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Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Hoogovens Group A (1999), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-19
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-04  Benjamin Lau: This is the first and only Ruy Lopez Kramnik played before the 2000 Braingames world championship match, and only one year before at that. I think he was testing it out against Topalov (a very courageous and strong attacking player) in preparation for the match against GK.
Jan-07-04  Drstrangelove: Did he already know that he was going to play Kasparov this early in the year? BTW, why was it that Shirov didn't get to play Kasparov, I never understood that.
Jan-07-04  Benjamin Lau: When Kasparov previously announced a title match, Kramnik faced Alexei Shirov in a challenger's match after Anand declined. Shirov won.

This would appear to make Shirov what would normally be called the legitimate challenger, but a match has never materialized for him, Kasparov calling such a contest lacking in commercial interest. Shirov recently decided to call this "damage" and has now sued Kasparov and the organization which was in charge of this "cycle".

Kasparov could have offered the 2000 match to Shirov after he had beaten Kramnik in the qualifying match and who was still "the chess public’s popular choice." With a 9-0 winning record over Shirov, a lesser man than Kasparov would have chosen a safe match against Shirov. Kasparov, as a true Champion, did not take the easy path! This is not so in the case of the Kramnik-Dortmund "setup."

Kasparov was defeated last month by Vladimir Kramnik in the Braingames world championship. Shirov, on the other hand, beat Kramnik in 1998 in Spain for the right to face Kasparov in the PCA world championship, but never got close to play the match and again money was the problem.

It seems that a lack of financial resources was the main reason. Kasparov may have also considered Kramnik the superior challenger.

Jan-07-04  Benjamin Lau: Shirov had beaten Kramnik in a 1998 qualifier organised by Kasparov's World Chess Council, only to find that Kasparov had no sponsor for the title match.

Worse still, although Kramnik was paid for losing the match, Shirov received nothing and Shirov's $200,000 'guarantee' if the Kasparov match fell through also went unpaid.

When, in April, Kasparov announced that he would be playing Kramnik in October, Shirov issued an open letter stating that "I do not believe that the Kasparov-Kramnik match can have anything to do with any kind of World Championship, be it official, historical, brain or whatsoever. I am the legitimate candidate for it since 1998."

Jan-07-04  Drstrangelove: <Benjamin Lau> Thanks a lot for the info. Seems that Shirov really got screwed. I mean If he loses, Kramnik faces Kasparov and if he wins, Kramnik faces Kasparov, not very logical.
Jan-07-04  Benjamin Lau: Lol very true.
Dec-09-04  Bobak Zahmat: Hahaha, problably Kasparov would beat Shirov to easy! So he chose Kramnik, because he knew that Kramnik was more talented I think!
Oct-03-06  Whitehat1963: Interesting that this hasn't come up in the current world championship match between these two. I guess it's been so successful for Kramnik that Topalov is probably wise to avoid it. (Opening of the Day)
Oct-03-06  aw1988: Well, both players know it very well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Kramnik was critical of his new move 11..Nd5?!; 11..Ng6 had been played previously. Shamkovich suggested the alternative 14 e6..fxe 15 Nd4..Kd7 16 Ng5. After 19 Be3 White had a significant advantage in development. 21 Rd7!? was a suggestion of Kramnik; after 21..Bd6 (if 21..Rd8? 22 e6!..fxe 23 Rxe7+..Kxe7 24 Bg5+ and wins) 22 e6..fxe 23 Rxg7..Be5 24 Rg6..Kf7 25 Rg5..Bd6 26 Bd4..Rh7 27 Rd3 White has a promising initiative.

<I think he was testing it out against Topalov (a very courageous and strong attacking player) in preparation for the match against GK.>

This is simply false - this game was played in January 1999 shortly after the Kasparov-Shirov match had been cancelled. Things were completely up in the air - Kramnik could have not imagined a match with Kasparov at this point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  blazerdoodle: Kasparov and Shirov should have asked some sportsmans club to just stake them with food and drink and a hotel room and played for nothing but pride. Or he should have been honest and admitted his new org a joke and turned the thing back over to FIDE if he was going to be so corrupt about it. Shirov should have had his shot.

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