Kramnik may stop playing the match

by ChessBase
9/29/2006 – The team of Vladimir Kramnik has issued a statement rejecting the decision of the Appeals Committee and demanding that it be replaced because of its obvious bias in favour of their opponent. "The protests of the Topalov team and the suspicions in the press release of Mr. Topalov are utterly disgraceful and are touching Mr. Kramnik’s privacy." Will the match be interrupted?

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Elista, 29 September 2006

Open Letter

• FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Iljumshinov

Copied to
• Executive Committee of Kalmykia Mr. Valery Bovaev
• Chief Arbiter Mr. Geurt Gijssen
• Russian Chess Federation

Dear Mr. President,

The Appeals Committee of the World Championship Match between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik made the following decision on the protest of the Topalov Team:

“to close both the toilets in the players rest rooms and to open another toilet that will be available only to the two players”

The Kramnik team received the mentioned decision a few hours before the start of game 5 and was officially informed about the protest of Mr. Topalov only yesterday evening, 10 p.m., 28 September 2006. With such a decision the WCC Committee is clearly violating both the rules and regulations of the WCC match and the rights of Mr. Kramnik.

The relevant clause in contract of Mr. Kramnik expels: “FIDE shall provide a rest room and toilette for the players during the WCC match in the playing hall and close to the stage (if possible backstage) to be equipped with a live monitor furnished with coffee and tea as well as with light refreshments.”

The reasons that Mr. Kramnik is entering his own bathroom often is simple: The restroom is small and Mr. Kramnik likes to walk and therefore uses the space of the bathroom as well. The Appeals Committee has been informed about the issue before they decided. It should also be mentioned that Mr. Kramnik has to drink a lot of water during the games.

On the request of Mr. Topalov the agreed live monitors have been removed as well as the shower cabines in the bath rooms. The moves are provided on demonstration boards only. The substance of Mr. Topalov protests (dated 22, 24 and 28 September 2006) were basically always met by the approval of the Appeals Committee. Everything has been done here to satisfy Mr. Topalov’s requests.

On a regulary basis the restrooms and toiletts are heavily checked by specialists, obviously local police forces. This goes together with the arrival of the players. The arbiters are observing all the measures. One representative of each team has the right of being present in order to observe the activities. The playing area is banned from signals and the glas wall protects from any kind of view contact and/or body language. There is not a single reason or evidence to believe that a player would have any kind of cheating possibilities.

It is and was no problem for the organization to assure all necessary measures in order to avoid any kind of cheating. By starting the match both participants agreed all the playing conditions de facto and de jure and the conditions are therefore legally binding. Any change of the playing conditions without a good reason would in our understanding request the approval of both players which is not the case here.

Mr. Kramnik believes that the latest decision should increasingly concern the world of chess as it shows very clearly and once again the biased stand of the Appeals Committee members involved. In person: Mr. Makropolous, Mr. Azmaiparashivili (well known as a close friend to Mr. Danailov), Mr. Gelfer (now replaced by Mr. Vega). Therefore Mr. Kramnik requests to exchange the mentioned persons immediately. Enough is enough.

We would like to add that the recent decision not only insults Mr. Kramnik but is clearly critizing both the excellent work of the local organisation at Elista and the nominated arbiters. Yesterday evening the chief arbiter and the head of the excutive committee once again confirmed that the indirect accusations of cheating are nonsense.

The protests of the Topalov team into the direction of Mr. Kramnik and the suspicions in the press release of Mr. Topalov are utterly disgraceful and are touching Mr. Kramnik’s privacy. We do not think that the Topalov team has any right of getting access to the recordings. This shall be job of the nominated arbiters only.

The Topalov team includes a parapsychologist and more people which are obviously having no other tasks as to distract and to insult Mr. Kramnik especially since their team is realizing that Mr. Topalov finds himself in a difficult situation. This is what we call an utterly unfair behaviour which is not in accordance with the FIDE Code of Ethics. The decision taken by the Appeals Committee can only be seen as another attempt to disturb Mr. Kramniks concentration since it is difficult to understand what kind of improvement it shall be to have one toilet instead of two.

Our team does not trust the objectivity of the Appeals Committee anymore. Therefore it makes no sense for us to bring a protest to this table and Mr. Kramnik strongly insists once again that the members of the Appeals Committee will be changed immediately and that the heads of the Organizing Committee are taking their responsibilities.

In the meanwhile Mr. Kramnik will stop playing this match as long as FIDE is not ready to respect Mr. Kramnik’s rights, in this case to use the toilet of his own restroom whenever he wishes to do so.

Further and more detailed legal investigations are already in process.

On behalf of Vladimir Kramnik
Yours sincerely,
Carsten Hensel
(Manager to Vladimir Kramnik, Classical World Chess Champion)

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