A sort of concluding remarks
In letters and e-messages I am often asked whether the just
completed match was, in my opinion, fixed.
No, it was not.
I used to write previously that the system when a champion
himself finds money and then chooses an adversary deserves no
credit and creates ground for a gerrymander. Well, I still hold
this opinion, but it has no consequence that any match, played
under such a system, should be fixed. So, the London match was
not fixed. I would never trust Keene or Kasparov, but I believe
that Vladimir Kramnik is a honest man.
Besides, the result of the match excludes a prior collusion.
Garry Kasparov has a Napoleon-like nature (which does him credit
as a chess player), and an assumption that he could have lost a
match to his strongest opponent deliberately for some most
obscure money prospects is as absurd as an idea that Napoleon
Bonaparte could have lost deliberately the fight at Waterloo for
the sake of his political intrigues.
Of course this is just my private opinion. There were expressed
well-reasoned versions of Kasparov's intended defeat. But I
don't want to believe in these versions. I also don't want to
believe that we are going to become witnesses of a rematch soon.
No doubt that there are many people who would be glad to see such
a show, still, I suppose, in the present situation the number of
those who would just throw rotten tomatoes at it's participants
should be much more. I said that I would not trust Keene or
Kasparov. I don't trust them as public figures, but as chess
players they are both unstained. Kin was a quite solid
grandmaster in his best years. Kasparov, especially at the moment
of his historical defeat (though probably not the final one),
deserves a particular characteristic.
In my opinion, Garry Kasparov is the greatest chess analyst of
all times. Besides, he is one of the best players in the history
It's hard to compare greatest chess players of different times.
The game of chess grows and changes. When speaking about the
prevalence over contemporaries at the peak of their chess career,
I'd give the first place to Morphy and Fischer, joined. As for
Kasparov, he should occupy the third place of the podium,
together with Lasker, Capablanca and Karpov. Well, and even
within this classification I somehow doubt about but Kasparov's
and Karpov's names. Both of them have fine records, but in
their generations we can note a considerable decline of highest
chess achievements. On the surface their achievements are even
more impressive than results of previous Soviet champions, but we
cannot leave out that in the 50-th and 60-th there were many
talented and most ambitious challengers, striving for the chess
Olympus, and it was extremely hard then to dominate in this
world. In Kasparov's and Karpov's best years their main and
practically single rivals were chess players from the previous
generation: Korchnoi for Karpov, and Karpov himself for Kasparov.
The number of grandmasters increased, but most of them were
practical and not excessively ambitious professionals, and both
great Ks were champions hors coucours. Of course this
circumstance does not belittle their great practical
achievements, all the more that it's no time yet to close
About the winner.
I met Vladimir Kramnik in 1995 when he visited with me at New
Jersey. This little episode would not be worth attention but for
Kramnik's amazing personality which stroked me then: his
extraordinary modesty, sincere friendliness and remarkable
sociability. Less of all I hoped to discover such qualities in an
outstanding chess player, after all, Vladimir was then already
Kasparov's strongest opponent.
Years ran by, and Kramnik seemed not to justify the hopes of the
world. He lost matches in which he was regarded as a definite
favourite, demonstrated neither fine preparations nor special
match strategy. It seemed that he should stay in the chess
history as a player with an outstanding talent who showed no
particular ambitions. Fortunately, this prognosis failed.
Vladimir grew stronger, and his time came. In London he appeared
as an absolutely new match fighter. Namely, a fighter, well
prepared and purposeful.
Already before the match began I estimated Kramnik's chances as
good, provided that his opening preparation was no worse than
Kasparov's. Kramnik managed to prepare well, and in my opinion
this was the main sensation of the match. Then, Kramnik surpassed
his opponent in "simple" positions which reguire precise
play, but there was no surprise in this fact. He only had to
prepare thoroughly to obtain such positions regularly. For the
first time since 1921 the strongest player failed to win a game
in a match on such a level. Probably we can say that Vladimir
Kramnik who has lost only one game for the last two years has
already grown into the most impregnable player in the history of
chess. Observing discussions on the ICC in the course of the
match I saw how the faith of fans in Kramnik's invincibility
increased with every day.
I should admit that the web polemics around the match showed that
Garry Kasparov has much more fans than I could have presumed.
Still, an overwhelming majority of amateurs and professionals
welcome the success of Vladimir Kramnik with the traditional
liking for the younger player and hopes for good changes in the
Good luck to you, Vladimir, and a happy and worthy career!
Playing chess for more mutual understanding in Europe. Press Release
Opening for White according to Kramnik" - II (English Opening)
Alexander Motyliov. "Chess has been always beautiful to me!"
Opening for Black according to Karpov.
Seagaard ChessReviews about "Mikhail Tal games 1949-1962".
Open letter of GM Valery Salov
Chess sites in Spanish
Valery Salov: Conversation with Alexander Khalifman
Valery Salov: Conversation with World Champion Xie Jun
Opening for White according to Kramnik
Gennady Nesis: The rich history of the ancient game
A. Khalifman. Opus 1, Opus 2
Puzzle (K. Mueller 2000, Original)
Bob Pawlak. CONFESSIONS OF A COMPUTER CHESS WIDOWER
Alexander Baburin: Launch of Two New Chess Web