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bucklehead 125 ( +1 | -1 )
Kramnik-Topalov Match (I think it's a sad commentary that this news has been out for a day and a half and nobody's thought to mention it here.)

It seems that the two "World Chess Champions" have agreed to play a unification match in Elista this fall: -> chessbase.com . I would have thought that this was FIDE's late attempt at an April Fool's joke were it not for a corresponding reference on Vladimir Kramnik's website ( -> www.kramnik.com ). In a short statement near the link to the FIDE press release, Kramnik states, "Both players and their managers have agreed with all the technical details of the match, which will consist of 12 games, and the prize fund will be a guaranteed minimum amount of 1 million US dollars."

I haven't been able to find any confirmation statement from Topalov (who earlier in the year squelched rumors about such a match), so it's possible the whole thing is merely wishful thinking. But if it does come about, we can look forward to the "Steinitz bloodline," as I've heard it called, being restored.
mean_guy183 4 ( +1 | -1 )
afd Kramnik will own Toplalov = instant win
ccmcacollister 76 ( +1 | -1 )
But can he own Deep Fritz? Seeing there is a match set for November. Strangely enough, I want to go with the human Chess machine to win that one :) It makes no sense. They will be gunning for his opening no doubt, and have the endurance factor. And surely this box is even better than the Kasparov killer ... yet ...
Imo Kasparov both should and could have won that. (And they feared giving him a return match, tho set up for him already.) My thinking is Kasparov made the mistake of trying to Crush it tactically like he'd done to computers before. Ala Bronstein. But it was up to it. I feel like Kramnick will take a more practical approach, tho not ultimately as strong as the Kasparov of that moment imo. IF our new "K" takes the games seriously and doesnt get lazy on us.
Any other preditions out there on either match?

bunta 23 ( +1 | -1 )
topalov i am going for topalov, its about time there having this match as well. I have this earie feeling that kramnik will win the series but but i am not sure, it should be a very good match to the world
wolstoncroft1 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Kramnik has not played even close to the same level of chess as topolov in the last couple years, he has not even played even close to his own standard set against Kasparov. I think it will be a convincing win for Topolov, i dont think it will even be close. I predict 7.5 to 4.5. Only time will tell, but my $ is on Topolov, no question.
magna68 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Topa-Drawnik Given that Kramnik is probably the most boring super GM that have ever existed, every true chess fan must pray for a Topalov win. And wolstoncroft1 is right, "Drawnik" is nowhere close to his former strenght. Topa is surely the stronger player now (as his Elo shows) and hopefully he will bring the end to this sad period of more than one world champ.
Kramnik-Deep Fritz in november...hmm .. who really cares?

magna68 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Topa-Drawnik Given that Kramnik is probably the most boring super GM that have ever existed, every true chess fan must pray for a Topalov win. And wolstoncroft1 is right, "Drawnik" is nowhere close to his former strenght. Topa is surely the stronger player now (as his Elo shows) and hopefully he will bring the end to this sad period of more than one world champ.
Kramnik-Deep Fritz in november...hmm .. who really cares?

alberlie 82 ( +1 | -1 )
Magna, the "problem" with Kramnik is, that he looses very few games (at least he used to). So, whereas Topalov is capable of playing +7 -4 =3 and win a tourney with a +3 score, Kramnik get's the same result by +4 -1 =9.

And after the ridiculous comments of Topalov about the "completely different league" of a 2801 player compared to a 2730 player and his hopes that Ilyumzhinov will be reelected, one can only hope that so much idiocy off the board get's kicked as badly as possible. Stupidity must be punished, imo.

Besides: Topalov as of yet has no real match experience (not counting that recent four-game match against Nisipeanu). Matches and tourneys are different things - therefore I would give Kramnik very much even chances if he gets his health back (which I hope very much).
magna68 68 ( +1 | -1 )
alberlie I prefer that the total boredome of Kramniks play gets kicked badly rather than Topa for some stupid offboard comments. It's of course unforgivable to backup Ilyumzhinov, but if Kramnik wins this match it would be as sad story for chess as it was for football when Greece won the Europeans. Boredome should be banned in any sport! :-)

But I agree with you, the experience and style of play could help Kramnik in a match like this. I however think Topalov is just too strong for him and his comments about "completely different league" of 2801 player compared to 2730 one, though maybe little bit bold, it's not so far from the truth, and surely not "ridiculous".
ccmcacollister 5 ( +1 | -1 )
W?H?A?T? Kramnik = Boring ??
I thought he plays the Petroff . . . ?!!
magna68 1 ( +1 | -1 )
ccmcacollister Exactly... :-)
alberlie 144 ( +1 | -1 )
magna, I would go so far as to say it's not only ridiculous but complete bs. (that was to shorten "bogus" ;o) ).

ELO is a means to a) _predict_ (not measure) b) _performance_ (not results). A 2800 rating doesn't tell you _anything_ by itself. Only in comparison with some other rating, you can then use it to predict future outcomes of a hypothetical match/game. The calculation formula used is aligned in a way as to correlate a 75% winning chance with a 200 points elo gap. Meaning, that if you have a rating gap of 200 points, you are expected to score 75% in future games against that player.
And it's completely irrelevant "where" that gap happens to be - whether it's between a 2800 and a 2600 guy or between a 1000 and 1200 or 1600 and 1400 - it's always the same prediction. If the ratings are correct, one can always assume that the higher rated player wins 75% of the possible points.
A rating gap of 70 point predicts a subsequently lesser return, maybe an expected winning percentage of 60% or 65%. And again, that prediction would hold just as true to the 1200 guy next door who plays against his 1270 buddy.

Now, unless you want to start talking about some "completely different league" that 1270 buddy is in, there is no sane way you can do this with regards to Topalov - Kramnik. The numbers reflect the exact same relationship as a 1200 vs 1270 player.

Topalov must have been drunk when he said this - looked at with a sober eye, it's complete nonsense.
magna68 115 ( +1 | -1 )
alberie ...so you are saying that we can expect Topalov to win 6,5-3,5 in a 10 game match? If thats the case, everyone would agree about a "whole different league" between those players, at this level.
Not necessarily so if that would be the result between a 1200 and a 1270 players. You are comparing apples and oranges here and justifying it because both are fruits and circular.
And 2800 rating does tell you great deal of things. Those very few players (6?) that have managed to pass this barrier do have something extra, something extra that places them in an "another league" at this extra high level.
Topalovs comment was of course part of a "pshycological warefare", and interesting in the light that Kramnik managed to pass the 2800 barrier and stay there for quite some time (over 2 years if I remember correctly). It's almost like saying "Your days are over buddy", what is exactly what Drawnik must proof wrong. Is he just one of the 2700 something boys now, or does he still have something extra?

mean_guy183 21 ( +1 | -1 )
bacon The comparison between a 1200 player and 2800 player isn't faulty, although I agree that the results of a 2800 player match vs a 1200 player match would be viewed in a different light.
alberlie 198 ( +1 | -1 )
First of all, I am saying we can expect Topalov to win 6 - 4 in a 10 game match (not 6,5; to be exact, 2800 to 2730 expects 5.98/10). That would mean a +2 score. In the announced 12 game match, Topalov is expected to score approx. 7,2/12. That's still just a +2 score. And it is equal to or less than what is necessary to win most top level tournaments (where +3 usually is sufficient but +4/5 has been seen in the most recent ones such as San Luis, Corus, Morelia/Linares) . If that constitutes for you a different league - then I guess you simply have considerably broader interpretation of the meaning of the expression "different league". If you and Topalov get so freaked out about a +2 score over a 10 game interval - I guess you simply can't be helped.

To me, a different league would be Judit Polgar playing for the women's WCC and finishing 10,5/11 or something similar. Maybe Kasparov competing in a tournament such as the US Championship and also finishing 10/14 or thereabouts (Linares 1994 comes to mind - but Karpov could do that only once, not consistently).

To finish at +2 signifies exactly one thing - that he is a somewhat stronger chess player. Nothing more, nothing less.
re the rest: There have been four players at 2800+ (Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, Anand) and that 2800 rating signifies this "something extra" is only because we know there are/were only four with that rating. The rating itself is just a tool of prognostics. That's what you are missing and where you see apples and oranges, where in reality there are neither.
Of course, a match of a 1200vs1270 is exaggerated because we feel that players who's only consistency is that of unwillingly putting a piece en prise at least once per game can't generate a serious match outcome. But the numbers do work the same. We can simply lift the example up to upper average GM-strength. A match between Carlsen at 2640 and Ponomariov at 2720(?) - does that constitute for you a different league???
magna68 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Still comparing apples and oranges, this time tournaments and matches.
Guess we will just have to wait for the match to see who is right here. :-)
Taking Carlsen vs. Pono as an example is then pretty bad, Carlsen climbing fast and hard to estimate his real strenght. It's not the same as comparing two established players, where the lower rated is going down the ranks and has been playing very little.
Kamsky (or even Karpov) -Svidler would maybe be better example, and yes, I consider Svidler to be in a different league than both those players.
Seems to me that Topalovs comment didn't just piss off Kramnik, as it was supposed to do. :-)
alberlie 9 ( +1 | -1 )
there is this german saying: "Du hast Recht, ich meine Ruhe." : I grant that you're right and you in return leave me be.

augeias 19 ( +1 | -1 )
World Championship Match Topalov-Kramnik I think that this confrontation is very important for world chess because now we will have one champion. At this
moment we have two champions and people wonder who's better!
augeias 3 ( +1 | -1 )
World Championship Match Topalov-Kramnik A post from Taborov.
ccmcacollister 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Alberlie .... However You are not permitted to say That ... Unless it is a clever way to Get The Last Word! For you've made youre claim! :)
ccmcacollister 161 ( +1 | -1 )
Some interesting stats: I thought some of these stats from a games d-base were interesting, however much they may or may not bear upon predicting the Topo-Kram outcome. For EG, that K enjoys a healthy
+19 -9 =33 advantage in results vs ~Topo! Hmmm
-> www.chessgames.com

But besides the heads up results, how about comparing Topo vs Karpov since he can be very ferocious, brilliant, solid, and lets face it ...boring from time to time. So that sounds
kinda like Kramnick, eh?
Topo has 10-10=16 vs Karpov. Even up despite being the younger man. Kramnick vs KArpov has +8-5=23 . A little bit better.
Results vs Leko are fairly close too. With Topo having +11-12=28 and Kramnick having +9-7=54 with Pete. A bit better here too.
And finally vs Kasparov. Kramnick +21-22=79 vs Topo having +6-14=16 Hmm, not so impressive.
I'd be interested to see any other mutual opponent records that anyone care to look into.
Final thought for the day: What if Topo has been wildly spending his best ideas in tournament play, so to crack 2800 ... but Kramnick has been a bit drawish lately ... maybe keeping his Best thoughts at home, tucked under a mattress (or whereever GM's put their Improvements nowadays ...!?) , quitely watching, waiting to spring them upon the unsuspecting, overconfident match opponent. Say like a WC perhaps ..... Hmmm?!!
BTW, can anyone tell me who the Official "Seconds" are, to each of the players, for the WC duello ?
johnrowell 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Those stats reveals a lot. I've noticed even playing here that there are some players that have higher ratings than me and yet I feel a better player, and vice versa, players with lower ratings that always beat me. I think it's a question of style. For this reason I have a hunch that despite Kramnik being lower in the rankings, in a head to head he would win. Perhaps Topalov's more cavaliere approach lets him win a much higher percentage of games, but somebody like Kramnik is more able to refute that style.
alberlie 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Topalovs second(s) will be Silvio Danailov (his manager and an IM) and Cheparinov;
Kramnik hasn't announced yet. Up to four per side are allowed.
ccmcacollister 54 ( +1 | -1 )
THANKS! for the info, alberlie .
I think that Kramnick should get Short ... then Nigel and Topo can have a TrashTalk contest!?
Topo"...obviously Kramnick is not in my league'
Nigel: 'That's right; you're a baboon! You are in the baboon league'
Topo: 'Apparently baboons are superior then. Since Kasparov and I are both over 2800!'
Nigel: 'And hairy too!'
Topo: 'BTW, When was the last time You beat a monkey, Nigel? Memory escapes me...'
Kramnick: 'Topo, ...Draw?'
* * * * *
alberlie 23 ( +1 | -1 )
... and truth be told, to consent to a further WCC match without having won the first title defence is plainly insulting...

-> chessbase.com
magna68 170 ( +1 | -1 )
..."Radjabov, currently number 13 in the FIDE ranking, will be the next challenger IF Topalov defends his title in the game against Kramnik in September this year in the capital of Kalmykia, Elista."
So the game will of course only take place if Topalov win the match against Kramnik. This is however all very very wrong. Just the fact that you have to be rich or associated with big companies or rich people to be able to challenge the champ is sadly unsportive and so in line with Ilyumzhinovs dictatorship way of handling things.

This all smells of politics and I did read a very interesting interview with Shirov on Chessbase two weeks ago where he stated "that the Russian Chess Federation president Alexander Zhukov (who is also responsible for the state budget in the Russian government) made a condition to Ilyumzhinov that the latter would have to give Kramnik this match if he wants to stay as the FIDE president. As by coincidence Bulgaria still enjoys good relations with Russia, and the Bulgarian president sometimes travels to Moscow, for example to attend the awarding of the ‘Oscar’ to Topalov, the match is becoming a closed political affair."
This probably can explain Topalovs change in direction after he had stated that he had no intention to play Kramnik (correctly, why in earth should he have to?), and his sudden (and unforgivable) support for Ilyumzhinov.
The chess world really need just one world champion, but more importantly to get rid of Ilyumzhinov and his mafia. This latest Radjabov story just makes you sick, the chess world is a banana republic ruled by gangsters that have no understanding on what democracy is about.
alberlie 75 ( +1 | -1 )
indeed... ... and I am proud to anounce on behalf of my manager, Mrs. Sabine von der Lieth, that preliminary talk with the manager of Veselin Topalov, Mr. Silvio Danailov, have progressed as far as to be able to inform the interested chess community, that on the condition of

a) Topalov winning his match with Kramnik and
b) Topalov winning his match with Radjabov

I will challenge him to a 12-game WCC-match to be held in my dear hometown Cottbus -> maps.google.de on the condition of

c) My rating having crossed the 2700ELO mark
d) My supporting team of kindergarten professionals getting a purse of $1Mio together.

Conditional World Championship matches are actually pretty fun. :o//
ccmcacollister 7 ( +1 | -1 )
After which ... I will challenge Topolov to a WWF match ... IF he can first outwrestle a baboon ...