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FIDE Responds

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The international chess federation has issued a press release responding to Garry Kasparov's "unilateral withdrawal" from the 2005 unification match against Rustam Kasimdzhanov that had been scheduled for Turkey in April. In it, they say that if only Kasparov had waited one more week (until Jan. 25), that the monetary guarantees the players demanded would have been there.

Yes, well, that's just it, isn't it? It's always one more week. Then another, then another, and then it turns out your sheik is really just another exile from Lawrence of Arabia with too much time and too little money. And if it turns out to be true this time, against all possible odds, and the money comes through next week, it is almost a sure thing that it wouldn't have been true had Kasparov not put his foot down at last. But let's not have that "what next?" discussion until it happens. Of course when it doesn't happen FIDE will say it's because of Kasparov's letter, which is really the point of their press release: prepare the blame.


Take a deep breath Garry, and keep on walkin'.

If by any chance the money comes through, perhaps Kasparov will still play Kasimdhzanov. If for nothing else, to leave the blame of non reunification to Kramnik, who definitely will not keep his side of the Prague agreement.
It's sad that chess can't even organize a credible world championship match, with regular intervals.

I imagine it's quite illogical of Kasparov not to play if guaranteed said money. With all due respect to Kasimdzhanov and his outstanding result in Libya he is outmatched in tactics, strategy and match experience. This is likely to be amplified in classical time controls.

In addition, as mentioned, he'd pass any villainy associated with halting unification on to Kramnik.

That said, the plan could well be to focus on producing a masterpiece of "Kasparov on Karpov" (if it's possible for this series to get better), remind us of Tolya's genius and just play him for much more money than Kramnik vs. xyz could muster. :-) Perhaps these two (K1 & K2 and not K3 & K4) have learned something from Fischer-Spassky 1992. Short'd better start charging per read of his Telegraph column to not feel left out.

Does FIDE really believe that anyone will believe them??

I'd laugh, except FIDE could not have done more to destroy chess if it tried. It's terrible.

Kasparov is scared of Kasimdzhanov. He knew that if the match took place, he would lose. This didn't worry him in the slightest until recently, as with FIDE in charge of organising the match, the chances of it actually happening were small to none. But then, he heard that the guarantees were about come through. Thus his press release, to ensure that he wouldn't have to play and lose to Kasimdzhanov.

Now FIDE have to find a replacement opponent for Kasimdzhanov. In accordance with the precedent they set with the 1993 Karpov-Timman match (replacing a withdrawing player with the player that the withdrawing player eliminated earlier in the same World Championship cycle), Kasparov should be replaced with Ponomariov.

Well, well. Let me get this straight. Kasparov blames Fide for the lack of bank gurantees. Fide blames Kasparov for demanding unrealistic bank gurantees. Yet neither denies the Turkish Chess Federation for actually doing work to secure sponsors (and failed).

It seems to me Kasparov's letter blaming Fide is a face-saving move to gloss over the fact the he can no longer attract million-dollar sponsors (I posted about this before). And now, it seems to me Fide's press release blaming Kasparov is also about saving the Turkish Chess Federation of embarassment (by suggesting more time would have helped), the Federation to the rescue when the Dubai bid failed.

We should not forget that Fide also did some work in securing sponsorship (unpopular opinion, I know). Fide, and in particular, President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, secured sponsorship for the controversial 2004 World Chess Knock-out Championship in Libya.

Fide did work. TCF did work. So did the Dubai organizers, I'm sure. Kasparov was actively involved in everything so he did his share of the work. Who is to blame? Nobody really. Yet Fide and Kasparov are so busy blaming each other, they are distracting from the very important issue of chess funding.

If sponsorship is so hard to find perhaps Fide, with the assistance of Kasparov's influence, should seek other means of raising revenue. Fide already has a set of fees it collects from various chess federations around the world. It collects 500 Swiss Francs for an awarded GM title, and 100 Swiss Francs for an FM title, for example. It also collects rating fees and takes a cut the prize fund of Fide sanctioned tournaments. More info on fees can be found at:


What I'm suggesting is have Fide open itself further, to non-elite players, so that it can charge rating fees to non-masters, charge Fide membership fees, tax prize funds of local tournaments. This won't go down well, but with Kasparov's persuasion and most players' preference of Fide ratings over local federation ratings, it might work. The fact is, elite chessplayers cannot self-sustain themselves from fees alone. They need the non-elite for subsidies.

I'm also suggesting Fide should seek a small cut in all chess products and services. This too won't go down well and has legal and/or enforcement problems, but afterall, magazines/books/databases/programs depend on the survival of the elite for their own survival. If Fide is unsuccessful in this area, then it should enforce ownership of game scores through something like the Mon Roi device (note: Mon Roi is protected property), a wireless electronic scoresheet with strong encryption, similar to a tablet computer. Fide can then setup its own publication and chess services business. To make this work, Fide would need to gain agreements with the elite with regard to intellectual property, the games. But it would be simpler if all agree to Fide taking a small cut to save the chess world from disintegration.

The alternative is to let Fide die and let Chessbase and/or other chess businesses do all the funding so that they can continue to make money off the elite.

What I like about collecting fees is it gives Fide a steady source of cash. There is less need for scrambling every year in search of sponsors.

As for the Prague Agreement, it is a castle-in-the-air, dreamland, a fairy tale. It never stood a chance of succeeding because it was solving petty problems (time-control, different kinds of world champions, tournament formats, and even pensions for old players!!) based on the false premise that sponsors would pop out of nowhere when they see a unified chess world. It didn't happen.

"Unification by Credibility"

Despite winning the Libya-WCC Kasimdzhanov has no credibility as a World Champion.

A simple solution (everything is simpler without FIDE) would be a "Unification by Credibility". Kasparov and Anand play a match. The winner plays Kramnik.

1) sponsorship will be a lot easier to get without FIDE, because Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik are all acceptable to BIG sponsers. (FIDE ain't)
2) it's quick (and dirty)
3) give the WCC-title "to the players" (the ACP) so they themselves can vote what they want.

And we will all live happily ever after.

mig, spot on. Anybody who believes that money would have been forthcoming in a week still believes in Santa. I have to say some of the anti kasparov mania is almost .. frightening! Some people will go to any lengths to twist ANY fact to attack him!
Jos, WC by credibility has been my staple diet for many years now. And that's why kasp vs anand wil be the no. 1 attraction for me. Wouldnt mind a kramnik match, but first anand vs kasp, purely on "credibility".


I have heard all these rumours before but simply will not accept them... just because you don't believe in Santa. However I am pretty certain Santa does not believe in Fide.

Are there special rules for evaluating Kasparov's behavior?

Take this hypothetical:

In Fall 2004, Kasim insists that the FIDE Championship be organized by the Turkish Federation. And despite the chess world's disinterest in the match, Kasim demands a substantial escrow. On December 1, 2004, FIDE, the Turkish Federation, Kasparov and Kasim begin match negotiations and for the next six weeks the Turkish Federation contacts and cajols everyone who might agree to sponsor the match and provide the escrow funds. A date for the match is tentatively agreed.

Then, in mid-January, the president of the Turkish Federation and Kasparov open their morning newspapers to read that Kasim, without notice to anyone, has angrily announced his withdrawl from the match.

Imagine Kasparov's rage! Imagine how THAT would be reported in the DailyDirt!

I do not understand which money have to be found.
Kasimdhzanov's money ?
Kasparov's money?
Or both?
How much money does Kasimdhzanov want to permit Kasparov to challange his world title?
Is possible that there is no sponsor who gives Kasim the money he pretends?
I imagine Kasparov is going to play even gratis due to the facts that he his already ipermilionaire and that his major wish is surely to take back Kasim's world title and then also the Vlad's one.
Am I wrong ? Is there somethingh that I do not understand in this story? How possible is that Kasim, a young champ, does not want to play with a chess legend like Kasparov is ? Is Kasim crazy ?

Money for players, money for organization, kickbacks for "FIDE tax". It's quite expensive.

The desire, even expectation, that the players should work for free seems unique to the chess world. I'm sure the basketball players in the NBA really love the game and really want to win the title, but they certainly don't come to play for free.

Greg. 1: The money wasn't there. The deadlines passed and passed again. It was for somebody to formally end the charade eventually. Whoever did it was going to get attention, obviously. But it's basically impossible for the champion to do this without being heavily criticized for trying to protect his title (see what happened to Ponomariov). So it was up to Kasparov.

2: Kasimdzhanov already has the FIDE title. Having the challenger leave isn't exactly a crisis compared to a champion refusing to meet his challenger. To oversimplify, in the Ponomariov cancellation this was the case. The money was there and Kasparov was ready to play. Lucky for us, both of your hypotheticals are false in this case.

The passing deadlines were the reason to ditch this non-match, but Kasparov was equally dismayed by the fact that it's clear Kramnik is not coming to the board to face the winner anyway, so what's the point? No insult to Kasimdzhanov, but Kasparov's career wouldn't benefit from beating him. Then, as he said in the letter, he would have the responsibility of toting around a silly FIDE title, representing the corrupt FIDE organization, and still be no closer to the real title he cares about.

I like the last line of Mig's entry, "which is really the point of their press release: prepare the blame." It's kind of a chess metaphor, you know, like "Kh1, preparing to open the g-file." But is chess the metaphor for chess politics, or vice versa? Is it really a level playing field? Or is it tilted downhill towards black? And if so does this mean that the the white king's bishop is more powerful than the other bishops? Is most chess politics a draw? You see? This is what happens when writers publish: Critics start finding completely unintentional metaphors. Or at least metaphors that run away like allegorical similes. Through the streets of Pamplona.

ok, sorry, back to what you were discussing please.

What I don't understand is why Kirsan didn't just use the bank guarantees "that were on [his] desk" and have the Dubai match. Please explain. Did they get misplaced?
see the link:

Please please don't tell me that yes FIDE is corrupt and you can't trust a word they say but, if they can come up with a million dollars for Kasparov to play Mr. #25 we want to hand over the title to them. Go ahead have them play a match for FIDE championship but don't start saying this will revive Prague from the dead. That would be a bit too much. Mig said it best:

"The entire point of having Kasparov play the FIDE champion was quick and messy unification with the classical champion, the FIDE champion, and the world #1. That was almost three years ago. With quick out of the picture we were left with messy. With FIDE in charge it went directly to ugly and pathetic."

Please don't tell me that so long as they can find money for Kasparov, we are going to change our tune. No longer is FIDE Ugly and pathetic and Prague is just a mess. Now if kasparov can make a million dollars Prague and Unification are the way, the truth, and the light, and if Kramnik thinks otherwise he is the problem with chess. Please don't do this.

I am *not* saying anyone has said this. I am jsut tryign to preempt this. I think what Mig has been writing recently is right on the mark. Now that Prague is completely dead and FIDE has really proven they are currently in no position to deal with the championship, I think Mig has made some wonderful points. (yes despite the fact that we are allegedly biased in opposing directions)

Lets not start to waiver just becasue someone starts offerign a million dollars short term, if it will destroy a an asset the chess world has that is worth far more. Chess can get allot more if they really start a new legitimate cycle that can be sustained.


Who cares about unification? Particularly, when and if it happens under FIDE.

The player's have too long been ill-served by FIDE shenanigans.

I, for one, am against unification under FIDE. I support Kasporov's withdrawl, and I would encourage Kramnik's.

Interestingly, the real stroke of bad luck in all of this was when Michael Adams missed that winning move in the playoffs of the final in Tripoli. Adams-Kasparov would have been a delight for the potential sponsors, and the ball would still be rolling then.

This not to subtract from Kazimdzhanov's great victory in Tripoli - it's just interesting how such little things can alter the cause of chess history.

I'll say it again, BTW. Forget FIDE, forget ACP, forget Kramnik. Let the serious national chess organisations join forces and form an international federation that is not based on one particular event, player or wealthy person. Put a serious system in place for creating a world champion (the old one that ran for many years is a good start), secure the best possible sponsorship and start. Nothing could really be worse than the current situation. By continuing to be represented in FIDE, the national chess federations are lending credibility to a useless, corrupt business, which is led by a dictator of a small republic who claims to once have been abducted by aliens.

Chessplayers are supposed to be so smart - it's disgraceful that the situation is now resembling that of the boxing world.

Johan it wasn't really luck. Kasim is a much better rapid player than Adams. Since the FIDE KO allows people to draw two games and then decide the championship on rapid and blitz its not surprising Kasim won.

Heres a link to the statistics showing Kasim is #3 only behind Anand and Kasparov.

If we want to continue to have rapid games decide who is world champ, then Kasim clearly as serious a contender as anyone.

Johan says: "Put a serious system in place for creating a world champion (the old one that ran for many years is a good start), secure the best possible sponsorship and start".

The problem is that the old system was great before the technological advances we have now. It simply won't be attractive in today's market. It's time to revise our thinking and join the modern world of the Internet and HDTV.

Garry was right to withdraw after being burned by Kirsan so many times. I believe Mig is right about this latest Kirsan press release. He is just taking care of the spin.

I would say let's just forget about FIDE, that's all!

What's FIDE?


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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 20, 2005 11:50 PM.

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