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We Aren't the World

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Thirteen players who qualified for the 2004 FIDE world championship in Libya have failed, according to FIDE, to sign and submit their player agreement contracts and so have been replaced by reserves. We knew Kramnik, Leko, and Ponomariov weren't showing up. The first two have their own classical championship match in October and Ponomariov is too busy sending out press releases.

More surprising are the absences of Vishy Anand and Alexei Shirov, who played in the final of the 2000 FIDE KO in Tehran, Iran with Anand winning the title. Also on the no-play list are stars Peter Svidler, Evgeny Bareev, Boris Gelfand, Anatoly Karpov, Judit Polgar, and 1999 FIDE champion Alexander Khalifman. Two top American players, Gregory Kaidanov and Joel Benjamin, complete the list.

That's hardly a list of nobodies and the Tripoli KO definitely loses much of its already limited appeal. Topalov, Morozevich, and Adams are the only top-ten players left, and there are no previous winners in the field. I've written to half of the drop-outs, but it seems obvious that there will be as many reasons as players. It's a long, grueling event in a location many deem unsafe. The prize money is good but far from what it used to be. The $80,000 first prize is 20% of that of the 2000 event.

Anand has long spoken of his desire to get another piece of Kasparov and a chance to avenge his 1995 world championship loss. Perhaps the prospect of a month in Libya just isn't worth it?

Meanwhile, the women's event was, inevitably, moved to the Kalmykian capital of Elista, home town of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov and perpetual venue of last resort.


Hi,Mig,thanks for raising an issue.

In fact,I signed the contract conditionally

(''my confirmation is valid only if I am allowed

to play all my matches in Malta''),but FIDE added

my name to the list of confirmed players.

I protested, they removed me from that list

but didn't add to the list of those who refused.

Suddenly,my name is just absent at all...

But you could confidently enlist myself among

those who refused to play in Lybia:)

Basically,according to the laws of Israel,

I'm just not allowed to go there...

So,Israeli players(Gelfand ,me and Smirin- who

is second reserve and would definetely get a

place)just ignored by FIDE and left out of KO.

Quite an issue,isn't it?

Seems like I read somewhere that the chess city of FIDE President is falling into disrepair. Guess this is now the site for the Women to play for a lot of money in.

It really is sad that GMAlex (as we know GM Emil Sutovsky on ICC) and other isreali GM's are being treated as non-persons by FIDE. I think the ACP should send a protest to FIDE.

On the other hand, maybe FIDE should be replaced by a new representative organization.

So did all the other ACP members sign? If I remember correctly, they had recommended their members not to sign, didn't they? I wonder how much influence the ACP really has.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 1, 2004 11:00 PM.

    Call of the Mild was the previous entry in this blog.

    Bad math and FIDE's Disappearing Players is the next entry in this blog.

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