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Kramnik vs Topalov: Ready to checkmate

September 18, 2006

After a 13-year split in the game, Vladamir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov will settle the World Championship battle over the chessboard in a 12-game match in Elista, between September 21 and October 13.

FIDE world champion Topalov and Classical chess world champion Kramnik (left) will play the re-unification match to end dual claims to the title of 'World champion' and a bitter division in the chess world.

The rift in the chess world occurred after Garry Kasparov played a title match against Nigel Short in 1993 outside the auspices of FIDE, and the world chess federation organised a separate World championship, which soon became a knock-out event.

The Classical chess world champions were Kasparov, first, and then Kramnik; Kasparov beat Short in 1993 and Viswanathan Anand in 1995, but lost to Kramnik in 2000. Kramnik went on to retain his title after a draw against Peter Leko in 2004.

The FIDE knock-out World champions were Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov and Rustam Kasimdzhanov, in that order.

In 2005, FIDE changed the format to an eight-player double round-robin tournament, which was won by Topalov.

Photographs: AFP/Getty Images

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