Thursday, October 07, 2004

Kramnik 3.5-Leko 4.5!

Two more games down in the World Chess Championship. The score was tied going into game seven, in which Leko had white. Kramnik switched from the Orthodox Queen's Gambit, with which he lost game five, to the Slav Defense. This was in keeping with his strategy of playing passive but solid openings as black. Leko got nowhere out of the opening, and after massive exchanges the game ended in a quick draw.

I was rather annoyed by this, since I felt it showed a lack of fighting spirit on the part of the players. Then came game eight. Just as in all the other games in which Kramnik had white, a Ruy Lopez quickly appeared. But instead of exploring the quiet, positional lines that had appeared in games two, four and six, Leko busted out the Marshall Gambit, one of the most violent and exciting openings in grandmaster practice. Basically, black gives up a pawn early in the game. In return for this concession, all of his pieces reach active squares, and white has to defend carefully to keep from getting mated. This time, Kramnik let his guard down, and Leko came crashing through in a flurry of tactics.

By winning this game with the black pieces, not only did Leko get revenge for his loss as white in game one, but he also took the lead in the match. He only needs to draw the remaining six games to win the title. If he manages to win another game, that would effectively end the match.

There has definitely been a psychological shift in the match. Kramnik was the favorite going in, but he has been unimpressive since his win in game one. He'll really have to hunker down to bring the match back under the control. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tipler, Part Two

In yesterday's post I showed how Frank Tipler distorted the ideas of Lynn Margulis and Ernst Mayr to make it appear they were offering criticisms of orthodox Darwinism comparable to those of ID proponents. In today's post I will examine three other instances of Tipler distorting what other people have said.

Consider the following anecdote:

The California Skeptics Society founder, Michael Shermer, informs me that a proposal to the NSF to fund publication of all of Isaac Newton's to-date unpublished work on theology was rejected even though the proposal was made by one of the world's leading Newton scholars. The reason given, according to Shermer, was that it would be bad for science if it became generally known that the greatest scientist of all time actually believed in God. Clearly, the scientific community is not open to any evidence or any theory that might even hint that God really exists and might actually act in the physical universe. (P. 125)

Does that sound suspicious to you? Is there a scientist on the planet who is not aware that Newton was not only a theist, but also spent a lot of time writing about theology?

On the theory that you should always be suspicious of the “perfect anecdote” I wrote to Michael Shermer and asked him about this incident. I showed him what Tipler had said. Here, reprinted with Shermer's permission, is what he told me in reply:

The scholar in question was Richard Westfall, who wrote a biography of Newton, Never at Rest. He told me that after his bio he tried to get NSF (and other sources) money for publishing all of Newton's theological works. He was turned down numerous times. He was never given a reason, but he speculated it was because science grantors could not see the importance of Newton's theological ramblings. It was definitely not simply because Newton believed in God, since virtually everyone did, scientists included. It was that he spent so much time on what was largely theological speculations of no scientific import.

Exactly. Why would the NSF want to fund the publication of a large body of work that is not likely to be of interest to scientists?

So Tipler took a speculation about the NSF not seeing the importance of Newton's theological work and turned it into evidence for the antipathy of the scientific community, as represented by the NSF, towards religion. Lovely.

Before considering the next example, let me mention that Tipler is well-known for his book The Physics of Immortality, in which he argued that modern physics effectively proves the Judeo-Christian worldview. For example, the first sentence of his book is:

This book is a description of the Omega Point Theory, which is a testable physical theory for an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipotent God who will one day in the far future resurrect every single one of us to live forever in an abode which is in all essentials the Judeo-Christian Heaven.

Needless to say, Tipler's more fanicful conclusions have not found support from very many scientists.

Now consider the opening paragraph of Tipler's essay in Uncommon Dissent:

I first became aware of the importance that many non-elite scientists place on “peer-reviewed” journals when Howard Van Till, a theistic evolutionist, said my book The Physics of Immortality was not worth taking seriously because the ideas it presented had never appeared in refereed journals. Actually, the ideas in that book had already appeared in refereed journals. The papers and the refereed journals wherein they appeared were listed at the beginning of my book. My key predictions of the top quark mass (conifrmed) and the Higgs boson mass (still unknown) even appeared in the pages of Nature, the most prestigious refereed science journal in the world. But suppose Van Till had been correct and my ideas had never been published in referreed journals. Would he have been correct in saying that, in this case, the ideas need not be taken seriously? (P. 116)

It is not clear to me why Tipler chose to identify Van Till as a theistic evolutionist, when it surely is more relevant that he is a physicist and an astronomer. We should also point out that Tipler's implication that Van Till is a non-elite scientist (and that Tipler is himself an elite scientist) is a typical example of the arrogance and condescension Tipler exhibits throughout his essay.

Also odd is Tipler's assertion about listing relevant papers at the start of his book. The preface makes no mention of any such papers. In a seventeen page introduction Tipler makes reference to just a single one of his papers, and that one was published in Zygon. This is a journal about science and religion, not a physics journal. Tipler lists eight of his publications in the bibliography of his book. None of the ones dealing specifically with the Omega Point Theory appeared in physics journals.

The book's introduction does contain two nuggets, one major and one minor, that we ought to mention. The minor one is the description of JBS Haldane as a physicist. Actually, he was a genetecist. The major one is this interesting statement about modern evolutionary theory:

The consensus opinion returned to Darwinism in the 1930's and 1940's with the development of the Modern Synthesis, which invokes nonpurposive mechanisms - natural selection, random genetic drift, mutation, migration, and geographic isolation - to acount for evolution. Organisms are created by blind deterministic mechanisms combined with others that are effectively random. (Here, I might add, is another example of science returning to a previously rejected theory. A return for which I am glad, since the Omega Point Theory presupposes the truth of the Modern Synthesis; indeed its truth is essential for the free will model developed in Chapter V). (P. 9)

If Behe and Dembski is right, then Tipler's prized theory is false. Has Tipler not realized this?

Moving on, did Howard Van Till really say that Tipler's arguments were not worth taking seriously because they hadn't been peer-reviewed? Tipler provides no reference as to where, exactly, Van Till said this. However, Van Till did write a short review of Tipler's book for the magazine National Review in which he does mention that Tipler's arguments had not been peer-reviewed. Here is Van Till's review, in its entirety:

IF YOU call a cat's tail a leg, how many legs does a cat have? Five, you say? No, only four. Just calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one. Even cats know that. With all of the hubris of unbridled scientism, cosmologist Frank Tipler asserts the reduction of all reality to whatever physics is able to compute. In the course of playing his unrefereed game of cosmological speculation, Mr. Tipler labels the hypothetical final state of a closed universe with the Teilhardian moniker “Omega Point,” and then renames it “God.” By another sleight of labeling, the word “resurrection” becomes the name for a conjectured emulation of all humans by a future megacomputer. Readers who respect natural science will be offended by Mr. Tipler's disregard of its categorical limitations. Readers who respect theology will be offended by his abuse of the theological vocabulary. Those of us who respect both will be offended twice. Even Mr. Tipler finds his own conjectures incredible, and rightly so.

Now, I will leave open the possibility that Van Till commented further on Tipler's book elsewhere. These were the only published comments I could find in which Van Till discussed Tipler's work, however.

But if this is the review Tipler is talking about, then it is clear that he was not being truthful in his characterization of Van Till's sentiments. Nowhere does Van Till say that Tipler's arguments are not worth taking seriously. He merely points out, quite correctly in my view, that Tipler is abusing language when he uses theological terminology to describe scientific concepts.

The reference to Tipler's arguments being unreferreed is both correct and appropriate. Van Till was writing a short review in a non-technical publication. In that context, it was perfectly correct to inform the magazine's readers that the fanicful speculations Tipler presents had not won the support of other physicists.

Let me close with one final example, trivial in itself but indicative of Tipler's inability to be straight with his readers. In describing the somewhat chilly reaction of many physicists to his theory, Tipler writes:

My scientific colleagues, atheists to a man, were outraged. Even though the theory of the final state of the universe involved only known physics, my fellow physicists refused even to discuss the theory. If the known laws of physics imply that God exists, then, in their opinion, this can only mean that the laws of physics have to be wrong. This past September, at a confernce held at Windsor Castle, I asked the well-known cosmologist Paul Davies what he thought of my theory. He replied that he could find nothing wrong with it mathematically, but he asked what justified my assumption that the known laws of physics were correect. At the same conference, the famous physicist Freeman Dyson refsed to discuss my theory - period. I would not encounter such refusals if I had not chosen to point out my theory's theological implications. (P. 125)

If Tipler was trying to convince us that the community of physicists is populated by a bunch of rabid atheists, then Paul Davies and Freeman Dyson are two of the worst examples he could have chosen. Both gentlemen have won the Templeton Prize for uniting science and religion. Both gentlemen believe the anthropic principle strongly suggests an ultimate purpose to the universe. Davies has written several books decrying the tendency of scientists to be overly reductionistic in their analyses. And Dyson, in this essay for the New York Review of Books makes it quite clear that he believes some paranormal phenomena are real. Neither one of these gentlemen would reject a theory merely because it has religious overtones.

But, since most of the readers of Dembski's anthology already believe that the scientific community is morbidly anti-religion, who cares if the evidence presented is accurate?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Tipler, Part One

Frank Tipler's contribution to William Dembski's anthology Uncommon Dissent is entitled “Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?“ In it he writes:

“Peer” review is very unlikely to be peer-review for the Einsteins of the world. We have a scientific social system in which intellectual pygmies are standing in judgment of giants. (P. 121) (Emphasis in original)

It would be easier to take Tipler seriously if it weren't so obvious that he regards himself as one of those giants whose work has been judged by pygmies. He unloads many criticisms of the current peer-review system used by academic journals. Most academics would agree with most of the criticisms Tipler makes, but they would quickly point out that we do need some sort of quality control system in journals and no one has suggested a better system than the one in place. Tipler makes a few proposals in this regard, but they are not vey impressive.

But we will deal with those in a later post. In this post we will deal with one example of Tipler being less than accurate, to put it kindly, in his descriptions of other people's work. Two further examples will be given in a later post.

We begin with this one:

The most radical scientific theory with religious implications is Intelligent Design. It is impossible to get any member of the National Academy of Sciences to consider it seriously. The typical reaction of such scientists is to foam at the mouth when the phrase “intelligent design” is mentioned. I have recently experienced this. In the fall of 2002, I arranged for Bill Dembski to come to Tulane to debate a Darwinian on the Tulane faculty. (This faculty member was appropriately named Steve Darwin). Bill presented only the evidence against Darwinism in the debate, while Steve's response unfortunately had quite a few ad hominem remarks. Steve has continued to be friendly to me personally. But ever since the Dembski/Darwin debate, another evolutionist on the Tulane faculty - who shall remain nameless! - glares at me every time he sees me. Before the debate he and I were friends. Now he considers me a monster of moral depravity. Yet if the religious implications of Intelligent Design are ignored, if the theory is called something besides “intelligent design” then the scientific community is quite open to intelligent design. The evolutionist Lynn Margulis, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has made much the same criticism of modern Darwnism that Michael Behe and Bill Dembski have made. She has put her arguments in a book titled Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origin of Species, written with her son Dorion Sagan. The book has a foreward written by Ernst Mayr, a retired professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard, who agrees with Margulis that Darwinism has the problems she discusses. This is especially significant since Mayr is not just an ordinary evolutionist. He has been called the “Dean of American Evolutionists”, and he is one of the founders of the Modern Synthesis, which is the modern version of Darwinism. Mayr does not think that Margulis has resolved the problems with Darwinism, nor do I. I should mention that, to her credit, however, she cites Michael Behe's Dariwn's Black Box in her book. (P. 125-126)

Sorry for the lengthy quote, but everything you need to know about Tipler is contained within it. It is his description of Margulis' work and Mayr's foreward that I want to focus on, but the remainder of the paragraph deserves mention too.

He begins by claimng that the NAS refuses to take ID seriously. But what, exactly, are they supposed to consider? There is no theory of intelligent design, as I'm sure Tipler is aware. There is only a motley collection of criticisms to current orthodoxy, coupled with the assertion that an unfathomable intelligence must have done something at some point in natural history. ID proponents still have not put forward any serious research program based on their work.

Next comes an anecdote about a nameless person who was angry at Tipler for inviting Dembski to Tulane University. Wow! If I'd known he had evidence like that up his sleeve I would never have thought to challenge his assertion about scientists frothing at the mouth. Of course, this sort of anecdote plays well with non-scientists already inclined to take ID seriously, but carries no weight with anyone interested in a serious discussion of scientific issues.

Then he has the nerve to take his colleague, Steve Darwin, to task for using ad hominem attacks. Sadly, most of Tipler's essay is one long smear against the scientific community. I will document this in later postings. Meanwhile, ID proponents are perfectly happy to spread the most vicious smears of their opponents in any venue other than ostensibly serious debates. Somehow that doesn't bother Tipler.

And, of course, it is not a failure to take ID seriously that prompts scientists, NAS members or not, to froth at the mouth when it comes up. Quite the opposite. It is the fact that ID proponents routinely tell the world they have slain the Darwinian dragon and have started a revolution in science, when in reality they have simply made fallacious criticisms of current theory and have offered no useful alternative of their own, that gets scientists a tad peeved. If Tipler wants to be part of this discussion, then he needs to explain why the countless counterarguments made by scientists in response to ID are wrong.

But that is all preamble. The real action comes when Tipler starts talking about Acquiring Genomes. Lynn Margulis is making the same criticisms of Darwinism as Behe and Dembski? Ernst Mayr agrees with these criticisms? No way. No one familiar with either Margulis or Mayr could possibly take this seriously.

Now, ID proponents are perfectly happy to glom on to any anti-evolutionary argument that has ever been made, especially when it comes from someone as respected as Lynn Margulis. So in that sense I'm sure that Behe and Dembski would be happy to endorse Margulis' criticisms of current theories of evolution. But the fact remains that both gentlemen make arguments entirely different from what Margulis is saying.

Behe's argument has to do with “irreducible complexity”. A system is irreducibly complex, according to Behe, when it has several, well-matched, indispensable parts. This is said to be a problem for evolution because if the system is non-functional until all of the parts are in place, there are no precursor systems for selection to act on. This argument is obviously incorrect, as has been pointed out numerous times. But in the present context what is relevant is that it is entirely an engineering objection. The claim is that natural selection acting on small genetic variations can't craft particular configurations of parts.

Meanwhile, Dembski's rallying cry is “complex specified information”. I will not rehash what this is, but suffice it to say that in its proposed application to biology it is nothing but an addendum to Behe's ideas. Dembski is explicit in his writing that he thinks that natural selection acting on small variations can craft complex systems. It is only certain kinds of complexity evolution can't account for.

That is not the objection that Margulis is making. Her argument against current orthodoxy has nothing to do with engineering or the power of natural selection. Rather, she is concerned about the sources of the variation on which selection acts. She believes that the role of genetic mutations has been overstated and that actually symbiosis is a far more important mechanism in accounting for the origin of variation. Here's a typical quote, from Acquiring Genomes:

We certainly agree that random heritable changes, or gene mutations, occur. We also concur that these random muttions are expressed in the chemistry of the living organism. Altered proteins that can be traced back to gene mutations in living organisms have been massively demonstrated. The major difference between our view and the standard neodarwinist doctrine today concerns the importance of random mutation in evolution. We believe random mutation is wildly overemphasized as a source of hereditary variation. (P. 11)

So much for Tipler's first assertion, that Margulis is making the same criticisms as Behe and Dembski. Far worse, however, is his gross distortion of what Ernst Mayr said in his foreward to Margulis' book. I can think of no better refutation of Tipler's claim than to transcribe for you the relevant part of Mayr's foreward. This will be a bit long, but I think it's important to document how loose Tipler is being with the truth. Here's Mayr:

When I got my degree at the University of Berlin, almost eighty years ago, biology consisted of two branches, zoology and botany. What dealt with animals was zoology, and everything else, including fungi and bacteria, was assigned to botany. Things have improved since then, particularly since the discovery of the usefulness of yeast and bacteria for molecular studies. Most of these studies, however, strengthened the reductionist approach and thus fostered a neglect of the major actors in evolution - individuals, populations, species, and their interactions.

The authors of Acquiring Genomes counter this tendency by showing the overwhelming importance of interactions between individuals of different species. Much advance in evolution is due to the establishement of consortia between two organisms with entirely different genomes. Ecologists have barely begun to describe these interactions.

Among the millions of possible interactions (including parasitism), the auhtors have selected one as the principal object of their book: symbiosis. This is the name for mutual interaction invovling physical association between “differently named organisms”. The classical examples of symbiosis are the lichens, in which a fungus is associated with an alga or a cyanobacterium. At first considered quite exceptional, symbiosis was eventually discovered to be almost universal. The microbes that live in a special stomach of the cow, for instance, and provide the enzymes for its digestion of cellulose are symbionts of the cow. Lynn Margulis has been a leading student of symbiosis. She convinced the cytologists that mitochondria are symbionts in both plant and animal cells, as are chloroplasts in plant cells. The establishment of a new form from such symbiosis is known as symbiogenesis.

For many years, Margulis has been a leader in the interpretation of evolutionary entities as the products of symbiogenesis. The most startling (and, for some people, unbelievable) such event was the origin of the eukaryotes by the fusion of an archaebacterium with some eubacteria. Both partners contributed important physiological capacities, from which ensued the great evolutionary success of the eukaryotes - the cells from which all animals, plants, and fungi are built.

Symbiogenesis is the major theme of this book. The authors show convincingly that an unexpectedly large proportion of evolutionary lineage had their origins in symbiogenesis. In these cases a combination of two totally different genomes form a symbiotic consortium which becomes the target of selection as a single entity. By the mutual stability of the relationship, symbiosis differs from other cases of interaction such as carnivory, herbivory, and parasitism.

The acquisition of a new genome may be as instantaneous as a chromosomal event that leads to polyploidy. The authors lead one to suggest that such an event might be in conflict with Darwin's principle of gradual evolution. Actually, the incorporation of a new genome is probably a very slow process extending over very many generations. But even if instantaneous, it will not be any more saltational than any event leading to polyploidy.

The auhtors refer to the act of symbiogenesis as an instance of speciation. Some of their statements might lead an uninformed reader to the erroneous conclusion that speciation is always due to symbiogensis. Speciation - the multiplication of species - and symbiogensis are two independent, superimposed porcesses. There is no indication that any of the 10,000 species of birds or the 4,500 species of mammals orginated by symbiogenesis.

Another of the authors' evolutionary interpretations is vulnerable as well. They suggest that the incorporation of new genomes in cases of symbiogenesis restores the validity of the time-honored principle of inheritance of acquired characters (what is called “Lamarckian inheritance”). This is not true. The two processes are entirely difference. Lamrackian inheritance is the inheritance of modifed phenotypes, while symbiogensis involves the inheritance of incorporated parts of genomes.

The foreward goes on for a few more paragraphs, but contains nothing further of relevance here. As I said, I quote this at such length because even skimming it makes it clear that Mayr is lukewarm at best about Margulis' criticisms of orthodox theory, and certinly says nothing remotely favorable about ID, or Behe, or Dembski. As far as I can tell, Tipler's assertion about Mayr agreeing with Margulis' criticisms is based entirely on Mayr's assertion that modern evolutionary theory has focussed too much on genes and not enough on ecological interactions. I have no doubt this is true (though I would point out that this focus on genes over ecology is explained largely by the fact that genes are easier to study than ecological interactions). None of this, however, has to do with explanatory deificiencies in neodarwinian theory.

Anyone reading Tipler's essay without already being familiar with the work of Mayr and Margulis will get the impression that Ernst Mayr thinks there's something of merit in the writings of Behe and Dembski. This impression is totally false, as I have shown.

Oh, and that reference to Behe in Margulis' book? Here it is:

Anthropocentric writers with a proclivity for the miraculous and a commitment to divine intervention tend to attribute historical appearances like eyes, wings, and speech to “irreducible complexity” (as, for example, Michael Behe does in his book, Darwin's Black Box. (P. 202)

Not exactly a favorable mention. I would also point out, on Behe's behalf, that the term “irreducible complexity” is completely misused by Margulis here.

Sadly, this is hardly the only example of Tipler being dishonest in his presentations of other people's work. I will consider two further examples in a later post.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Church and State in Spain

This past March, Spain held national elections. The result was that the reigning, right-leaning prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, was thrown out and a socialist government installed in its place. The election was big news in this country because of the events that preceded it. The week before the election, there was a terrorist attack in which multiple bombs were set off in the Spanish public transit railway system. Aznar had been slightly ahead in the polls prior to the bombings, but then lost the election. Conservatives in the United States immediately concluded, without any particular evidence, that the Spanish populace went spineless as a result of the bombings. In their eyes the vote was seen as reflecting public dissatisfaction with Aznar's support of the US invasion of Iraq. A more plausible explanation, described here by Calpundit, is that the people were angry about the way Aznar reacted immediately after the bombings.

Whatever the cause, there was a major shift in governmental priorities after the elections. This shift has made the news again, this time because the current government has instituted a series of social reforms (most notably, they have legalized same-sex marriage) that have tended to diminish the role of the Catholic church in Spanish society. The The New York Times has the story here. Here's an excerpt. Am I the only one who gets chills over the quote from the priest?

From one pulpit, though, a priest urged obedience, telling his flock again and again to submit to church teachings and accept the will of God. “We must resign ourselves and think of the hereafter,” he said.

The message delivered here on the Bay of Cádiz and the Sunday scene were classic, but obedience and submission seem to have little appeal for many modern Spaniards.

Summarizing the country's mood, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the new Socialist prime minister, said the other day that Spaniards wanted more freedom, less dogma and a greater separation of church and state. “They want more sports, less religion,” he said.

In recent days, his government has followed up with a series of social reforms, adapting old laws to the liberal mores of today's Spain. The proposals have infuriated the senior clergy, who say they have not been consulted or even informed.

As a result, a noisy confrontation is building between a left-of-center government that says it has a public mandate for change and a church hierarchy that sees a further erosion of the influence and power its has enjoyed here for centuries.

Things came to a boil on Friday, when the cabinet approved a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. The proposal, still subject to approval in Parliament, was preceded by some unusually harsh criticism.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Friedman on Iraq

Tom Friedman's column at The New York Times has been on hiatus recently to give Friedman time to complete his most recent book. But make sure not to miss today's column, which beautifully summarizes why the Bush administration can not be trusted to handle the situation in Iraq:

Being away has not changed my belief one iota in the importance of producing a decent outcome in Iraq, to help move the Arab-Muslim world off its steady slide toward increased authoritarianism, unemployment, overpopulation, suicidal terrorism and religious obscurantism. But my time off has clarified for me, even more, that this Bush team can't get us there, and may have so messed things up that no one can. Why? Because each time the Bush team had to choose between doing the right thing in the war on terrorism or siding with its political base and ideology, it chose its base and ideology. More troops or radically lower taxes? Lower taxes. Fire an evangelical Christian U.S. general who smears Islam in a speech while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army or not fire him so as not to anger the Christian right? Don't fire him. Apologize to the U.N. for not finding the W.M.D., and then make the case for why our allies should still join us in Iraq to establish a decent government there? Don't apologize - for anything - because Karl Rove says the "base" won't like it. Impose a "Patriot Tax" of 50 cents a gallon on gasoline to help pay for the war, shrink the deficit and reduce the amount of oil we consume so we send less money to Saudi Arabia? Never. Just tell Americans to go on guzzling. Fire the secretary of defense for the abuses at Abu Ghraib, to show the world how seriously we take this outrage - or do nothing? Do nothing. Firing Mr. Rumsfeld might upset conservatives. Listen to the C.I.A.? Only when it can confirm your ideology. When it disagrees - impugn it or ignore it. (Emphasis Added)

Go read the whole column. It was difficult choosing just one paragraph to quote.

Kramnik 3-Leko 3

Six games down in the World Chess Championship. Fans of Peter Leko, or people who just want to see an exciting match, received a gift on Saturday when Leko demonstrated some first-rate endgame technique to grind down Kramnik. Winning the game tied the match. After today's quick draw, there are eight games remaining.

Tired of banging his head aganist the brick wall of Kramnik's Petroff Defense, Leko switched to a queen pawn opening in game five. Persisting with his strategy of playing passive but solid openings with black, Kramnik replied with ye olde Queen's Gambit. Orthodox variation. Zzzzzzzzz.

About twenty moves in Kramnik sacrificed a pawn to reach a drawish endgame in which Leko was a pawn up. Patient but relentless play, coupled with Kramnik's passivity allowed him to bring about an endgame in which Leko rook faced off aganist Kramnik's bishop, with three pawns each. Even at this point some of the grandmaster cognoscenti felt that Kramnik could draw. But after defending tedioulsy for so long Kramnik was not up to the task.

Game seven is on Tuesday and Leko will have white. It's a crucial game, since if Leko can win it, or at least put Kramnik under some real pressure, it will firmly establish a psuchological shift in the match. Stay tuned!