What Is Vladimir Kramnik Doing in That Bathroom?
I posted earlier about how Soviet chess players used to collude in international tournaments. As documented in today’s New York Times, and far more thoroughly on chessbase.com, we learn that the world chess championship has come to a halt because Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria filed a protest against his opponent, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. Kramnik was leading 3-1 at the time. Why the protest? Kramnik was spending an inordinate amount of time in his private bathroom, which is described as the only place on the site without video surveillance. Kramnik has apparently said he needs the space to pace, and that he pees a lot because he drinks a lot of water; Topalov’s presumption, however, is that Kramnik is somehow cheating. In filing the protest, Mr. Topalov said that in the future he “would refrain from shaking hands with Mr. Kramnik before the games.” I assume this is because he is peeved at the poor sportsmanship, not because he’s worried that Kramnik isn’t washing his hands.
Here’s what I want to know: what, exactly, is Kramnik supposed to be doing in the bathroom that gives him an edge?