“I give them instructions on a subconscious level.”

While our local players continue posturing preparations for the St Andrews showdown.. in another corner of the globe, a corner that is in fact a very strange state of mind, the less-glamorous sounding cottage 15 of City Chess is being prepared. However, with Kalmykia being Europe’s only Buddhist republic, as well as being under the spell of President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who happens to be President of FIDE, that’s likely to be a rather grand cottage. In keeping with the history, and spirit, of a strategy game aimed at regicide, an intriguing, if ridiculous, stand-off has emerged at this year’s World Chess Championship, which had been hoped to heal a 13 year split in world chess – the proverbial straw.. toilet breaks.The tournament matches current top-ranked player, and reigning FIDE champion, Veselin Topalov, and Vladimir Kramnik, the Classical Chess World champion.

Topalov had been expected to perform well by many.. but a disappointing start had left him trailing 3-1 in the 12-game match.. which is when he made his move complaint

The complaint was that Kramnik had taken over 50 toilet breaks through the course of a 6 hour game – the implication being that he had been cheating by accessing a computer to analyse the game’s position. The Appeals Committee seemed to disagree that the visits were excessive or that there was a possibility that external assistance had been sought, but they still recommended the players’ individual toilets be closed and they share toilet facilities.

Elista, September 28th, 2006

Decision of the Appeals Committee to the appeal of Mr. Danailov

The Appeals Committee has received today an appeal from the Head of the Bulgarian Delegation, Mr. Danailov, regarding the use of the rest rooms and toilets during the match Topalov – Kramnik.

We have received from the Organizers part of the video recording of the rest room from games 1, 2 and 4 and the whole recording of game 3. There were technical problems that did not allow a full recording of the rest rooms where a partial recording was made available.

In the 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.

In order that the World Championship can continue running smoothly, the Appeals Committee has decided:
(a) To close both the toilets in the players’ rest rooms and to open another toilet that will be available only to the two players.
(b) Not to accept the request of Mr. Danailov, to stop the use of the rest rooms by the players.
(c) The Appeals Committee believes that the publication of the videotapes to the mass media is not within our authority and we consider such action to be against the privacy of the players.

(d) The Appeals Committee will return the fee of USD 5,000 for the appeal to Mr. Danailov.

Kramnik refused to participate in the next game, the fifth, remaining in his rest area until the game was declared in favour of Topalov.

Which brought an open letter from Topalov’s[Word doc] representative..

1. The ruling in its present form is not satisfactory to us since it practically does not result in any change. Mr. Kramnik will be able to visit the new bathroom an unlimited number of times without being subject to further control.

and this open letter from Kramnik’s [Word doc] which includes an accusation that President Ilyumzhinov may well empathise with..

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.

Word eventually arrived at Sochi, where Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was attending a meeting of the Heads of the Regions of the South Russian Regions of the Russian Federation led by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.. from where he sent his own letter back[jpg]

The current situation is that the President of Kalmykia, and FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has offered to meet with the players in cottage 15[Word doc]

Text of letter

Elista, 30 September 2006

To GM V. Topalov

To GM V. Kramnik

Dear Veselin, dear Vladimir,

I accept the Chief Arbiter’s proposal and I like to invite you for a meeting in cottage 15 of City Chess at 12.00h to discuss the actual situation of the match and to solve the problems.

I am very confident, that with the cooperation of all parties involved, it is possible to continue the match.

Yours sincerely,

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Given his previous encounters with aliens and his claims of paranormal powers – “Irrespective of what I tell people,” he said in 1995, “I give them instructions on a subconscious level. I am creating around the republic a kind of extrasensory field.” – perhaps when Kirsan’s finished with that squabble…..