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Breaking: Vladimir Kramnik retires

by Shahid Ahmed - 29/01/2019

Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik, a former world champion, has just announced his retirement as a professional chess player at the age of 43 years. Kramnik was world champion from 2000 to 2007. He dethroned the indomitable Garry Kasparov to become the world champion. Kramnik won three individual and three team medals for his country Russia. He has won almost all top tournaments, including the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in 1998. Kramnik's biggest significant contribution to chess would be his ideas in opening theory which has been adopted and used by many strong players. The 'Big Vlad' will be missed in competitive chess tournaments. Photo: Alina L'Ami

The former World Champion 'Big Vlad' retires from chess

Originally published at Tata Steel Chess Official Site


Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik (43) has just announced that he will end his career as a professional chess player. Kramnik was world champion from 2000 until 2007. He dethroned Garry Kasparov by beating him 8.5 – 6.5 in 2000. Kramnik didn’t lose a single game during this world championship match. He has won virtually all top tournaments, including the Tata Steel Chess Tournament (in 1998).

He was pondering over his retirement as a professional chess player for months | Photo: Alina L'Ami

Kramnik: “I already decided to finish my professional chess career a couple of months ago and now, after having played my last tournament, I would like to announce it publicly.”

Kramnik gives a short overview of his chess journey and how it impacted him | Video: Tata Steel Chess

“The life of a professional chess player was a great journey and I am very thankful to chess for all it has given me. It has sometimes been difficult, sometimes more successful than I could ever imagine, but in any case it has been a priceless human experience for me. I have always tried my best to give it all from my side, being fully involved in it while working and playing chess.”

Kramnik's fans are everywhere | Photo: Alina L'Ami

“But I have also expressed in interviews before that I would like to try doing something else one day, and since my chess player motivation has dropped significantly in recent months, it feels like the right moment for it. I would like to concentrate on projects which I have been developing during the last months especially in the field of chess for children and education. I will soon provide more detailed information about those.”

Kramnik faced Giri in round 2 of Tata Steel Masters 2019 | Photo: Alina L'Ami

“I might still like to play a rapid or blitz chess tournament at times, or do a simultaneous like the Tata Steel Chess simultaneous in the Dutch parliament building this afternoon and will participate in various events connected with chess, popularising this great game.”

Jeroen van den Berg - Director of Tata Steel Chess Tournament | Photo: Alina L'Ami

Jeroen van den Berg, director of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament: “I am honoured that Vladimir Kramnik has picked the Tata Steel Chess Tournament to be his last. I would have liked to see him to take leave with a better result, though. Vladimir is a great player. He is dynamic, all-round and a great fighter with a very keen insight. But above all he is a wonderful and warm person, with a great sense of humour. I will miss his presence in the top of the chess world, as will many chess aficionados all over the world. I wish him all the best with everything he is going to undertake and am sure our paths will cross again many more times.”



In the past weeks Kramnik participated in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. This afternoon he will play the Tata Steel Chess simultaneous (Torentje Schaak) Tata Steel has organised for members of parliament and journalists in the parliament building in The Hague. This simultaneous is always the last event of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.


How the Chess universe reacted to this shocking announcement:

Vishy Anand's words on his friend 'Vlady'
World Champion Magnus Carlsen tn his usual witty self
Two-time World Cup Winner and former World no.2 Levon Aronian share his voice
Current FIDE Vice-President Nigel Short
Mark Crowther - Creator and Editor of The Week in Chess
3-time British Champion, English GM David Howell
No.1 player of Lithuania and also MP of the Republic of Lithuania, GM Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen
Peter Doggers - One of the councilors of the Online Commission in FIDE
Douglas Griffin - Collector and Translator of classic chess literature

Kramnik on ChessBase India:

Kramnik speaks at World Cup 2017
Kramnik defeated Aronian at Candidates 2018 - analysis by IM Sagar Shah
Interview with Vladimir Kramnik in freezing cold
Learn how to Attack with Vladimir Kramnik

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