September 30, 2006

Taking a the piss? Veselin Topalov is threatening to quit after accusing his opponent at the World Chess Championship, Vladimir Kramnik, of taking an excessive number of toilet breaks (more than fifty a game, apparently).

You may not be surprised to hear that Topalov trails 3-1.

  • But seriously, 50 bathroom breaks?
  • I freely admit it looks dodgy VoL - I only manage that many when I'm paid by the hour. There's a number of letters to the tournament appeals committee and responses at the second link. Kramnik's side wrote:
    The reasons that Mr. Kramnik is entering his own bathroom often is simple: The restroom is small and Mr. Kramnik likes to walk and therefore uses the space of the bathroom as well. The Appeals Committee has been informed about the issue before they decided. It should also be mentioned that Mr. Kramnik has to drink a lot of water during the games.
  • Kramnik, like many chess players is not a healthy looking dude. He may have an "issue" that he is too embarrassed to admit.
  • That explanation sounds a mite fishy though
  • It's not like he has a "How to win at chess guaranteed!" book in there right.
  • He may feel the need to relieve himself after staring at all that pawn.
  • Dude, I'm in big with the peeing, but 50 times? Was this guy drinking vodka and Red Bull? Actually, that would make sense.
  • And when I say "I'm in big with the peeing," I just mean that I like to pee. In a toilet, or a urinal. Not on someone else, or someone else onto me.
  • But if you do like to pee on someone else, or get peed on by someone else, hey, I'm not here to judge. You sick motherfucker.
  • He's got an extra king up his... sleeve.
  • "I just mean that I like to pee. In a toilet, or a urinal. Not on someone else, or someone else onto me." Don't knock it if you haven't tried it!
  • Kramnik is using a cellphone in the bog to call Deep Blue for advice on his next moves.
  • He's actually playing another match simultaneously at another table, but he's doing it as Mrs Doubtfire.
  • Maybe Vladimir is diabetic. Seriously--he should get that checked out.
  • The idea that he's cheating is a bit absurd. Who is he gonna call? He's the best chessplayer in the world. The only computers strong enough to theoretically help him (i.e.Deep Blue) have their time spoken for months in advance and it's operators sure wouldn't get involved in a cheating scandal in the world championship. Whatever the reason for Kramnik's breaks (and there were far less than 50) it seems like Topalov is just desperate that he can't chip away at Kramnik and is a sore loser. In my tournament chess years I was always shocked when strong players were sore losers. In one early game against a candidate master he swept the pieces off the board with his arm rather than gracefully resign. In another game against GM Shamkovich, he walked away from the board and never came back forcing me to wait his clock out before I could declare victory- about 30 mins. One reason those guys were pissed off at losing was because in both cases they were losing to a much weaker player who got lucky, but there was still no excuse for childish behaviour. I witnessed many more similar incidents, sad to say. Chess players tend to place all their chips in the ego/chessplaying basket and not too many in the social graces basket. There are happily, some exceptions but chess players as a group are not the most fun people I ever hung out with.
  • The idea that he's cheating is a bit absurd. Chess matches are timed, just taking extra time before a move is an advantage.
  • except the clock doesn't stop for bathroom breaks
  • One word: catheter.
  • kamus.. very interesting. But one thinks that you are taking this a bit seriously. Nobody thinks Kramnik is really cheating, or calling Deep Blue. Those are jokes. Topalov has always had a problem with Kramnik. I believe there is a history of ego problems between them sourcing from Topalov. As for why tournament chess players place all their chips in the chess/ego baskets.. social graces are harder for them than chess.
  • Chy- really, I'm not taking it too seriously- the allegations of cheating are hanging in the air. The history of world championships are replete with absurd claims of cheating- from Fischer forcing Spassky's chair to be dismantled in a search for electronic communications devices to Korchnoi claiming Karpov hired a psychic etc.
  • according to the second link above, the issue has been resolved by virtue of an extensive mensroom search- hurrah!
  • Great news! Obviously, the stories about Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's cosmic vibes are true!
  • We should look up that Peace Corps guy who built the public toilets in India. Maybe he can give us some insight.
  • Please remind me not to order the camel kumis, Abiezer. Had a chance once to taste kumis made from mare's milk, but passed it up because of its pong.