Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Look, a Kitty!

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To take your mind of the horrors of chess politics for a moment. Awwwww.

Okay now, do you think my cat favors a quadrangular qualifier? Discuss. I guess we can just call this an open thread. Anything on your mind? Something you'd like to know? Something ticking you off?


lol, since this is an open thread...that looks just like my friend's cat who ran away a while ago. maybe mig stole it.

Mig, my only comment is, "Clean up your room, young man." If you are going to post a picture on the World Wide Web then for God's sake, man, at least have the good sense to fold up your underwear and shove it all the way in the drawer.

Phew!! Something not dealing with chess politics. What a relief. Chess is supposed to be my stress reliever, not a stress inducer. I have to remind myself that I will still enjoy playing and studying chess regardless of whether or not there is a unification. I think I will skip politically charged posts for a while until I can regain my sense of perspective (i.e. it doesn't really matter).

But that is from my perspective only. If chess is your life (or livelihood) then you probably can't go around saying it just doesn't matter. Hope you professional chess folks have some good stress-relieving hobbies. You may be needing them in the coming months. :-)

btw, nice cat.

I think I'm in love.

He/she reminds me of both my dead cats (when they were alive or dead) and your room is as messy as mine.

Something ticking me off? Hell yeah.

I think I've had it with Krammnik.

If he backs out of the Prague agreement, I say the winner of Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov should be declared the SOLE world chess champion.

Kramnik can then go play chess with whoever he agrees to play with.

So is that the fluffy(FM) who plays on the ICC? :)

And, how 'bout them Ukrainian men and Chinese women at the Chess Olympics?

I want to know if Anand agrees with the rest of the world that Kramnik is afraid of Kasparov and if so why doesn't he say anything to that effect?

Looking at that cat makes me think that Kramnik is a pansy and is afraid to play Kasparov! (Wait, that was supposed to be my “inner voice”)

What has Kramnik done for Chess?? Not much... Kasparov on the other hand has spent his life promoting it any way he can.

When people call Kramnik a coward, it is because they are assuming that the Mig / Chessbase spin is true and Kramnik is only trying to bring Anand and Ponomariov in order to delay any true unification. If Kramnik's dream is realized, however, and Anand and Ponomariov are seeded into Dubai, then the person commonly regarded as a stronger player than Kasparov right now - Anand - will have a chance to compete for the right to play Kramnik. How does that make Kramnik a coward? Kramnik was in the position of being damned if you do, damned if you don't. With reunification on the path it was going, people were questioning its credibility because Anand who people were calling, "best" was left out. They were saying that the "reunification" was really just a step towards true reunification when a real candidates' match could be held where Anand would be involved. Kramnik just got done defending his title and now, he's willing to defend it against anybody who can prove he's strong enough, Kasparov, Anand, or some young turk like Ponomariov, strongest rated player for his age. How does this make Kramnik a coward?

All four of my cats agree with Jay Doc but refuse absolutely to be photographed for the Ninja site. They value their privacy.

Nearly everyone would prefer, I think, if Anand and Ponomariov could be included in Dubai. The only real reservations people have about Kramnik's proposal is that all the interested parties might not be willing to agree to that, but if they did? Fantastic!

Money for the players (another 1.2 million?!) and the fact Anand and Ponomariov are already scheduled to play in Corus might be a problem :)

Migs's cat has four feet and therefore prefers four competitors.

Mig is definetly a propaganda machine for his buddy Kasparov. I have nothing against Kasparov, he is my favourite player and I think he will become world champion, but what Mig has done is failed to seperate Kasparov the chessplayer from Kasparov the ruthless chess-politician. Or if he has, he has decided to support Kasparov the politicain.

The only people who are saying the truth about this unification are the normal chess players, the fans. People like Mig are just out to polarize the situation. I am disappointed that a critic who was held in such high esteem by the majority of the chess world has now begun to take sides. He can shout as much as he wants that he isn't but the truth is plainly out there.

Kramnik has taken a truly powerful stance and he should be highly respected for slapping Kasparov in his face with his current opinion.

Anand MUST be involved. Even if that means jeapordizing the Kasp-Kasim match.

Jeremy Good: Before this lie gets out of hand yet again, please post a link to anything by me or ChessBase calling Kramnik a coward. Hypocrite, yes. Brilliant, yes. Wrong, yes. Tall, certainly. Risk-averse, yes. Coward, no.

Money, schedule, and getting everyone to agree on the rules are the logistical problems. If we could rub a magic lamp and add Anand to qualification without making the timetable even worse, great. (Pono I'm not convinced about. He could have played last year.)

It's hard enough explaining to the other players why Kasparov is there. Justifying Anand and Ponomariov is going to be an additional ballet. (Not that Ilyumzhinov cares about justifying his decisions, which is why the ACP or something like it is so necessary.) Plus, FIDE is still pissed off at Pono to my knowledge. I don't know if a third chance is in the offing for him. Mikhail may know if Ponomariov has been in touch with FIDE. FIDE may be more inclined to give a spot to Adams.

Another irony. If Anand didn't play in Tripoli because Kasparov was seeded (which is only a popular guess), how consistent would it be to accept an identical seeding for himself? "Wrong for him, right for me/us," isn't exactly the moral high ground. He's still skipping ahead of the Tripoli players. And many fans crying about Kasparov's seeding seem fine with Anand's potential seeding. Basically, the quadrangular would reward three players for not playing in Tripoli instead of one. Just pointing out how slippery these situations can be.

In fact, to show how much impact partisan feelings have, try this thought experiment. *Replace* Kasparov with Anand. It's Anand-Kasimdzhanov for a shot a Kramnik. I bet it "feels" okay to many of you simply because it's the lovable Vishy and not the pushy Kasparov. No, not because Anand is having a great year, because Kasparov's were as good or better from 1999-2001 (pre-Prague). Personality and reputation are important. Just keep your own feelings in mind.

With the Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov match already announced, chances of a change are very slim. If Kramnik comes out and makes a definitive statement like "I will absolutely not play the winner of Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov," that might change things. But it's risky for Kramnik, which is why he never makes definitive statements.

I mean, really, what is the point of all the "serious doubts" and "concerns." Will he play the K-K winner or won't he? He could make things much easier for everyone by actually being clear for once. But he wants to see what kind of deal he can get and see what the reactions are when he floats the possibility he won't play. I'm not sure if this is shrewdness or wish-washiness.

Mehul Gohil: Thanks for telling me you can have an opinion, everyone else can have an opinion, but *I* cannot have an opinion. When I have an opinion, it's "Kasparov PR." How about this: MEHUL GOHIL IS AN ANAND PROPAGANDA MACHINE. EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS TO KISS ANAND'S BUTT. HE HAS NO MIND OF HIS OWN. Feel good? Did you like that? I'll now post that in reply to anything you say. Really intelligent discussion, isn't it?

Refute my points, if you can. I DARE you to discuss like an adult instead of simply insulting me like a child.

For the record, that's a sock, not underwear. Yeesh. Must be an old pic anyway; I lost that clock when I moved to Brooklyn.

Let me think about the "arguments" of the pro-unification group, maybe
I reconvert to one of them...:

a) Prague agreement is "alive"
Hmmm. let me see.... Anti-FIDE Kasparov approached
FIDE president (very consistent so far) to organize a match for World
Title (hold by Kramnik outside FIDE) with
the winner of the rapid FIDE KO on the grounds of being "the number 1" in
classical chess (very consistent and fair too). FIDE president
agreed to this (also very fairly and consistently), and promise
to organize a match with Ponomariov. Very consistently FIDE later on
disqualified his own W Champion (Ponomoriov) because he wanted
the same conditions (time control among other things) as the FIDE
KO, that is, Kasparov might be "number 1" in classical chess
but he is number.. ?? --we don't know because he never played FIDE KO
but he wants to be FIDE W Champion-- in FIDE KO terms. Ponomariov
also wanted to be treated as FIDE WC, instead of as challenger.
This was too much for FIDE of course, "who does this Pono think he is?
the FIDE WC??" and simply disqualified Ponomoriov. (All very consistent
so far). Then it was announced that the winner of the next rapid
FIDE KO "will have to" play Classical Kasparov, because FIDE says so.
(very very consistent). All this must point me to conclude that
a) Prague was fair and consistent b) yes, Prague is (or must be) "alive"
Thanks pro-unification group, I now understand everything.

b) The unification process will bring "peace", "relief", "stability"
to chess world..
..because giving total control of the World Championship to FIDE
(the "corrupt bunglers") is good for chess, this way the FIDE
president can disqualify, modified, organize, hand-pick, etc
the WC as he pleases, disregarding any alien chess organization
(read ACP?) as "legal" ...very good, pro-unification group
I understand even better now...

c) It will be "easier to find sponsors" for the WC....
because Kasparov will be WC ? Or maybe because all those
sponsors of ACP WC will shift to FIDE WC therefore the prize fund
will be higher for the WC match, benefiting mainly two players only
and FIDE corrupt bunglers? Oh,..yes, of course I understand now.

d) Kramnik is afraid of Kasparov...because Kasparov is now at his peak,
playing everywhere and superb chess, winning every tournament, very
rarely blunders, everybody must be afraid of him.. and ..is the
"number 1"..I see it clear now...thanks!

e) It doesn't make sense to include other players to the "unification"
process...because they were originaly excluded and since
Prague is "alive"(see above) now there is no place to them: no way to step
back and re-think everything...or maybe yes? only please make
sure Kasparov is in there? Kasparov MUST BE there..he wants to be
FIDE WC afterall, I forgot..now I see it
I understand again everything..Kasparov will bring over big
sponsors and huge amounts of money....errr.. to him?.. maybe we should
invite Bobby Fischer..for sure he will bring over even more
money than Kasparov?...(apologies, I lost the plot here)..let's
get back to our "unification" process and say...

YES YES let's unify the WC title.!!!

(errr.. maybe not..on second thoughts I think is not fair, sorry guys)

Really Mig, you've got such a bias for cats over dogs, it's pathetic, it's as if owning a cat has clouded your judgement, etc etc.

Can't we all just take some catnip and get along? Quadrangular, biangular... I'm taking a nap. Wake me when this unification thing is settled.

Thats pretty sneaky bringing up politics in a Fluffy Kitty post.

Mig you have never called Kramnik a coward. You do everything short of lying to try to delegitimize the title he won from Kasparov in order to help kasparov's chances of a rematch, but you haven't called him a coward.

However when you say Chessbase hasn't you must be kidding. I would love to hear your take on Chessbase's decision to post all the moronic letters that in essence are just calling Kramink names most often a coward.

Why did chessbase decide to post these idiotiotic comments now when they so rarely do on other issues? Wouldn't you agree it is on very few issues that Chessbase starts posting opinions of random people? It seems maybe one out of every 200 news stories they post peoples feedback? And that feedback is almost never just name calling - kramnik's a spoiled self centered chicken. Posting these name calling letters is really pathetic. I'm really at a loss what is going on over there but it is really poor.

Am I to assume every letter they get ends up published?(assumign no profanity) If thats not the case then obviously someone is *choosing* when they will start posting opinion letters and when they won't. Who felt the urge to post 10 moronic "letters" that all basically called him a coward? How do you feel about this editorial masterpiece?:

Pete Bias, Lakeland Florida, USA
If Kramnik backs out of the reunification process now, I'll have to put him into Fischer's favorite category: "one of the lowest dogs around." Just quit complaining and play the match!

I'll assume Pete "Bias" is a real person. Are you glad this was published?

My question is simply why here and why so many that seem to say the same thing - "Kramnik is chicken"? I have no doubt "real people" wrote chessbase with these views but why post it now when Chessbase doesn't post joe backwoods' opinions on so many other issues?

It seems to me in *especially* poor taste after they post only a small highly edited and abridged part of his interview. They only posted a few lines of it - the most controversial part about the first cycle and not the parts that most people would agree with. E.g., Kasim is a nice guy but winning a few rapid games shoudln't bring you into the semifinal of a world championship. Fide needs to get real sponosrs and have a real Qualifier. Etc. Chessbase essentially presented only the most unflattering parts of Kramnik's viewpoint and then posted a whole slew of hateful mail responding to it. Real nice chessbase - what a crock!

I am really not saying I have positive evidence to believe that chessbase is biased agaisnt Kramnik. Whoever is doing this may be so hopelessly stupid he/she doesn't realize its unfair to Kramnik. They did sponsor his championship in some way. Nevertheless the last two news pieces on him have been so lame I can't rule bias out either.

Just because Kramnik is going to insist on having FIDE commit to a fair second cycle instead of hand picking players like Kasparov did for years he gets villianized by chessbase?! How evil of him! What a self centered jerk not to take Kasparov and Kirsans word that they *really have changed.* Its not the same kasparov who split with FIDE to pursue his own self interest and just hand picked players however he felt like it. Its not the same Kirsan who advocated the least legitamate world champion cycle in the history of the game. They *changed* kramnik! Deep down they are different people! They will now treasure the World championship title and be very fair and reasonable with it. But YOU KRAMNIK - you selfish chicken dare you ask for commitments in writing!?! You refuse to immediatly play Kasparov after he beats my grandma - I mean Kasimdzhanov - in a match!?

Why can't he see Kasparov has changed and will no longer pursue only his self interest but is really trying to work for the benefit of all chess players like mig and the folks at chessbase?

No wonder the chess world is a hopless mess filled with Krazy Kirsans and people who never won a match against a top 10 player calling themselves "world champion." Thank you chessbase for crushing anyone who dares to try and change this circus we call top level chess. Your doing a wonderful job. keep it up and we will have events like tripoli decideing the world champ every year!! YAY YAY UNIFICATION! YAY YAY YAY UNIFICATION!

Mig I find it hard to believe you criticize Kramnik for beign flexible and not ruling anythign out before the negotiations begin. Kramnik has not canceled Kasparov v. Kasim. He has quite correctly pointed out that it is not Prague. But this is just a simple fact not an argument. he also stated his main concern is gettign to the second cycle and gettign FIDE to make a firm commitment as to what will happen.(that may not have been translated by chessbase) So the ball is in FIDES court. if they want to talk with him he said he wants to talk with them. He has made it clear that given they have been unable to keep the genral agreeemnts under prague he will need to have a *detailed* written commitment form them. This is perfectly reasonable. The question is will FIDE do this or are they going to continue to just issue edicts without a care what anyone else thinks?

My prediction was that FIDE would Screw up Prague and they did. My prediction is FIDE will botch the post prague negotiations as well.

It seems to me that there are two camps here:

Camp I: Those that woould love to see Kasparov v. kramnik II more than anythign in the world.

Camp II: those who woudl like to see a decent world championship match cycle established more any thing in the world.

Camp two by and large supports Kramnik because he is insisting that FIDE commit to thier dream even at the risk of Camp one's dream. Camp one obviously hates him because he is risking thier dream in order to insure camp II gets thier wish.

Mig, So, according to you, Kramnik is a hypocrite but not a coward. I don't really see the fine distinction you are trying to make. The Chessbase / Mig spin seems to be that Kramnik is trying to back away from reunification and that makes him look like a coward in the eyes of many people, who comment on your page and whose letters were published on Chessbase. The title, "Kramnik Backs Away from Reunification?" led people to question his motives from the get-go. It is a bias I don't share. I think Kramnik's proposal does more for reunification than any other, except Seirawan's earlier proposal for a parallel event in Malta, open to those who were either excluded from Tripoli or abstained. I am not happy with the idea that the chess world should just go along with Ilyumzhinov's singular ideas about reunification without having any input. Kramnik has asked for a dialogue. I think he deserves one. Mig, I enjoy and appreciate your column and all that chessbase does for chess. We just disagree on this one.

I'm usually willing to spend my time, but niceforkingmove's post above is so blatantly ill-informed and willfully ignorant of my positions and past comments that I'm not going to bother. Correcting obvious things a thousand times is one thing, but I draw the line at one thousand and one. I only hope people read my actual posts instead of these increasingly bizarre fabrications. Next thing you know I'll have WMD in my sock drawer according to this lot.

The fiction reaches irony only in the part about delegitimazing Kramnik's title. It's exactly the opposite. In 2002 FIDE wanted to forget Kramnik and Einstein and play Ponomariov vs Kasparov then have a cycle. It was Kasparov who insisted Kramnik and his classical title be involved.

I don't think ChessBase is in the habit of printing fan mail. Nor did they invent the concept of using reader letters for counterpoint and criticism. "Me too" is not useful. Unless approved, we can only run small fair use excerpts of articles. We pick the most contentious parts for what should be obvious reasons. Kramnik saying Kasimdzhanov smells nice is not relevant. Saying he might not play the K-K winner is.

Kramnik, like Ponomariov before him, has access to email. But the paranoid mindset tells them "they published an interview of Kasparov critical of me so they are my enemy. I will not talk with them." So they write deranged open letters and talk only with the press they know. Meanwhile, ChessBase will print anything, including articles by Seirawan and others quite critical of Kasparov.

All these lists of arguments and fictional camps are ridiculous. It's "let's go with what we already have and move on asap" or "let's sail to Utopia on a magic ship made of candy until absolutely everyone is happy happy happy." Enjoy the trip, see you in a few years.

Mig writes:

"The fiction reaches irony only in the part about delegitimazing Kramnik's title. It's exactly the opposite."

I'm glad to hear that. One question: Is Kramnik the REAL world champion, just like you said Kasparov was for 15 years?

AS far as chessbase I didn't catch your explanation of why they published all those hateful comments directed at Kramnik. If I called you the things they called Kramnik you would say I was just being a jerk, not being constructive and just name calling. You would be correct. Why does Chessbase act as a sound board for those who hate Kramnik??

Anyways you are right you didn't answer many of the concerns or comments in my post. You can ignore them all you want. Continue to believe FIDE and Kirsan are goign to do wonderfull things with the title. No need to get anything established now because all we need is unification (read: Kasparov rematch) and everythign will be just grand. Right, right right, and I'm the utopian thinker.

One more simple question: Is Kramnik right to require a firm commitment from FIDE on what the future championships will be, before he agrees to play in the winner of Kasp v Kasim?

Mig writes:
I don't think ChessBase is in the habit of ...
We pick the most contentious parts ...

Well, Mig, is it *them* or *us*?

By the way, you -- I mean *they* -- received at least one mail saying their letter selection seems to be seriously skewed compared to what is being discussed in most blogs. I sent that mail just one hour after their reader letter page was released. I bet you know what happened.

Niceforkinmove, it is my impression that the people at ChessBase simply published all the letters they received regarding their story about the Kramnik interview. They also included (most of) my letter which was very critical of their reporting.
That most of the letters were as ill-informed as the original report seems only logical.
Maybe you should just feel encouraged to write them as well.

I contribute articles to ChessBase.com, I don't run the company or set editorial policy beyond my own items. Sometimes it's them, sometimes it's us, sometimes it's me.

There isn't a regular letter section. I'm sure you could write in about an absolutely limitless number of subjects and not be published. "Guess what happened"? Gee, I guess it wasn't published, just like 99.99% of the general feedback mail that comes in.

Hell yah I am an ANAND PROPAGANDA MACHINE...I haven't seen any so I thought I might do the job.

But I will have more to say on this...in a rather more interestiong fashion...you'll see. I am just writting up some utter garbage and nonsense article...will post soon.

See what Kramnik's wonderful reunification plan has done? Now EVERYONE's taking sides again...gee, thanks alot, Vlad.

Mig. It was a good attempt at taking our minds off the horrors of chess politics for a bit. Of all the posts I've read I like Kat's suggestion the best. I'm just going to take a nap (cat-nap? :-) until the unification thing is settled...which, if David Levy is right, will be in 2046.


Kat, we need you.....wake up plz. once the Unification is done, we all can have a good nap :)

Foda is the cat, who is born with a moustache.

Martin, I thought your letter was great, btw.

An excellent cat for a chessplayer, I must say.

Simple question for Mig (even though he has been dodging the same question from others):

Is Kramnik the real World Champion (given that he took the tilte from Kasparov over the board)?

Mig, there is nothing wrong with having underwear on your bed. Cats are also appreciative of such olfactory overload in my experience.

'Kramnik, like Ponomariov before him, has access to email.'

Very amusing


I am surprised you wrote, "If Anand didn't play in Tripoli because Kasparov was seeded (which is only a popular guess)"

I think Anand has confirmed this more than once, for example:

Frederic: Why aren’t you there, playing in this championship?

Vishy: Well, basically I disagreed with the idea that Kasparov was seeded to the final and just decided it wasn’t worth playing, that it was no longer a real world championship and there was no reason to play.

from http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1774

but maybe you don't read chessbase articles? ;-)

True enough, forgot he finally went on the record after Tripoli started. Actually I don't think I ever read that interview all the way through or I'd have noticed the "leash on life" mistake. Ach, Frederic...

Quelys thoughts on progress:

Decision aversion is a lot worse than bad decisions. The unification chaos has been going on for too long! It is better to have Kramnik vs. K-K and agree its not the best sollution, as long as its the only sollution available within a couple of years. Then we will have one champion (not perfectly selected but ONE), and then the possibility a real world championship match.

Going for a better sollution directly only leads to a couple of extra years added to the process, and the possibility of going through the same trouble again the next time. (and the next time)(and...)

a few marcuss' thoughts:

Kramnik v. K-K doesn't solve anything. Unification is a myth, because we have one champion already (does anybody except FIDE officials recognize Kasim' title?). Let's start creating a fair system, which produces a challenger for him. The sooner the better.

One point of order- I've not seen anyone mention one Peter Leko in any 'candidates tournament'.

It is true that an extra player just makes it all the more complicated, but Leko IS an exceptional player...

Nice cat. I also own (or am owned by) a black and white moggie, which mainly leaves hair all over my apartment....

While the kitty and the pro-Ilyumzhinov (i.e. pro-unification)
camp sleep I'll back marcuss idea..

In a perfect chess world, the "unificacion" process, which
should be interpreted as the re-union of the World Title held by
Kramnik with FIDE as world chess organization, should be as
simple as this:

* FIDE comes out and say "Kasim will be FIDE champion until July 2005"
(one year, as it was for all other phoney fide world champions)

* Thereafter Kramnik is proclaimed the Official FIDE Classical World

* A 2-year candidate cycle for selecting a challanger is organized.
ACP acts as auditor, nothing concerning the players, especially
the Word Title can be done without its approval. FIDE President
or any FIDE commision no longer can act unilateraly without
consulting and getting approval from ACP.

No "number 1"s, Anands, Ponos, Kasims, Moros, Lekos, Topos, involved

Instead, please everybody who wants, form a line for the Title.

End of Story.

What?! Can't be done? FIDE wants Kasparov in? FIDE cannot speak
to ACP? Well, then blame FIDE not Kramnik for backing off from
the "unification" process.
Not because Kasparov is proclaimed in January the FIDE World
Champion, the FIDE W title will be less phoney...he would have
defeated a handicapped player, Kasim, who is not a strong classical
player. Nobody would respect Kasparov as WC for that.

Chessfanatic & marcuss:

To get this Unification done, first of all we have to show respect to both titles FIDE & Classical. By saying that FIDE title is not equal with Classical title does not solve our issue. Who says that FIDE title holders are weaker than Kramnik? Anand has been FIDE WC. Anand World No.2 is stronger than Kramnik. Its baseless to argue that FIDE Champs are weaker. Kasim has won all the heavyweights in Tripoli. How can you deny those results? Well if you say that, he won with rapid time controls, that is the FIDE format we can't help. Even in Classical time controls, FIDE title holders like Anand, Kasim can match anyone presently.

The reality of the Chess world is, we have 2 WC. As a result, we all know, there is so much of confusion.

Chessfanatic: Your plan is not possible to implement. First of all Kasim does not give away his title with out a fight. Kasim has agreed to play Kasparov. Kasim has no problems. But Kramnik is objecting to this. The winner of K-K match plays Kramnik for the Unified title. Is not this simple? If we go according to your plan, it takes atleast 3 years to crown a new Unified WC.

No, no need to wait 3 years.

In July 2005 after Kasim enjoys/expires his title
Kramnik will be the only World Champion.
Kasim will not give away his title, it will simply expire, as all phoney world fide titles.

It's only one year away and for sure Kramnik will be the one and only champion, and your confusion will be gone.

If you can't wait until then, and even more, wrongly consider the phoney FIDE title equal to the real W title held by Kramink, then why don't you advocate for a Kramnik-Kasim match?
That will be more close to your "titles are equal" fantasy.

time controls could be of 90-min and tie-breaks of 15-min, at least this will level the field for Kasim..

Moreover, just 4 games + tie-breaks will do it, afterall titles are equal.

Or what about Kasparov-Kasim with those rapid time controls? What do you think Kasparov would agree on that? no-o-o? oh, better classical?
so after all the titles are *not equal*!?

My "plan" is not possible but only because this chess world is not perfect ;)

Never heard of WCC titles expiring without a match. Anyway, I have not said that FIDE title and Classical titles are equal. What I am saying is like Kramnik, Kasim deserves respect for his remarkable achievement. I can understand that Kramnik and his fans like you have a problem accepting this.

NYC Knight: It is good that you have acknowledged that the Classical World Champion Title is not equal to the FIDE world champion title. Thank you.

Next step is to accept Kramnik as the only World Champion. I am sure you can do it if you try hard.

Kasim deserves respect for certain. Would you support an initiative to give rapid time control in his match with Kasparov? I would, because I respect his achievements, would you?

Or would you step on his achievements by making him play a long match with classical time controls?

PS: Polls for winner with rapid time controls - 60:40 to Kasim.

I think all those who evangelise Kramnik (who is an excellent player with a very good positional sense) dont have much of a memory.. Yes he's great, but not as great as Fischer, Karpov or Kasparov, his three immediate predecessors. All those guys did enough to seem magical, which involved playing a hell of a lot, and beating the living daylights out of their opponents consistently, while conjuring variations that left you gasping in awe. Kram could become great like that, but he needs to play and achieve more, over a longer period. He has a few tourney victories, 2 lost matches, and 2 won matches right now.

My point is, as such, he can play the prima donna all he wants, but he risks becoming irrelevant like Pono. Yes, the whole thing is a mess, yes there are issues with this cycle and that cycle, yes there are rights and wrongs, but play man. I for one would actually part with some of my hard earned dosh to see a rematch with the one living legend who still has his powers, Gary Kasparov.

Chessfanatic says:

Sure, only if Kramnik wins the Unification match. Till then, Kramnik is only another WC along with Kasim.

Chessfanatic says:
"accept Kramnik as the only World Champion. I am sure you can do it if you try hard."

I replied to this in my earlier post.

NYCKnight: May I suggest you to look into the Predecesors books of G Kasparov and point where he mentions about the simultaneous existance of two World Champions: Kramnik and ?? (you-tell-me-who)?

Kasparov accept Kramnik as the only (last) World Champion. Why don't you??
What "unification" are you talking about??

What can I say? Tne issue before us is the Unification. Its useless for us to debate who is the real WC today. Let's hope that Unification will restore the prestige and honor to WC title.


There were multiple factors pushing towards unification when the Prague Agreement was discussed.

1. THE KNOCKOUT WAS A GREAT INTERZONAL--BUT NOT A GREAT CHAMPIONSHIP. FIDE's attempt at a knockout system without Kasparov or Kramnik had clearly failed. No one regarded that title as the true "World Champion." This was because of the format, not simply the absence of 2 of the world's top 4.

Anand, for example, was worthy of being A world champion, but his FIDE title was perceived as not very important historically even though he himself was a great player. So the format had to shift back to classical chess.

2. A LEGITIMATE CHAMPION STILL NEEDS A LEGITIMATE TITLE PROCESS. In the meantime, though, Kramnik was finding that without an organization independent of the world champion, it was exceedingly difficult to provide the stability that commercial sponsors insist on.

There was no real procedure in place for choosing a challenger, and no money for paying for a match. It was impossible for Kramnik to say, "On Date X I will defend my title," because of the lack of sponsorship.

And the lack of an established independent process for selecting a challenger meant that it was literally impossible for a player in the top 20 to figure out just how he/she might become challenger.

Historically since the 1950s, the Champion had known WHEN the title would be defended--the excitement came from the uncertainty of knowing which player would make it through the process to be the Challenger. Now, most of the attention was given to whether there would be a defense at all, and many sponsors preferred to wait to commit until they knew just who the challenger would be, always a bad sign.

3. The contractual split between the two organizations meant that it was not even possible for Anand to compete to be the challenger to Kramnik, one of the few sequences that might have made immediate sense.

4. And then there was Kasparov. Whatever else he may or may not have been, he had been rated #1 for a very long time, and neither Anand nor Kramnik had been able to unseat him in that position. He was world-famous, and sponsors generally liked him. Fans, too, continued to perceive him as clearly "world class."

So to put it simplistically, there were three parties able to bring real value to the unification process. Kramnik brought legitimacy of the title. FIDE brought predictability of the process. Kasparov brought a unique publicity factor, based on the very real fact of his #1 ranking.

Remember that unification required that there be THREE matches with a purse of around $1 million within a fairly short period of time. It is probable that only the combination of these three assets could have brought that off.

And yet, and yet, and yet...

The value of the assets on all three parts probably has declined somewhat since the Prague Agreement was signed.

Kramnik's legitimacy was slightly tarnished by having no selection process in place for the future.

FIDE's advantage of having the predictable process open to all took a hard blow from having held an event that was closed to so many.

Kasparov's hold on #1 remained, but with an apparent slight weakening.


Do we need a unification of these three value-bringers? Not necessarily.

What we do need is simple to state, hard to accomplish:

1. A world championship in which at least the semi-finals and finals are based on classical time controls, with no rapids chess involved. (Remember that Leko qualified out of a single event, Dortmund. A Candidates' tournament is possible.)

2. An independent, preannounced process for selecting a challenger which will be in place BEFORE the championship begins. So that at the very moment that we wait to find out which player will be champion (a point of maximum fan and press attention), discussion can be going on about who the next challenger will be.

And the process must attract at least 6 of the world's top 10 players in order to be considered legitimate. Or perhaps 5 of the top 8.

3. A predictable, date-bound cycle for challenge and championship. This is essential for commercial sponsorship.

I think at this point there probably are several paths for getting to this goals. But to succeed, we cannot ignore any of these three factors. Kramnik's legitimacy is NOT enough by itself--there must be an independent process in place to choose a challenger, and championships must be held on a regular schedule.


Personally, with all its flaws, I would prefer to see the Prague agreement concept carried forward, with the Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov match in January, and the Kramnik match later in the year.

Because I believe whoever the ultimate winner is, including Kasimdzhanov, that person will momentarily at least hold enough power in the chess world to create a stable championship cycle with commercial sponsorship. Yes, I know Anand won't have participated--but as long as the NEXT cycle can begin right away and he can compete fairly in that, we can move forward.

For reasons we discussed under the "Kramnik Wins, Sort of" thread, it is not possible to simply go back to a candidates cycles with zonals, interzonals, and candidates matches, simply because the costs are too high.


But maybe we have all been thinking too big. It would be interesting to have a candidates' tournament of, say, 8 players, each year or two, in which the invitations to the candidates tournament were based on the kind of points system the ACP has discussed, so that tournament performance as well as rating were taken into account. Maybe you seed in the loser of the previous championship, with the idea that preparing for the championship kept him/her from other events.

Yes, it would mean a player already has to be doing well in major international events to even get an invitation to the candidates, but maybe in today's world (where almost everyone can travel) that's OK.

You could still have the FIDE knockout event if you wanted, as a World Chess Festival celebration. It just wouldn't be the championship. If sponsors weren't interested, it would fade away.

Well, it will be interesting to see what happens over the next year.

The one thing I AM sure of is that if the top players want to see regular commercial sponsorship brought back into the sport, they need to focus on creating a process that includes all three factors above: a classical championship, an independent preannounced process for selecting a challenger, and a regular date-bound cycle.


NYCKnight: Since you can't say anything, I'll assume that you
implicitly accept that Kramnik holds the real WC title, but
some sort of "unification" will restore "prestige
and honour" to the title by having FIDE recognize his title?

But, who needs FIDE recognition??

Isn't it better to support ACP plans than to look forward to dubious "official"(fide) recognitions?

With ACP ruling the rooster, wouldn't sponsors feel more attracted to fund WC matches? My guess is yes..


ACP is fine, if it can meet all three requirements: a classical championship, a predefined selection process for the challenger in which at least 6 of the top 10 participate, and a stable cycle with set dates.

If you have time to look at my notes under "Kramnik Wins, Sort Of," you'll see I am happy to give all honour to the past, but I think any future that can meet those three conditions can attract commercial sponsorship and get us moving forward again.

that looks like one of my cats

Kramnik did agree to play Pono-Kasparov match winner? Now he is not willing to play Kasim-Kasparov winner. Why is that? Are not both Pono & Kasim FIDE WCs? Why Kramnik has changed his mind? Maybe he tought, Pono-Kasparov match was not going to happen ever? If Kramnik was willing to play Pono-Kasparov winner, I dont see why it is difficult for him to play the Kasim-Kasparov winner.

-Kramnik did agree to play Pono-Kasparov match winner?

-- Yes.

-Now he is not willing to play Kasim-Kasparov winner.

-- Not really, although if ACP and FIDE reach an agreement probably yes.

-Why is that?

-- Apparently they (Kramnik and ACP) want a new, fair, deal.
(Check his interview on the Chessbase site)

-Are not both Pono & Kasim FIDE WCs?

-- Yes, they are. (Pono is ex-champion, was forfeited by FIDE)

-Why Kramnik has changed his mind?

-- Probably because year 2002 was nearly three years ago. They
(Kramnik and ACP) want Something 2005, instead of "Prague 2002".

-Maybe he tought, Pono-Kasparov match was not going to happen ever?

-- Hmmm, with Ilyumzhinov The Accurate anything can happen, so I think
the answer to this could be yes, although Kramnik acknowledges great
hopes of change for the good if unification took place in 2002.
(c.f. the interview)

-If Kramnik was willing to play Pono-Kasparov winner, I dont see
why it is difficult for him to play the Kasim-Kasparov winner.

-- You mean, difficult to accept such match (for him is not difficult
to play neither Kasparov nor Kasim :0)
Well, my guess is Kramnik would play the "winner" only if a deal
is reached with FIDE.

Thank you for the answers!! Let's hope for the best.

One small point...Ponomariov was never forfeited by FIDE. Ponomariov chose not to play against Kasparov because he didn't like the terms. But rather than replacing him, FIDE simply waited until the next cycle. Ponomariov again chose not to play in that cycle. But he retained his title for the normal length of time, from the end of one event until the end of the next.

Yes, de jure he was never forfeited, but de facto he was disqualified as the FIDE WC [who would meet Kasparov in a match for the "unification"]. That's why FIDE pulled out a new contract of the type "you-have-to-play-Kasparov" for FIDE WC KO 2004, so Kasim is the New Sacrificial Lamp...(may god turn him into wolf :})


In a former post, you asked:

“But, who needs FIDE recognition??”

Sponsors do. The recognition of the International Federation is not important for you or for me, but is important for sponsors.

Right now, we have two different world championships. Chessplayers like you and me know the difference between them, but the rest of the world doesn’t know and doesn’t care.

When a sponsor is giving his money to a World Championship, he wants to have his name associated with it. When he knows that there is more than one, he becomes reluctant. It was Yasser Seirawan who put it in a few words: “Coke will not sponsor a World Championship when they know that there is another World Championship that can be sponsored by Pepsi”. And vice-versa – so both championships get none of the sponsors.

And it makes things difficult for other tournaments too, not only for the World Championship. I don’t know if you ever worked to raise sponsorship for a chess tournament (I did), but no sponsor likes to have his name associated with an internal war. Intel once had a two years sponsoring contract that was finished and not renewed for exactly this reason.

If you don’t believe in me, just ask Kramnik. He took TWO YEARS to find a sponsor for ONE match, and with a prize fund smaller than the one he played for in the 2000 match.

I don’t know if you remember the chess world before 1993, but at that time sponsors lined up to host the interzonals, the candidate matches and the final match. Players and FIDE often had the luxury of CHOOSING which offer they would prefer. But at the time sponsors knew that they were giving their money to the only one championship. And their name would be associated with the competition, not with an internal war.

You also said: “With ACP ruling the rooster, wouldn't sponsors feel more attracted to fund WC matches? My guess is yes..”

Well, it will be very nice if you are right, but I would not be so optimistic. I just remember that the chess world already saw two organizations outside FIDE (the GMA and the PCA) that tried to do the same that ACP is trying now. Both failed. And under much more favorable circumstances – the GMA had a much wider GM support than the ACP, and the PCA had the two years contract with Intel signed in advance. I would be glad to hear a word from the ACP about new corporate sponsorship, but up to now I heard nothing but good intentions. And the existence of two separate World Championships keeps maintaining sponsors away.

So my point is: FIDE recognition may not be important for chessplayers like you and me, but it is important for sponsors.

You are right. Sponsors dont want to invest, when the Chess world is divided. For this reason, we need the Unification to happen at any cost. Kramnik and FIDE should know that how geatly the Unification is going to benefit the Chess.

Edu: Remarkable, but before we go into further detail:

Do you know *who* rules FIDE?

If you do, please elaborate profusely as you just did, on the fantasy
of the comeback of times when sponsors flooded FIDE's coffers...

(thanks in advance)

Chessfanatic: yes, I know very well who rules FIDE. I don't understand the porpouse of your question, perhaps you got the impression that I am trying to defend FIDE.

It would be very easy to go down to another nasty discussion, saying things like "no, fantasy is the idea of money flooding ACP coffers", but it would be unproductive.

I never tried to defend FIDE, nor have I said that FIDE would (or could) flood sponsors money into his coffers. What I did say is that the existence of two world championships helps to drive sponsors away.

By the way, Yasser Seirawan's original "Fresh Start" proposal contained the idea that a professional organization - not FIDE - could be responsible for raising sponsorship for the World Championship, and perhaps even organazing it - with the recognizement of FIDE.

If the ACP is really able to get sponsorship, ACP could do much better and easily with an unified title.

FIDE is good in organizing the world championship or raising sponsorship for it? No, we all know that it is not.

But an unified title, recognized by the international federation, would make things easy, or less harder, to who (FIDE, ACP, whoever the hell) is working to raise sponsorship for it? Sorry, but it would.

So basically your assertion is that

"An unified title, recognized by the international federation,
would make things easier to the FIDE president to raise
sponsorship for it"

*Knowing who* is Ilyumzhinov, I'd would prefer him out
rather than supported and perpetuated by the "unification"..

What would *you* prefer?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 25, 2004 6:57 PM.

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