Saturday, November 3, 2007

Chess Jokes-3

Alekhine dies and approaches the Heaven gates, but is denied admittance because they don't allow chess masters inside. He was just about to leave but looks through the gates and sees Efim Bogolubov inside, and tries to object. "Hey, I thought you said you didn't allow chess masters in there." St. Peter replies "Oh, he's not a chess master, he just thinks he is."

Chess Jokes-2

A chess master died at his chessboard - and after a few days, a good friend of his heard a voice; it was him!

"What's it like, where you are now," he asked.

"What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?"

"Tell me the good news first."

"Well, it's really heaven here. There are chess tournaments with incredible classical, rapids and blitz sessions going on all the time 24/7 with Morphy, Stenitz, Pillsbury, Dr. Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Dr. Euwe, Botvinnik, Bronstein, Tal, Petrosian, they're all here, and you can play any one of them at anytime."

"Fantastic!" the friend said, "so what is the bad news?"

"You have Black against Capablanca on Saturday."

Chess Jokes-1

A man calls in the FIDE central and asks:
- I want to become FIDE president!
-Are you crazy???
-No... Any other conditions?

Anatoly Karpov

Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov (born May 23, 1951) is a Russian chess grandmaster and former World Champion. His tournament successes include 161 first-place finishes, and from 1978 to 1998 he played in every FIDE World Championship match. His overall professional record is 1,118 wins, 287 losses, and 1,480 draws in 3,163 games with a peak Elo rating of 2780. Karpov is also a highly-regarded chess writer. He has lately been involved in several humanitarian causes, such as advocating the use of iodised salt.

Since 2005 he has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia.

Early life

Karpov was born on May 23, 1951 at Zlatoust in the Urals region of the former Soviet Union, and learned to play chess at the age of four. He has been an excellent student throughout his life. His early rise in chess was swift, as he was a Candidate Master by age 11. At age 12, he was accepted into Mikhail Botvinnik's prestigious chess school. Ironically, Botvinnik had this to say about the young Karpov: "The boy doesn't have a clue about chess, and there's no future at all for him in this profession."[1] Karpov acknowledged that his understanding of chess theory was very confused at that time, and wrote later that the homework which Botvinnik assigned really helped him, since it required that he consult chess books and work diligently[citation needed]. Karpov improved so quickly that he became the youngest Soviet National Master in history at 15 in 1966; this tied the record established by Boris Spassky in 1952 at the same age. Karpov won the title in his first international chess tournament (Trinec 1966-67) several months later. In 1967 he won a European Junior Invitational tournament at Groningen.

Karpov won a Gold Medal for academic excellence in high school, and entered Moscow State University in 1968 to study Mathematics. He later transferred to Leningrad State University, eventually graduating from there in Economics. One reason for the transfer was to be closer to his coach, Grandmaster Semyon Furman, who lived in Leningrad. In his writings, Karpov credits Furman as a major influence on his development as a world-class player. In 1969 Karpov became the first Soviet player since Boris Spassky (1955) to win the World Junior Chess Championship, with a score in the finals of 10 out of 11 at Stockholm. Soon afterwards he tied for 4th place at an international tournament in Caracas, Venezuela, and became a Grandmaster.


he early 1970s showed a big improvement in his game. He won the 1971 Alekhine Memorial tournament ahead of a star-filled field, for his first significant adult victory. His Elo rating shot up from 2540 in 1971 to 2660 in 1973, when he came in 2nd in the USSR Chess Championship, and placed first in the Leningrad Interzonal Tournament. The latter qualified him for the 1974 Candidates' Tournament, which determined who was allowed to challenge the reigning World Champion, Bobby Fischer.

Karpov beat Lev Polugaevsky by +3=5 in the first Candidates' match, to face former World Champion Boris Spassky in the next round. Karpov was on record saying that he believed Spassky would easily beat him and win the Candidates' cycle to face Fischer, and that he (Karpov) would win the following Candidates' cycle in 1977.

Most expected the Spassky-Karpov match to be a one-sided rout by the ex-champ Spassky. Although Spassky won the first game as Black in good style, tenacious and aggressive play from Karpov secured him a match win by +4-1=6. Karpov was certainly not hurt by the fact that Spassky's chief opening analyst, 1955 Soviet Champion Efim Geller, defected to Karpov's side several months before the match.

The Candidates' final was set in Moscow against fellow Soviet Viktor Korchnoi, a notable fighting player. Korchnoi was a Leningrad resident who had frequently sparred with Karpov after the latter moved there, and the two had played a drawn six-game training match in 1971. Intense games were fought, including one "opening laboratory" win against the Sicilian Dragon. Karpov went up 3-0, but tired towards the end and allowed Korchnoi two wins, making for a nervy finish. However, Karpov prevailed +3-2=19. Thus he won the right to challenge Fischer for the World Championship.

The Big Match that never was

Though the world championship match between the young Soviet prodigy and the already retired American Fischer was highly anticipated, the match never came about. Fischer drew up a list of ten demands, chief among them the provisions that draws wouldn't count, the first to ten victories wins, and if the score was tied 9—9 the champion would retain the crown. This means that the challenger needed two wins more than the reigning champion, because the narrowest possible win for him is 10—8. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) flatly refused at first, but eventually conceded the first two. However, Fischer demanded all or nothing, and when FIDE refused to give into the third demand, Fischer resigned his crown, to the huge disappointment of the chess world. Karpov later attempted to set up another match with Fischer, but all the negotiations fell through. Fischer never did play Karpov and scorned them as inferior players. This thrust the young Karpov into the role of World Champion without having defeated the reigning champion.

When Kasparov was in a bitter struggle for the world championship with Karpov, he often reminded others that Karpov won the title by default. But while preparing a monumental book series Kasparov: My Great Predecessors, Kasparov argued that Karpov would have had the better chances, because he had beaten Spassky convincingly and was a new breed of tough professional, and indeed had higher quality games, while Fischer had been inactive for three years. Spassky thought that Fischer would have won in 1975 but Karpov would have qualified again and beaten Fischer in 1978.

World champion

Karpov participated in nearly every major tournament for the next ten years. He convincingly won the very strong Milan tournament in 1975, and captured his first of three Soviet titles in 1976. He created the most phenomenal streak of tournament wins against the strongest players in the world. This tournament success even eclipsed the pre-war tournament record of Alexander Alekhine. Karpov held the record for most consecutive tournament victories (9) until it was shattered by Garry Kasparov (14).

In 1978, Karpov's first title defence was against Viktor Korchnoi, the opponent he had defeated in the previous Candidates' tournament. The situation was vastly different from the previous match, because in the intervening years Korchnoi had defected from the Soviet Union. The match was played at Baguio in the Philippines, and a vast array of psychological tricks were used during the match, from Karpov's Dr. Zukhar who allegedly attempted to hypnotize Korchnoi during the game, to Korchnoi's mirror glasses to ward off the hypnotic stare, Korchnoi's offering to play under the Jolly Roger flag when he was denied the right to play under Switzerland's, to Karpov's yogurt supposedly being used to send him secret messages, to Korchnoi inviting two local cult members (on trial for attempted murder) into the hall as members of his team.

The off-board antics are better remembered than the actual chess match. Karpov took an early lead, but Korchnoi staged an amazing comeback very late in the match, and came very close to winning. Karpov narrowly won the last game to take the match 6–5, with 21 draws.

Three years later Korchnoi re-emerged as the Candidates' winner against German finalist Dr. Robert Hübner to challenge Karpov in Merano, Italy. This time the psychological trick was the arrest of Korchnoi's son for evading conscription. Again the politics off the board overshadowed the games, but this time Karpov easily won (11–7, +6 -2 =10) in what is remembered as the "Massacre at Merano".

Karpov's tournament career reached a peak at the exceptional Montreal "Tournament of Stars" tournament in 1979, where he ended joint first with Mikhail Tal ahead of a field of superb grandmasters like Jan Timman, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Boris Spassky, and Lubomir Kavalek. He dominated Las Palmas 1977 with an incredible 13.5 / 15. He also won the prestigious Bugojno tournament in 1978 and 1980, the Linares tournament in 1981 and 1994, the Tilburg tournament in 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, and 1983, and the Soviet Championship in 1976, 1983, and 1988.

Karpov represented the Soviet Union at six Chess Olympiads, in all of which the USSR won the team gold medal. He played first reserve at Skopje 1972, winning the board prize with 13/15. At Nice 1974, he advanced to board one and again won the board prize with 12/14. At La Valletta 1980, he was again board one and scored 9/12. At Lucerne 1982, he scored 6.5/8 on board one. At Dubai 1986, he scored 6/9 on board two. His last was Thessaloniki 1988, where on board two he scored 8/10. In Olympiad play, Karpov lost only two games out of 68 played.

To illustrate Karpov's dominance over his peers as champion, his score was +11 -2 =20 versus Spassky, +5 =12 versus Robert Hübner, +6 -1 =16 versus Ulf Andersson, +3 -1 =10 versus Vasily Smyslov, +1 =16 versus Mikhail Tal, +10 -2 =13 versus Ljubojevic.

Karpov had cemented his position as the world's best player and world champion when Garry Kasparov arrived on the scene. In their first World Championship match in 1984, held in Moscow, Karpov quickly built a 4-0 lead, and needed only two more wins to keep his title. Instead, the next 17 games were drawn, and it took Karpov until Game 27 to finally win another game. In Game 31, Karpov had a winning position but failed to take advantage and settled for a draw. He lost the next game, but drew the next 14. In particular, Karpov held a solidly winning position in Game 41, but again blundered terribly and had to settle for a draw. After Kasparov suddenly won Game 47 and 48, Karpov suffered a physical collapse, having lost 10 kg (22 lb) over the course of the match. The FIDE President Florencio Campomanes controversially terminated the match, which had lasted an unprecedented five months, with five wins for Karpov, three for Kasparov, and a staggering forty draws.

A rematch was set for later the same year, also in Moscow. In a hard fight, Karpov had to win game 24 of the 1985 match to retain his title, but lost it and the title 11 to 13 (+3 -5 =16), ending his ten-year reign as champion.


Karpov remained a formidable opponent (and the world #2) until the early 1990s. He fought Kasparov in three more World Championship matches in 1986 (held in London and Leningrad), 1987 (held in Seville), and 1990 (held in New York City and Lyon). All three matches were extremely close: the scores were 11.5 to 12.5 (+4 -5 = 15), 12 to 12 (+4 -4 =16), and 11.5 to 12.5 (+3 -4 =17). In all three matches Karpov had winning chances up to the very last games. In particular, the 1987 Seville match featured an astonishing blunder by Kasparov in the 23rd game, and should have led to Karpov's reclaiming the title. Instead, in the final game, needing only a draw to win the title, Karpov cracked under pressure from the clock at the end of the first session of play, allowing Kasparov to adjourn the game a pawn up. After a further mistake in the second session, Karpov was slowly ground down and resigned on move 64, ending the match and allowing Kasparov to keep the title.

In their five world championship matches, Karpov has 19 wins, 21 losses, and 104 draws in 144 games.

Karpov is on record saying that had he had the opportunity to fight Fischer for the crown like Kasparov had the opportunity to fight him, he (Karpov) could have been a much better player as a result.

FIDE champion again

It came as a surprise, then, that Karpov lost a Candidates Match against Nigel Short in 1992. But in 1993, Karpov reacquired the FIDE World Champion title when Kasparov and Short split from FIDE. Karpov defeated Jan Timman – the loser of the Candidates' final against Short. Once again he had become World Champion, and once again he did so controversially, only winning the title because of the absence of Kasparov and Short.

The next major meeting of Kasparov and Karpov was the 1994 Linares chess tournament. The field, in eventual finishing order, was Karpov, Kasparov, Shirov, Bareev, Kramnik, Lautier, Anand, Kamsky, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Illescas, Judit Polgar, and Beliavsky; with an average ELO rating of 2685, the highest ever to that point, meaning it was the first Category XVIII tournament ever held. Impressed by the strength of the tournament, Kasparov had said several days before the tournament that the winner could rightfully be called the world champion of tournaments. Perhaps spurred on by this comment, Karpov played the best tournament of his life. He was undefeated and earned 11 points out of 13 possible (the best world-class tournament winning percentage since Alekhine won San Remo in 1930), dominating second-place Kasparov and Shirov by a huge 2.5 points. Many of his wins were spectacular (in particular, his win over Topalov, selected below, is considered possibly the finest of his career). This performance against the best players in the world put his ELO rating tournament performance at 2985, the highest performance rating of any chess player in any tournament in all of chess history.

Karpov defended his FIDE title against Gata Kamsky (+6 -3 =9) in 1996. However, in 1998, FIDE largely scrapped the old system of Candidates' Matches, instead having a large knock-out event in which a large number of players contested short matches against each other over just a few weeks. In the first of these events, champion Karpov was seeded straight into the final, defeating Viswanathan Anand (+4 -2 =2). But subsequently the champion had to qualify like other players. Karpov resigned his title in anger at the new rules in 1999.

Towards retirement?
Karpov's outstanding classical tournament play has been seriously limited since 1995, since he prefers to be more involved in politics of his home country of Russia. He had been a member of the Supreme Soviet Commission for Foreign Affairs and the President of the Soviet Peace Fund before the Soviet Union broke up. In addition, he had been involved in several disputes with FIDE and became increasingly disillusioned with chess. In the April 2006 FIDE rating list, he is 32nd in the world with an ELO rating of 2672.

Karpov usually limits his play to exhibition events, and has revamped his style to specialize in rapid chess. In 2002 he won a match against Kasparov, defeating him in a rapid time control match 2.5-1.5. In 2006, he tied for first with Kasparov in a blitz tournament, ahead of Korchnoi and Judit Polgar.

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kimovich Kasparov (born April 13, 1963, in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR; now Azerbaijan) is a Russian chess grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer and political activist. Kasparov is a candidate for the Russian presidential race of 2008.
Kasparov became the youngest ever World Chess Champion in 1985. He held the official FIDE world title until 1993. In 1993, a dispute with FIDE led Kasparov to set up a rival organisation, the Professional Chess Association. He continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

Kasparov's ratings achievements include being rated world #1 according to Elo rating almost continuously from 1986 until his retirement in 2005 and holding the all time highest rating of 2851. He also holds records for consecutive tournament victories and Chess Oscars.

Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess on March 10, 2005, choosing instead to devote his time to politics and writing. He formed the United Civil Front, and joined as a member of The Other Russia, a coalition opposing the elected government of Vladimir Putin.

On September 30, 2007, Kasparov entered the Russian Presidential race, receiving 379 out of 498 votes at a congress held in Moscow by opposition coalition, The Other Russia.

Early career

Garry Kasparov was born Garri Weinstein [1] (Russian: Гарри Вайнштейн) in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR to an Armenian mother and a Jewish father. He first began the serious study of chess after he came across a chess problem set up by his parents and proposed a solution.[2] His father died when he was seven years old. At the age of twelve, he adopted his mother's Armenian surname, Kasparyan, modifying it to a more Russified version, Kasparov.

From the age of seven, Kasparov attended the Young Pioneer Palace and, at the age of ten, he began training at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school under noted coach Vladimir Makogonov. Makogonov helped develop Kasparov's positional skills and taught him to play the Caro-Kann Defence and the Tartakower System of the Queen's Gambit Declined.[3] Kasparov won the Soviet Junior Championship in Tbilisi in 1976, scoring 7 points out of 9, at the age of 13. He repeated the feat the following year, winning with a score of 8.5 out of 9. He was being trained by Alexander Sakharov during this time.

In 1978 Kasparov participated in the Sokolsky Memorial tournament in Minsk. He had been invited as an exception but took first place and became a chess master. Kasparov has repeatedly said that this event was a turning point in his life, and that it convinced him to choose chess as his career. "I will remember the Sokolsky Memorial as long as I live", he wrote. He has also said that after the victory, he thought he had a very good shot at the World Championship.[4]

He first qualified for the Soviet Championship at age 15 in 1978, the youngest ever player at that level. He won the 64-player Swiss system tournament at Daugavpils over tiebreak from Igor V. Ivanov, to capture the sole qualifying place.

Kasparov rose quickly through the FIDE rankings. Starting with an oversight by the USSR Chess Federation, Garry Kasparov participated in a Grandmaster tournament in Banja Luka, Yugoslavia, in 1979 while still unrated (the federation thought it was a junior tournament). He won this high-class tournament, emerging from it with a provisional rating of 2595, enough to catapult him into the top group of chess players (at the time, no 3 in the World, ex-champion Spassky had 2630, while World Champion Karpov 2690-2700). The next year, 1980, he won the World Junior Chess Championship in Dortmund, West Germany. Later that year, he made his debut as second reserve for the Soviet Union at the Chess Olympiad at La Valletta, Malta, and became a Grandmaster.

[edit] Towards the top

While still a teenager, Kasparov twice tied for first place in the USSR Chess Championship, in 1980-81, and 1981-82. His first win in a superclass-level international tournament was scored at Bugojno 1982. He earned a place in the 1982 Moscow Interzonal tournament, which he won, to qualify for the Candidates Tournament (, the Garry Kasparov player file). At age 19, he was the youngest Candidate since Bobby Fischer, who was 15 when he qualified in 1958. At this stage, he was already the #2-rated player in the world, trailing only World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov on the January 1983 list.

Kasparov's first (quarter-final) Candidates match was against Alexander Beliavsky, whom Kasparov defeated 6-3 (4 wins, 1 loss).[5] Politics threatened Kasparov's semi-final against Viktor Korchnoi, which was scheduled to be played in Pasadena, California. Korchnoi had defected from the Soviet Union in 1976, and was at that time the strongest active non-Soviet player. Various political manoeuvres prevented Kasparov from playing Korchnoi, and Kasparov forfeited the match. This was resolved by Korchnoi's allowing the match to be replayed in London, with the match (along with the match Vasily Smyslov vs. Zoltan Ribli) put together on short notice by Raymond Keene. Kasparov lost the first game, but came back to win the match 7-4 (4 wins, 1 loss). The Candidates' final was against the resurgent former world champion Vasily Smyslov. Kasparov won 8.5-5.5 (4 wins, no losses), in a match played at Vilnius, 1984, thus winning the Candidates and qualifying to play Anatoly Karpov for the World Championship. In 1984 Kasparov joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and was elected to the Central Committee of Komsomol.

[edit] 1984 World Championship

The 1984 World Championship match between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov had its fair share of ups and downs, as well as the most controversial finish to a competitive match ever. Karpov started off in very good form, and after nine games Kasparov found himself 4-0 down in a "first to six wins" match. Fellow players predicted a 6-0 whitewash of Kasparov within 18 games.

Kasparov dug in, with inspiration from a Russian poet before each game, and battled with Karpov to seventeen successive draws. Karpov duly won the next decisive game, #27, before Kasparov fought back with another series of draws until game 32, Kasparov's first-ever win against the World Champion. Fourteen further successive draws followed, through game 46; the previous record length for a world title match had been 34 games, the Jose Capablanca vs Alexander Alekhine match from 1927.

At this point Karpov, twelve years older than Kasparov, was close to exhaustion, and not looking like the player who started the match. Kasparov won games 47 and 48 to bring the scores to 5-3 in Karpov's favour. Then the match was ended without result by Florencio Campomanes, the President of FIDE, and a new match was announced to start a few months later.

The termination of the match was a matter of some controversy. At the press conference at which he announced his decision, Campomanes cited the health of the two players, which had been put under strain by the length of the match, despite the fact that both Karpov and Kasparov stated that they would prefer the match to continue. Karpov had lost 10 kg (22 lb) over the course of the match and had been hospitalized several times. Kasparov, however, was in excellent health and extremely resentful of Campomanes' decision, asking him why he was abandoning the match if both players wanted to continue. It would appear that Kasparov, who had won the last two games before the suspension, felt the same way as some commentators — that he was now the favourite to win the match despite his 5-3 deficit. He appeared to be physically stronger than his opponent, and in the later games seemed to have been playing the better chess.

The match became the first, and so far only, world championship match to be abandoned without result. Kasparov's relations with Campomanes and FIDE were greatly strained, and the feud between the two would eventually come to a head in 1993 with Kasparov's complete break-away from FIDE.

World Champion
The second Karpov-Kasparov match in 1985 was organized in Moscow as the best of 24 games, where the first player to 12.5 points would claim the title, with the scores from the terminated match NOT carrying over. However, in the event of a 12-12 draw, the title would remain with Karpov as the reigning champion. Kasparov secured the title at the age of 22 by a score of 13-11. This broke the existing record of youngest World Champion, held for over twenty years by Mikhail Tal, who was 23 when he defeated Mikhail Botvinnik in 1960. Kasparov's win as Black in the 16th game has been recognized as one of the all-time masterpieces in chess history.

At the time, the FIDE rules granted a defeated champion an automatic right of rematch. Another match between Kasparov and Karpov duly took place in 1986, hosted jointly in the cities of London and Leningrad, with each city hosting 12 games. At one point, Kasparov opened a three-point lead in the match, and looked to be well on his way to a decisive match victory. However, Karpov battled back by winning three consecutive games to level the score late in the match. At this point, Kasparov dismissed one of his seconds, Grandmaster Evgeny Vladimirov, accusing him of selling his opening preparation to the Karpov team (as described in Kasparov's autobiography Unlimited Challenge, chapter: Stab in the Back). Kasparov scored one further win in the match and kept his title by a final score of 12.5-11.5.

A fourth match for the world title took place between Kasparov and Karpov 1987 in Seville, as Karpov had qualified through the Candidates' Matches to once again become the official challenger. This match was very close, with neither player holding more than a one-point lead at any point in the match. Kasparov was down one point in the final game, needing a win to hold his title. A long tense game ensued in which Karpov blundered away a pawn just before the first time-control, and Kasparov eventually won a long ending. Kasparov retained his title as the match was drawn by a score of 12-12. (All this meant that Kasparov had to play Karpov 4 times in a match in the period 1984-1987, a fact unprecedented in chess history. Matches organised by FIDE took place every three years since 1948, and only Botvinnik had had a right for a rematch before Karpov.)

Kasparov showed his media savvy by appearing in an interview with the American Playboy magazine, which was published in November 1989. He is the only World Chess champion with this distinction.

A fifth match between Kasparov and Karpov was held in New York and Lyon in 1990, with each city hosting 12 games. Once again, the result was a close one with Kasparov winning by a margin of 12.5-11.5.

Chess ratings achievements
* Kasparov holds the record for the longest time as the #1 rated player.
* Kasparov had the highest Elo rating in the world continuously from 1986 to 2005. The only exception is that Kramnik equaled him in the January 1996 FIDE ratings list.[33] (He was also briefly ejected from the list following his split from FIDE in 1993, but during that time he headed the rating list of the rival PCA). At the time of his retirement, he was still ranked #1 in the world, with a rating of 2812. His rating has fallen inactive since the January 2006 rating list.[34]
* According to the alternative Chessmetrics calculations, Kasparov was the highest rated player in the world continuously from February 1985 until October 2004.[35] He also holds the highest all-time average rating over a 2 (2877) to 20 (2856) year period and is second to only Bobby Fischer's (2881 vs 2879) over a one-year period.
* In January 1990 Kasparov achieved the (then) highest FIDE rating ever, passing 2800 and breaking Bobby Fischer's old record of 2785 rating. He has held the record for the highest rating ever achieved, ever since. On the July 1999 FIDE rating list Kasparov reached a 2851 Elo rating, the highest rating ever achieved.[36]

Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik (born June 25, 1975) is a Russian chess grandmaster and the World Chess Champion from 2000 to 2007.

In October 2000, he beat Garry Kasparov in a sixteen game match played in London, and became the Classical World Chess Champion. In late 2004, Kramnik successfully defended his title against challenger Péter Lékó in a drawn fourteen game match played in Brissago, Switzerland.

In October 2006, Kramnik, the Classical World Champion, defeated reigning FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov in a unification match, the FIDE World Chess Championship 2006. The match was mired with controversy over Topalov's protests about Kramnik's frequent use of the bathroom. Kramnik forfeited Game 5 after refusing to play when the Appeals Committee altered the conditions of the match. The match was tied at 6-6 after 12 regular games and Kramnik won the rapid tie-break 2.5-1.5. As a result Kramnik became the first undisputed World Champion, holding both the FIDE and Classical titles, since Kasparov split from FIDE in 1993.

In September 2007, Kramnik lost his title to Viswanathan Anand at the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007.


Vladimir Kramnik was born in the town of Tuapse, on the shores of the Black Sea. It is occasionally asserted that his real name was Sokolov but this is not the case (though it is a family name). His father's birth name was Boris Sokolov, but he took his stepfather's surname when his mother (Vladimir's grandmother) remarried. As a child, Vladimir Kramnik studied in the chess school established by Mikhail Botvinnik. His first notable result in a major tournament was his gold medal win as first reserve for the Russian team in the 1992 Chess Olympiad in Manila. His selection for the team caused some controversy in Russia at the time, as he was only sixteen years old and had not yet been awarded the grandmaster title, but his selection was supported by Garry Kasparov.[2] He went on to win eight games and one draw with no losses.

The following year, Kramnik played in the very strong tournament in Linares. He finished fifth, beating the then world number three, Vassily Ivanchuk, along the way. He followed this up with a string of good results, but had to wait until 1995 for his first major tournament win at normal time controls, when he won the strong Dortmund tournament, finishing it unbeaten. Kramnik continued to produce good results, including winning at Dortmund (outright or tied) for three successive years between 1996 and 1998. He is the second of only four chess players to have reached a rating of 2800 (the first being Kasparov).

Playing Style

Garry Kasparov described Kramnik's style as pragmatic and tenacious, in the latter similar to Anatoly Karpov.[3] He is one of the toughest opponents to defeat, losing only one game over more than one hundred games leading up to his match with Kasparov, including eighty consecutive games without loss.[4][5] Kasparov was unable to defeat Kramnik during their 2000 World Championship match.

World champion

In 1998, Kramnik faced Alexei Shirov in a Candidates match for the right to play Garry Kasparov for the Classical World Chess Championship. Kramnik lost the match -2+0=7. However suitable sponsorship was not found for a Kasparov-Shirov match. In 2000, sponsorship was secured for a Kasparov-Kramnik match instead.

In 2000, Kramnik played a sixteen game match against Garry Kasparov in London, for the Classical Chess World Championship. Kramnik began the match as underdog, but his adoption of the Berlin Defence to Kasparov's Ruy Lopez opening was very effective. With the white pieces, Kramnik pressed Kasparov hard, winning Game Two and overlooking winning continuations in Games Four and Six. Kasparov put up little fight thereafter, agreeing to short draws with the white pieces in Games 9 and 13. Kramnik won the match 8.5 - 6.5 without losing a game (this was only the second time in history that a World Champion had lost a match without winning a single game). This event marked the first time Kasparov had been beaten in a World Championship match.

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand (born December 11, 1969) , is an Indian chess grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. Anand is one of four players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list and he has been among the top three ranked players in classical time control chess in the world continuously since 1997.

By 14 he was the “Boy Wonder” in Indian chess and his assets, lightning speed, ability to see and read the game far ahead besides on-board intuition saw him emerge as the Youngest Indian National Champion at age of 16.

In the April 2007 FIDE Elo rating list, Anand was ranked first in the world for the first time, and he retained the number one spot in the July 2007 list with a rating of 2792, a lead of 23 points. He heads the current October 2007 list with an Elo rating of 2801. He is the sixth person to head the rating list since its inception in 1970; the other five being Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik and Topalov. Anand became, for the first time, the undisputed World Chess Champion on September 29, 2007, after winning the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament held in Mexico City.Anand finished the tournament with a score of 9/14 (+4=10-0).

Chess career

Anand's rise in the Indian chess world was meteoric. National level success came early for him when he won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. He became the youngest Indian to win the International Master Title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. At the age of sixteen he became the National Champion and won that title two more times. He played games at blitz speed. In 1987, he became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. In 1988, at the age of eighteen, he became India's first Grandmaster.

"Vishy", as he is sometimes called by his friends, burst upon the upper echelons of the chess scene in the early 1990s, winning such tournaments as Reggio Emilia 1991 (ahead of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov). Playing at such a high level did not slow him down either, and he continued to play games at blitz speed. In 1991, he made the quarter finals of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, before losing narrowly to Anatoly Karpov.

Anand qualified for the Professional Chess Association World Chess Championship final by winning the candidates matches against Michael Adams and Gata Kamsky. In 1995, he played a title match against Kasparov in New York City's World Trade Center. After an opening run of eight draws (a record for the opening of a world championship match), Anand won game nine with a powerful exchange sacrifice, but then lost four of the next five. He lost the match 10.5 - 7.5.

Anand won three consecutive Advanced Chess tournaments in Leon, Spain after Garry Kasparov introduced this form of chess in 1998, and is widely recognized as the world's best Advanced Chess player, where humans may consult a computer to aid in their calculation of variations.

Anand has won the Chess Oscar in 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2004, becoming the third non-Russian player, after Bent Larsen of Denmark and Bobby Fischer of USA, to win the Oscar. The Chess Oscar is awarded to the year's best player according to a world-wide poll of leading chess critics, writers, and journalists conducted by the Russian chess magazine 64.

His game collection, My Best Games of Chess, was published in the year 1998 and was updated in 2001.

Anand's recent tournament successes include the Corus chess tournament in 2006 (tied with Veselin Topalov), Dortmund in 2004, and Linares in 2007. He has won the annually held Monaco Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championships in years 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2006. He is the only player to have won five titles of the Corus chess tournament. He is also the only player to win the blind and rapid sections of the Amber tournament in the same year (and he did this twice – in 1997 and 2005). He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus (1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007), Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004).

In 2007 he won the Grenkeleasing Rapid championship, which he won for the tenth time defeating Armenian GM Levon Aronian. Incidentally, just a few days before Aronian had defeated Anand in the Chess960 final. In March 2007, Anand won the Linares chess tournament and it was widely believed that he would be ranked world No.1 in the FIDE Elo rating list for April 2007. However, Anand was placed No.2 in the initial list released because the Linares result was not included. FIDE subsequently announced that the Linares results would be included after all, making Anand number one in the April 2007 list.

World Chess Champion

After several near misses, Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 for the first time after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 in the final match held at Tehran, thereby becoming the first Indian to win that title. He lost the title when Ruslan Ponomariov won the FIDE knockout tournament in 2002.

He tied for second with Peter Svidler in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 8.5 points out of 14 games, 1.5 points behind the winner, Veselin Topalov.

In September 2007 Anand became World Champion again by winning that year's FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. He won the double round-robin tournament with a final score of 9 out of 14 points, a full point ahead of joint second place finishers Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand.

In 2000, when Anand won the FIDE World Championship, there was also the rival "Classical" World Championship, held by Kramnik. By 2007, the world championship had been reunified, so Anand's victory in Mexico City made him, for the first time, undisputed World Chess Champion.

Anand is scheduled to defend the title against Kramnik in a match in 2008. In October 2007, Anand said he liked the double round robin championship format, and that the right of Kramnik to automatically challenge for the title was "ridiculous".

Chess titles

  • 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion - age 14
  • 1984 International Master - age 15
  • 1985 Indian National Champion - age 16
  • 1987 World Junior Chess Champion,
  • 1988 Grandmaster
  • 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
  • 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
  • 2007 FIDE World Chess Champion (Undisputed)