Friday, October 6, 2006


By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

IIt is a testament to computer programs nowadays that in the highest level of chess such as the world finals currently being played in Elista ,Kalmykia, Russia, one camp is accusing the other of cheating by using a computer program, which in this case is Fritz 9 plus some sort of wireless technology.

The current situation has been labeled “toiletgate” by some journalists in obvious reference to the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon and the indictment of some of his staff.

The crisis in Elista was sparked off by a protest by the camp of Topalov, a decision by the appeals committee,its rejection by Kramnik, and subsequent forfeit of game 5.

To start with, Kramnik won the 1st two games of the match in an innovative display of defense against the attacking Topalov and drew games 3 and 4 to lead 3-1.Then came the bombshell.

Silvio Danailov, manager of Topalov, filed a complaint that Kamnik was going to his toilet more often than necessary and demanded that a correction be made, casting suspicion of unfair conduct.

The appeals committee composed of its chairman Georgios Makropolous agreed to receive the complaint, which
ccording to observers was a mistake as the complaint should have been addressed to the match director, Valery Bovaev.

Having made the first mistake of accepting the complaint, the appeals committee made the second mistake by issuing a ruling that Kramnik`s bathroom door should be locked.

Kramnik`s camp issued a statement rejecting the decision of the appeals committee and demanding that the members be replaced because of its obvious bias in favor of the opponent. “The protests of the Topalov team and the suspicions of the press release by Topalov are utterly disgraceful and are touching Kramnik`s privacy.”

Topalov filed another protest demanding that the players must be accompanied by an assistant arbiter when they go to the bathroom or else he won’t shake hands with Kramnik.

Game 5 is about to start but Kramnik was not around. The chief arbiter, Geurt Gijssen, pressed the clock and the game begun. When Kramnik`s flag fell, he had officially lost as Topalov signed the scoresheet together with Gijssen. The score is now officially 3-2.

Kramnik now threatens to withdraw from the match if the result of game 5 is not cancelled and the championship is in jeopardy. Fide president hurriedly returned to Elista from a summit with President Putin and took over the entire match.

At midnight he conferred with Kramnik and the next morning with Danailov. After intense negotiation with both parties, he decide to replace the appeals committee but upheld the forfeit of game 5.

Just an hour before the scheduled start of game 6, Kramnik issued a statement saying “he will in fact play game 6 but under protest and conditional to a later clarification of the status of game 5. I had to assess between personal interests and those of the entire chess world.”

Games 6 and 7 have been played with both games ending in draws and the score now is 4-3 in Kramnik`s favor.

Did Kramnik cheat? Danailov issued a statement yesterday that “ after very detailed analysis of all the games of the match we would like to present to your attention coincidence statistics of the moves of GM Kramnik with recommendations of the chess program Fritz 9.”

The report is highly technical and could not be easily understood unless you analyze the games with the chess program, but a brief summary shows that in certain sections of game 1 63% of Kramnik`s moves were in accordance with the first line recommendations of Frizt 9, 87% in game 2 ,86% in game 3 , 75% in game 4 and 78% in game 6 for an average of 78% for all 5 games.

No comments: