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Gata Go to San Diego?

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As mentioned here before, former world championship contender and US champion Gata Kamsky recently returned to play chess for the first time since 1999. The newly lucrative US Championship in San Diego in November could be a tempting target for his comeback. The problem is that since the rating qualification uses the February list, when he was inactive, Kamsky would have to qualify.

According to the AF4C calendar, the only qualifier left is the US Open in Florida in August. His only other chance to get in would be to cadge one of the wildcard spots the AF4C honchos dole out each year. These have traditionally gone to up-and-coming junior players like Laura Ross (who qualified directly this year, go girl!) instead of Grandmasters.

In general I'm a letter-of-the-law kinda guy and wouldn't want to see the rules bent even to aid a comeback that could have great significance for US chess (although it doesn't seem like Kamsky is really considering a full-time comeback to the game). Kamsky had the chance to qualify and still does. As much as I would love to see him play in San Diego, giving a prodigal son dispensation would set a bad precedent. Every GM who failed to qualify would be asking for a wildcard next year.

On the other hand, what is the point of a wildcard if you can't use it for special occasions like the best American player since Fischer returning? It would almost certainly gain some PR for the championship. On the third hand, Kamsky might just want a quick paycheck and giving a wildcard when he's not really going to return would be a little embarrassing. Maybe they could ask him what his plans are. Anyway, let's hope we see Kamsky in Fort Lauderdale, where four qualifying slots are up for grabs.


Perhaps the wildcard should be saved for Fischer who may very well be in the U.S. in time for the championship :)

The way the USA is treating Fischer reveals a lot about the culture and kind of civilzation of this country. Its really a shame!

For Henry: How about the way Fischer treated the US? Your comments reveal a lot about you...

noyb, your comments reveal a lot about you.

Are you kidding? Do you remember Fischer spitting on the warning letter from the State Department during a press conference for the Spassky rematch? Do you remember Fischer applauding the 9/11 terrorists? Are you seriously saying the US government is treating him shamefully? What do you expect given his actions - a parade? He has gone out of his way to alienate the US government. No one should be surprised or disappointed by the results of his own misbehavior.

Look, Monkeybiter, nobody is saying Fischer is a pleasant guy. But none of the things you mention are criminal or should be, in my opinion. The only thing he can be charged with is playing bad chess in Serbia. Is that so terrible? We just had a World Championship in Libya, for chrissake.

Mig, I hate to disagree with you, but what "rule" are you talking about? The point of a sponsor's exemption is not to give a junior a spot, but rather to maximize interest in an event and promote the sport. If you doubt this, look at golf and the exemptions Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholas have recieved the last few years.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 18, 2004 1:46 PM.

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