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The Ultimatum Chess Championship

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Just in comes a vaguely coherent panicky message from the one-man-band of Ukrainian chess journalism on the web, Grandmaster Mikhail Golubev. He says the Ukrainian chess federation has delivered an ultimatum from FIDE to Ruslan Ponomariov: sign this contract today or we announce Kasparov-Ivanchuk as a replacement match! Golubev gives this link, which I hope isn't a Russian porn site. Mikhail has some of his own comments in that funny alphabet here. (He regularly updates the English portion of his site.) So far there is no official statement on this at all.

Ponomariov should already have arrived in Wijk aan Zee by now. The first round is tomorrow. The main sticking point in negotiations has been the question of draw odds. (I.e. if he and Kasparov draw the match, he wants to go forward into the unification match with the winner of Kramnik-Leko.) See DD 9 below. Ivanchuk lost to Ponomariov in the FIDE KO WC final.

I've said before that I don't think Ponomariov deserves draw odds, but that's just my opinion. It would be idiotic of him to bail out of this match over this issue. At least when Karpov created all sorts of bizarre conditions IT WAS KARPOV and he had some serious cred. You don't get to pull these stunts after winning one KO, and Super Mariov is a bit young to be a martyr.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 10, 2003 10:38 AM.

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