Elsewhere on the Web : Game Six of the Unification Match Postponed

Sunday October 1, 2006

An extraordinary situation calls for extraordinary measures. To avoid immediate collapse of the World Chess Championship unification match, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov postponed the sixth game, originally scheduled for Saturday, 30 September. Vladimir Kramnik of Russia lost game five of the match by forfeit after he failed to appear at the board within one hour of the game's start. This reduced his lead over Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to 3-2, including two draws.

Ilyumzhinov has much to lose if the match stops after only four games played. His re-election in June to the presidency of the world federation was based on a pledge to the Russian Chess Federation to hold the long sought match. He is also President of Kalmykia, the autonomous republic within the Russian Federation that is host country for the match.

Kramnik also has much to lose. The match regulations stipulate that the prize fund will be split equally between the two players 'independent from the final result. If a player withdraws after the start of a match without having a satisfactory reason for doing so, he shall receive no prize money.' Kramnik's share of the purse is 500.000 US$, a large amount of money to forfeit for what is, at least on the surface, a dispute over toilet privileges.


For the events leading up to Kramnik's forfeit, see our report on Unification Match - Week 1, including excerpts from the letters of Topalov's manager to the match Appeals Committee, the response of the Committee, and an open letter from Kramnik's manager questioning the objectivity of the Committee. Following are more excerpts from documents made public since game five.

29 September 2006, Sochi • Open Letter of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to Vladimir Kramnik • Dear Vladimir, • I have carefully read your open letter of today addressed to me, and I hereby inform you of my full trust in the members of the Match Appeals Committee and their latest decision taken in respect of the appeal of Topalovís team dated 28 September 2006. • I am also asking you in good faith to continue your participation in this match for the sake of the principles of our sport and prevention of the destruction of our long-sought efforts to organize this World Championship match, which is of utter importance for the whole world. • Yours sincerely, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President

30 September 2006, Elista • Open Letter #2 of Vladimir Kramnik • To FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov and the Russian Chess Federation • Requests of Vladimir Kramnik • To proceed with GAME 5 : Mr. Kramnik is ready to continue the match and to play the 5th game (with a leading score of 3:1) on the conditions that were accepted prior to the start of the match. • Toilet issue : The toilets connected to the restrooms shall be opened again. Mr. Kramnik is ready to accept even stricter controls by sealing the toilets before and after inspections. Inspections shall be done before and after each game. • Exchange of members of the Appeals Committee : We repeat that the Kramnik team does not trust the objectivity of the Appeals Committee anymore. • Requested Apology : Last but not least Mr. Kramnik believes that Mr. Danailov [Topalov's manager] should apologize to Mr. Kramnik in writing. • On behalf of Vladimir Kramnik; Yours sincerely, Carsten Hensel (Manager to Vladimir Kramnik, Classical World Chess Champion)

30 September 2006 • Game is postponed • FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov accepted the proposal of the Chief Arbiter of the World Chess Championship Match Topalov-Kramnik Mr. Geurt Gijssen to postpone the game of today. In his letter to the players, the FIDE President calls the players to discuss the actual situation and solve the problems.


For more about the Unification Match, see our ChessChrono on the

Index of all World Championship blog posts