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Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006
Toiletgate in Elista

In 2006, the schism which began with the Kasparov-Short World Championship was to finally end, unifying the World Championship title after 13 long years. Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov, the winner of the 2005 FIDE World Championship in San Luis was due to play Vladimir Kramnik, the Classical World Champion, and the winner was to emerge as the single, unified, World Chess Champion.

 Kramnik-Topalov 2006
 Kramnik and Topalov, Elista 2006
The contest began with Kramnik winning both of the first two games, and due to the extreme brevity of the match (a mere 12 games) this established an early commanding lead. After two more drawn games, on a rest day, Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov, issued a press release which threatened to abort the match. The press release read, in part:

The careful study of the video recordings from the rest rooms done by the technical experts of the Bulgarian team revealed the following facts which we would herewith like to bring to your attention:

  1. After each move Mr. Kramnik immediately heads to the rest room and from it directly to the bathroom. During every game he visited the relaxation room 25 times at the average and the bathroom more than 50 times - the bathroom is the only place without video surveillance.
  2. Unlike Mr. Kramnik, the World Champion Veselin Topalov spends his time mainly at the playing table. The average number of times he visited the rest room and the bathroom is 8 and 4 respectively.
In our opinion these facts are quite strange, if not suspicious. ... Should this extremely serious problem remain unsolved by 10.00 o'clock tomorrow (September 29th, 2006), we would seriously reconsider the participation of the World Champion Veselin Topalov in this match. [1]

The FIDE Appeals Committee, after viewing the video tapes, found that the frequency of Kramnik's visits to the toilet had been exaggerated, but nevertheless took these allegations seriously, and decreed that the private toilets would be closed and a common toilet opened for both players.

Kramnik Forfeits Kramnik's team rejected this decision, declaring: "The protests of the Topalov team and the suspicions in the press release of Mr. Topalov are utterly disgraceful and are touching Mr. Kramnik's privacy."[2] Kramnik refused to play under the altered conditions, and as a result, Kramnik forfeited game 5.

In a state of chaos, the match was placed on hold while FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov flew to Elista in the hope for bringing a solution to this crisis, which by this time had been given the pejorative name, "Toiletgate." After several days of strife and intense negotiations, Ilyumzhinov declared that the match would continue. The members of the Appeals Committee had been replaced, the access to the toilets was restored, and the forfeited game 5 would remain a loss for Kramnik.

As the match continued, Topalov won both game 8 and game 9, giving him a one point lead with only three games left to play. His lead was not to last long, as Kramnik scored a brilliant victory in game 10, thereby tying the score, and after two more draws the match was sent into overtime.

The first phase of the tiebreaks was a four game mini-match played with 25 minutes per side, and a 10 second increment. Kramnik's victory in game 16 allowed him to win the mini-match. Vladimir Kramnik, after 13 years of chaos in the chess world, had thus become the the solitary undisputed World Chess Champion.

click on a game number to replay game 12345678910111213141516
Topalov00½½1½½110½½½010
Kramnik11½½0½½001½½½101

FINAL SCORE:  Kramnik 8½;  Topalov 7½
Reference: game collection WCC Kramnik-Topalov Elista 2006

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #2     Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006     0-1
    · Game #8     Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006     0-1
    · Game #10     Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006     1-0

FOOTNOTES

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

 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0752006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
2. Topalov vs Kramnik 0-1632006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
3. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½382006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
4. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½542006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Kramnik vs Topalov 0-102006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchA00 Uncommon Opening
6. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½312006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½602006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
8. Kramnik vs Topalov 0-1522006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-0392006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0432006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchE10 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½662006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½472006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Topalov vs Kramnik ½-½472006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
14. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0452006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-0502006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0452006Kramnik - Topalov World Championship MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-28-19  RookFile: Good old Kasparov. He made Karpov go through the Candidates cycle again, but when he was the ex-champion, thought there should be special rules for him.
Feb-28-19  fabelhaft: <Good old Kasparov. He made Karpov go through the Candidates cycle again, but when he was the ex-champion, thought there should be special rules for him>

Karpov had a rematch clause when he lost the title, Kasparov abolished the rematch clause.

Feb-28-19  fabelhaft: That is, the rematch he abolished was his own, not Karpovís, in case it could have been interpreted as that :-) Karpov didnít have to go through any Candidates to get his rematch against Kasparov.
Feb-28-19  ughaibu: Karpov had to qualify, to become the challenger to Kasparov, at least thrice. Once he didn't manage it.
Feb-28-19  fabelhaft: <Karpov had to qualify, to become the challenger to Kasparov, at least thrice>

Difficult to see Karpov as non-privileged or somehow unfairly treated by Kasparov there. To begin with he got one rematch after losing the title, and in the next cycle he was seeded directly into the final Candidates match. In the cycle after that he was ĒonlyĒ seeded into the quarter final. If Kasparov <made Karpov go through the Candidates cycle> I wonder what he was supposed to do. Rematch the following cycle and seeded into the Candidates final in the cycle after that is not a bad deal for Karpov. Iíd rather say Kasparov would have made it more difficult for Karpov if he had had any say in the matter.

Feb-28-19  RookFile: So the point is that Kasparov made it difficult for Karpov, but was offended because Kramnik wouldn't give him an automatic rematch. I think they call that hypocrisy.
Feb-28-19  fabelhaft: <the point is that Kasparov made it difficult for Karpov>

How did Kasparov make it difficult for Karpov? He was given one rematch and was seeded into the Candidates final the cycle after that, and into the quarter final the cycle after that. Kasparov certainly regretted abolishing the rematch in 2000, but how things were made difficult for Karpov is something I would like to know more about.

Mar-01-19  RookFile: It's a little more difficult to win at the Candidates than it is to have a rematch without having to qualify.
Mar-01-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Karpov had a <rematch without having to qualify>, in 1986.
Mar-02-19  RookFile: Yes, indeed. You're making my point for me. And Kasparov whined and moaned about it and said that the champion's right to a rematch should be removed, it was unjust, etc. etc. The only way Karpov got to play Kasprov in the future was by first qualifying from the Candidates.

Yet somehow when Kasparov lost to Kramnik, he thought he was entitled to a rematch.

Mar-02-19  fabelhaft: <Good old Kasparov. He made Karpov go through the Candidates cycle again>

<It's a little more difficult to win at the Candidates than it is to have a rematch without having to qualify>

<The only way Karpov got to play Kasprov in the future was by first qualifying from the Candidates.>

But how many rematches do you think he should have been given? First he did have a rematch without having to qualify, then he was seeded into the Candidates final match the cycle after his rematch. And the cycle after that he was seeded into the quarter final. If the ex Champion would have an endless number of rematches no other players could ever compete for the title

Mar-03-19  RookFile: I think you're missing the point. I'm not in favor of any rematches for a champion who loses. What I'm saying is that Kasparov felt the same way right up until he lost - then somehow thought this principle shouldn't apply to him.
Mar-03-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
Can you cite any example where Kasparov "whined and moaned" or "made it difficult for Karpov," like maybe an actual quote by Kasparov?
Mar-03-19  fabelhaft: On the subject of going through the Candidates after losing the title, neither the player Kasparov won the title from nor lost it to had to do it. Kramnik was given a title match without having to qualify for it after losing the title, as was Karpov.

Anand had to get himself another title match by winning the Candidates. He is the only ex-Champion to qualify for an undisputed title match in an equal start with the other Candidates.

Mar-03-19  HSOL: <fabelhaft>: What's so wrong entering in the Candidates quarterfinal after losing a World Championship match? I can't see how that is preferential treatment compared to Anand getting into the Candidates tournament. Karpov had an easier path first time around though.

I would say Kramnik got the preferential treatment, first qualifying by losing in qualifying vs Shirov and then second, refusing to take part in the FIDE World Championship 2005 and then still get a World Championship match on older merits.

Mar-03-19  Olavi: <HSOL I would say Kramnik got the preferential treatment, first qualifying by losing in qualifying vs Shirov>

The loss to Shirov had no relation or connection to the 2000 match against Kasparov.

Mar-03-19  Nerwal: <refusing to take part in the FIDE World Championship 2005 and then still get a World Championship match on older merits.>

San Luis 2005 happened only because FIDE had failed to fulfill its part of the Prague agreement. There was no reason for Kramnik to take part in this.

Mar-03-19  fabelhaft: <What's so wrong entering in the Candidates quarterfinal after losing a World Championship match? I can't see how that is preferential treatment compared to Anand getting into the Candidates tournament>

Maybe not a huge difference, but Anand didnít get a head start vs other Candidates, as Karpov did. For exempel Korchnoi won an Interzonal and qualified that way, but had been eliminated when Karpov entered the event.

<I would say Kramnik got the preferential treatment>

Yes, being one of only two players to be picked for the 1998 Candidates. Then getting the 2000 and 2008 title matches without participating in some qualification event, etc.

Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <and 2008>

Which fell onto his back. Remember, the "I lent the crown to Anand" interview, where he basically said he is a match superstar and will easily deal with the "paper champion" Anand, bringing out a Federer-Nadal comparison...

Joke's on him - both Federer and Nadal are still around, having been number one as recently as 2018. Kramnik retired...

Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The 'paper champion' enjoyed a fair career.

While Anand was not quite in the class of the very greatest champions, the man can play a little and has been nothing but a credit to the game.

All hail an outstanding player and gentleman!

Mar-04-19  csmath: Must be a slow day here when this is still debated.
Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: one of my favorite matches. VK had to come back from a point down because of the toilet controversy, one game, one point forfeit. He won back the lost point and won later, to close out the match.

Strange how bad VK fell apart in the Anand match, a couple of years later.

Mar-09-19  dehanne: Toiletgate was a riot.
Mar-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: paper covered rock
Apr-18-20  Chesgambit: Modern Offical chess championship
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