TWIC (The Week In Chess) is one of my favorite chess sites. The site offers news and games of chess events worldwide and it is available to all chess fans for FREE. Mark Crowther is the genius behind this informative, neutral and non-political chess website. Mark just presented this very nice article about Kramnik and Topalov on his website:

Match and World Championship Experience

Vladimir Kramnik beat Garry Kasparov in October/ November 2000 in the Braingames World Championship match in London and retained his version of the title in September/ October 2004 in Brissago, Switzerland with a last gap final game victory over Peter Leko to draw the match. Kramnik’s experience of matches should prove an advantage but he has also lost his fair share losing to 4.5-1.5 to Gata Kamsky (PCA) and 4.5-3.5 to Gelfand (FIDE) in 1994 and most notoriously 5.5-3.5 against Alexei Shirov in Cazorla in 1998. The latter match should have qualified Shirov to play Kasparov for his world title, that match never happened and somehow Kramnik ended up playing Kasparov in 2000 in spite of the loss. Kramnik also lost in 1999 to Adams in a quarter final FIDE KO match in Las Vegas but perhaps importantly did beat Topalov 2-0 in a rapid playoff in the fourth round after their two normal time rate games were drawn. Kramnik gained vital experience from the master when he acted as a second to Garry Kasparov for his world title match against Viswanathan Anand in New York 1996.

Veselin Topalov won the FIDE World Championship title in a double round robin title event in San Luis Argentina in 2005. His match world championship match experience is limited to the FIDE knockout format. He lost his first round match to Jeroen Piket 1.5-05 in Groningen, 1997, beat Ruslan Ponomariov and Lev Psakhis before losing to Kramnik in Las Vegas 1999, in New Delhi 2000 he seemed in tremendous form beating Andrei Kharlov, Kiril Georgiev and Alexey Dreev before being defeated by Michael Adams 1.5-0.5. In the 2001 FIDE event in Moscow he defeated Pierrot, Vescovi and Zhang Zhong before losing to Alexei Shirov in the fourth round. He was strong favourite in Tripoli, 2004 to take the FIDE title winning his first five matches in only 2 games against Abulhul, Delchev, Movsesian, Kozul and Kharlov. He lost the semi-final against Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2-0 in a rapid playoff after they drew their four normal time rate games.

You can read a full excellent report by Mark Crowther on TWIC.
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