Kramnik on the Olympiad, Topalov and Deep Fritz

6/12/2006 – After months of illness classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik made a very convincing comeback at in Turin, achieving the highest rating performance of any player at the Chess Olympiad. In an interview immediately after the final round Kramnik spoke about his health, his form and his immediate plans. Excerpts.

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Interveiw with Vladimir Kramnik

The following interview was conducted by IM Michael Rahal immediately after Kramnik's final game at the Chess Olympiad in Turin. It was published on the Vladimir Kramnik web site. We bring you excerpts.

Health: My health is definitely much better, but I am still under treatment. You can see that I played much better [in Turin]. In general I think that everything is going in the right direction. I have already forgotten about the past and I am only thinking of the future.

Russia at the Olympiad: We started well and everything seemed to be in order, and then things just started to go wrong in the middle of the tournament. At some point we simply didn’t know who to put on the team. We had a clear disaster on the fourth board, where we made –4, which is unbelievable for us. The fourth board was sort of a “horror” – whoever we put there it would be bad. I believe that you win the Olympiads on the fourth board. Basically we are a rather old team, averaging 29 years old. We need some young players especially for the last boards.


Vladimir Kramnik, who made a dramatic comback at the Chess Olympiad in Turin, after many months of illness, with a sterling 2847 performance, the highest for any participant at the Olympiad.

Young Russian talents: Unfortunately I don’t see much talent coming from our country, and this is scaring for me, as we shall not get any younger. Some of the players in this team already played in 1994, so you need some new blood at some point and at the moment I can’t see who can bring some new resources to the team.

On Vishy Anand's bad result in Turin: I am quite surprised. He is such a good world-class player that even in bad shape, even if you wake him up in the middle of the night, he should still play very well. But you shouldn’t draw any conclusions, these things happen. In 1996, the year I overtook Kasparov in the rating lists, I played an Olympiad in Yerevan and I lost 21 rating points.

The match against Topalov: I am very motivated for my match with Topalov. I will be considering the Dortmund event as a part of my preparation. In general he used to be quite a comfortable opponent for me. I used to play some very beautiful games against Topalov, much more than against any other player, maybe because of his style which is rather aggressive, and because of his great fighting ability.

The match with Deep Fritz: Actually, this match is a little problem, I must admit. This match was fixed when I didn’t know that I would be playing Topalov. I don’t have as much time as I would want to for the preparation of this match. Of course there will be certain players who will be doing some work on the computer while I am playing Topalov. I am confident I might be able to win.

The Professional Chess Players Association – I am still a member of the ACP and of course I am pleased that the organisation still exists, but I am not playing any serious role there because I decided not to continue to run for the second period because of certain conflict of interests that could arise because of this match with Topalov.



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