Mig 
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Call of the Mild

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MIA FIDE champion (de jure) Ruslan Ponomariov and/or his spokespeople in the Ukrainian sports federation have popped up with another letter. (Given in full below.) This time instead of just complaining he wuz robbed, they suggest an alternative unification solution.

In short, it's a 1948-style match-tournament "in which could take part the best chessplayers: Ruslan Ponomariov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Peter Leko and the winner of a tournament which will take place in Tripoli (Libya) .... TWIC editor Mark Crowther has been suggesting variations of this off and on for a long time.

It has immediate attraction for the fans because it "settles everything over the board" and that's what we want most: chess. But just about every player would have complaints about why they had to play and why others were being allowed to play. Now that both the FIDE KO and Kramnik-Leko have sponsorship there is zero chance of this happening. (Down from the 0.0000001% chance of a year ago.) Speaking cynically, everyone but Ponomariov (and maybe Anand) would have more to lose than to gain.

Not to be cruel, but the next question that pops into your head when you read this is "what's Ponomariov doing on this list, other than having written it?!" His natural term as FIDE KO champ expired over a year ago and he defaulted a match to defend his title against Kasparov six months ago. FIDE wanted to save themselves the embarrassment of stripping their champion of the title officially because they had a new KO coming up in June (Libya). Pono is technically FIDE champion, but his claims are weaker than American coffee.

Here is the letter in full:

[I made several minor name standardizations and spelling corrections. The grammar is left "authentic".]
*********************
Statement of State Committee of Ukraine on Physical Culture and Sports

The central organ of executive power on physical culture and sports of Ukraine makes the strong protest in connection with the ignoring by the FIDE president the interests of FIDE World Champion the citizen of the Ukraine Mr. Ruslan Ponomariov. The FIDE leaders break first sport principles and tries one way or another to realize its illogical plans. The abolition of the match between Ruslan Ponomariov and Garry Kasparov which have been planned for last autumn is not dictated by the interests of chess development and the consolidation of the chess world. There were a satisfaction of FIDE president's personal pride and a disinclination to find constructive ways to solve the problems.

We state the support of the initiative of FIDE World Champion Mr. Ruslan Ponomariov regarding to the match-tournament for absolute world champion title, in which could take part the best chessplayers: Ruslan Ponomariov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Peter Leko and the winner of a tournament which will take place in Tripoli (Libya) and Valetta (Malta) from 18 June to 13 July 2004. The world history of chess development confirms the right approach to decide crisis situations. The realization of the offered version will do the real consolidation of the chess world on the sport basis and provide equal conditions for best chess-players.

We are confident that the initiative of FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov will find support from the chess world and stimulate for development of this unique and famous in all the world play.

Chairman of State Committee of Ukraine on Physical Culture and Sports

[Signed]
M. Kostenko

29th of April 2004
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1 Comment

And why exactly should Ponomariov be part of this "super-tournament" again? Just because he won a silly tournament a while back? Anyways, of course this will never happen or it would have happened already.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 30, 2004 7:48 PM.

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