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Vladimir Kramnik
Photograph copyright © 2007 Milan Kovacs (  
Number of games in database: 2,813
Years covered: 1984 to 2016
Last FIDE rating: 2811 (2798 rapid, 2744 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2817

Overall record: +513 -149 =908 (61.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1243 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 E86 E81
 Slav (99) 
    D17 D15 D11 D12 D19
 Queen's Gambit Declined (96) 
    D37 D38 D30 D39 D31
 Grunfeld (88) 
    D85 D78 D70 D91 D86
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (256) 
    B33 B30 B31 B57 B65
 Ruy Lopez (157) 
    C67 C65 C88 C78 C95
 Queen's Gambit Declined (105) 
    D37 D38 D35 D39 D30
 Petrov (102) 
    C42 C43
 Semi-Slav (101) 
    D45 D43 D47 D44 D46
 Nimzo Indian (74) 
    E32 E21 E46 E34 E58
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
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 0-1
   Kramnik vs Morozevich, 2007 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006 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)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   Dortmund (2011)
   Azerbaijan vs the World (2009)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   Linares (1997)
   13th Amber Blindfold (2004)
   Dortmund (2013)
   Tilburg Fontys (1997)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2009)
   World Cup (2013)
   Qatar Masters (2014)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010)
   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
   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
   Vladi by fredthebear
   Some interesting games by Kramnik by fgh
   Volodya versus Vesko by Resignation Trap
   Move by Move - Kramnik (Lakdawala) by Insession52
   Move by Move - Kramnik (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
   Kramnik with Berlin Wall by tesasembiring by tesasembiring

   Anand vs Kramnik (Dec-18-16) 1/2-1/2
   Kramnik vs A Giri (Dec-17-16) 1/2-1/2
   W So vs Kramnik (Dec-16-16) 1/2-1/2
   Kramnik vs Adams (Dec-15-16) 1/2-1/2
   Nakamura vs Kramnik (Dec-13-16) 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 113; games 1-25 of 2,813  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. I Odesskij vs Kramnik 0-125 1987 URS-chT U16A52 Budapest Gambit
7. Kramnik vs Otsarev 1-018 1987 Baku TrainingB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Kramnik vs Mayorov 1-034 1987 GelendzhikC12 French, McCutcheon
9. Kramnik vs A Chjumachenko 1-032 1987 GelendzhikB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
10. Shilov vs Kramnik 0-137 1987 USSR Boys' ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
11. Y Yakovich vs Kramnik 1-042 1988 USSRB40 Sicilian
12. Kramnik vs Danislian  ½-½60 1988 Dimitrovgrad U18B15 Caro-Kann
13. Kramnik vs G Kuzmin ½-½42 1989 World Cup ( open )C55 Two Knights Defense
14. Kramnik vs Lputian  ½-½52 1989 World Cup (Open)C07 French, Tarrasch
15. L Basin vs Kramnik ½-½49 1989 It (open)A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
16. Khenkin vs Kramnik ½-½17 1989 Sochi (Russia)D39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
17. Kramnik vs Y Yakovich 1-035 1989 It (open)C50 Giuoco Piano
18. Kramnik vs G Tunik 0-138 1989 Sochi (Russia)B46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
19. Kramnik vs Gheorghiu ½-½9 1989 Cup World (open)B56 Sicilian
20. V Arbakov vs Kramnik 0-173 1989 It (open)A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
21. G Kallai vs Kramnik ½-½22 1989 Sochi (Russia)A81 Dutch
22. Kramnik vs B Taborov  ½-½35 1989 It (open)B06 Robatsch
23. Kramnik vs R Shcherbakov ½-½35 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
24. Kramnik vs D H Campora  ½-½26 1989 Cup World (open)C50 Giuoco Piano
25. M Sorokin vs Kramnik ½-½52 1989 USSRA81 Dutch
 page 1 of 113; games 1-25 of 2,813  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1495 OF 1602 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-07-10  jussu: <blueofnon> - A lot of similarity - certainly. After all, they were both chess world champions.
Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: Yes, and Kramnik is also the only ex-world champion who is still a credible threat to win the title again some day.
Jul-07-10  Mr. Bojangles: And the Kramnik whining continues...

All they need now is some vintage claret to go with the whine.

Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: KKDerek's post is 13 posts up and it didn't continue after the 1. Down, boy.
Jul-07-10  Blunderdome: Theories about Kramnik's ongoing popularity:

1. He is Carlsen's last remaining rival. Only Kramnik has beaten Carlsen in the last 12 months, and he did it twice.

2. His games are amazing, and his analysis is more entertaining than most -- for example, is the interview he gave after beating Nakamura at Corus this year, he talked about how he somehow knew Hikaru would play the Dutch Defense, and stayed up late agonizing over it, until the solution finally came to him in the shower at 3 am or so.

That's what keeps me interested, anyway.

Jul-07-10  suplexer: <Blunderdome: Theories about Kramnik's ongoing popularity:

1. He is Carlsen's last remaining rival. Only Kramnik has beaten Carlsen in the last 12 months, and he did it twice.>

What world are you living in? There is an elephant in room you are forgeting about called Viswanathan Anand. The fact that Anand has drawn all his classical games with Carlsen in the last 12 months doesn't make Carlsen any better than him. I think being world champion is more prestigeous than being number one rated. This is what Carlsen is aiming for and his time will surely come. Or maybe in next 3 years when Anand is too old to play world championship matches :)

Jul-07-10  suplexer: Anand is definately MORE than a challenge for carlsen in a world championship 12 game match
Jul-07-10  shach matov: <Anand is the champion, Carlsen in the #1 in the ratings, however Kramnik still draw the atention from his fans and from his bashers> I don't think he draws more attention than Carlsen or Anand. If he is ever criticized it's because many fans and professionals considered his refusal for a direct rematch with Kasparov as a sign of cowardice, he just looked like he was afraid to lose the title. Kasparov challenged him directly, but apparently Kramnik refused, demanding that GK play the lengthy qualifiers. Now it's obvious that the majority of fans and professionals wanted to see a rematch without any qualifications since it was obvious that Kasparov was still the best (by far) player in the world; and eventhough there was no legal claim for a rematch, the majority of us wanted them to play a rematch.

It is also of import to keep in mind the fact that GK was far from his normal self during the 2000 match: he plaid the worst chess of his life and did things that nobody would have expected in a million years like offering 12 and 14 move draws when he was down a point. This was simply not Kasparov we all have known before or after the 2000 match: we all know that even in a simul against school children he never accept a draw and always lays for a win; this is a matter of pure principle and "respect for chess". So for him to offer 12 and 14 move draws in a wold championship title match is beyond something unreal. So considering these facts, it was a necessity for Kramnik to accept a direct rematch and prove that he would be able to at least draw Kasparov in a rematch. I believe that if Kramnik accepted the rematch and if he even lost it, he would have universal respect now. Unfortunately that's not the case.

Jul-07-10  AuN1: the idea that kramnik would have gained more prestige or respect if he'd accepted kasparov's challenge for a direct rematch is absurd. if anything, i respect borisovich more for having the cojones to stand up to kasparov and demand that he earn the right to a rematch by qualifying. to have done anything less would have been an insult to every other contender, and a disgrace to chess. claiming that playing kasparov again and losing would have made him more admirable is also a ridiculous claim. just ask anyone about how great max euwe was considered. he did not have to give alekhine a rematch, but he chose to anyway, and went on to become a footnote in chess lore. kramnik decided to be more, and he succeeded.
Jul-07-10  shach matov: the fact that Euwe accepted the rematch with Alekhine showed that he was a man of principles, he wanted to prove that the first match was not simply a fluke. Kramnik, however, did not consider principle as of importance and simply acted in his own self interest. As a selfish businessman decision it was certainly the correct one, but as far as principles and respect for chess community and chess itself, it has absolutely no redeeming value.
Jul-07-10  Blunderdome: <suplexer> My statement was probably too dogmatic. Still, I think Kramnik is a more dangerous opponent for MC than Anand.

<shach matov> I think it's too bad Kramnik and Kasparov never played a rematch, but faulting Kramnik for that is a little...well, ridiculous.

Jul-07-10  Bdellovibrio: <the fact that Euwe accepted the rematch with Alekhine showed that he was a man of principles, he wanted to prove that the first match was not simply a fluke.>

What choice did Euwe have? The rematch with AAA was in the signed agreements for the first match. This was not the case with Kasparov-Kramnik 2000.

A better question is why Kasparov declined to participate in Dortmund 2002. Was he seriously afraid of Leko? Hard to believe.

Jul-07-10  Bdellovibrio: <What can you do - that’s politics and it has its own laws. Again, it’s their business, while all that’s left for me is to play chess, and hopefully well.>

Thanks, Konstantin Levin.

Jul-07-10  blueofnoon: Bdellovibrio, was it in the signed contract that the loser, not the winner of Kramnik - Shirov match, would play Kasparov ?

Kramnik, just like Kasparov, is an opportunist. His opinions are based not on any principle, but on the situation he gets. That is why all he says in his interview sounds kind of excuses.

Jul-07-10  theagenbiteofoutwit: Kasparov set the precedent for denying qualified challengers a shot at the championship, not Kramnik.
Jul-07-10  Kaspablanca: A contract is a contract; Kramnik simply didnt break agreement. What if Kasparov won that match and Kramnik claim a direct match and Kasparov declined it?, I`m sure GK fans would support Kasparov for not accepting the offer. What shach matov and others are doing is just showing blind fanatism to Kasparov and overlooking the fact of the no rematch clause. I wanted a rematch too but if GK wanted it he had to earn it via the qualifiers because that what BOTH PLAYERS agreed.
Jul-07-10  blueofnoon: Yeah, of course saint Kramnik is always right. He never makes a mistake.

Only Kasparov is 100% responsible for the K-K match in 2000. It was completely illogical to grant a right to challenge the champion to the loser of candidate match , but it's a mistake solely on Kasparov's part.

And Kramnik was a legitimate champion, because he beat the great man, regardless of how stupid that match was.

Of course, Kramnik now had every reasons and rights to organize his own candidate tournament, because he was a legit champion. He was even able to agree with abolishing his own title and play another match with Topalov under FIDE's rule.

Long live the great Kramnik!!

Jul-07-10  Blunderdome: Let's say an undercover police officer offers you $1000 for your tickets to a minor league baseball game and you agree to the sale. While "scalping" of tickets (what you just did) is illegal, you would probably get off if your lawyer pointed out that the officer used entrapment -- putting you in a position where any reasonable person (not just a criminal) would be compelled to break the law.

In general, we do not act too harshly toward people who accept very favorable opportunities which cause little harm to anyone else.

<What player> would have <turned down> a world championship match with Kasparov, and what player would have given a rematch after securing a contract that mercifully didn't require him to? Only a fool would do the former, and only a true sucker would do the latter.

As far as victims, I'm afraid Shirov definitely got screwed, but I don't think he was getting match no matter what Kramnik did, right? And Kasparov agreed to the clauses and had every chance to get his rematch by qualifying for it.

This is what I mean when I say faulting VK is "ridiculous." He is no more of an "opportunist" than someone who finds a $20 bill not accompanied by an ID or means of returning to its owner and so pockets it himself.

Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: <A better question is why Kasparov declined to participate in Dortmund 2002. Was he seriously afraid of Leko? Hard to believe.>

I can believe it. I didn't think much of the Dortmund format. Quads followed by Best of 4 matches. It would be easy for a fluke to keep the best player from winning that. Still, Kasparov should have thought of that before promising it. He's a lot like Fischer in that way. He breaks his promise and people blame, not him, but those who tried to hold him to it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <just ask anyone about how great max euwe was considered. he did not have to give alekhine a rematch, but he chose to anyway, and went on to become a footnote in chess lore>

Euwe is a legend of the game and became a highly respected FIDE President after his playing career ended. He is anything but a "footnote" to anyone who knows their history.

<kramnik decided to be more, and he succeeded>

Kramnik had a whole decade to create some set cycle for the future, and he failed miserably.

Jul-07-10  s4life: < Petrosianic: <A better question is why Kasparov declined to participate in Dortmund 2002. Was he seriously afraid of Leko? Hard to believe.> I can believe it. I didn't think much of the Dortmund format. Quads followed by Best of 4 matches. It would be easy for a fluke to keep the best player from winning that. Still, Kasparov should have thought of that before promising it. He's a lot like Fischer in that way. He breaks his promise and people blame, not him, but those who tried to hold him to it.>

this made me lol.. turns out kasparov was afraid of competing because well... he could lose! Think about it.. that must be the reason he was #1 rated for 20 years... just like Fischer uh?... good one my friend

Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: <Rubbish>

Quite so, that's my point. Imagine anyone considering Kasparov a victim for not being allowed to break his own promise. And yet, people do. People tend to blame Fischer's bad decisions on other people too. The idea that the greats aren't entitled to priviliges above and beyond the hoi polloi is downright offensive to some people.

Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: <He is anything but a "footnote" to anyone who knows their history.>

Unfortuantely, many people don't. In one way, Euwe was the greatest champion of all. He played under the self imposed handicap of being completely dedicated to trying to accommodate his opponent in every way possible, and still managed to work up enough fight to beat him. The only other champion that played with that kind of mindset was Spassky in 1972, andn he lost badly. Nobody else would even consider it.

<Kramnik had a whole decade to create some set cycle for the future, and he failed miserably.>

A decade? He was champion for only 7 years, and the Prague Agreement creating such a cycle was signed 2 years in. It was FIDE who found itself unable to organize its part of the deal; first Kasparov vs. Pono, then Kasparov vs. Kasim.

Jul-08-10  AuN1: euwe may be known as a gentleman, but kramnik can be regarded as one of the top ten players of all time. if he had given kasparov a direct rematch and lost, he would just have become an afterthought. plus, there is no way anyone should have given kasparov an immediate rematch, considering how indignant he was with fide after his matches against karpov because he felt that his predecessor was getting an unfair advantage, and that he should have to go through a qualifying cycle. but when the tables were turned, he changed his mind and felt that he himself should not be held to the same standard. pure hypocrisy, and typical kasparov. if anyone says otherwise they are obviously blinded by their adoration for kimovich.
Jul-08-10  Petrosianic: Yes and no. Yes, Garry tends to be massively hypocritical on such things, and frequently rewrites history to improve his image.

On the other hand, I think it would have been more in Kramnik's interest to have let him break the promise. Even if he lost, he would not have been an afterthought, as long as he remained a credible contender, which he still is 10 years later.

If I were in Kramnik's shoes, I would have played the match, provided that the contract contained a clause in which Kasparov admitted breaking his promise to the rest of the world that they would have a shot at the title after the 2000 match, with no delay for a rematch. If he agreed in writing to take full responsibility for breaking his word, I'd have given him the match, and pocket a huge flipping wad of cash into the bargain, even if I lost. If he refused to sign, then no, I'd have refused the match, and told everyone that I offered it to him and he declined.

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