Alternative headline : “Searching For Bobby Fisher(‘s Key To The Executive Washroom”)
Much like Vince Naimoli and Ian McCulloch, defending Chess King Vladimir “Don’t Fuck With Me” Kramnik (above) will not tolerate tampering with his private toilet. From the New York Times’ Dylan Loeb McClain.
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. Mr. Kramnik is the No. 4-ranked player in the world. Before the protest, Mr. Kramnik led the match, 3-1, with 6.5 points needed for a victory.
Mr. Danailov said in the letter that the videotape of the area outside Mr. Kramnik™s bathroom captured him making more than 50 trips a game.
The federation reviewed the protest and determined that Mr. Kramnik was using his bathroom considerably fewer than 50 times a game. Still, the federation announced that it would lock the private bathrooms of the players. Instead, they would be required to use the same bathroom for the rest of the match.
Carsten Hensel, Mr. Kramnik™s manager, said the committee showed bias in favor of Mr. Topalov. He demanded that the members be removed and that their decision be overturned.
Furthermore, he said, the contracts signed by the players before the match stipulated that each would have a private bathroom. He said Mr. Kramnik made the frequent trips to the bathroom because he drinks a lot of water during games, and because Mr. Kramnik likes to pace and œuses the space of the bathroom.
The letter concluded that Mr. Kramnik would not play unless the federation was œready to respect Mr. Kramnik™s rights, in this case to use the toilet of his own restroom whenever he wishes to do so.
Details of the fracas were described by Mikhail Savinov, one of the few reporters able to get to this remote area of southern Russia.
As the match began yesterday, Mr. Topalov sat down to play. But Mr. Kramnik went to his private area and sat down in his room outside of his bathroom, demanding that it be unlocked.
Mr. Kramnik refused to budge. He was given a letter from Mr. Ilyumzhinov in which the president said he supported the decision of the appeals committee and urged Mr. Kramnik to play, Mr. Balgabaev said.
Mr. Kramnik continued to sit in his room. After an hour, according to the rules of chess, the game was declared forfeited in Mr. Topalov™s favor.
Afterward, Mr. Savinov reported, Mr. Kramnik said at a news conference, œMy dignity does not allow me to stand this situation.