Breaking news: will Kramnik miss Dortmund?

6/20/2007 – On the eve of the Dortmund Super-GM tournament, which begins this weekend, we learn that world champion Vladimir Kramnik has fallen ill with a severe respiratory infection, which calls his participation into question. Kramnik's illness made it necessary to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Whether he can play in Dortmund or not will be decided in the next 48 hours.

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Vladimir Kramnik's illness has nothing to do with the rheumatic disease Ankylosing Spondylitis, which plagued him two years ago, and caused him to drop out of the Wijk aan Zee tournament in January 2006. That problem is under control, as he revealed to us in a recent interview.

The current problem is a severe infection of the respiratory system, accompanied by high fever, which made it necessary to administer massive antibiotics. We learn from sources in Moscow that Kramnik had to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir on Wednesday because of this illness (the meeting was rescheduled for July).

When asked about his participation in the Super-GM tournament in Dortmund Kramnik's manager informed us that the situation was unclear. In his current condition playing serious chess games was out of the question. However a recovery in time for the start of the tournament on Saturday is still in the books. The next 48 hours will bring clarity. Kramnik will have to miss the press conference on Thursday and would, health permitting, arrive in Dortmund on Friday, in time for round one on Saturday at 3 p.m.

We will keep you briefed on the status of his participation.


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