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    Vladimir Kramnik

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      WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - My Path to the Top - Vladimir Kramnik
      Catalog Code: WIN0022CB

      Born in 1975 in Tuapse on the shores of the Black Sea, Vladimir Kramnik studied at the Botvinnik-Kasparov chess school. At 16 he was included in the Russian Olympiad team and scored a sensational 8.5/9, the best result at the Olympiad.
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      WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - My Path to the Top - Vladimir Kramnik

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    Vladimir Kramnik

    Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik was the fourteenth World Chess Champion. He is regarded today, along with current World Champion Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen, as one of the top three players in the world. Vladimir Kramnik was born in Tapse, Russia on June 25, 1975. He learned to play chess at the age of five. He would play through the moves of "Karpov's Best Games", a chess book that greatly influenced him and his positional style of play. Showing tremendous ability, he was admitted into the "Kasparov-Botvinik School" at the age of 12. There he began receiving training from Soviet Grandmasters. Later that year, competing against other youth several years his senior, he would finish in 5th in the Soviet Under 18 Championship.

    Like almost every great champion who preceded him, Kramnik's ascent in the chess world was quite rapid. Gary Kasparov took notice of the young talented Kramnik. Though he was only sixteen years old and unproven internationally, in 1992, with a strong endorsement from Kasparov, Kramnik was chosen to represent the Russian team in the Chess Olympiad in Manila, Philippines. He scored 8 wins, one draw and zero losses and was soon awarded the title of International Grandmaster. Kramnik would continue to have good results in major tournaments in the early 1990's. In 1995 Kramnik served as a second for Gary Kasparov in his World Championship match vs. Vishwanathan Anand. Kasparov would go on to successfully defend his title 10 ½ to 7 ½ over Anand. The experience was a valuable one for Kramnik, who witnessed firsthand Kasparov's preparation and training routine.

    In January 1996 Kramnik achieved a FIDE rating of 2775, tying with him with World Champion Gary Kasparov as the highest rated player in the world. This was the first time in over a decade that Kasparov was not single-handedly the world's highest rated player. The two were headed for a collision course and in October of 2000 Vladimir Kramnik would face his former mentor Gary Kasparov for the title. There were competing political factions in the chess world; because of this the chess world championship was split into two tiles (the "classical world title" and FIDE world title. Most regarded Kasparov vs. Kramnik for the Classical World title as the legitimate World Championship match, although many questioned that Kramnik was the first contender since 1936 that did not have to qualify to play Kasparov. The younger Kramnik seemed much better prepared for the match. He would shock the world, not only defeating Kasparov in the match, but also denying him a single win. The final score was 8 ½ to 6 ½. For the first time in over 15 years, someone other than Gary Kasparov was champion; Vladimir Kramnik.

    Name

    Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik

    Country

    Russia

    Born

    June 25, 1975

    Death

    Title

    Grandmaster

    Peak Rating

    2800

    More...


    As World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik had some memorable highlights and lowlights. In 2004, Kramnik would win the heralded Linares Tournament, one of the strongest tournaments to date. Later in 2004 he would also successfully defend his title against challenger Peter Leko. In 2002 Kramnik, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Kasparov, played a match against deep Fritz, one of the strongest computer programs at the time. While making some "human" errors, Kramnik displayed a fighting spirit and was able to draw the match 4 to 4. In 2006 Kramnik once again faced off against a computer opponent, this time Deep Fritz 10. Kramnik would inauspiciously find himself as headline news for committing what has been called "the greatest blunder in chess history". Blundering a simple mate in one in a completely drawn endgame, he would eventually lose the match proving that even at the highest level humans make mistakes.

    In 2006 Kramnik faced Veselin Topalov in a World Chess Championship Unification Match. The match would be hotly contested and highly controversial. Topalov would by accuse Kramnik of using the bathroom too frequently, thus implying some kind of foul play. Kramnik boycotted the fifth game in protest. The match would fittingly end in a 6 to 6 draw. Kramnik would go on to win a blitz tie-break and become the first undisputed world champion since Gary Kasparov in 1993. Kramnik agreed that he whoever won the FIDE World Championship Tournament in Mexico in 2007 would be crowned and recognized the unified champion. Vishwanathan Anand would win the tournament and become the new world champion. Kramnik, who would finish in second, reserved the right to challenge Anand for the title in a rematch.

    In 2008 Kramnik and Anand would square off in Bonn, Germany for the World Chess Championship. This time it was Anand whose preparation was superior. He would defeat Kramnik 6 ½ to 4 ½ and retain the title. Ironically, Kramnik would aid Anand in his title defense vs. Veselin Topalov in 2010. Kramnik continues to compete and perform at or near the top in just about every major tournament he plays in. He is only the second player in history of six, after Gary Kasparov, to surpass a rating of 2800. He also briefly recaptured the World number 1 ranking for a brief period in 2008. Much of Kramnik's success can be attributed to his methodical positional style and his tenacious fighting spirit over the board.

    Some Famous Vladimir Kramnik Quotes:
    "Chess is art of carrying out a long term plan"

    "It is rightly said that the most difficult thing in chess is winning a won position"

    On Kramnik:
    "I have never said this before, but I think he is the only one who plays as well as I did at the same age" - - Gary Kasparov



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