Elista Express: Game five abandoned

9/29/2006 – Two hours after the scheduled start the game was abandoned, after Kramnik failed to appear on the stage. He attended the press conference and accused the Appeals Committe of bias towards his opponent. Kramnik stated that he was willing to play game five tomorrow, according to the rules agreed prior to the match. Express report.

Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik

Twelve games, played from September 23 to October 12 in Elista, Kalmikia. The games start at 15:00h (3:00 p.m.) local Elista time, which translates to 11:00h GMT, 13:00h CEST, 12:00h London, 7 a.m. New York.

Live coverage is available on the official FIDE site and on Playchess.com (with live audio commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan for ten Ducats per day). You can buy them in the ChessBase Shop.

Game five – Wednesday, Sept. 29

Here's a protocol of developments in the aborted game five. The information was sent to us, blow by blow, by Misha Savinov, our correspondent in Elista.

15:00h: The start of the game has been delayed to settle the controversy between the two sides.

15:30h: Topalov is sitting at the board, Kramnik's clock is running. The "game" was started at 15:22h Elista time.

15:45h: Kramnik is in his rest room, and is waiting for his toilet to open. The press conference of Makropoulos is about to start. So far it seems the game is not going to start unless the toilet is opened...

16:15h: We do not know whether the forfeit is official, but by normal rules Kramnik has lost game five on time. Kramnik appeared at the Makropoulos press conference and made a statement, saying that the Appeals committee is clearly biased. Kramnik demands replacing all members of the Appeals committee, and said he is prepared to play the fifth game of the match tomorrow, according to the rules accepted prior to the match.

17:00h local time: Chief Arbiter Geurt Gijssen confirmed that Kramnik has forfeited the 5th game.

17:45h: Kramnik appeared at the Marko's press conference and made a statement. Here are a few exerpts from it:

"Makropolous and Azmaiparashvili are very good friends of Danailov. Their actions are clearly biased in favor of Topalov. The decision to grant Danailov full access to videotapes is incorrect and outrageous. I did not sign the contract for acting in a reality show. This goes against all ethical norms and violates my privacy.

I am ready to continue the match and play the 5th game tomorrow on the conditions that were accepted prior to the start of the match. My dignity does not allow me to stand this situation. Now I am going to return to my cottage and rest."

17:50h: Savinov: "I have no idea how the situation will develop, but the atmosphere is very tense. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin right now, so he can hardly intervene..."

Full report to follow...

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