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World Chess Champion Vladimir KRAMNIK: ‘Now I have to relax…

Immediately after Topalov extended his hand in a sign of resigning the 4th tiebreak game, the crowd became ecstatic. There were shouts, applause, friendly slaps and handshakes… Kramnik got off the table, threw his fists in the sky, just like in Moscow 1994 after his sensational victory over Kasparov, and got into tight embrace of his manager Hensel. Other team members were also there – Illescas, Rublevsky, Motylev, Krylov, Rösch, and even the cook… In a few minutes the new ‘absolute’ FIDE world champion moved to the press conference hall, where he was warmly met by dozens of journalists.

– In a situation that was similar to yours Mikhail Tal said ‘My head is filled with sun!’ What were your first words after the match ended?
– I was very concentrated on the play, and even after I won the last game, I was still in a fighting mood. The moment after Veselin played 44…Rc5 was very emotional for me – I felt very happy. The joy passed after I replied 45.Rb7+. I need time to realize what happened. This was a very tough match, and I think I did a good job, considering the odds given to the opponent. Maybe it was the first case in the history of the world championship matches when one of the players had extra point and extra White. I am glad I managed to win under such circumstances.


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13.10.2006 Tiebreak: Analysis by GM Vladimir Belov
Topalov,V - Kramnik,V [D19]
One has to note that despite short time control the game was played at the top level. Kramnik solved opening problems and seized the initiative, but Veselin confidently overcame the difficulties by making several accurate defensive moves. Topalov did not calm down, and expressed his ambitious style by sacrificing a pawn. His opponent repaid by unobvious 36...Nc4, getting rid of the problems. On the 42nd move Black could obtain a clearly better ending, but he missed the opportunity, and soon the resources were depleted.

13.10.2006 Gennady Namsinov: “In accordance with the FIDE Regulations”
Gennady Namsinov, head of the information resources department of the Republic of Kalmykia:
“In accordance with the FIDE Regulations”

–What is the structure of the technical security support of the match?
– First of all, I would like to underline the correct use of the technical terms. The Department of the Information Resources of the Republic of Kalmykia deals with the issues of information and technical security of the information. We will touch upon the issues of the informational security. These issues, according to the Match Organising Committee, have been carried out by the organizational, administrative and technological character in accordance with the FIDE Regulations. According to the Match Regulations, the play zone is lit up so that the audience sees the chess players from any point of the hall, and the players should not see the spectators and members of their teams. The stage is guarded by transparent glass shields, which are furnished with light curtain. These glass shields together with this curtain play a rolу of a sound shield and create comfortable conditions for the players. There are also videocameras in the play zone, which broadcast the images from the players’ restrooms only for the Chief Arbiter and his Deputy, who are controlling the course of the game. All the video surveillance complex is meant for realization of general measures of the match security and is coordinated with the FIDE Regulations.

13.10.2006 Game 12. Vladimir KRAMNIK: ‘I did my best, but alas…’
To our surprise, it was the first time when the players’ assessment of the situation on board was diametrically opposite. Both claimed an advantage – maybe because both wanted to win the game and the match. However, it ended in a draw by perpetual, thus postponing the match conclusion by one day.

– Vladimir, what is your score against Topalov in rapid chess, and will it affect the outcome of the tiebreak in any way?
– The match booklet states it is +4 in my favor. However, it counts rapid and blindfold games to-gether. Will the score matter? I hope it will, but actually tiebreak is a lottery. A lot will depend on small details: luck, night’s sleep, etc. It is impossible to predict the result. In principle, I already won the match from my point of view, so I think this will make playing easier for me.

13.10.2006 Game 12. Waiting for a lottery
The regulation time of the match ended in a draw – 6-6. This result was probably highly antici-pated by chess fans. Why? It’s simple – everybody wants to see a real battle between Kramnik and Topalov, especially scheduled on Friday, 13th. The fact that the owner of the unified title will be determined in a quickplay is also very symbolic – chess is not stagnating, it is speeding up.

And still, I am sure Kramnik wanted to finish everything in the regulation time. Regardless of the match trends – and most experts agree with Topalov, who said he had a clear advantage – Vladimir did not deserve losing the Game 5. So he said at the press conference without hesitation that he considers himself a match winner. Had he won the Game 12, these words would have coincided with the reality…

13.10.2006 Game 12: Analysis by GM Vladimir Belov
Kramnik – Topalov [D12]

 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3. Vladimir was impressed by the way his opponent handled this variation, and he decides to give it a try with colors reversed.

4...Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Nxg6 hxg6. This position suits ideally for the last game. White enjoys a comfortable plus, but Black’s position is solid, and his play is simple.

12.10.2006 Game 12: Photos

11.10.2006 Game 11: Veselin TOPALOV: «I am like tabula rasa»

Traditional meeting with the press started with more than a half-hour delay. The reason was more than serious – Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov attended a doping control. Curiously, this topic was not discussed at the press conference at all – everybody got tired of toilet stories.

– Many games of this match are played under the motto ‘Let the opponent offer a draw!’ Why so? Nobody wants to yield?
– I didn’t think in such terms today. The post-opening position was very close to equal, but Topalov had two bishops, which secured him slight advantage, so it was impolite for me to offer a draw. After White made a poor move 35.Be4, I could play for a win absolutely without risk, so then Veselin was not in a position to offer a draw. Still, the game was within limits of a draw all the time in my opinion.

11.10.2006 Game 11: Kramnik attacks?
During the whole match the team Kramnik took moderate wait-and-see attitude. They avoided conflict as much as possible, and only reacted to attacks from the other side.

However, as the match finish approached, the Russian initiated a counterattack. A few hours before the start of the Game 11, Carsten Hensel issued an open letter, clarifying Kramnik’s position about FIDE decision regarding the Game 5. After the game Vladimir said that the goal of this letter was to confirm his position in anticipation of future legal actions, and ruled out a supposition that this was an attempt to exert psychological pressure on the opponent. However, it looked exactly so from the outside…

1.d4. Topalov does not please us with variety of first moves. However, we should not forget about his main trump – 1.е4.

1...d5 2.c4 c6 (Kramnik is also consistent, which is explicable and logical) 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 (other continuations are 4...Bf5 and 4...a6) 5.Bd3 dxc4 6.Bxc4 c5. Here comes farewell of a Slav – a well known QGA position arose.

7.0-0 a6 8.Bb3 cxd4. Let us try why Black rushes with this exchange – 8...Nc6 allows the following regrouping: 9.Qe2 cxd4 10.Rd1 Be7 11.Nc3 0-0 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.exd4 Nd5 14.Qf3 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Qc7 16.Bf4. More principled 16.с4 gives White serious initiative: 16...Bd6 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.c4 Rb8 19.Rac1 Bd7 20.c5 Qc7 21.d5 (Leko-Karpov, Hungary, rapid 2006).

05.10.2006 A la guerre commes a la guerre

Kramnik’s absence at the Game 5 combined with peculiarities of the match regulations inciden-tally forced Vladimir playing three Black game in a row. A fearful prospect for any opponent of ‘new’ Topalov! However, judging by the course of today’s encounter, Vladimir took this unex-pected punishment almost gladly: he repelled Veselin’s opening pressure so confidently that the Bulgarian, instead of lambent attacks, had to turn to careful defending.

Topalov’s first move was accompanied by a protest letter, which becomes a tradition in Elista. This time his manager brought to our attention percentages of Kramnik’s moves coinciding with the main line of Fritz9. Curiously, the highest number – 87% – was registered in the second game, in which both opponents missed a checkmate in several moves. This was not another appeal, but rather decla-ration of war.
 PDF Version of Bulletin 7

05.10.2006 Game 4: Analysis by GM Ernesto Inarkiev
Slav defense D17

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 (Kramnik continues the opening discussion, choosing the Slav defense again) 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 (deviating from the second game: Topalov does not allow 4.Nf3 dxc4) 4...e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4. The Meran Variation had been a reliable weapon of Kramnik in the 90s, later it was forgotten, and only this year Vladimir returned to his old favorite.

7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.a3. 9.e4 is also popular. 9.0-0 is the main continuation: 9...a6 10.a4 b4 11.Nb1 c5 12.Nbd2 Bd6 13.Qe2 Qb8 14.Nc4 Bc7 15.h3 0-0 16.a5 Ne4 17.Rd1 Rd8 18.Bd2 Bd5 19.Be1 Qb7, and the players agreed to a draw, Gelfand-Kramnik, Dortmund 2006.

04.10.2006 Game 7: Photos

03.10.2006 Decision of the Appeals Committee to the appeal of Mr. Kramnik
Elista, October 3, 2006

Dear Mr. Kramnik,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your Appeal dated October the 2nd, 2006 addressed to this Committee.

We have taken note of your arguments, however we should like to point out that the appointment of the new Appeals Committee does not mean that the new one appointed has the power of overruling any decisions taken by the former Appeals Committee which are absolutely final.

According to the stated above, the new Appeals Committee has the power to decide on any appeal submitted starting from the 6th Round of the match.

Under this consideration, the Appeals Committee decided that no fee shall be charged from your prize money due to your appeal dated October the 2nd 2006.

03.10.2006 Who will become a Hero of Kalmykia?
The press conference after the Game 6 was greatly anticipated. The match has continued, Topalov shook hands with Kramnik, and the latter easily made a draw, playing Black. In addition, FIDE President took the seat between the players, so there were quite a few questions…

Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV: Dear Vladimir, dear Veselin, on behalf of the FIDE leadership and millions of chess fans all over the world, let me express great gratitude for you for coming to this game and resuming the World Chess Championship match! Thank you for your courageous decision!

– Veselin, one of the statements issued by your team asserted that you will not shake hands with Vladimir and will not participate in joint press conferences…
Veselin TOPALOV: Perhaps it sounded too emotional; there is nothing for me to be proud of. I shook hands with Kramnik, and the match continued. I believe that his play is fair, and my decision to continue the match proves it. We are humans, and sometimes we make mistakes.

03.10.2006 Game 6: Everything is at stake
We missed chess so much! The days of unexpected rest and political battles have extremely exhausted everybody – I don’t think it was half as tiring as the longest and most tense games. It is a miracle that the players even sat at the board…

 PDF Version of Bulletin 6

03.10.2006 Game 6: Analysis by GM Ernesto Inarkiev
Slav Defence D17
Veselin Topalov - Vladimir Kramnik

Game 6. The 5th game, in which Kramnik had to have White, was not played. Resuming the play as Black with the score 3-2 is a brave decision – in case of a defeat the classical champion risked losing all his advantage. Bravo, Vladimir! The match goes on – hurrah!

02.10.2006 Tomorrow, October the 3rd 2006, is a day off, according to the Match Schedule
Please note the Match Schedule:

October 3 - rest day
October 4 - Game 7 Topalov-Kramnik

02.10.2006 FIDE President thanks both participants of the Match for their wisdom when deciding to continue the Match
Elista, October, 2nd 2006
To the Participants of the
World Chess Championship Match
GM Veselin Topalov
GM Vladimir Kramnik

Dear Veselin, Dear Vladimir,

On behalf of the millions of admirers of your chess talent and the citizens of the Republic of Kalmykia, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thankfulness for your wisdom, flexibility and understanding of the current situation which were shown in your decision to continue the Match.

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