“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…..

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  • parcifal

    Kirsan has been known for years for his nuttiness, and here we have the attempt at the re-unification ( kasparov split back in 1993 ) and what do you know .. all bets are off.
    apparently the deadline is noon sunday to work this out. Do you play pete?

  • Pete Baker

    Not for a long time, parci.

    Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, alien abductee, paranormal powers… and Peter Hain… hmmm…

    I wonder if Kalmykia would consider a swap..

  • parcifal

    re “toiletgate” there was one story where Adams met Trimble in the Stormont toilets, and Adams was reported to have said ” This is the piss process” to which Trimble replied “Grow up”.

    I think Hain would consider a swap, who in their right mind would want to be NI secretary?

  • Pete Baker

    “..who in their right mind would want to be NI secretary?”

    Hain, apparently. If we’re to believe his version of what happened during the last cabinet re-shuffle.

  • parcifal

    Irish people to sort out Irish affairs, must be the bottom line.
    British interference never worked anywhere else in the world, why should Ireland be different?

  • Pete Baker

    Change the record, parci.. and I notice you’ve ignored the answer to your previous question.

    Btw, the bottom line of the 1998 Agreement is that there are both Irish and British people here – ie not in Brighton.

  • Btw, the bottom line of the 1998 Agreement is that there are both Irish and British people here – ie not in Brighton.
    Posted by Pete Baker

    And Polish, Albanians, Chezch’s, as well as others.

    Just shows NI is a multi-cultural European destination.

  • Pete Baker

    Yes Art, please don’t assume that my response to parci was meant as anything other than a response to parci.

  • Chess nut

    The posters of slugger may well like to know that the UCU (Ulster Chess Union) has broken away (again) from the ICU (Irish Chess Union)

    This is because it means the UCU will become a recognised member in it’s own right of FIDE (The Most Corrupt Organisation Outside of FIFA and Sinn Fein sorry couldn’t resist that one)

    In order to prove their worth on a European stage the UCU are sending a team made up from the best players from all the teams in the league, unfortunately work committments and illness have reduced the strength of the UCU team but it will still field an impressive line-up of local talent under the name of City of Belfast bound for Austria this week.

    The quality of Irish chess has gone through the roof lately in mens, womens and junior levels.
    Lets hope the City of Belfast team can do the business and get us a delegates vote on FIDE.

    BTW … almost all teams are made up of players from across the political and religious landscape.

  • Pete Baker

    Chess nut

    “The quality of Irish chess has gone through the roof lately in mens, womens and junior levels.”

    Let’s hope that’s not the real reason behind this partitioning of the Chess Union in Ireland.

    And just as the World Championship was due to be re-unified too..

    btw I had noticed the great results by the Irish women’s team, in particular, recently.

  • Chess nut


    Relax it’s just us stupid Irish stetching the rules in order to maximise representation in European events, a Jack Charlton sort of thing.

    For the more sectarian members of Slugger the strongest team on paper in Belfast is the Fisherwick team (mainly protestant) but the team that wins the league every year is Clifton House (mainly roman catholic).
    The biggest club that ever played in the UCU was the RVH chess club on the Falls road with four individual teams who used to win everthing until Clifton House came along.

  • It has been said that “Life is a game of Chess”

    So, actualy playing is “Brushing up on life skills”

  • Pete Baker

    Chess nut

    That’s what I thought/meant – the stretching the rules that is ;o)

    But as well as increasing the individual numbers at an event, surely it could weaken the team[s] overall?

  • parcifal

    Ali G: “So is you Irish?”

    Sammy Wilson: “No I’m British.”

    Ali G: “So is you ‘ere on holiday?”

    Pete, that’s how its seen from Brighton.

    I rest my case old chap.

    Chess nut,
    some of my pals played in the Cork 2005 Open, as it was the City of Culture that year, they said it was a great weekend.
    I missed it due to ill-health, but when I’m next in Eire, ( waitng on Irish passport ) will try to make a conference. There doesn’t seem to be enough arranged.
    Irish chess is on the up for sure.

  • Pete Baker

    Ali G [aka Borat, aka Sacha Baron Cohen] is your case?

    Case dismissed.

  • Chess nut


    The players that play in the Northern leagues have to win the Ulster title and then go into a round robin tournament with the Champions of the other provinces plus an extra team from the province that is host for the event, the winner is selected to represent Ireland at the European invite, this way this Island can send two teams to the event.
    To compete with some of the Leinster teams which are riddiculously strong having a board 6 (the weakest player) at 1900 strength that is 100 points away from Master level, would require the Ulster teams to form a Super team (City of Belfast team)

    I hope I have been some sort of informative assistance.

  • Pete Baker

    It was informative, Chess nut, thanks..

    ..and it points to a need to reform how the board is selected to represent the Irish Chess Union.

  • Chess nut


    If you’re interested in some of the great tournaments (trust me folks it ain’t all as boring as one may think, the craic is superb and some of the venues are out of this world, and each tournament caters for all strengths beginner to master (non sexist no seperation of sexes)

    Kilkenny congress
    Bunratty festival
    Cork congress
    City of Dublin festival

    or try the local Belfast summerfest or Ulster Championship

  • parcifal

    M’lud Baker , I will appeal your ruling post 24th November.

    Thanks I’ll look into it.
    Belfast Boat Club in May.