Friday, September 29, 2006

World Championship Whinging

A few moments ago, grandmaster Susan Polgar, while observing the (non) events in Elista said, "Unbelievable! This is really sad!" Some 20 minutes after the scheduled start of play, there are still no moves.

Proving once again what I have long believed that the chess world should really abandon the concept of a "World Champion", our two combatants Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov are behaving like a couple of whinging tootsies.

Mig in the Daily Dirt calls this ridiculous fiasco "Bladdergate" and surely there is no more apt a label (I prefer it to Chessbase's "toiletgate"). What is there to be expected but for the two highest exponents of our game embarassing their sport right in front of the entire world?

First, the Bulgarian side (Topalov) accused the opposition, the Russian Kramnik, of excusing himself to the toilet far too frequently. Not, say, 2 or 3 times, as might be reasonably normal - but 50 times in every game! I suppose, after losing the first two games, it was only natural for the Bulgarians to imagine all sorts of fairytales. To remedy the situation, the Bulgarians demanded, among other things, that "When the two players need to go to the bathroom, they should be accompanied by an assistant arbiter."

That was later followed by a meeting of the FIDE Appeals Committee which eventually decided, among other things, that "In the [Bulgarian] appeal there is an exaggeration of the number of times that Mr. Kramnik visited the toilet. Despite there being an unusual number of visits, this is insufficient on its own to come to a conclusion."

Further, FIDE suggested closing "both the toilets in the players' rest rooms and to open another toilet that will be available only to the two players." It was to this that the Russians expressed some unhappiness. This was a portion of their official reply: "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."

And so, here we are. At 3:15PM local time in Elista, various online sources are reporting that Topalov is actually sitting at the board apparently ready to play. While Kramnik is, well, waiting for some damn toilet door to open. Just hilarious! This is the World Championship and these guys are squabbling over toilets!

Ladies and gentlemen - this is chess. And that is how it is at the highest levels of our game.


ggrayggray said...

While it seems like this is all about a toilet, I think the main issue really is about the contracts that the players agreed to play under before the start of the match.
Fide has a long history of just 'ignoring' contracts when they think it suits them.

Topalov's manager also has a murky history regarding matches when he was manager for Pono.

This all being said, the world chess feds are getting exactly what they voted for at the Turin Olympiad.

Anonymous said...

Kramnik should have called Topalov's bluff, played on, and allowed the cameras to film his "secret weapon" (who knows he might shock Topalov into resigning the match, and gain millions of women fans, and some men too ;).

Instead Kramnik allowed Topalov's
"Puckering Bladder" novelty and blundered badly by not playing!

So you die hard chess bums, to play better chess, whip out and shake and flex dem mussles, and get good blood circulation going from your ass to your brain! Might save your life too from getting the deadly venous thrombosis and the pulmonary embolus.

Doc Feelgood Chess

Anonymous said...

Chess at its best?!
Or, who's gonna be the toilet king?

Anonymous said...

I think its unjust for Kramnik to be penalized by prohibiting him from going to his toilet when the appeals commitee and Danailov have found nothing but suspicious thinking! If Kramnik cheated penalized him, and dont break the agreement they themselves laid and agreed upon by both parties!

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the arbiter would have been accompaning the players from the start of the match to make sure they werent doing anything shifty.

Anonymous said...

And to think people think that Topalov is a classy player.
He starts crying and coming up with outlandish claims when he is 2 points down.

Would Kasparov have done the same,I think not!