Russian Federation Kramnik, Vladimir
Classical Grandmasters

Russian Grandmaster (1992). Kramnik has been the Classical World Champion 2000-2006 but despite his title he was not recognised by FIDE until 2006, after he beat Veselin Topalov in a reunification match and became the undisputed World Champion (2006-2007).  World Champion U18 1991, bronze medal at the World U14 in 1989. He was also the winner of the Chess Oscar for the best player of the year in 2000.

Kramnik was born in to a family of artistic people; a musician and sculptor.  He learnt to play chess at the age of six and developed his skills in the Botvinnik-Kasparov chess school. His first remarkable success was a victory at the World Youth U18 Championship 1991.  He shared 1st-3rd place at the Dortmund Open tournament with Smbat Lputian and Zurab Azmaiparashvili.  As a member of the Russian team he participated in the Manila Chess Olympiad, where he gained the best personal result 8½:9. As a challenger, Kramnik took part in the Biel and PCA Groningen tournaments in 1993, where he played successfully.  

Several more of his best results include: first/equal first in Herson and Guarapuava 1991; Gausdal, Halkidiki and Dortmund 1992, shared 1st-3rd place with Lputian and Azamiparashvili; Amsterdam together with Nigel Short and Viswanathan Anand; Madrid 1993 with Topalov and Anand; Monaco Rapid 1994 with Anand; Monaco 1995 with Dortmund and Horgen; Moscow PCA and Dos Hermanas, where he came first with Topalov; Dortmund 1996 with Anand; Tilburg 1997 with Peter Svidler and Garry Kasparov; Wijk aan Zee with Anand, Monaco, Dortmund 1998 with Michael Adams and Svidler and he won in Monaco 1999. 

In 2000, Kramnik shared first place with Kasparov in Linares and first place with Anand in Dortmund.  He was then invited to challenge Kasparov for the Brain Game World Championship.  With the help of Joel Lautier, Miguel Illescas and Evgeny Bareev in October 2000, Kramnik ended Garry Kasparov's reign as “World Chess Champion” with the score 8½:6½.  However, FIDE never recognised this match because according to them Kasparov lost his title in 1993.  

In 2004 at Brissago, Switzerland he saved his crown in a match against Leko by winning the last game and drawing the World Classical Chess Championship with the score 6:6.

In 2006 he defeated Topalov after tie-breaks and became the absolute undisputed World Champion. He lost his title one year later in Bonn to Viswanathan Anand.

Won or shared first in Monaco 2001, 2004 and 2007, Dortmund 2001, Linares 2003 and 2004, Dortmund again in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011, Tal Memorial 2007 and 2009, Bilbao Grand Slam 2010, President' Cup Baku 2010, Zurich Rapid 2010, Hoogeveen 2011 and London Classical 2011.

In matches, he defeated Joel Lautier 4½:1½ in Cannes 1993 and Illescas Cordoba in Alcobendas with the score 4½:1½.  In 1994 he defeated Leonid Yudasin in Wijk aan Zee with the score 4½:2½ and in India for the World Championship quarter-finals he lost to Boris Gelfand 3½-4½.  In 1997 he won the rapid match versus Judit Polgar 1:0 in Cologne, in 1998 he was defeated by Alexei Shirov in Cazorla 3½:4½, in 1999 he drew a blitz-match with Kasparov in Moscow 12:12, defeated the Swiss National team 4:2 in 1999, defeated Leko in a Rapid Chess match in Budapest 7:5 and in 2001 drew with Anand in Mainz 5:5.  Kramnik drew an exhibition Rapid Chess match in 2002 against Fritz software in Bahrein with the score 4:4 and in 2004 he defeated the German National team 2½:1½.  In 2007 he defeated Leko in Miskolcs at rapid chess with the score 4½:3½ and lost to Levon Aronian in Yerevan at rapid chess with the score 4:2. In 2008 he beat David Navara 5½:2½. [singlepic id=2031 w=150 h=150 float=left]

Kramnik has been a member of the national squad since 1992 and has won gold as a member of the winning team at the Olympiads of 1992, 1994 and 1996 and at the World Team Championship of 1993. Also winner of the gold medal for best individual performance at board five at 1992 Olympiad of and at board one at the 2006 Olympiad.

He worked with Bareev, Illescas, Motylev, Rublevsky, Lautier and Karjakin. 

One of his former coach’s GM Makarychev says of Kramnik: "The chief peculiarity of Kramnik's game is combination of power and harmony".