Ailing Kramnik Pulls out of Corus

1/5/2006 - I just received this press release from Carsten Hensel, Kramnik's manager. Since October, 2004, the 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik has been in slow free fall since retaining his title against Peter Leko in Brissago, Switzerland. Kramnik has now disclosed a serious health problem. At 30 years of age, this is too early for Kramnik to have debilitating arthritis.  I wonder if the arthritis is just a symptom of a more serious health crisis. One has to wonder if this will nix the possibility of a Kramnik vs. Topalov World Championship match.

    Lets all hope Kramnik solves his medical problems. This certainly is an underlying cause of Kramnik's poor performance in the last year; his standing in the world has fallen from 3rd to 7th. Since January of 2003, Kramnik has dropped 70 rating points. In 2000,  Kramnik became the world champion by soundly defeating Garry Kasparov. Kramnik became the 2nd man in chess history to break the 2800-barrier in 2002.  His rating peaked at 2811 and now stands at 2741. The Chess World needs a healthy champion. Lets all hope for a speedy recovery and the return of Kramnik to his 2800+ days.


Dear chessfriends,

a public statement of Vladimir Kramnik has been attached.     

Many thanks and best regards,
Carsten Hensel
(Manager for Vladimir Kramnik, Classical World Chess Champion)


Statement of Vladimir Kramnik:


I would like to inform the chess community that due to health problems I shall not be able to participate in the Corus Chess Tournament 2006.


A couple of years ago a form of arthritis was diagnosed. This disease causes painful inflammation in the joints. Unfortunately since that time, the symptoms have started to appear more often and with greater severity.


A new recent crises makes it necessary to undertake serious clinical treatment. Solving the present problem within a few months will allow me to come back and enjoy competitive chess at the highest level.


I want to stress clearly, that as always I am eager to continue and enhance my chess career. There are still many goals to achieve.


Chess Reporter
Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik's 2005 tournament record
Kramnik's FIDE rating history
Case for Kramnik vs. Topalov
ChessBase story

Possible causes of early arthritis -