Elista Express: Game six to start shortly (we are told)

10/2/2006 – After two days of strife and intense negotiations FIDE has now announced that game six will begin at 15:00h Elista time, at a score of 3:2 for Kramnik (i.e. the defaulted fifth game will be counted). The press release makes it clear that agreement was reached – with the Topalov camp. We wait with bated breath to see if the game will be played. Express report.

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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.

1:00h Elista time – A FIDE release has announced that the match will indeed be continued, at a score of 3:2. The statements says the announcement was made last night (Sunday, Oct. 1st) at around 23.30h local Elista time, i.e. a half an hour before the deadline of the ultimatum given to the players. Ilyumzhinov stated that all issues that prevented the continuation of the World Championship match Topalov-Kramnik had been resolved.


Ilyumzhinov (with Danailov, left, and Topalov) making the announcement

The Organising Committee, says the official release, has complied with two out of three demands of Vladimir Kramnik: the members of the Appeals Committee have been replaced and after an unbelievably scrupulous inspection of the restrooms by the Bulgarian side – agreed for the use of the personal bathrooms by the participants. There was no compromise regarding the sole issue – the score, with which the opponents would continue the match. From a purely legal point of view, as the IOC lawyers confirmed, the arbiter in accordance with the regulations started Kramnik’s clock, and the game was forfeited due to the time loss. Kramnik, from his side, was insisting that the clock was started due to the wrong (and nearly ill-intentioned) decision of the Appeals Committee, and therefore it should be considered invalid. Of course, it means that the score should remain 3:1, and the 5th game has to be replayed, rather than the 6th game played.

The FIDE President, who did not see any legal way out of the conflict, shifted the settling of the issue to the participants themselves, calling one of them to reconsider his point of view. Ilyumzhinov said, “The one who will yield, will forever be a chess hero!” However, none of them was willing to become a hero, which made a successful finalization of the campaign doubtful. In the existing deadlock, Ilyumzhinov had to make a decision. The FIDE President chose the language of the sport law. The three-party dialogue, however, did not happen during the final stage. At 23.05 the office of the FIDE President in the City Hall was entered by Veselin Topalov and Silvio Danailov – neither Vladimir Kramnik, nor Carsten Hensel was present. After some time, the manager of the Bulgarian Grandmaster left the office, and in about 20 minutes Ilyumzhinov and Topalov appeared.

As you are aware, during the whole of today I have been negotiating with V. Kramnik and his managers as well as with the managers of V. Topalov. After numerous consultations we came to the following conclusions:

  • First of all, it turned out that the team of Kramnik did not submit any appeals to the Appeals Committee either in respect of the use of the bathrooms, or in respect of the result of the fifth game. According to the regulations, the team has a right to submit an appeal during two hours after the end of the respective game.

  • Second, today we managed to agree on the Appeals Committee (the previous membership resigned and new members were appointed) as well as regarding the use of the restrooms (a separate room has been assigned to each of the match participants). No claims regarding these issues have not been received either from Topalov’s or Kramnik’s sides..

Finally, the key issue – which score we should continue the match with. After negotiations with Kramnik (they took place about an hour ago; unfortunately, Vladimir could not appear here – he is not feeling well) and Topalov (a few minutes ago) it was decided to continue the match from the sixth game, tomorrow, 2nd of October, from the score 3:2. At 15.00 hrs the match Chief Arbiter Geurt Gijssen will start Topalov’s clock.

Question from journalists: Did Kramnik agree to this decision and will he continue the duel?

Ilyumzhinov: When talking to these both great chess players, I saw their wish to continue the fight, and also passed both to Vladimir and to Veselin numerous telegrams from the chess players from the whole world with the words of support and hope for the match continuation. I think that Kramnik and Topalov should put their ambitions aside and sit down to the chess board, in order to prove who is stronger, and who is more worthy to bear the title of the Absolute World Chess Champion!


Silvio Danailov and Veselin Topalov

Question to Topalov: Veselin, with what feeling will you come to play tomorrow?

With great enthusiasm. I am tired of rest! For me it is a great relief that the match will continue and the chess world will be enjoying this great show.

Photos courtesy of FIDE.com

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