Reports | August 03, 2011 3:03

Video interview Vladimir Kramnik

Video interview Vladimir KramnikOn Sunday, after his last-round game in Dortmund against Hikaru Nakamura, we spoke to Vladimir Kramnik. The 10-time winner of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting lost that game after taking some risks. He explains how he experienced that game, compares this event with Kazan and reveals how he spent his time between that tournament and Dortmund. "It's a pity that I don't know how to prepare."

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Michael's picture

Pretty funny to hear Dortmund compared to Linares! Dortmund is a nice tourney, but not in the same league.

onurengin's picture

Winning Linares 9 times is great! If one can achieve that success in Linares then you can compare yourself with Kasparov. Dortmund is another story...

szoker's picture

The Mighty Vlad !

choufleur's picture

I really enjoyed the interview !
Vladimir is really fantastic.

kaboom's picture

As in some other areas where a high level of consentration is needed, I think Kramnik actually may have profited from his preparations to Kazan in this tournament, as tense preparation should be followed by some relaxation for the mind to give its best.

noyb's picture

Kramnik is correct, no crisis in chess. Dortmund and Biel prove those nattering nabobs of negativism incorrect when they whine about draws in chess. It's utterly ludicrous to concern ourselves with this as chess is, for human purposes, inexhaustible.

test's picture

Chess is inexhaustible if you consider every possible position or variation. But you don't have to do that to play good chess. Example: 1.e4 d6 2.Qg4 Bxg4

There are still millions (or maybe even billions) of possible variations after this, but you can stop analyzing because white will lose in all of them. So the realistic tree of variations is MUCH smaller. As Kramnik said himself: at the top level it is becoming extremely difficult to beat an opponent who just plays for the draw from move one.

Creemer's picture

The problem is not the finity of chess, but the finity of human recollection, which makes classical chess more and more suited for those with an exceptional memory. Traits like creativity and resourcefulness won't disappear, but compared to memory those are becoming less important.

Far less theory and memory; far more surprises, creativity and entertainment!

timothée's picture

I agree with Vladimir Kramnik that Chess is not in a crisis given the right format. But you must add that there is "Sofia Rule" (not called that way of course :) ) in Dortmund ! Is Kramnik finally supporting Sofia Rule ?!

But then you have to compare what is comparable. How can you compare tournaments where Pelletier and Meier are competing, and where the top pros are slightly out of the TOP 10 (Ponomariov, Liem, Morozevich, Shirov, Giri, Vachier Lagrave are all very great players but slightly below ) with a tournament like Bilbao 2008 where Topalov, Anand, Aronian, Ivanchuk, Carlsen and Rajdabov took part. Of course when there are "patzers" (on a very very very very very very very very large scale ), it's much easier to produce such tournaments.

EverlastingPatzer's picture

Love Kramnik when he plays and talks like that!

Michael's picture

Pretty funny to hear Dortmund compared to Linares! Dortmund is a nice tourney, but not in the same league.

And kramnik is no Kasparov.

gg's picture

That thing with "beating Kasparov" and his nine Linares titles probably means more to Kramnik than he admits, not least since he said he had beaten Kasparov already the last time he won Dortmund :-)

"Kasparov won Linares eight times and I managed to improve his achievement in Dortmund"

Thomas's picture

Of course it plays a role that Kramnik and Kasparov are not exactly (no longer) friends of each other - Kasparov made plenty of sneaky and a bit derogatory remarks on Kramnik over the years (ever since he lost their WCh match) so Kramnik took the opportunity or opportunities to say 'hello' to Kasparov.

He might make similar remarks with respect to Topalov - who, as a rather innocent example, "over-emphasized" the Elo advantage he had at some stage. I don't think Vlad would make similar comments about (his friend) Anand.

steven's picture

Nevertheless his body language and the fact that he repeats himself several times indicate he was quite upset after his loss.

Hortensius's picture

Something about the filming: How did you guys manage to follow the Kramnik with the camera that well? It seems that the field of view is moving along with Kramnik's motion, in order to keep him fixed in position. Is this some kind of digital technique? Very nice!

Peter Doggers's picture

Lol - I thought that was the only flaw in the video, that I somehow kept on moving the camera along with him without noticing it during the interview. We're both quite tall and perhaps we were just moving 'in synch' accidentally. :-)

Hortensius's picture

Are you kidding? It's awesome! Well done!

szoker's picture

It went very well, it gave a really nice effect ! ;]

eric's picture

Great interview! Also, great video - they keep getting better!

Olorin's picture

Awesome interview, as always :)
I noticed something else: The resemblance of Kramnik with Super (Sparkassen)-man of the last Diaz comic is tremendous!!
Pling! hahahaha

Septimus's picture

Hey Peter,

What did Kramnik do after the toournament? Did he hit the club? Smoke a few joints? Mountainbike? How does he unwind after a big win?

Bloodhound's picture

Yes World Champions seem to get "nicer" when they have lost their title (though i never found Kramnik obnoxious in the first place) yet it is hard to imagine Vishy Anand getting any nicer when he ceases to be WC. Comparing Dortmund to Linares is hardly preposterous - just look at the roster of participants over the years. Many of the same players who participated in Linares. It's a double RR - a local player was represented like Linares with three top ten players plus two very strong newbies and, no doubt, future top tenners.

Despicableme's picture

Comparing his wins in Dortmud with Kasparov's wins in Linares is preposterous .
But, nice interview overall ! i always liked Kramnik a lot when he is not holding the World title.

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