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    Vladimir Kramnik

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    June 25, 1975 —

    Game 5 of the 2006 World Chess Championship has entered chess lore, but you're unlikely to ever see it being replayed. This is because the game never happened, forfeited by Russian grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik. Forfeited because he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom.

    Kramnik was playing Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, and quickly won the first two games. The next two were drawn, but Topalov was looking for an edge. So he complained that Kramnik was going to the bathroom too often. No, he wasn't concerned about the Russian's urinary tract. He claimed that Kramnik was consulting a computer while in the bathroom.

    The committee in charge decided to close off private bathrooms and make both players share one. Kramnik appealed (who wants to share a bathroom after THAT?), and ended up forfeiting the next game while the debate raged on. Topalov got the freebie, then won two more to take an unexpected lead. Kramnik evened the match and triumphed in the tiebreaker.

    The debate about bathroom usage continues, Bulgarians still unhappy with the result. But one debate that we can put an end to is Kramnik's potential Jewishness. He is not; his possibly Jewy last name comes from his father's stepfather. So we're not gonna take a side in this battle of two goyim...

    But seriously, let the man have his alone time.

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    August 16, 2012

    See Also

    Garry Kasparov

    Alexander Khalifman

    Susan Polgar

    Teimour Radjabov

    Wilhelm Steinitz
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