Department of Uh-Oh, a continuing series

After each move Mr. Kramnik immediately heads to the rest room and from it directly to the bathroom.  During every game he visited the relaxation room 25 times at the average and the bathroom more than 50 times – the bathroom is the only place without video surveillance…

Should this extremely serious problem remain unsolved by 10.00 o’clock tomorrow (September 29th, 2006), we would seriously reconsider the participation of the World [chess] Champion Veselin Topalov in this match.

Here is the story.  Kramnik is leading 3-1; with the exception of his B x f8?? move in game two, his tactical play has been uncannily accurate, and indeed computer-like, at key moments.  Or maybe he has learned that new style by playing with computers.  Here is my previous post on the topic.


What's the difference between a restroom and a bathroom?

The problem is that Kramnik's play hasn't been uncharacteristic at all. He is known (infamous among patzer chess fans) for his ice-cold accurate and drawish play. Computers do not excell at his python-like style of chess.

Need to put a faraday cage or something with a similar effect around the entire restroom / rest area. Only a stopgap since in a few years someone will be able to carry the power of a Deep Blue in a hidden pocket, but for now it would solve the problem...

I have trouble believing anything other than crooked behavior here. Maybe Kramnik will claim some sort of bladder trouble but it just doesn't seem likely.

NY Times wrote about chess and cheating back in August.

I would think that teasing your opponent by going to the bathroom all the time would not be dishonest. Isn't that all a part of the game? Thus I suspect that US and bbartlog actually don't agree.

Maybe Kramnik has OCD and has to wash his hands everytime he touches a piece. Weirder things have happened.

I agree, the Topalov/Kramnik developments are bizarre – shades of Karpov/Kortchnoi and the coded signals in the yogurt.

I’m especially surprised that Kramnik didn’t show up for game 5 at all; I think this is a very dangerous tactic. He has much more to lose by having the match called off (since Topalov is already in the world-championship cycle, he stays there if the match is aborted) and the winner and loser split the $1 million pool equally.

I would have thought that Kramnik (who, after all, was leading 3-1) would have played under protest, rather than risk having the game officially forfeited and cut into his lead.

Only Fischer can afford to forfeit a game and still win ;-)

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