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    1948 World Chess Championship 1959 Candidates 1962 Candidates 2.c3 Sicilian 2.f4 Sicilian 2011 European Team Championship 2011 Russian Championship 2012 Capablanca Memorial 2012 Chess Olympiad 2012 European Women's Championship 2012 London Chess Classic 2012 U.S. Junior Championship 2012 U.S. Women's Championship 2012 US Championship 2012 Women's World Chess Championship 2012 World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 Alekhine Memorial 2013 Beijing Grand Prix 2013 European Club Cup 2013 European Team Championship 2013 FIDE World Cup 2013 Kings Tournament 2013 London Chess Classic 2013 Russian Championship 2013 Tal Memorial 2013 U.S. Championship 2013 Women's World Championship 2013 World Blitz Championship 2013 World Championship 2013 World Rapid Championship 2013 World Team Championship 2014 Capablanca Memorial 2014 Chess Olympiad 2014 London Chess Classic 2014 Petrosian Memorial 2014 Rapid & Blitz World Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 2014 Sinquefield Cup 2014 Tigran Petrosian Memorial 2014 U.S. Championship 2014 U.S. Open 2014 Women's World Championship 2014 World Blitz Championship 2014 World Championship 2014 World Junior Championships 2014 World Rapid Championship 2015 Capablanca Memorial 2015 Chinese Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2015 European Team Championship 2015 London Chess Classic 2015 Millionaire Open 2015 Poikovsky 2015 Russian Team Championship 2015 Sinquefield Cup 2015 U.S. Championship 2015 Women's World Championship KO 2015 World Blitz Championship 2015 World Cup 2015 World Junior Championship 2015 World Open 2015 World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2015 World Team Championships 2016 2016 Candidates 2016 Capablanca Memorial 2016 Champions Showdown 2016 Chess Olympiad 2016 Chinese Championship 2016 European Club Cup 2016 Isle of Man 2016 London Chess Classic 2016 Russian Championship 2016 Sinquefield Cup 2016 Tal Memorial 2016 U.S. Championship 2016 U.S. Junior Championship 2016 U.S. Women's Championship 2016 Women's World Championship 2016 World Blitz Championship 2016 World Championship 2016 World Junior Championship 2016 World Open 2016 World Rapid Championship 2017 British Championship 2017 British Knockout Championship 2017 Champions Showdown 2017 Chinese Championship 2017 Elite Mind Games 2017 European Team Championship 2017 Geneva Grand Prix 2017 Grand Prix 2017 Isle of Man 2017 London Chess Classic 2017 PRO Chess League 2017 Russian Championship 2017 Sharjah Masters 2017 Sinquefield Cup 2017 Speed Chess Championship 2017 U..S. 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    Entries in Vladimir Kramnik (118)

    Tuesday
    Nov292016

    Kramnik-Hou Yifan Rapid Match, Day 2: White Wins Every Game, Kramnik Wins 5.5-2.5

    A very creditable day 2 for Hou Yifan, who won games 6 and 8 with White to split the day to "only" lose the match by the score of 5.5-2.5. Tomorrow, they play eight blitz games in the now inaptly named Kings Tournament in Medias, Romania.

    Tuesday
    Nov292016

    Kramnik-Hou Yifan Rapid Match: Kramnik Leads 3.5-.5 After Day 1 of 2

    The World Championship isn't quite the only show in town, though it is by far the biggest one. Vladimir Kramnik and Hou Yifan are engaged in a rapid and blitz match (or maybe it's a rapid match followed by a blitz match) in Medias. Whatever it is, day 1 was Monday, and Kramnik won the first three games on the way to taking a 3.5-.5 lead. The next four games are on Tuesday, and on Wednesday they'll play eight blitz games.

    Thursday
    Sep222016

    An Article on Kramnik's Olympic Performance

    (Pun intended.)

    The article, by GM Elshan Moradiabadi, is here and worth your while.

    Friday
    Jul292016

    The Sinquefield Cup Starts Next Week, Sans Kramnik

    The Sinquefield Cup starts August 5, and it will start without Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik is suffering from back pain (been there, done that; I don't recommend it), so he's going to take the month off to try to get it under control. In the mid-2000s he suffered from a debilitating arthritis, and he thinks there's a chance that this might be a recurrence of the problem.

    While Kramnik tries to recuperate in time for the Olympiad, Peter Svidler will take his place if he can secure a visa. The other participants will be Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Viswanathan Anand, Anish Giri, Veselin Topalov, and (the slumping) Ding Liren.

    Thursday
    May052016

    Kramnik Off To A Strong Start At The Russian Team Championship

    After sitting out the first two rounds, Vladimir Kramnik has played in the last two rounds of the Russian Team Championship. He won both games, against Sanan Sjugirov and Peter Svidler, and is now back in second place on the Live Rating List after being briefly pipped by Fabiano Caruana. Here are Kramnik's wins, with my notes.

    Monday
    May022016

    More Elite Chess: Russian Club Championships Underway in Sochi; Ding Liren vs. So Starts Wednesday

    The Russian Club Championship started on Sunday, May 1 and continues through May 10. Among the heavy hitters who have played so far there's Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler - to include only the players over 2750 - and Vladimir Kramnik is supposed to jump in at some point as well.

    On Wednesday, Ding Liren and Wesley So will begin a four-game match in China. (Or maybe there will be four classical games and some additional rapid and/or blitz games. All I know thus far is the very little given in the "Future Events" section of this page. Further details would be appreciated.)

    Saturday
    Apr092016

    Another Karjakin Interview

    Here. The headline is "I am not afraid of Magnus!", but that doesn't even rise to the level of "dog bites man". Even if the mere thought of Magnus Carlsen caused him to break into a cold sweat, he's not going to say that he's intimidated in any way. Moreover, while the headline makes it sound as if Karjakin was making a bold proclamation, laying down the psychological gauntlet, the fact is that he said it only after about 27 questions about Carlsen culminating in an assertion from someone else (Daniil Dubov) that he - Karjakin - wasn't afraid of Carlsen. Karjakin simply agreed, without an exclamation point.

    Instead, the really juicy bit, though it's only a possibility and not a settled fact, is that Vladimir Kramnik might end on Karjakin's team. If it happens, that would be a huge boon for Karjakin. Kramnik is on the short list of the world's best-prepared players, and his experience would be invaluable to Karjakin as well. The battles between Kramnik and Carlsen over the years have been good ones, so while a match between the two would have been best a proxy war of sorts wouldn't be a bad substitute. It hasn't happened yet, though, and I suspect that even if it does we won't hear about it until after match, and even then maybe not unless Karjakin wins it.

    Tuesday
    Mar152016

    Kramnik and Gelfand on the Candidates: Age or Youth?

    Both Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand remain near the top of the heap of world chess, despite their both being north of 40 years of age, but the interviews compiled here they take opposing sides when it comes to the role of age in the ongoing Candidates' tournament. Which player took which side? I'll let you guess before looking it up, although since one of the two often refers to himself as a "pensioner" you can probably figure it out in advance. As for which of the two is correct, we'll have to wait and see.

    Saturday
    Feb132016

    Zurich Blitz: Blitz Recap and Day 1 Pairings, Plus Gelfand-Morozevich

    The main event in Zurich starts today, Saturday, but before that the organizers had the players compete in a blitz tournament. This was entertaining for the spectators (both those on scene, including Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi[!], and the rest of us watching on the internet), of course, and it had the additional purpose of determining the pairings. Placement determined one's pairing number, and so the top three players will all have an extra game with the white pieces in the main event.

    Hikaru Nakamura won his first three games in this six-player round-robin before Alexei Shirov (barely) pulled out a draw in round 4 and Viswanathan Anand beat him in the final round. Those three finished with plus scores, and thus get the extra white game in the rapid round robin to follow. Nakamura (obviously) finished with 3.5/5, while both Anand and Shirov wound up with 3 (Anand took second on tiebreak). Vladimir Kramnik was next with 2.5, Levon Aronian scored only two points (but defeated Anand in their game), while Anish Giri brought up the rear with a winless 1/5.

    Because it's a rapid event (G/40' + 10"/move), there will be two games per day. (At least for the first two days; on day 3 there will be a rapid game followed by another blitz round-robin. Strange, but entertaining.) Here are the pairings for rounds 1 and 2; round 1 starts at 3 p.m. local time in Zurich (= 9 a.m. ET).

    Round 1:

    • Shirov - Kramnik
    • Nakamura - Giri
    • Anand - Aronian

    Round 2:

    • Kramnik - Aronian
    • Giri - Anand
    • Shirov - Nakamura

    There's an added bonus: Boris Gelfand and Alexander Morozevich will concurrently play a two-game match with the same time control.

    Hopefully the quality of the games will be high; whether it is or not, however, they're sure to be entertaining.

    Wednesday
    Feb102016

    A Kramnik Interview (With Some Slightly Weird Politics) (Updated)

    This new interview with Vladimir Kramnik (or rather, the interview-in-translation) is here, and covers the upcoming Candidates' tournament, the trend of top players in open events, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the upcoming Zurich tournament and the future of faster "classical" time controls, some of his career highlights, the "Toiletgate" match with Veselin Topalov, Magnus Carlsen's proposal for a knockout world championship, and computer cheating in chess. Some of those topics are well-worn, but there's enough new material to justify having a look.

    While Kramnik's interviews over the years have generally been light on politics (at least those I've seen), he offers a couple of opinions about what U.S. politicians are up to that seem a bit unlikely to this American. (I say this as someone with definite political leanings but without any particular faith in politicians per se. Lord Acton's maxim is no respecter of parties.) The first is a claim that U.S. sanctions against Ilyumzhinov (the FIDE president) are the result of a few members of the U.S. House of Representatives working in cahoots under the influence of Garry Kasparov, who is himself acting out of spite due in part to his losing to Ilyumzhinov in the last FIDE presidential election. (Kasparov's forceful response is included at this point in the interview.)

    The second remark from Kramnik having to do with U.S. politics and law enforcement is if anything even stranger. He suggests that "the FBI has taken a serious interest" in Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov,"investigating his activity connected to his work for the Bulgarian and European Chess Federations." What?! That sounds as idiotic to Americans' ears as an accusation that the FSB (the KGB's successor in Russia) is taking a close look at the leaders of the USCF. They have no interest and no jurisdiction in the matter. It might be possible that some individual who works at the FBI is consulting with the appropriate investigative agency, or perhaps the FBI was asked for help in some matter of research, but to think that the FBI is conducting its own investigation seems highly improbable at best.*

    * The FBI didn't pay me to write the foregoing.**

    ** Not much, anyway.***

    *** Note to self: delete all the asterisks, lest Kramnik read this post someday and think I'm serious.

    UPDATE: Ah, there is a reason to think the FBI might be interested in Danailov after all - they have a bank account in the U.S. and there are allegations of money laundering. (Apparently the U.S. is a leader in that seedy realm, if not the leader.) More info here - thanks to an anonymous correspondent. So Kramnik could be correct here, though I'm as yet unaware of evidence that the G-men are in fact on the case.

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