As I said countless times before, I personally learn a lot from Kramnik’s games. I think he has an incredible understanding of chess and when he is on his game, he is almost impossible to beat. I also admire Topalov’s style of chess. I cannot play like him and very few can. He may not have the same chess understanding as Kramnik but he has a magnificent feel for attacking chess and his fighting spirit is second to none.
These two players are the best in the game. Topalov is a premier attacker and Kramnik is the Minister of Defense. I do not think anyone should insult either of these players.
I believe that Topalov was within his rights to file a protest. I do NOT agree with the tone and language of the letter by his manager Silvio Danailov. I think the tone and the language of the letter was out of line. But the bottom line is he has the right to file a protest if he feels something is unfair or wrong.
I also believe that Kramnik was within his rights to fight the protest and lodged his own protest. He was within his rights to defend himself and to state what he thought was unfair. Do I agree with everything in the letter from his manager Carsten Hensel or the decision to forfeit the game? No, but that is another story.
I do strongly believe that both sides are guilty of purposely playing mind games with each other. I do believe that both sides went too far. This war of words went all the way back to when Topalov won San Luis. There is no love lost between these two managers. I do believe that both sides should stop this psychological warfare and get back to the board and play chess.
I believe that FIDE did make a mistake. The reason is they should have anticipated the potential problems. Am I accusing the Appeals Committee of purposely making a decision to favor one player or the other? NO. But it would have been better and wiser to appoint 3 people who are NOT directly affiliated with FIDE on the Appeals Committee. This way no one can say that the Appeals Committee is being unfair.
Many players do not trust FIDE no matter if they are working hard to change things for the better or not. Many people do not give credibility to the ACP no matter what they try to achieve. This is why I stated numerous times for a need of a neutral Chess Commissioner, someone with NO political history or agenda, someone who is well respected by most organizers, players and head of federations.
Other sports such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. do have Commissioners. These Commissioners are liaisons between the owners and players. Why not chess? The Chess Commissioner can be a liaison between FIDE, ACP and all chess players.
The only way to solve the problems now is for both players to compromise. Blaming either player alone is unfair and will not solve any problem. Without cooperation by both sides, the match is over. The future of this match is in their hands and all parties are to blame for this embarrassment.