WCC 2006: Match deadlocked at 6-6 tiebreaks on tap!

Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik finally ended nearly three weeks of grueling play by drawing the exciting finale. Each player won three games (including a forfeit win for Topalov) and drew six for 6-6 count. This game had an interesting motif with Kramnik employing the minority attack against black's queenside. While that was happening, Topalov switched to a kingside attack, but was not able to break through and the two champions sued for peace. Thus, the match is officially drawn after regulation play.

The tiebreak matches will feature four 25-minute games with an additional ten seconds for each move made. Should those four games end in a tie then two five-minute games will be played followed by a sudden death tiebreaker with draw odds for black. One would argue that it is not an ideal method for deciding on a world champion, but memories of the 48-game Kasparov-Karpov match come to mind. In that match
Anatoly Karpov led 5-0 before Garry Kasparov  chipped away at the lead and closed it to 5-3. For fear of mental fatigue the match was aborted amidst controversy.

The Topalov-Kramnik match is still being played under protest and the Kramnik team has not accepted the game five forfeit awarded to Topalov. In the event that Kramnik should win the tiebreak, there is no doubt that
Carsten Hansel will drop the protest, but may still take some action against FIDE. If that should happen how would that affect Kramnik's standing as the new unified FIDE champ? If Topalov should win, what will happen if the decision is upheld and game five is not replayed? Will Kramnik continue to make his claim as World Champion. If so, we may be back at step one.

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Posted by The Chess Drum: 13 October 2006