attiTUDES EtherMag™

Spring Sports Stud

Vladimir Kramnik

 

• Born June 25, 1975 in Tuapse (Krasnodar Region/Russia)

• 14th Classical World Chess Champion.

• Three-time Olympiad winner as a member of the Russian team.

• Russian Honoured Master of Sport.

• Three-time winner in World Championship Matches

• World Chess Champion since November 2nd, 2000 to date.

• Current absolute, unique, undisputed World Champion after winning the unification match in 2006.

• Current ELO rating: 2769

It is an almost senseless challenge to describe World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik in only a few lines. His personality has too many facets; his areas of interests are too diverse. What is clear is that Vladimir Kramnik is not solely fixated on chess.

Current affairs interest him just as intensively as numerous sport and cultural activities, several of which he regularly engages in. The cosmopolitan would love to enjoy life ever more intensively, but his drive to succeed holds this inclination within limits. What is it that marks out the world champion in him even though he doesn't focus exclusively on chess?

Kramnik considers chess as the art of carrying out a long-term plan.

People close to Kramnik, who presumably works less intensively for chess than most of his competitors, often claim that this has something to do with his creative nature and strategic gifts. Kramnik considers chess less as a sport and more as the art of carrying out a long-term plan. The harmonious interplay of his pieces and the beauty of his game are already legendary. He is always searching for creative and new solutions, particularly when he is playing.

 

 

 

 

 

In many games, they say, he sees things that no computer can calculate and no other grandmasters could discover. The ingenious ideas would come to him quite easily, providing him with moments of pure joy.

The artistic vein in the 32-year-old Muscovite must have been given to him in his cradle. His father Boris is a well-known sculptor; his mother Irina a music teacher. That this assumption is not far off the mark is evidenced by his response to the question, "What would you like to do after the end of your career?" The classical music aficionado and avid reader answered, "Start a family - and learn to play the piano." No wonder that journalists all over the world have dubbed Kramnik an "artist" or "painter".

Kramnik started to play chess at the age of five. At 12, his enormous talent was recognized in Moscow and encouraged. As a teenager, Kramnik got better and better &endash; at only 16, he won the U18 World Championship. The list of his victories is long. He has already finished all major tournaments in the world as the victor. And he holds a record which made sporting history: Kramnik was unbeaten at the highest level in 86 classical games over 18 months up to July 2000.

The road to the World Championship title

Thursday, November 2, 2000, London: Vladimir Kramnik became the 14th World Chess Champion with a brilliant 8.5-6.5 result against Garry Kasparov, who could not win a single game. After Garry Kasparov had congratulated him, the greatest dream of his life became true: World Chess Champion. Exulting, Kramnik threw his arms up into the air in triumph. The audience's applause and the subsequent tumult will not be forgotten.

 It was a historic moment in the history of chess: Kramnik had not only won the lion's share of the two-million dollar prize money; his victory had ended Kasparov's 15-year-long reign on the chess throne.

After this historic triumph, Kramnik notched up several major victories at prestigious tournaments such as Dortmund, Linares, Leon and Monaco.

In 2004, he faced off in another World Championship, this time in Switzerland: Kramnik successfully defended his title against the official challenger, Hungarian super grandmaster Péter Lékó. In a complex strategic battle, he pulled off a supreme coup, winning in the 14th game &endash; the last in the match &endash; with a 7:7 tie. Traditionally, the reigning World Champion has to be beaten outright based on points &endash; the challenger Lékó came heart-wrenchingly close to doing so.

2005 was a year of ups and downs for the World Champion. Kramnik was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, entered intense medical treatment, and disappeared from the tournament hubbub for six months. The break seemed to rejuvenate the Russian &endash; at his comeback in the 2006 Chess Olympiad in Turin, he had the best individual score of all 1,000 participants.

 

In October 2006, Kramnik faced the biggest challenge:

the unification match that would decide who the next unique, absolute World Champion would be.

In a historic fight against all sort of adversities, Kramnik defeated Topalov to become the first unified World Champion after 1993, the one and only official World Chess Champion. His win in Elista was one of the most impressive victories in all of sports history.

Kramnik's message to all his fans:

My team and I would like to thank all my fans for their enormous support during such a difficult battle. Your daily messages were a tremendous experience, giving me additional confidence especially in difficult moments. You, my most valuable fans, contributed very much to my success becoming the unified World Chess Champion.

Vladimir Kramnik, Elista, 14 October 2006

During 2007 Kramnik has kept very active in the World Chess scene. He has played in many events, like Wijk aan Zee, Monaco, matches against Leko and Aronian and Dortmund.35th Dortmund International Tournament

World Champion Vladimir Kramnik was the undisputed winner of the super strong 2007 edition of the annual Dortmund Festival. Kramnik finished with 5/7, undefeated, after winning against Gelfand, Naitditsch and Carlsend and drawing his other 4 games.Looking up to the near future: Mexico World Championship

In early September this year Kramnik will defend his title in Mexico City against 7 very strong challengers. It will be a closed tournament, a doble round robin event where Kramnik will meet Anand, Aronian, Leko, Gelfand, Grischuk, Svidler and Morozevich. Kramnik is not expected to play any other event after Dortmund until Mexico.


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