wasn’t offered to me, or, by the way, to anyone else.

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: My Side of the Story
Vladimir Kramnik, 4/21/2009, Part 2

Kramnik-Shirov face to face

That’s why although Shirov’s gripes with me can be understood from a human point of view (although in my opinion they weren’t directed to quite the right person), Kasparov’s constant reproaches about my ‘inadequacy’ based on this history are simply incorrect. It’s my deep conviction that it was precisely his short-sightedness (the absence of a contract with a sponsor for a final match before my semi-final with Shirov) and, to put it mildly, his inconsistency (looking for another opponent with an ‘alive’ Shirov) that were the main reasons for this strange and ugly situation

And to the 13th champion’s constant reproaches that I started organizing a draw for the World Championship qualification cycle even though I myself hadn’t been through this qualification process, I want to reply: that’s exactly why I started doing it! This whole story was extremely unpleasant for me, and I wanted to do everything possible to prevent a similar incident from occurring again, so that the challenger would be determined as a result of a sporting qualification process, and not at the will of the ‘monarch’, or so-called ‘public opinion’.

Let’s go on. I want to draw your attention to one significant fact that Kasparov for understandable reasons always ‘forgets’ to mention in his public speeches. At his own initiative and with my approval, which, by the way, few people were interested in at the time, the following point was included in our contract for the London match: the loser must take part in the new World Championship qualification cycle, starting with the Candidates’ tournament. The winner must play the winner of that tournament. Not a single word was said in the contract about a return match.

At a press conference in London in April 2000, right after the signing of the contract by both parties, Garry announced that he considered it important that after this match we should have a strict qualification system for the World Championship, etc... I suspect that he was sincere at that moment, but after losing the match his position quickly changed.

From that point this story takes a new turn – the ex-champion’s desperate attempts to get a return match, bypassing the obligations he’d agreed to earlier. 'Garry had already begun expressing his desire to play a return match inmediately'

Kasparov’s theory that he didn’t consider it right to demand a return match immediately, but started doing this when he’d proved that he was the strongest challenger (by his reasoning this occurred after the tournament in Astana in May-June 2001), isn’t entirely devoid of logic. But it has one substantial flaw – it just doesn’t correspond with reality. In actual fact Garry had already begun expressing his desire to play a return match immediately (in fact the very next day) after the end of our match (see, besides others, Kasparov’s interview in New In Chess 2000/8), long before his ‘symbolic’ victory in Astana. (By the way, my win against him in April 2001 in the final of the tournament in Zürich didn’t seem symbolic to him for some reason...)

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: My Side of the Story
Vladimir Kramnik, 4/21/2009, Part 3

Kramnik-Kasparov games generate tremendous media attention

Anyone who wants to may convince themselves of this by looking in the archives of the 13th champion’s interviews and public speeches in the period from November 2000 to June 2001 (to have a clear picture it is already enough to read back the issues of New In Chess from this time period).

Then, using an insignificant legal ‘stumbling block’, Garry breaks his contract with Brain Games, thus freeing his hands for further actions. I don’t know if I had legal ‘loopholes’ to do the same thing (and if not I simply didn’t have the legal right to play an official return match). But in any case, doing such things would have been against my principles, especially as at that point Brain Games had fulfilled its contractual obligations to me.

So the absurdity of the situation lies in the fact that Kasparov is reproaching me for honestly fulfilling the obligations that we both accepted in 2000, which, besides, were initiated by him!

To conclude this subject I’d like to point out another important detail: despite all of Kasparov’s declarations about his desire to play a return match and the existence of businessmen he knows who are prepared to sponsor this event, I haven’t received a single official (or even unofficial) proposal. Furthermore, neither Garry himself, nor any of his representatives, have ever communicated with me, even to simply discuss this question. To this day it’s a mystery to me how it’s possible to naively assume that such a project can come about without that first step. Also Garry’s unflattering (and sometimes also simply insulting) public statements about me, which started immediately after London, of course have only worsened the situation.

Later in 2001, in accordance with the agreements made earlier, the ex-champion received an invitation from Brain Games to participate in the Candidates’ tournament (which took place in Dortmund in summer 2002). Apart from the decent financial conditions (first prize – 100,000 Euros), the winner (this was Peter Leko in the end) received the legal right to a match with me for the champion’s title, which was established in each player’s contract. There was a legal document signed by me, guaranteeing my participation in this match. You’ll agree that this doesn’t fit at all with Kasparov’s theory, as for me and many others it was clear that Garry had every chance to win that tournament, considering his results at the time. Moreover, as far as I know from private conversations with representatives of the company, Brain Games was prepared to consider satisfying ‘special’ financial conditions for Kasparov if he would agree to play in the tournament.

I don’t know how those negotiations went (I’d be very interested in hearing Raymond Keene’s description of this if he wants to talk about it), but in the end Garry refused to participate. Whatever the reason: an unwillingness to play in the qualification cycle on principle, uncertainty about an eventual victory or simply a matter of money, we have to look the truth in the eye: Garry himself missed a real opportunity to play another match with me for the World Championship. No one prevented him from doing this and no one ‘ran away’ from him. If he had just kept his word, played (and in all likelihood, won) the Candidates’ tournament, the Kramnik-Kasparov match would inevitably have taken place.

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: My Side of the Story
Vladimir Kramnik, 4/21/2009, Part 4

Leko won the Candidates and later met Kramnik

However, the ex-champion didn’t sit around aimlessly for long and soon decided to go over to the other side. As he admitted in an interview with Yury Vasiliev immediately after the signing of the Prague Agreement, the decision to enter a rapprochement with FIDE and personally with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov wasn’t easy for him. And indeed, knowing Garry’s attitude towards FIDE and its president at the time (and vice versa), and their still-recent public insulting statements about each other, this looked rather strange from a personal point of view. But, on the other hand, the things we’ll do for the good of Chess! Moreover, the moment for carrying out this goodwill mission was very appropriate: the opponent in the FIDE World Championship match (the right to which Kasparov ‘traded’) was completely ‘crushable’. With all of the young Ponomariov’s unquestionable talent, hardly anyone doubted that he wasn’t ready yet to win against such an opponent in a full-fledged match.

The fact that I also signed the Prague Agreement, basically legally agreeing to a unification match with Kasparov (who could know then that his match with Ponomariov would fall apart?) again doesn’t fit with the theory that I mentioned above. But here, too, Garry was at the ready, creating the latest myth about how after the signing I supposedly did everything to try and break the Prague Agreement. In fact, the truth is that I was the only party who fulfilled the obligations!

Kasparov, Ilyumzhinov and Kramnik signing the agreement in Prague

Few people now remember that one of the main points in this agreement (and for me really the most important) was the point about the complete reorganization of professional chess. According to the agreement, FIDE agreed that from that point it would completely step back from organizing professional World Championships. Back in 2002 an organization was supposed to be created (this was something like the ATP in tennis), headed by Bessel Kok, which would have taken on all the rights and obligations for holding the championships. All this was supposed to take place under the aegis of FIDE, for which it received a certain amount of money from this new organization, and from then on FIDE would have mainly dealt with so-called ‘amateur’ chess (organizing the Olympiads, youth and junior championships, various team events etc.).

I thought (and still think) that this was the ideal plan for the successful development of chess. In general FIDE seemed well-equipped to organize the above-mentioned competitions, which, unfortunately, can’t be said about the World Championships. The recent match in Bonn was a rare exception in recent years, and that was precisely because it was completely organized by the UEP under the aegis of FIDE (i.e. according to the ‘Prague’ plan).

That’s exactly why this was really an historic and revolutionary document (apart from the actual unification of the title of world champion, of course). But the problem was that FIDE wasn’t in any hurry to fulfil its obligations... By the end of 2004 (two and a half years later!) the following situation had come about: on my part a Candidates’ tournament had taken place and I had played a match with the winner of it (Leko), thus completely fulfilling my obligations in the agreement, while not one of the other main points had been realized.

The new professional organization that I mentioned above wasn’t functioning, FIDE, as before, (and with its previous ‘success’) continued organizing World Championships (or to be more precise, tried to do this), and the Ponomariov-Kasparov match was cancelled. Not to mention the other, lesser details that also weren’t fulfilled. No new corporate sponsors, who were so colourfully described in Prague... Complete chaos.

In one of my interviews in late 2004 I expressed my indignation about the situation and demanded that FIDE fulfil its Prague obligations. I also reasonably announced that if that didn’t happen I wouldn’t consider myself bound to the agreement. FIDE, and for some reason Kasparov in particular, immediately ‘pounced’ on me, declaring that I was trying to break the Prague Agreement, obviously using the chance to ‘cook up’ blame on someone for their own failings. Once again I was ideal for the role of scapegoat.

Everyone well knows the end of this sad story with the Prague Agreement. The romantic love-hate relations between FIDE and Kasparov ended in a scandalous divorce (perhaps someone will blame me for this, too?), and soon afterwards the departure of the disappointed Garry from chess. What was signed in Prague was never fulfilled.

Kramnik with the FIDE President on his arrival to Elista 2006

In 2006 the unification of the champion’s title nevertheless took place, although again, according to the bad old tradition, it didn’t pass without a scandal. But that’s another story...

The full text of this article is published under permission by NIC. It first appeared published in NIC magazine 2009/1

Apr-28-09  kamalakanta: Well, there it is. I hope it is a good lesson for Kramnik- bashers....
Apr-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: I hope Kramnik can reinvent himself to some degree, make a big comeback. For my money he's the deepest 'chess thinker' of active players. His ability to drive home minute advantages is unequalled; the Catalans he played in 2007 were very beautiful examples of technique.

But its tough to be a big fan with his 'win with white if you can do so risk free' and 'draw with black unless the oppenent blunders.' It may indeed be the optimum strategy - but it is *not* good for the game of classical chess.

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