Toilet dispute may flush chess title
Player threatens to withdraw after bathroom locked
By DYLAN LOEB MCCLAIN
New York Times

On Thursday at the World Chess Championships in the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, the player from Bulgaria charged that the player from Russia was taking too many bathroom breaks, more than 50 a game. He suggested that his opponent was running to the toilet — the only area used by the players not monitored by cameras — to get illegal assistance, presumably from a computer.

That was just the beginning.

On Friday, the World Chess Federation locked the private bathrooms that are used by players. That is when the Russian player would not even sit down to play — he went straight to the bathroom area, where he staged a sit-in, refusing to play the fifth game of the match until it was unlocked. It was not. The federation forfeited the game in favor of his opponent.

By late Friday night, the president of the federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also the president of Kalmykia, had left a meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to fly back to the Kalmykian republic to meet with the managers of the two players to see if he could broker a settlement, said Ilyumzhinov’s assistant, Berik Balgabaev.

As it stands, no one is sure if the match can or will continue, he added.

Too many breaks

The problems began when Silvio Danailov, the manager of the Bulgarian player, Veselin Topalov, the world’s top-ranked player, filed a written protest with the federation about the number of times his opponent, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, was retreating to his bathroom during the games. Kramnik is the No. 4-ranked player in the world. Before the protest, Kramnik led the match, 3-1, with 6.5 points needed for a victory.

The rest can be read here.

Chess unification bout takes nasty turn

By MIKHAIL SAVINOV,
Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 29, 11:02 PM ET

ELISTA, Russia – The future of the world chess championship was in question Friday when a player did not show up for the fifth game and threatened to withdraw from the match after he was accused of cheating and locked out of his private bathroom.

Vladimir Kramnik, a Russian, was accused by the manager for his opponent, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, of taking too many bathroom breaks — an apparent suggestion that he was secretly using a technical device or a computer program to help him with his moves.

The rest can be read here.
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