Is this a stalemate?

Whoever said this was a boring game?

The world chess championship came to a halt [Friday] when a player who had been locked out of his private bathroom after insinuations that he was cheating refused to play and forfeited the fifth game of the match.

A day after a written protest by the team of Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria about the frequent bathroom breaks of Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, the World Chess Federation, which is organizing the match, locked the private bathrooms for both players and said they must use the same bathroom for the rest of the match.

The bathrooms had been the only part of the players’ private rest areas behind the stage where they are playing that was not subject to video surveillance by the match referees.

In filing the protest, Mr. Topalov implied that Mr. Kramnik might somehow be cheating when he was in the toilet. Before the protest, Mr. Kramnik led the match 3-1, with 6.5 points needed to win. The match is being played in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia, a Russian republic on the Caspian Sea.

I’ve heard of guys bashing the bishop in the bathroom, but they weren’t playing chess.

Deadspin comments:

In summary, the most exciting thing to ever happen in chess revolves around a grown man sitting on the floor outside of his bathroom and pouting.

Geez. And I thought the most exciting thing to ever happen in chess was Alexandra Kosteniuk.


  1. Dan »

    1 October 2006 · 2:24 pm

    How exactly could you cheat at chess from in the bathroom? Call up a buddy and ask them what to do?

  2. CGHill »

    1 October 2006 · 2:55 pm

    Minor details like that are never quite explained, it seems.

  3. SnoopyTheGoon »

    1 October 2006 · 3:25 pm

    Re bashing the bishop – here is an old classic that goes a long way toward enriching the vocabulary in this regard.

    And re Alexandra – you may have something there, but did she pout sitting on the floor near her restroom?

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