Vladimir Kramnik, 1975–, Russian chess player, b. Tuapse. Kramnik started to play chess at the age of four, and at eleven began studying with both Mikhail Botvinnik and Garry Kasparov. Deeply versed in theory, he has been influenced by the styles of such masters as Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, and Kasparov. He became the world's junior champion in 1991 and the following year, despite his youth, played in the prestigious Chess Olympiad, where he won a gold medal. In 2000 he defeated Kasparov, who had been world champion for the previous 15 years, and in a 2006 match he defeat Veselin Topalov to become the undisputed world champion. In 2007, however, he lost the title to Viswanathan Anand in tournament play; the following year Anand again bested him to retain the title.
See his autobiography (2000).