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They Say They Said

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According to the well-connected Russians at worldchessrating.com, FIDE has given September 19 as the starting date of the Kasparov-Ponomariov FIDE championship match. They quote FIDE President Ilyumzhinov's assistant Berik Balgabaev.

The often comically out of date FIDE calendar has even been updated with new dates for the match: 19/9 10/00 [sic]. I'm guessing that means October 10. That means a 20-day event with maybe a dozen game dates. That the number of games hasn't even been mentioned (decided) should illustrate how far this thing still has to go before we should get really excited. The Ukrainians still don't have any money. Politics first (Putin and Kuchma are on board) and then they can shake some money out of the regional oil/gas barons. As usual.

The match will coincide with a summit meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), basically the Soviet Union Lite. Unfortunately these dates conflict with the final two days of the Prague Eurotel event I will be running. Sigh.

I doubt Kasparov and Ponomariov were told of these new dates before the announcement was made. Kasparov hadn't heard anything from FIDE in months (!) as of yesterday and the players still don't have contracts. Word to the wise: don't book your flight and hotel until there are signed player contracts.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 18, 2003 3:41 AM.

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