From What is the correct resignation procedure? it is clear that, although FIDE has no special rules governing on how you resign, it is common to either offer your hand or make some sort of exclamation (i.e. "I resign!"). What is important is that your intention to resign is unambiguous.

Now, the rivalry between Kramnik and Topalov has gone to such an extend that each player refuses to shake the other's hand or engage in any kind of pleasantries. Which raises the question - how do they go about resigning when playing each other without creating confusion about their intention?

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    They raise their middle finger in the air. – Diisciiple Oct 12 '15 at 19:02
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    You can also resign by stopping your clock – David Sep 2 '19 at 7:56

If I remember correctly, they either just sign the scoresheet or stop the clock first and then sign the scoresheet to indicate that they resigned. There is no handshake, and they do not speak to each other since the WCC2006 controversy.

Here are two examples: Candidates Tournament 2014, Rd. 13 (Kramnik-Topalov 1-0), Norway Chess 2014, Rd. 6 (Topalov-Kramnik 1-0).

Addendum. Not asked in the original post, but one interesting (and related) question is also: How do Kramnik and Topalov agree to a draw? Signing the scoresheet or stopping the clock is not appropriate in this case, since the opponent might want to continue playing.

One obvious way is to repeat the position three times. If there is no threefold repetition on the horizon, the players can offer a draw through the arbiter (like in Sofia rules, used, for example, during the WCC 2010).

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  • I also remember once seeing Topalov stopping the clock first, before signing the scoresheet, but I can't remember where or when that was, so no video to support the claim. – Zvonimir Oct 12 '15 at 8:30

Knocking over your king has always been a perfectly acceptable way of resigning.

With the king being the tallest piece on the board it can often happen that somebody wearing a long sleeved shirt can accidentally knock over their king when moving a piece near the king. I often, as a joke, hold out my hand before they've had a chance to pick the king up as if accepting their resignation. If they look puzzled rather than amused I point to their horizontal king. Hopefully at that stage they'll smile.

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    For some reason I think Kramnik is more likely to throw his king at Topalov than meekly turning it over. Still, +1 for pointing out a good alternative. – firtydank Oct 12 '15 at 9:01
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    How is this an answer to the question? – JiK Oct 12 '15 at 10:36
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    This is almost certainly not how Kramnik and Topolov resign: I've never heard of a professional toppling their king to indicate resignation. Indeed, even when I played in low-rating amateur tournaments, I don't recall any of my opponents resigning in that way. The FIDE rules make no reference to the orientation of a piece on the square being significant, which means that a king on its side is still a king (and, relevant in another context, an inverted rook is still a rook). – David Richerby Oct 12 '15 at 11:24
  • In the 2008 U.S. Women's championship, Irina Krush sent her king flying and cried out "oh come on!" when she lost on time against Zatonskih before storming off. – A passerby Oct 21 '15 at 18:48
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    Knocking the King just never existed in real chess, how's this even an answer? – gented Oct 6 '19 at 12:21

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