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Kasparov Exits FIDE WCh

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Overdue or premature? The end of the best hope for unification or the end of something that never should have existed? Say what you will, and there's a lot to say. Garry Kasparov today issued a press release (see below) to explain the end of his negotiations for his match with FIDE champ Kasimdzhanov. Kasparov has been kicking himself for the past month about having had to cancel his invitation to Corus Wijk aan Zee because of the doomed FIDE match. (Hey, at least he waited for the off day.)

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.

Now it's over, but what's next? Kramnik might decide that a unification match against Kasimdzhanov is better than one against the winner of Kasparov and Kasimdzhanov. Even Kasparov couldn't guess what FIDE's reaction would be. Ilyumzhinov doesn't like being upstaged, so it could be dramatic. Will a new cycle rise from the ashes? Will the ACP and FIDE do more than spell DIP CAFE? And will the record for Daily Dirt comments be broken?


Moscow - January 18, 2005

Garry Kasparov has informed FIDE and the Turkish Chess Federation today that he is no longer available for the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship which was tentatively scheduled for April 25th to May 14th in Istanbul, Turkey. Kasparov’s statement from his home in Moscow follows.

In 2002 I joined with FIDE in Prague to try and unify the world championship. Over the past two and a half years, unification matches have been scheduled four times and each time the deadlines have come and gone while the financial guarantees were ignored.

Four times I have put my life on hold to schedule three months for preparation, play, and recuperation. The loss of earnings is easy to understand, but the hidden damage is psychological. These postponed and cancelled events have been deeply unsettling to me both professionally and personally. Our global chess federation has rarely thought enough to even keep me informed, let alone compensate me financially or even apologize for these repeated frustrations.

I called a halt to negotiations last night, but resentment at my treatment by FIDE has been building for the past three months. My life has been totally disrupted for two and a half years thanks to this on-again, off-again match and I must go on without this constant interference.

Perhaps the last straw was watching the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee currently underway in the Netherlands. I was forced to give up my invitation to play in this event when FIDE insisted that the match would take place in Dubai on conflicting dates. It breaks my heart to watch such a great event from the sidelines. It hurts me and I believe chess is poorly served as well.

Some details might help clarify how I reached this state of exhaustion and disillusionment. In September 2004, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov publicly announced that he had the funds for my match with Rustam Kasimdzhanov to take place in Dubai in January 2005. It turned out that this was completely untrue.

At a press conference at the Russian Championship in Moscow two months later I told the media that there were no contracts, no financial guarantees, and that FIDE was giving disinformation. A FIDE official present loudly “whispered” that I was lying, a remark that made its way to Chessbase.com and the chess world. Needless to say, it turned out that the lies were solely on the FIDE side of the story and it speaks volumes about the organization that no apology to me was forthcoming and that this official is still working for FIDE.

I was concerned enough about the lack of tangible progress in organizing the match to write an open letter to the FIDE Congress in October 2004. The FIDE Presidential Board refused to read or circulate this letter at the Congress, apparently believing that no news was good news.

At that time the Turkish Chess Federation was ready to take over the championship organization. President Ali Nihat Yazici had considerable momentum and was ready to proceed with procuring sponsorship guarantees. But FIDE insisted on giving Dubai even more time, even though it had been independently verified that supposed sponsor HH Sh. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was not going to fund the event and had never intended to.

Far too late, FIDE appointed the Turkish Chess Federation and work began in early December with deadlines looming. The first deadline passed on December 29th and more have passed since. As of today I have no contract with FIDE signed by either player, I have no financial guarantee, and I know from experience that drafting these documents can take considerable time.

I feel great sympathy for Mr. Nihat Yazici, an honorable man who has worked very hard on behalf of chess and on behalf of this match. I believe he may well have eventually come up with an acceptable form of guarantee, but I cannot wait any longer to reclaim control of my life. I will apologize to Ali and those in the Turkish government and business community assisting him and will do my best to lend a hand to Turkish chess in the future.

It’s not about money or winning the title; it’s about my disillusionment with the process and the others on which it depends. In 2002 I dreamed of a legitimate chance to revive – and reclaim – the real world championship title. That no longer seems to be possible. Even if by some miracle the match is held and I win, I would bear a great deal of responsibility and still have no opportunity to unify the title. FIDE has proven itself incapable of the task while others are unwilling.

As for unification, I cannot see an avenue to contribute further. For those who saw me as an obstacle, I will be one no longer. I am not giving up on chess. I will compete as well and as long as I am able to play my brand of chess. I will continue to serve chess and those who love our game. I have now held the #1 ranking for 20 years and I will defend my position against any opponent. My only retreat is from the battlefield of chess championship politics.

Garry Kasparov

Moscow – January 18, 2005


"My only retreat is from the battlefield of chess championship politics." --Garry Kasparov.

What's the over-under on how many days this lasts?

Bravo Garry! That's either a gutsy move or a really smart one. Either way it should get top-level chess moving again. I hope he gets another shot at the title and that something changes in the WC cycle.

Garry will never be a World Champion again. He was under the false illusion that the Chess world owed him an easy route to WC title. His ego is too big for him to qualify again. Anand played from round 1 on several occasions (even after becoming 2000 FIDE champion); so, why should Garry be treated any different?

This is the beginning of the era of Leko. Kasparov may as well retire.

I thought Garry would be announcing his complete retirement from chess playing. He's pretty much "been there, done that" in regards to chess playing, he has definitely made his mark in theory, and I thought perhaps now he would devote more time to his other (more?) important projects.

Part of me is glad he will still be playing chess, but another part of me wants to see him walk away from all the petty bickering, criticism and politics that seem to go with it.

He was a big fish in a small pond, and now is becoming a big fish in a big pond. Why would you hang on to the small pond when there are much bigger things in store for you?

--p.s. the word "fish" is not used in the chess sense of a weak player but as in the metaphor "big fish small pond". Even Garry's strongest critics wouldn't call him a chess fish.

I was rather hoping he'd be spending more time at the chessboard, but Ken's thesis is the more accurate. Garry is getting more and more into politics and his books and lectures on decision-making and strategy in the non-chess world. It's sad, because with as many marvelous chessplayers as we have now, none of them are likely to put up a +7.

It is shameful that the world chess community cannot provide a simple venue for the World Chess Championship. FIDE collapsed many years ago and no organization has risen to take it's place. I think that it is time to return to the method utilized prior to FIDE, where the participants arrange the match (such as in Kramnik-Leko). It's sad, but I think that's the best for now. I'm hard pressed to believe that there couldn't be commerical backing found for Kramnik-Kasparov II. The only obstacle would be Kramnik's cowardice.

Saguni, dozens of players started at round one in each FIDE KO, but Anand was never one of them. He was always seeded into the second round. But the FIDE KO title is not under discussion here.

Let's imagine Kramnik suddenly retracted everything he'd ever said about a principled World Championship cycle and decided he wanted to play Kasim. If a Kasim match couldn't be cobbled together by the world's most famous player, a FIDE President who's shoveled $millions at chess, and a Middle Eastern sheik how in the world is Kramnik going to do it?

The subtext to Mig's Kramnik-Kasim comment goes like this: "Kasparov got involved with sleazy Ilyumzhinov in something that turned into a 'bizarre' 'pile of crap.' But Kramnik's just as bad."

Only the profoundest cynicism bred of prolonged association with Kasparov can explain this bizarro-world Kramnik-Kasim match "speculation."

Kasparov is being fed his own medicine!

That happens to a great chessplayer who is a rotten person: dishonest, selfish and stupid to the max.

Dishonest because throughout the whole "process of unification" he insisted on being given a shortcut to the world championship match. There no reason to give anyone a shortcut. Dishonest because he won't acknowledge that this mess is his own creation: he split the chess world and everyone is still facing the consequences.

Selfish because he puts his own interests way ahead of everyone else's to a point detrimental to everyone, including Kasparov himself. Selfish because he only thinks and cares about what's good for Kasparov, without ever thinking about fellow professional players or the chess world.

Stupid to the max because he didn't need to do things this way. He could have righted his wrong by entering the elimination process under the same conditions as everyone else.

Stupid to the max because he should have never entered negotiations with FIDE. The outcome was easy to see. What else could have happened?

Somebody needs to tell Kasparov that the cure for his ailment is very simple: let Kramnik collapse under his own weight. How long will sponsors pay for Kramnik-Whoever matches? Ignore Kramnik. That will take of the problem.

Want smart advice? Play Anand for the "People's Championship". Yes, sacrifice some money and make it easy for sponsors. Take less money, but bring excitement to the chess world. A Kasparov-Anand match would render Kramnik "income-less"...

Irvin, where do you get this about Kasparov not acknowledging that the 1993 schism was partly his doing? He's said so many times and called it a mistake.

What elimination process like everyone else? Please be specific. I haven't seen a qualification cycle in ten years. Name the event or events in which Kasparov could have participated that would have suddenly solved the unification crisis between FIDE and Kramnik!

A Kasparov-Anand match would be hilarious. I vote for it. The Irvin People's Championship! Which match would you guys buy tickets to: Anand-Kasparov or Kramnik-Kasimdzhanov? And which winner would have more legitimacy as champ at this point? That's the problem. When there's no system, no cycle, legitimacy is subjective.

As for might-have-beens, like many I really thought it could happen back in 2002. It was an exciting moment. A pity the Ponomariov match fell apart.

Greg, Kramnik played the 2000 match after losing a qualifier to Shirov. Just as Kasparov discovered the allure of the rematch after he lost, Kramnik got religion regarding qualifiers after he won. As for my cynicism, it is bred of actual experience with FIDE, Kramnik, Kasparov, Keene, et al. If you're looking for saints, get thee to a church.

Well what Kasparov is corect about FIDE. Everyone talks so much about anti kasparov and anti Kramnik but the REAL culprit is FIDE! They are the ones who should be orgainizing championship matches. They have been to the biggest obstacle all along to getting things going. Kasparov is correct FIDE obviously can't be trusted. The chess championship needs to unify with FIDE like it needs a hole in its head. All allong what chess really needs isn't to unify with a probably hopelessly corrupt organization it needs a structured championship cycle.

I think it can be done but only if two essential commitments are strictly followed:

1) Matches in the cycle (whether final or one of the preliminary rounds) *must* go on *regardless* of the amount of money it can raise. Let me clarify this. I am not saying the money does not need to be guaranteed in the sense that they don't know if the amound bid on is really just smoke and mirrors.(liek Dubai) The bidding process should only accept bids that come with a sufficient guarantee! But if the bidding process only yields a guaranteed $30K for a semifinal round the players still must play. The guarantee is tuned over with the bid. If someone does not play becasue they want more money than the guaranteed amount he is out. If sponsor does not have the appropriate guarnatee for a bid amount by the deadline, it do not have a bid. But whatever the amount is - it is. No one can back out of thier match because there isn't *enough* money. Without this rule we will forever be plagued by problems. The bottom line is the show must go on. If it doesn't pay well one year you will only make it worse for next year if no one plays. No guarantees as to the amount but whatever the amount is it should be guaranteed.

2) The candidate and final matches must be of sufficient length to really make people believe the better player won and it wasn't just a lucky break. This also means no rapid tie breaks. If you have them then the better rapid player will purposely play for a draw to get to the rapids.

Those two things I think are the keys to making any cycle work. Beyond this thier are all sorts of ways to pick challengers etc. People who are higher rated can be seeded into later rounds of the cycle. This may allow more dark horses to participate - like the wild card games in NFL playoffs. But all of this isn't as important as the two points above. I will guarantee that if the two points above are not incorporated as cornerstones into any new cycle it will not be taken seriously and run into fatal problems within 15 years.

Mig, I know that you get angry when people mention how stupid, dishonest and selfish Kasparov has been. You are his loyal defender and that's how you handle every argument: from the perspective of a person who must find an excuse for every Kasparov sin.

He didn't cheat against Polgar.
He didn't want to get a shortcut to the World Championship match.
He didn't get in bed with Ilhuzimov in order to get his shortcut.
He didn't create the current chaos when he split from FIDE and hand-picked his opponents.

He has done nothing wrong...

You are not credible anymore, Mig: you're trying to cover the sun with a finger.

Life will be easier if you get your face away from Kaspy's behind, so you can breathe some fresher air: Kaspy is no longer in charge; he can't dictate the terms anymore. He has to play by the tough rules he set for his adversaries.

That's life, amigo...

The Shirov match died when it couldn't get funding. Anand declined his invitation. Kasparov elected not to set up another qualifier. At that point, five years having passed since the last title match, it was in the interest of Kramnik, the top available player, and the chess world that he play Kasparov for the title in 2000.

After his loss to Kramnik, world-renowned Kasparov had several principled options: stifle his "rematch" demands and work with Kramnik and the sponsors to set up a Dortmund-type event with more rounds; sign on to the FIDE championship on an equal footing with Anand and everyone else. Alas, he found a third option, seeding into Kirsan's FIDE Championship which drove Anand out of the event and which has turned into a bizarre, messy, pathetic, pile of crap.

Comparing Kramnik's acceptance of the World Championship match invitation, in 2000 the only game in town, with Kasparov's insistence on a rematch or preferred treatment in the FIDE Championship is comparing apples and oranges.

Not looking for saints, just folks with principles.

Wake up you guys. Am I the only one who saw this coming?

Kaspy's latest jab at Fide is not so much about Fide's mistakes as is about giving the gullible chessworld a spiele. Kaspy is just face-saving, exiting stage right.

The real embarassment is Fide, Kasparov, and even the Turkish Chess Federation have failed to raise million dollar sums for a match. Most embarassing is Kasparov, yes HIM, is not a million-dollar sponsorship draw.

I don't blame Fide, Kasparov, or the Turkish Chess Federation. No one is to blame. Instead, it is the nature of the game that turns off sponsors. Very, very few people in the world can look at a position and understand what is going on. Joe 1500 does not understand the intricasies of the Ruy Lopez and Joe Public is maybe 900 rated. Small audiences = small $.

We should not further divide the chessworld with finger-pointing. Maybe the players themselves should be content with much smaller match prize money. Maybe $50,000 instead of $5 million. What is magical about $50,000 or 5 figures is that most large tournaments can raise that kind of cash easily. With the WC match, the numbers will have to be tweaked a bit and perhaps package it as a chess tourism thing to make it work. But million-dollar matches are expensive even for the super rich.

And that, IMO, is the root of all problems: unrealistic expectations of big paydays.

Meanwhile, niceforkin is proposing matches (I assume of at least six games each) to decide everything in chess, from who advances to round 2 in the south-america pre-qualifier for the zonals, to who should be #100 on the rating list. And the best players in the world, the likes of Anand, Kramnik, Leko, etc, should be more than willing to play match after match for something like $500 a game. I'm sure they will be all super eager to do it, since they all want the chance of being the undisputed world champion (though of course only Kramnik will win it, unarguably the undisputed best player in the world since his magnificent win over Kasparov in 2000. BTW, did I mention he has the best statistics against 2700+'s?)

Wake up guys - which world do you live in? The days of candidates matches are long gone. Players should be content to settle with less-than- perfect qualifying systems, possibly with 4-game minimatches decided on blitz playoffs. I haven't heard any of the top players officially state that he would like a system where the top players get to play match after match against each other. And I did hear Anand say he most definitely does NOT want that ("you face the same opponents every tournament, it gets boring, you know each other's openings so well, it is almost impossible to win"). Also part of the reason for so many draws in top-level chess.

Who knows, maybe things will change when chess rules change (minimum move requirements, mandatory openings etc.). Maybe these should be implemented before we even think of unification, but I digress...

I also think that the interest for long qualifications matches is very low by now in a chess world where amateurs play 1 min games on internet ... But interest for big tournaments is still there and winners of those get lot of credits , like Anand considered by his results the best player at the moment ... I like his style , he understood well before Kasparov that the trend had changed , personally a tournament with the very best would be the quickest way to solve this whoischampionsituation ...

This is a sad day for all chess-fans!

Although hope for reunification on the basis of the prague agreement was allways idealistic and lacking a bit of raionale - it simply would have been a giant leap for the state of chess, especially considering the mess we are in now!

I would´ve enjoyed watching Kasparov fight for the title once more! I grew up watching him fight for titles and it allways was a show wothwhile to watch. His withdrawl from the cycle is, from a chess-perspective, a historic event - the end of an era!

The evaluation of that era is a task that will take a while. In effect, your snapshots miss the mark irvin! You can´t put twenty + some years down to four lines! It´s just silly!

Of course he has failures! He is by no means a shiny golden hero to worship! But, after reading this blog for more than year now, it´s even sillier to accuse anyone here of doing that!!! Put away yout blinders and get a hold on life!!! Mig is a friend of Kasparov? So what? Good for him! I don´t see him as "Kasparovs mouth" - especially since Kasparov is capable of using his own!

I guess it´s simply easier to attack the person than the argument!

Let´s rather discuss what will come out of this. In my opinion this generation of players is not capable of acting together. We will pobably have to wait 5-10 years for a new shot at a "unified" world champion. Maybe Kirjakin or Carlsen will get strong enough to push away the obstacles . Maybe even Nakamura! The group of Super-GM is through with it! Time for the offspring!

And of course, most important of all FIDE! It is pobably more corrupt than the olympic comitee! With this organisation it will take a "Hercules" to clean up the mess. Who is going to save it!

Well I'm a chess fan and for me it's a good day. Having Kasparov out of the way should certainly make it less hard to reach a worthwhile unification. FIDE is still hard to deal with but FIDE allied with Kasparov was even harder.

FIDE allied with Kasparov?

"Earth to acirce, Earth to acirce! You´re heading the wrong way!!!"

On what basis do you make such a statement?

But seriously, what would a be a worthwhile unification? A Kramnik - Kazimdshanov match? With this FIDE it´s just not a possibility! We will rather see a new knock-out World champ every year until either Kramnik is dead, or there will be player strong enough to win on both fields!

What Kasparovs now says about FIDE looks very simular to Kramniks comments on FIDE.

Maybe they should meet and together organize a decent WCC-cycle.

I fully agree with acirce above. Of course with Kasparov out of the way, the unification is one step closer. Now we should just wait until Anand, Topalov, Kramnik, Leko and a few others follow suit and the reunification will happen by itself.

The way you get more money for a match. Build everyones frustation with relentless suspense and confrontation over just who is "THE" world champ; finally someone coughs up the cash.

Trouble is, it is not working.

wow! An emotional statement from the king! Hope he continues to play. Irwin, niceforkin, Airce etc, i will no longer even bother to read your rubbish. Anything has at least two sides to it, but only one exists for you.

And poor Kasimdzhanov isn't getting free lessons now. Or rather: getting paid for getting lessons.

I have to agree with the other posters that much of the blame for Kasparov's withdrawal from the unification process should be laid at the feet of FIDE, which seems less and less able to find legitimate sponsorship for World Championship events. Nonetheless, I also blame Kasparov for this decision.

What about Kasimdzhanov? Did Kasparov think of him at all when he decided to unilaterally withdraw from any possibility of a match? Or did he just think about his own personal convenience and frustrations, and to heck with Kasim?

Kasparov is rich. He can afford to walk away from a potential $1 million match with Kasimdzhanov out of frustration or disinterest. But his actions affect two players, one of whom, Kasim, is not rich and who might never in his life get a chance at such a payday. Some people might question the legitimacy of Kasim's right to a title shot because he earned it in the Libya KO. But Kasim is not to be blamed for FIDE's corruption, and Kasim legitimately won the qualifier, beating many of the strongest players therein in the process.

If Kasparov had consulted with Kasim and they had agreed to cancel the match due to mutual frustration with FIDE, that would be one thing. But I see no evidence in Kasparov's statement that this is true. Kasparov's post only talks about his own inconvenience, his own hopes and frustrations, his own decisions. (Why am I not surprised?) One wonders if he even thought of Kasim at all in making this decision.

I don't doubt that Kasparov has the right to be frustrated with FIDE and the unification process. But I also agree with the posters that his frustration is an appropriate form of penance for his past actions. I don't see Kasparov as the victim here. Kasim is the only real victim.

My vote, for what it is worth, is this. FIDE should declare Kasim the FIDE World Champion by default over Kasparov. FIDE and the ACP should then give Kramnik one year to play a title unification match with Kasim. If he fails to do so by no fault of Kasim, then Kasim should be declared the unified World Champion by default. No protracted whining about difficulties in finding sponshorship, endless delays, etc. Play or lose any claim to the championship, period.

I am tired about the "champion" prima donnas (Kramnik, Kasparov, etc.) who think only of themselves and their personal advantages. From what little I have gathered about Kasim from interviews and other online sources, he seems to be the most thoughtful and honorable of the players in the current unification process. Perhaps a World Champion with some class is just what the chess world needs.

I've not much to add, but I would like to state once more that I fully understand Garry Kasparov and how sad it is that the chess world is in the hands of somebody like Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The world of chess needs to be organised by someone with better credentials. The Western chess federations are completely invisible in these things - this is where order and credible finances lie.

Forget FIDE (a corrupt and incompetent organisation for decades now), forget Kramnik and let somebody start over with an entirely new organisation built on reasonable, democratic principles. ACP will not do, because they are too tied up with Kramnik who takes a big part of the blame for the current chaos (I'm sure he is rubbing his hands now).

Oh well, what can we do? Mourn for the future of the chess world, I guess. Or somebody could start a new organisation that starts with a match between the world's two best players, Kasparov and Anand, and then creates a simple WC cycle that creates a challenger every 3 years - like the old days (what was wrong with that system??).

I would like to see a Kramnik vs. Anand match and just forget about the so-called reunification. After all, what was being reunified? The real world champion (Kramnik) and its pretender? Obviously, FIDE doesn't have the financial clout to play world championship politics.

Kasparov has "withdrawn" from world championship politics, not world championship competition. If he saw the color of money for a Kasim match this morning he'd agree to play a Kasim match.

You heard it here first: Kasparov having withdrawn, FIDE extends the Kasim match offer to the next highest player: Anand. 900 million Indians contribute a penny each toward the match's $9,000,000 prize fund. Kasparov complains that he, not Anand should be playing Kasim, but is ignored. Kramnik, Anand, Leko, Topo and the sponsors work out a new championship cycle. Anand defeats Kasim. Anand and Kramnik play for the unified title. Kasparov boycotts the new cycle because he's not seeded into the finals. Kasparov is surpassed in the rankings by Anand, Kramnik and Leko. Kasparov, Chessbase and Mig begin referring to Kasparov as "World's #1 Ranked Player of All Time" and on that basis demand that Kasparov be given an immediate match with the "so-called" new champion.

Fide! We don't need no stinkin' Fide!
Bravo to Garry Kasparov for unloading this nightmare of the world chess championship! He was the thirteenth and will always be! Now, as he said, he can play in any event that will have him!
I do look at Kramnik as the legal current WCC. So let him decide where to go and how to play with that fact! Garry is currently the #1 rated chess player and deserves that position. I am sure if he was playing in Corus 2005, he would be contending for that title also! I expect Corus 2006 to be even better than this year (even with 9 rounds to go!). Who'd of thunk it! Adams + Leko in the lead after four rounds. See ya next time!

Fearless prediction, continued:

Kasparov announces that he's ceasing his promotional activities, withdrawing all his chess products from the market, and is henceforth retreating to a mountain cabin to anaylze "with my indispensable Chessmaster 1000." Kramnik and Anand sharply reduce their chess playing in favor of touring the world promoting Fritz products and glad-handing chess journalists. Daily Chessbase reports keep us up to date on Kramnik and Anand: whether they prefer Britney or Christina, whether they think O.J. is guilty, how often they trim their nails.

Emerging from his seclusion, Kasparov humbly asks to be seeded into a zonal tournament. Chessbase and Mig tell him to "shut up and stop whining." Kasparov qualifies for and wins a match for the world championship: with the white pieces he wins every game and with the black pieces he totally stifles the champion by playing Grob's Attack Reversed. In a column entitled "Oh, and By the Way, Kasparov Regains Title", Mig refers to the match as a "borefest" and citing the claims of Pono and Karpov, laments the fractured state of the chess world where no title really means anything.

The statement that you all guys want to ignore in these blogs is the clear fact that the real strongest player in this bunch of top GM is of course Kasimdzhanov.
Kramnik, Kasparov, Anand and Leko in any way avoid to play with him becouse they know instead this simple truth: they cannot win with him (ask Topalov and Adams to have confirm) and after the match they will lose their privileges with organizers.
So they want to hide this fact to public opinion and prefer this mess of undisputed match: surely they tell organizers to avoid Kasim to play.
This is their interest, the only way people can continue to belive that the real world champion is may be Kaspy or Vishy, BigVlad or Peter but not the strongest, Kasimdzhanov.
Let's organize a match between Kasim and may be Nakamura and we'll have a real world champion for next 10 years.
The others can continue every year to play their Corus and Linares and tell "I won, I'm the strongest!" and we'll smile and say "Yes guy you won, congratulations but were was Kasim the champ ?"

ROFL! This blog is priceless! and Greg koster is added to my ignore list. Btw, Kram played a beautiful game against Sokolov the other day. I couldnt figure out what was happening till he had a winning position, and I think neither could Sokolov :) Mig cant you organize a round robin between Kasp, Kram and Vish, with no talk about WC, but purely for the Chess??

Get Rid of Kirsan and make Yasser Seirawan the president of fide as most chess fans in the message boards want .

Like it or not (and even after Kramnik beat him), Kasparov was bigger than the World Championship.

That was the problem with any unification process. If Kasparov wasn't involved, unification was not seen to be credible by too many people. If he was involved, another set of people thought he was getting too many privileges.

Bickering broke out.

FIDE is and was completely useless (to put it mildly). Let's hope that the top players now ignore FIDE and sort the mess out. The ACP is the best bet here, but it is worrying that players like Pono and Topalov are already leaving it.

Kramnik could volunteer to play Kasim under ACP auspices, but hey who's going to cough up money for that.

So expect the ACP to announce some sort of Candidates tournament (interesting how quiet they've been recently - perhaps they were expected Garry to throw in the towel) with the leading suspects invited to "qualify" for a "unification" match. Hopefully, they will also announce the format for future cycles, and offer enough (guaranteed) money to keep the big guns interested.

I hope Garry keeps playing chess because he has always been good to watch (whatever you think of him personally). I don't think he will go back on his decision, because it will take too much of his time to qualify for a shot at the title. Anyway I hope he keeps out of it at least until we can all agree who the World Champion is.

Poor Kasimdzhanov. The idea that he had "earned the match against the great player Kasparov" by winning the difficult Tripoli tournament was still the best argument for that match.
I don't see, however, how that match would have been a part of the unification process, as "unification" clearly refers to the participation of all top players. There can be no unification without the participation of Kasparov, but there can also be no unification without the participation of Anand.
I wonder if there can be a unification without a new FIDE president.
At least, Kasimdzhanov will now participate in Linares, but that is hardly a compensation for the match against Kasparov.

I hope that Kasparov will now take part in the new qualification cycle. I don't understand people who seem to be happy if he doesn't play. It's always a joy to watch his games and a match Kramnik-Kasparov (after a proper qualification cycle) would be highly interesting and give us games of an amazing quality.
I also don't understand why Mig has to attack Kramnik at every occasion. Agreeing to a "unification match" against Kasimdzhanov would be in direct contradiction to everything Kramnik has ever said about his idea of the Word Champion title and reunification.

As to the next qualification cycle: why not simply take the results of all already existing elite tournaments (within a certain yet to be determined time-frame) and let the four best players (excluding the current World Champion) play matches against each other to determine the new challenger? That would be a better solution, in my opinion, than to simply take one tournament and make it a "Dortmund qualifier" (which has its own problems of legitimacy)...

The FIDE tournament is also an interesting format, not worthy of a World Championship but interesting nevertheless, and it could continue under a different name, perhaps.
But before this happens FIDE needs a "revolution from the top". Yasser, when are you going to run for president...? ;-)

Part of the problem appears to be the conflation of the World Champion Title with the Money.

Given the history of chess schisms, it appears that only FIDE can legitimize the World Championship. The stumbling block seems to be the Money: FIDE is unable to secure the necessary financial obligations.

Thus, I side with niceforkinmove: the match for the Title should be played without regard for Money. That ought to make it *much* easier to organize.

It seems to me that playing in the WC should cause a lot of pecuniary opportunities to arise for the participants, thus creating a source of indirect compensation.

FIDE stinks and we'll never get anything better until the gutless and in most cases inept national organizations quit giving lip-service to this rotting corpse. Why don't the largest national organizations get together and bury the body by making an agreement to hold qualifying (zonal) tournaments leading to a final super match (more than one competitor) every three or four years. This should please the players; the winner will be able to swagger around for a few years demanding larger fees; the losers would know that they would have an equal shot at the title in every few years.

As for this childish crap about Kasparov the cheater, Kramnik the coward, Anand the he-man chest-beater, Leko the great white hope, come on, these guys are just trying to make a living doing something that 99.999% percent of humans don't give a damn about - cut them all some slack and grow up - all of you whiners and apologists make me sick - you're the reason we're stuck with FIDE now.

Terrier wrote:
FIDE stinks and we'll never get anything better (---).

Does anyone know if there's ever been an orchestrated attempt to change from president Ilyumzhinov to anyone better? Has anybody made a survey on the position of the national organisations on how (bad) FIDE is run?

Myopic world-view: There was an interesting discussion a few weeks ago on this site about how to market chess more effectively to the US market, and I think FIDE is one of the biggest obstacles to widespread appeal. Someone brought up the NBA as a paradigm, but an organization like FIDE makes it seem more like boxing, with split champs, accusations of corruption, etc. But boxing has the advantage of blood and brute force, which draws big money.


I'm with Kasparov here. I also reeckon Kramnik is a big girl's blouse who should have played a rematch ages ago. But all that's by the by. My question is this:

We all know that FIDE ias a mess. From Campomanes through Ilyumzhinov there have been many allegations and, depending on who one reads, some proof of actual corruption. Even if one denies corruption, in pure 'business best practice' terms it is fair to say that events that should have taken place haven't, that spaonsorship has fallen by the wayside, that there is a coterie surrounding the President who are more interested in self-justification and power than in compromise and chess, that the President's roles reek of conflict of interest. (To mention nothing about the wooing of the IOC, drug testing, tournaments that effectively rule people out on grounds of race or religion, running to despotic regimes for funding, etc.)

Given all that background - can you do a piece in the Daily Dirt about FIDE and its constitutions, who are the national delegates (e.g. from Russia, the US, the UK), how are they chosen/elected and who by for how long; about how motions might be tabled expressing no confidence in the current regime; about what it is that has stopped delegates taking back their Federation and moving it on; and so forth.

At the end of the day, the biggest crime in chess is that we chess-players have allowed FIDE to ***k things up for so long. So why not out what it is we have to do to take power back? Over to you.

I'm not sure I follow you but I did see a poll of chess fans who overwhelmingly want a cycle of long matches. Where do you get the idea a qualifyign tournament gets any legitimacy? The FIDE KOs? Please show me any type of poll that suggests chess fans are more interested in Keeping the FIDE KO type system with thier mini mini mathces and rapid tie breaks. Nobody plays in that either.

As far as money: the top rated players (except Kasparov) in the world are in WAZ playing 14 games. How much money do you think the players there will average for this tournament? I think if They were each playing one on one matches the interest would be at least as high. Given that the real world championship woudl be at stake it woudl be much much higher.

If my two points are kept sacred the system would work. It would attract more and more money after it establishes itself. Sticking with half baked single tournament qualifiers only digs us into a deeper hole becaue the overall legitimacy of the title takes a hit.

What I think is needed is a fresh start. No money is needed. If the money is the obstacle, I see no reason to not play where they are already. Let just declare the next Corus a fresh start, invite top 14 players... or even better, top 7 and make it double round... We can have a WC tournament every year. Yes, would not be like a match, but my life span is limited.

"Folks, Elvis has *definitely* left the building ... "

FIDE couldn't get a match with Kasparov involved. What are they going to do now that they cannot even use such a big name?

Bye bye sponsors.

If only FIDE had taken Ali Nihat's offer, we'd all be following the match rather than talking about it not happening.


I do believe you will break your record for comments with this one!

As it stands, I can't fault Kasparov for this, really. I can't fault much of anyone, other than FIDE. They get the lion's share for this mess, and the rest seems like it should be divided amongst nearly everyone else.

What do I hope will happen? I'm not sure we need a world champion anymore, to be honest. Most other sports do just fine without them. I'd say that of popular sports, chess has most in common with golf (the tournaments without eliminations and with large fields, world rankings determined by a formula), and they don't have a world championship - just majors. It's a very wonderful and romantic idea to have a world champion, but maybe it's an outdated idea that needs to go. Right now, it seems to be causing more trouble than it's worth.

Hey! Where the hell are the singin' cats?!

Golf isn't one agaisnt another. Its tough to see how you caould have a world championship in golf. We can have football without a superbowl, soccer without a world cup, no world series in baseball, NBA championships and no championships in boxing. But not nearly as many people woudl be interested. Watch how many fans show up to watch a football team after its clear they won't be in the playoffs versus one that is in or may be in dependign on the outcome.
I do not think its a good idea to jsut have one regular season chess game after another after another. Sure ratings minutely change after each game but its boring. The drama doesn't come close to what a legitimate world championship cycle would bring.

The virulent Kasparov-haters (Greg Koster, niceforkinmove, acirce) have done their usual job of reminding us that Kasparov demanded seeding into the final.

Guys, you're forgetting something. Why was Kasparov able to do this? The answer is that a championship that includes Kasparov is far more commercially valuable than one that leaves him out. You seem to blame him for Prague as if he did this unilaterally. Last I checked, there were other signatories to Prague besides Kasparov. All of them, for whatever set of reasons, believed at the time that this deal was in their best interest. If you want to blame anyone, blame everyone who signed on to Prague--not just Kasparov.

Whether his seeding was *fair* is debatable--I can see a reasonable argument both ways. But the fact is, not merely that Kasparov wanted it, but that a whole bunch of other people wanted it too.

What is the deep psychological need for a "world champion" in chess? OrangeKing has it exactly right; the time has come to do away with the whole thing. The way I see it, there are two options:

1. Develop a more dynamic rating system (or use $ like golf) and then determine the #1 player each year from tournament and match play.

2. Develop a yearly "season" which ends with a tournament and crowns that years "champion." (think March Madness for chess)

Chess can either follow a golf/tennis model (option #1), or that of every other major sport (option #2). But the boxing model of a "world championship" match that occurs every few (or many) years has to go.

Yes, there are pros and cons to each of the above options. But either one would be better than the mess that is present now. Do we really know who the best chess player of the past year or two is? This blog and the ninja message boards are full of "my guy is the best" arguments precisely because it hasn't been settled OTB.

You can argue that neither of the above models gives us the "best" player. But does that really matter? Do we really believe that the winner of the NBA/NFL/NCAA/NHL finals was the "best" team that year? Do fans really care? What is important, is that fans know and understand the system by which champions are crowned. And if only the chess world would develop a system, I believe that it would attract more fans and more financial backing.

Just my $.02

I love how we all continue to bicker about who's right, who sucks and what is best for reunification.

The fact is, any possibility of a satisfactory reunification is now gone. Why? Because our super chess players and chess fans are too obsessed with following their hero's best interests and cannot put aside their stupid silly arguments of who's avoiding who, so-and-so is a coward, and who has his nose shoved up someone's behind.

We all suck, we really do. We should be ashamed of ourselves and of what we did to our game and our World Championship. Chessplayers are some of the smartest, dumbest, hard-working and laziest group of people I know. And we wonder why we play in tournaments in which 1st place gets $50?

Frankly, I'm disgusted with the Chess World. The only thing worth doing now, is trying to improve and learn for our own satisfaction, vent our frustration on the Chess World by imagining our opponents to be Kirsan, Kasparov or Kramnik, and support good people like Maurice Ashley who actually seem to give a dam about chess.

Best regards,
A very disgruntled patzer

World Championship match play is dead. Ad hoc events for the title have no future. The only way at the present time to stage a world championship is to use the existing organizations and resources of high profile tournaments. They are the only ones who have proven to be reliable and reliability is the key.

Now Kasparov is out, the last hope we have is both Champions Kramnik & Kasim play the unification match may be for a low prize.

I see I'm described as a "virulent Kasparov-hater". That is blatantly wrong and I don't know why you say that. I don't have very strong feelings at all about him or any other player. (OK, perhaps Short.) I do believe that he has done more harm than good for the chess world when he's not actually playing. Prague was a compromise, a necessary evil. It favoured the world's then strongest player but violated reasonable principles and created a legitimacy problem. With him out of the way nobody will have to care about such things. By this I clearly differentiate between chess and chess politics. I surely hope he will play in an eventual unified cycle.

Kasparov's decision is understandable. He says he is out of chess politics, and is back to chess itself. Good news. IMHO, he'll be back in chess politics soon. He is fighter by his nature, can't live without war, and participating in Russian political battles vs. Putin would not last long, IMHO. But for now this does not matter.

Here is the situation: for unification we had the FIDE WC Pono, and highest rated player Kasparov. Pono was replaced by Kasim. Now Kasparov is out. What if we replace him with Anand, rated No.2, and winner plays with Kramnik? Kramnik - Anand is event everybody is interested in watching, especially if the winner becomes the unified WC.
And this is pretty fair solution, I'd say.
Just look at history:
In 1998, Anand and Kramnik, as the world’s two highest rated players after Kasparov, were invited to play a match to determine a Challenger for Kasparov. Anand declined his invitation due to the financial reasons, and was replaced by Shirov. Shirov defeated Kramnik, but declined a bid for a $600,000 prize fund from California, expecting that a better prize fund would be forthcoming. It did not come, and Shirov never played Kasparov for the title.
In 2000, Anand, then the world’s second highest rated player, was again invited to play a world championship match directly with Kasparov. When this plan collapsed, Kramnik, the third highest rated player, was invited to play Kasparov, despite having lost a qualifying match (against Shirov). By now, though, Shirov had slipped significantly down the rating list. Kramnik won and became the World Champion.

The whole story is about money. If the participants agree on playing for the best bid available, it can proceed. If they don't - they get nothing.

This is a great oportunity for Kramnik. He needs to choose somebody, anybody really, and set up a World Championship Match (the 2005 Corus Champion would be a great choice). Then, while waiting for that match, he needs to work with the ACP and set up a Championship Cycle. The cycle should have seeding based upon world rankings (much like a tennis tourneyment). I think it would be best to elevate an existing tournament, like Corus, to be the official qualifier (every other year). The date and location of the next World Championship should be solidified before the qualifier, then add niceforkinmove's two points and a cycle is born.

With Kasparov out of the picture, the World Championship IS unified. Kramnik is the World Champion. If he uses that clout NOW and immediately sets up a new Championship defense match, the chess world will have to follow him (he could also deal FIDE a knockout punch). If Kramnik waits, the oportunity will pass quickly (maybe a month window, maybe only a week, FIDE will act soon, Kramnik should act first)

Neuro doc:
Your system is exactly what FIDE is doing! Nobody likes it. Maybe the ratign system isn't as dynamic as you like but its there. They also have a yearly KO tournament. Kasim and Pono won the last two. No one really thinks this is right. What you and many other sho want a tournament champion are arguing for our current system! You jsut want every one to accpet it but they don't.

BTW yes if you win the superbowl, world series, or NBA championship you are generally considered the best team. Your regular season play gets you to the playoffs. In chess your regualr game tournament performance yields a rating which shoudl get you seeded into match "play offs." If you are a NFL fan your hope is to see your team win the superbowl. You don't hope they win thier division (this woudl be the equivalent of winning a big chess torunament tournament) Always you are hopping for the big crown. Unfortunately in chess we just have one regular season game after another after another and people wonder why its not more popular!

WC candidates matches currently are dead and our system currently is a mess. Is it that hard to fill in the blank?


Kramnik needs to step up and say he will play the winner of a certain tournament for a title match (providing a specific date (and location if possible), hopefully 2006). Making this type of statement would also solidify him as the World Champion and give him a defined opportunity to defend and re-legitimize his title.

The new cycle, along with at least the date for the next championship (and hopefully the location), would need to be solidified BEFORE the 2006 title match.

All this nonsense about the World title in chess is making me laugh. First, Chess is like boxing all you need is an organization that controls a good some of money and a title belt, a way of ranking fighters and someone who can promote good fights. Chess has a way of ranking fighters thanks to the FIDE.That is the only thing FIDE does well. Rather than complain I will offer some solutions and create a format to organize chess and create a professional format that has integrity, is performance based and lucrative for the players and is respected by the fans around the world. I am going to promote Chess as the sport of Intellectual Boxing and I am creating an organization called the IBF- Intellectual Boxing Federation. From now on chess players are known as Intellectual Boxers and will be promoted as such. This is my job as a promoter, to create interest in the sport, generate funding for great fights, maintain the integrity of the rankings so the sport is considered fair, and finally crown a champion and ensure that the boxers are well paid and help to promote the sport to ensure its growth. Today the IBF (Intellectual Boxing Federation) has been formed. As the promoter of this new sport I need all of your help. We have all complained about the state of chess,now is the time to improve it and raise it's status. Become a part of the IBF. Share your thoughts and ideas. Help to create a great organization that we can all be proud of. To get things moving we can creat our first title fight. We can create what others have failed to do. We can get Gary Kasparov to agree to fight for the title. As the number one contender he has this right. He has also been good for intellectual boxing and out of respect we give him this opportunity. The current World Champion is Vladimir Kramnik. He has shown in the past that he is a true fighter and willing to defend his title. Lets get these two together to fight for a $2,000,000 purse!!! $1,200,000 to the winner and $800,000 to the loser. A match of 13 fights. The challenger must score 7 to win the IBF belt. I need sponsorship, I need people with some ideas and experience, I need two fighters and I need a fan base. Please do your fair share and send me an email at tomcat228@hotmail.com Thanks Thomas L.Grady

Everyone reads what they like into what Kasparov said, despite the apparent simplicity. Kasparov is out of "chess championship politics," not chess politics or chess championships. If somebody pops up with unification money and wants Kasparov to play, great.

Kasparov has committed various sins and errors, no doubt. What I don't understand is why some people keep saying (over and over despite correction) that he hasn't admitted them, or that I haven't. Of course Kasparov and Short broke up the chess world in 1993. Of course Kasparov (and FIDE) wanted a shortcut to a match with Kramnik. That doesn't mean rapid unification as planned in 2002 in Prague was a terrible idea. Implementation was terrible and sponsorship overestimated. They tried, they failed, turn the page.

Those calling for a new qualification cycle (supposedly something that will appear by magic), don't say what it is a qualification FOR. Ilyumzhinov and Kramnik's title were at odds before Kasparov was in the picture.

Awesome! and now, playing the part of Don King, is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.


Here's a pat on the back for Kasparov! Look....for a supposedly 'professional' organization, FIDE is woefully UN-professional (UN being remarkably similiar to United Nations...and they get about the same amount of work done.....NOTHING).

If you are an amature player, then perhaps you can live with continued delays and false promises "for the good of the chess community". BUT.....as a professional player who has through the years garnered the necessary credibility and accolades...... whose livelihood and entire life evolve around chess and its promotion, and being dependant upon a COMPLETELY impotent organization to organize your well-deserved challenges...... eternal patience at that point is not a virtue.

The ONLY way FIDE is going to change is when they completely lose all credibility with the top rated players and start losing money because no one wants to deal with them. Start circumventing their wallets and they will change their leadership to people who CAN get something done.

Fide has lost all legitimity. I wonder why all the national federations (like the french federation) remain silent about this scandal.

The qualification cycle will be to win the Title Kramnik holds. It won't be a "unified" title but the problem before really wasn't that Kirsan wasn't involved it was that kasparov never had any set way to qualify for the title when he held it. I'm not here to blame him or anyone. In that time we learned lessons though.

One lesson is that if you want to have a match you can't demand money like we used to. I think with time once the cycle is established it will draw more and more money, but not right away. the matches with Shirov and Anand seemed to go south becasue of financial reasons. The pono match went down becasue there were not yet conditions that all had agreed to. Kasim's match went south because we were told about nonexistant financial guarantees.

And of course both Pono and Kasim matches were scrapped in part because everyone knew other people were more qualified to compete for the real championship title than they were. The fact that they won a single tournament based on rapid and blitz chess wasn't convincing. Thus noone really cared to watch.

Had Pono won a 6 game match agaisnt(name any top 20 palyer) an 8 game match agaisnt Judith Polgar and a 12 game match aginst Anand then I think there would be no problem considering that he was qualified to play. If the challenger does something like that then there will indeed be a big deal made of world chess championships again.

Kramnik an agent along with ACP can set ground rules and develop a cycle. No magic necessary.

As far as golf I think chess already has everythign Golf has. I don't think its an 'either or" situation. We can continue to have large tournaemnts like Linares Dortmund And WAZ and have a WCC cycle as well.

For those who don't think matches are important to chess ask anywone to "name any big chess events they can think of" I bet you hear more FIscher v. spassky, Kasprov v. Karpov, and even Deep blue v. Kasparov before you will hear anyone name WAZ 2001 or dortmund 2002 or Linares 1994. Chess has always been a wonderful sport for the big matches this is just a fact that we have not taken advantage of.

Niceforkinmove makes a nice point that match sponsorship is a lot easier to get when both players appear to be legitimate. There are not many money names in chess. Garry Kasparov is one of them. Rustam Kasimdzhanov is not.

Analogies to other sports are really not relevant. Whichever sport you choose, they have one thing chess doesn't have: massive interest from the general public. If you could get as many people to sign up to watch a chess game as there are for a PPV boxing championship on HBO, sponsorship would NOT be a problem.

Some of the posts here suggested that Kasparov's withdrawal is unfair to Kasimdzhanov, and that Kaspy should have consulted Kasimdzhanov before announcing his decision. I disagree. Kasparov has no agreement with Kasimdzhanov. It should be axiomatic that you can't be accused of breaking an agreement you don't have in the first place.

Is Kasimdzhanov disappointed by Kasparav's decision? Most likely he is. But he is not a signatory to the Prague Agreement, and he therefore has a pretty weak case for complaining that it hasn't been fulfilled. Obviously a match with Kasparov would benefit him enormously, but that doesn't mean Kasparov is obligated to hang around indefinitely waiting for it to happen.

I found it curious that Kasparov's press release didn't mention Kramnik's comments after his match with Leko, in which Kramnik strongly suggested that he didn't plan to abide by the Prague agreement even if a Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov match were held. This had to have figured in Kasparov's thinking. Even if FIDE somehow managed to deliver the goods, it might not matter anyway.

1st time post...

I feel compelled to revist a great point made by Mig.

Mig, "Just as Kasparov discovered the allure of the rematch after he lost, Kramnik got religion regarding qualifiers after he won."

This is good stuff. I have heard/read quite a bit about Kasparov's hypocrisy re the rematch provision and very little about Kramnik's new found religion on qualifiers.

Where were Kramnik's "principles" when he stepped in front of Shirov back in 2000?!?

Of course, NOW, finding a challenger means sticking to his "principles of fairness".

Thanks for the insight Mig.

As for a solution.....

Here’s what I would like to see:

Someone need’s to start a website. I suggest Mig, Yasser Seirwan, Joel Lautier, et.al. Mig, your “quick and dirty” US Champ site was AWESOME!

The purpose of this new site would be to solicit $5 bucks from chessplayers all over the world. All of this money goes into a fund to sponsor a MEGA-KEGA-SUPER-DUPER world chess championship tournament.

Who’s invited? The top 16 players on the rating list as of July 1 2005. The first round of the tourney starts in October 2005…# 1 (Kasparov) plays an 8 game match against # 16, #2 plays an 8 game match against #15, and so on. (winners $20,000; losers $10,000)

Round two is in January 2006 – 10 game matches. (winners $40,000; losers $20,000)

Round three is in April 2006 – 12 game matches. (winners $60,000; losers $30,000)

Round four is in July 2006 – 14 game match. (winner $1,000,000; loser $500,000)

Total payout $2,160,000 if my quick math is correct.

I would gladly pay five bucks for this. If a million chess fans would ante-up, we would have a 5 million dollar purse to increase the numbers above and pay for administrative fees. Some might give more, some less.

If all the players participated, getting some corporate sponsorship would be very likely as well. If AF4C can do it for much lower rated players in the US, surely a handful of honest, intelligent, hard-working individuals could do it for this event. There’s something about these governing bodies that makes them so incompetent (Here, I mean the USCF in addition to FIDE. The US championship was going in the tank before Erik and Yasser saved the day.).

Chess friends, I have a dream…

I think when Ponomariov dropped out then FIDE should have declared Kasparov the winner of that match by default. it was insane to have a qualifier allowing a new player to enter the fray Kasimzanoff.

this was suppose to be a UNIFICATION. a unification of the present top players. they left out Anand. the first big mistake. then they bring in an unknown Kasim. No one really gave Ponomariov any credence as the champ. and why whould any one give Kasim any credence as champ.

NO they left out Anand to find out who among a small group was the best. they should have disqualified Pono for not playing and just continued with Kasparov declared the winner of that part of the unification. then we would not have this mess. an unknown Kasim comes out of nowhere and Kasparov wants big money for a match. well there is no chance of getting big money with an unknown when Anand is passed up.

the primary idea of the unification was to do a fast unification and then move on to a regular cycle. but FIDE did not do a fast finding out who was the best. they diddled and daddled and farted around. blowing gas and going no where.

by now we are suppose to be well into the next cycle. Anand is suppose to be included. they told Anand in 2002. dont worry. sorry we left you out but this is going to be fast and you will get back into the next cycle in 2 years. well it is already later than that. they managed to bring in an unknown person ( Kasim ) but continued to leave out a legit title contender in Anand.

if FIDE were to replace Ponomariov then it should have been with Anand NOT with Kasim. Kasim just is not going to bring in the big money needed to stage the match with the players so hungry for cash. People would have put up a reasonable money for Kasparov Anand match.

Now FIDE knew this. they failed to get a match with Shirov and Kasparov. and Shirov was much better known than Kasim. so they should have matched Anand and Kaspy or just passed by Kasim and seeded Kaspy into the next round.

The next step has to be to bring Anand into the match. Bring Anand vs Kramnik that should be able to raise some money for that match. i think people will like to watch that match. then the winner of that match can challenge Kasparov. the money will come into that match.

for Kasim, he should be invited to some big tourneyments and lets see how he does. he has to prove himself in more than one tourneyment. he has to build up his ability to attract money.

Kaspy may be the big gun that's going off but FIDE is the finger that's pulling the trigger. B@stards

Everybody unify now: one double round-robin tournament for the top 10 of the current rating list. Whoever chickens out will be replaced by #11 etc. The winner will be everybody's One and Only Official Unified World Champion.

Linnares? Wijk aan Zee? Dortmund? Moscow? Elista??

Any other takers?

the unification plan created in Prague in 2002 was a train wreck waiting to happen. i think the best way to build a world chess championship format is to think small instead of trying to get large prize money and sponsorships.just a idea from a avid chess fan :)

I have been reading about chess at all the major Web sites for years, but this is my very first post. Many of you have made insightful comments about this situation; here are my thoughts:

1. Mig, you're a great writer and may be the best "real life" chess journalist out there, but you're too close to Kasparov and it has long since hurt your credibility as well as Chessbase's. Others here have pointed that out, and they are correct. You could be a great ambassador for chess, but first you have to stop breaking kneecaps for Kasparov.

2. I have never joined the USCF simply because I know some part of that membership money underwrites FIDE, directly or indirectly. That means I have no official rating, but so be it. I refuse to endorse Kirsan's incompetence. Undoubtedly, there are hundreds or thousands of other would-be national chess federation members out there like me, so I suspect the true costs of this debacle are far larger than most people realize.

3. I disagree with everyone who says the traditional three-year championship cycle should be scrapped. Until Kasparov split from FIDE, the cycle was a cultural milestone similar to the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup, with a rich history and colorful characters--an intellectual novelty that everyone understood was special, even if they didn't understand the moves. That is what drew press coverage, and that is what would draw advertisers. The Associated Press electing to drop its dedicated press coverage a year or two back should have told everyone that these new championship processes were already dead, because no one cared anymore. In my opinion, everything that has taken place since the AP backed out has been a complete waste of time.

To use a clumsy metaphor: three year WC cycle=NFL football. KO gimmicks and "Super Real Actual #1 Champion of the World"=XFL football. People know the difference, even if they don't know an opening from an endgame.

4. FIDE under Kirsan has, of course, been the worst thing to happen to chess in its history. But if we can learn anything from the last 10 years it's that there is no viable alternative to FIDE. In my opinion, that issue is not even worth debating anymore. If a group of arguably the best minds on the planet could not come up with a good alternative over the course of a decade, it's not because they haven't thought of it yet or because they haven't heard your take on it yet. It's because it doesn't exist.

Rather than trying to draft FIDE Alternative Plan Z, GMs need to pressure their national federations to cut off Kirsan ASAP and put a credible and significant figure in charge--Yasser is the obvious choice, well known around the world and widely respected in the game. Chess needs an arbiter with moral authority, not a sugar daddy. Many others have pointed this out.

5. As for Kasparov and Kramnik, of course they are brilliant chess players. But Brazil are the best soccer team in the world, and they still "submit" to a two-year qualification cycle for the World Cup just like everyone else. They are not bigger than the game and don't pretend to be, and soccer journalists would s--t themselves if Brazil announced their own private World Cup matches and qualifiers and claimed legitimacy on the basis of their past success. (Note to Mig: that's what journalists do--they hold big egos accountable. They don't enable them.)

The biggest mistake Kirsan ever made was accepting the Prague Agreement, which essentially endorsed the view that there are individuals in chess who are bigger than the game itself. No wonder Ponomariov thought he could set his own rules for the WC match--everyone else around him was doing the same thing!

The biggest mistake we as chess fans ever made was enthusiastically seeing Prague as anything other than an elevation of a few players above the game itself. Prague may have been structurally sound and politically brilliant, but it was morally flawed. No one can be bigger than the game, or the game will go away, as we're all witnessing. I don't blame Yasser for that--he did the best he could with a filthy situation.

That's why I think all this debate about who is more selfish, Kramnik or Kasparov or even Kirsan, completely misses the point. They have all done their fair share to bring chess to its lowest point in history (and we'll leave aside the breathtaking cynicism of Kasparov literally writing his OWN chess history even as the chess world imploded). The fact is, all three need to go if we have any hope of restoring real, historical, and widely recognized legitimacy to this process. That's why I think the real debate should focus on how to show all three men to the exit as quickly as possible so we can do the hard work of cleaning up the considerable mess they have gifted us.

Thanks for reading! And I still love chess. Damn it.

"Those calling for a new qualification cycle (supposedly something that will appear by magic), don't say what it is a qualification FOR. Ilyumzhinov and Kramnik's title were at odds before Kasparov was in the picture." - MIG

MIG, I don't understand you saying these things. First, most of us out here have never given any legitimacy to the FIDE knock-out 'world championships'. I ignore them. I don't see why people even bring them into the discussion quite frankly. Who cares that Kasim or Pono won a quick chess tournament, even if it was strong (especially after not allowing Israili players in the last one)?

Second, your sentence on the cycle makes no sense. No one suggested the cycle appear by magic. We suggested that the ACP and FIDE sit down and hammer out details of a cycle. If FIDE refuses then all honorable national federations should sit down with ACP and hammer one out and cut FIDE out. The cycle would obviously be for producing a challenger for the world title. Many have expressed the fact that we like the old way it was done, with zonals, interzonals, and matches leading to a challenger. I just don't get your questions in this regard.

Horrible situation and politics around WCC is Kasparov's own creation. He was the one who broke away from FIDE and created rival championship. We never had a proper world champion after that.
Though, I don't know why Chess world is so keen on world champion title. A lot of other sports don't have anything like it and they are thriving more than ever. I am personally in favor of proper rating system (other than ELO) which gives us the best player of an year just like tennis.

Who cares about Fide and their problems. Kramnik is the legitimate World Champion and will remain World Champion until someone defeats him. The need for a reunification was just an illusion, a very unnecessary illusion...

I hold FIDE and Ilyumzhinov more responsible than Kasparov for the mess. Sure, he and Short (always forgotten) broke away with the title because FIDE was (as now) a corrupt mess. They tried to start a better system, and even succeeded for a few years with the PCA. This isn't to say the 93 split wasn't a mistake, as Kasparov has admitted.

FIDE's reaction and future actions were disastrous. Instead of recognizing that Kasparov was still the legit champ and Short the challenger, they held the bizarre Karpov-Timman match and continued with a parallel cycle. FIDE and the PCA played a game of chicken for the next three years, waiting for the other side to cave in. Then Intel pulled out of the PCA and Ilyumzhinov took over FIDE.

Had FIDE stuck with the classical cycle, Kasparov would have been marginalized after 1995. A new champion produced by interzonals, candidates matches, and a long match, would have left Garry out in the cold. He would have been forced to either play a unification match or join the FIDE cycle at some point. Instead, the knock-outs were easy to ridicule, especially since Vishy won the first one only to have to face Karpov two days later in another country (after having to book his own flight!).

I've always sustained that Kramnik holds the classical title. It has become somewhat diluted because the Dortmund qualifier was badly flawed. FIDE is not relevant because of its KO championship title. It is relevant because it is the world chess federation and the national federations and the players they represent should have a voice. Of course we know that in its current state FIDE doesn't represent anyone but Ilyumzhinov.

But in theory, the classical title should be together with the global federation. Pretending that FIDE doesn't exist is not helpful. I agree that if they don't participate in unification discussions they should be ignored, however. I'm just not sure Ilyumzhinov is willing to give up so easily and call Kramnik the only champion. I'd certainly have no problem with that.

Mark Crowther at TWIC hit it when he pointed out that when they are done celebrating Kasparov's exit, the ACP now have to put their money where their mouths have been and make something happen. Everybody has been sitting around "open to ideas." We need to see a cycle of some sort soon. Maybe this will be a catalyst. The last ACP News doesn't mention it.

Somehow, they all seem a bunch of spoiled lunatics. Even had the Kasparov, Krammnik match occurred, it would have still been a farce without Anand ever having been part of the picture. Try this one on for size, since most of these guys have all the bread they will need for the next ten years, why not say the top ten rated in the world all get together to decide on a long qualifying tourney, draw up their own rules, then, wonder of wonders, then all sit down for a nice month long elimination tourney, till its whittled down to the last two, that is IF chess means even enough to them for a month or so out of their lives, then let the final two play another month, a game a day, and if at the end of those, if still tied, let both be declared joint champions, and another match held in a few months if they both decide they wanna, though very likely in thirty games somebody would come out ahead. The long and short of it is this: all of these guys with such putative megabrains are starting to look very very retarded trying to come up with who is really the best among them. Hell, let them all toss fifteen or twenty thousand in, winner take all, if it comes down to needing a little money for incentive, just like some of the big time poker shootouts: None of them are showing many smarts now, or are trying very hard for any kind of a real shoot out. So let them go on playing this and that stupid tourney, one after another, and chess players all over the world will continue to show the entire lot of them the indifferance they so richly deserve.

At last!!! Good News. Garry - Big player, Big problem. From now the chess world should recover from illness. Maybe Garry will be more useful to the chess when he just plays chess not politics. An hey give back money to A. Shirov!!!

Dear Kasparov, I am happy to see that you have made a decision for yourself. None may understand the pain and suffering you have been through. It is true that everyone has a high and low point in their life's cycle. You were at the height of your career for many years, you accomplished many great things during your 20 something year career, and you have yet to accomplish even more..... I believe you brought about great significant changes to the world of chess. People do not realize how much you have put into this thing we call "chess", which is not just a game anymore but a necesity, a study everyone must take in their lives. You, for example, have changed the way people think and use chess by promoting chess computers and games between man and computer programs. These times are difficult for you however. Like all the other great champions of the past, you find yourself having to reclaim a title once too valuable and belonging only to you. You now realize the political and economic struggles you must confront and overcome in the process. And again, as I said earlier, people may not understand what you are dealing with, how frustating and painful it is having to put up with all this stress and playing with your mind being committed by those who make promises that cannot be fulfilled. Believe me, I understand your frustration and discomfort. I, however, do not think you should have given up so quickly. You owe it to yourself to fight through this difficulties, and remember that many other chess champions like Capablanca and Fisher to name a few struggled through difficult times similar to the one you are facing today. Perhaps some are intending to stop you from acomplishing your goal of being world champion again. You are still at the height of your career and, as you yourself know, only you can reclaim that title, only you, Gary Kasparov, can prove yourself as the new worldchampion. No one has the right to stop you from having what rightfully belongs to you. No one can. No one will, not unless you, Gary Kasparov, stop yourself from it. I am not just encouraging you to give yourself and FIDE a second chance. No, rather, I am merely stating what I think is rightfully yours to do. You have your liberty of mind and judgment. You can decide to walk away from the world of chess, continue playing at whatever level of competition you wish to participate in, or just plainly retire. But as your spirit is young and your heart evermore desires to be challenged and participate in competitions, you must try to maintain a certain balance in your career and keep yourself focus at all times. Do not lose sight of what is really important my friend. Do not in the least allow your enemies to succeed at what they know is your weakness. You are still the best, and who doubts it? I think many appreciate your talent and energy. People become fearful of an opponent who is much capable and skillful than they. And this makes them criticize and ridicule their opponent, hoping that he will forever quit at what he does best. But at the same time, your stregth and skills has caused for many young and old talented players to continue practicing and improving their game. Certainly, many kids have desired to be like you. And who can deny it? Forgive me if my words seems to flatter. It is not my intention to praise you. Just that your letter was very personal and it moves my heart to communicate to you what I think is right or wrong about your decision. Wishing you the best this new year. Yours truly, Alberto Betancourt.

Like as Ponomariov was replaced by the next FIDE-champ Kasimjanov, exactly in that the same way rating-number-1 Kasparov can to be also replaced by the next rating-number -Anand . . .

Wholeheartedly agree with alberto. i find Kasparov's letter sincere and heartfelt, the way most of the things he has ever said have been, instead of just a move on a chesspolitical board (why do people always think the two things should be mutually exclusive? The best chess player is never just a logician, but always also a romantic..)

Garry Kasparov, you are still number 1 in the world, and certainly i can not be the only one who considers you to be most worthy of WC title. i for one am still awaiting for you to reclaim it.

Until such time, success for you in whatever you might wish to pursue, and am looking forward to seeing you play in many many tournaments, winning, with or without the title :)


I have to say, Eigis's comment is one of the best I've seen all day. Replacing Kasparov with Anand would be so perverse and such a mad twist that I can see Ilyumzhinov doing it! I can't believe it didn't even occur to me. Full speed ahead over the cliff! Plus, it would be hysterical to see so many people who attacked Kasparov and FIDE about favoritism suddenly change their minds and say it's a great idea because 1) Anand has had a good year and 2) he's not Kasparov. Brilliant. Oh please, please!

FIDE failed this time mainly because they had bad luck (this was also bad news for Kaspy) when getting a champion of Kasim's calibre. They needed someone like Adams, Topalov or Ivanchuk as their silly 'FIDE World Champion'. It is obvious that no one is really interested in throwing in a million bucks to finance a non-match (de facto) between Kaspy and a considerably weaker(although still a pretty strong) player Kasimdzhanov.

FIDE needs to recognize now the fact that their 'Knowckout Championship'scheme has been a failure all along and soon desperately enter a serious co-operation with ACP and The Champion Kramnik in order to create a cycle to find the next challenger. The top 16 (excluding Kramnik) + Kasim enter the cancidates' matches. Someone refusing will be replaced with the next strongest choice below the top 16. If Kasim is smart he won't object to this, because he should know that no one really thinks that he is World Champion - he justhappened to be in a good form and won an exciting (but a not a world championship) knockout tournament.

As for Kasparov: bravo, Garry! This was your best move in a long time! It was time to stop this nonsense that has been dragging on way too long. If you want to get back the title just look for the new opportunity - it will be there sooner or later. We all know the level of your game: you don't need any priviledges when having a shot at the title. Just let your game do the talking and see what happens.

I am especially disappointed that the FIDE wch mess prevented Kasparov from playing at Corus. Can you imagine Wijk aan Zee with Kaspy in the pool? It would turn into a de-facto World Championship in many people's eyes with the top 10 chess players going head-to-head in a classic tournament.

I also think that his desire to play Wijk aan Zee shows that he is feeling strong. After performing well (2855) and winning the Russian Championship and seeing some of the crazy chess in the first few rounds of Corus this year, Kasparov must wish he was there kicking ass and sitting atop the crosstable.

It's a great pity that the chess world is in such a shambles. Despite being utterly devalued Kramnik is still the guy who holds the title. i think a linares type tournament with the winner to play kramnik would help make progress. if kramnik refuses his title would be taken away and the no.1 and no.2 in linares would play for title. as kramnik doesnt play linares this year it's even better. whoever emerged with the title would be perceived as the legit world champion in my view

Kasparov have enough?
Not of money, for sure!

What about turn that FIDE rating upside down
Because then I will be right there on the "top"
Playing chess for pleasure
Alone with no many tounaments around.
It because I m chessplayer,
I can play broke and for nothing.

Fernando Lisboa Morena.

A brave move by kasparov. All those who think this is a cowardly move by garry are cowards themselves.

Kramnik is the last world champion this world will ever have.

Without kasparov gone its all gone.

Without ideas we get nowhere.

1st idea:

A group of chessidealists gathers together and convinces Bill Gates and Microsoft to be the sponsor of the Microsoft Chess World Championship to be held every 2nd year for at least 24 years in row. This is no unification, but on the other hand if it lifts off, it could very well become the common sense "real" chess championship.

The qualificational system will allways be an issue.

A GM-title with 2700+ should IMHO give direct acces to the OTB-tourney.

With Microsoft in the picture and with the innovational mach 10 speed of the internet and IT it seems logical to use the web for qualificational rounds.

How to settle this is difficult. But it would make it interesting if all players could play the web-blitz-tourney and have at least a theoretical chance of moving on. To attract the attention and excitement that chess needs.
Every chessinterested person with computeracces in the world, can compete and tell everyone they know, that they are competing in the chessworldchampionship. Well they get knocked out in the first round, but still "it's heavy marketing"... for chess and for the sponsor.

2nd idea:

Many in this thread has made statements that chess is no sport for sponsors. I disagree.

What we need is e.g. tv and professional commentators. I understand the top hands of poker, but I do not know the "opening-theory" of poker at all, which is the odds of that hand versus this hands with these known cards a.s.o.
But the "world poker tour" has caugth my attention because the speakers are excited:
"Is it a ten? Is it a ten? It's a four! and noone can use that card!"
Honestly how exciting is that? I
don't care for american football either. I don't understand it, it's boring and it stops all the time. But they have commentators that sounds excactly the same way. And they MAKE IT exciting. This is of course a way to lure people into the possible deeper levels of the game, to get more viewers and to get good sponsors.

In Denmark there are an estimated ½ million people who play chess on a regular basis. Only 6000 of them are clubplayers.

When you apply for sponsors you have to focus on the amount of chessplayers as a whole. Chess is a superior game. And it is a sport with at least 100 times more unregistered players than registered. So of course there is money in top chess and a chess-tv-channel.

Maybe the future will provide the solutions we need with combinations of TV and the web?

Would Anand actually agree to replacing Kasparov considering his "man of my word" principle? Anand certainly is the only man after Kasparov (and perhaps Fischer) to pulll any kind of sponsorship considering his ties to the big Indian companies, but without Kasparov it is all truly gone.

It's very sad. At least Garry will be around to createw some more masterpieces before he kicks the chessboard. It will be very strange if he remains Number 1 for another 2-3 years and doesn't play a part in politics. it will make so many top players and FIDE look like fools.

Champagne for FIDE leaders and penuts for the rest of us

I live in a country of 177 million people and many of them don´t know that chess even exists and it happens because not many here cares about quality of education, that is why not many promote chess in Brazil. It seems a lot more easier to give them a ball or TV instead of a chessboard or a book because if so, they must give something more: study. It s clear that without help South America will not grow in chess.

Why FIDE don´t try to organize and stimulate the development of chess in the world?

Why FIDE won t work for all the players in the world? FIDE get paid for it!

Fide has our money but spends it only on top players. They get all the best for themselves but what about millions of ordinary chessplayers? What about people outside Europe?

Many people in the world have been giving money for their countries but get nothing in return! Why should we do the same for those leading on FIDE ?

As an exemple of stupidity we have the Brazilian championship played in many states divided in many turns. Brazil is an enormous country! Who can afford that? Why don?t organise it in one or two weeks at a single place?

Kasparov´s claim is justified but the damage done by FIDE to the top players is little compared to what has been done to those players at the botton. What hope can they have if even the rules aren t firmly stated or stated against them?

The truth is that FIDE never promotes chess but their own interests and fellows.

It s a pity that chess has to face so many troubles to arise globally in the hands of such incompetent and opportunistic people. It is a shame that even chess can be turned to corruption and desillusion. I used to say to my pupils that chess is more trustworthy then soccer because no referee will ever set an inexistent penalty or fault against you (your team) when the game becomes hard to the stronger side. With FIDE leading chess this hope for honesty turns out to be a goal no longer but just a dream.

I believe in the tremendous potence of chess among people especially children.
But I won t bring them on a mess made by people without scrupulous, respect for players and for the game itself.

Dubai got promoted and now we know it was a farce.Why did it happen? Why didn t FIDE wait first for the money before starting to talk about where and when it would take place? Someone (FIDE?) got money for that promotion and it means that they are using chess and people for their own benefit and that s unacceptable!

What we players need, is a global community of players ruled with trasparency and great respect to every chessplayer, no matter how high their rating is.Without it we will still be having chess as an occupation for lunatics that only spend time and money on keeping a comfortable life of parasites, as those in FIDE.

The chess world shouldn?t be as dirty as political life but I don?t belive that FIDE can ever change itself and stand on the side of chessplayers. Will chess resist too much incompetence and dishonesty ? Only time will bring us the answer.

São Paulo-Brazil

It is time for Kramnik and the ACP to stand up and lead. Tell us how and when (soon) Kramnik will defend his title.

With regard to Kasparov, I have to put in my 2 cents. His +'s in the chess world so far outweigh his -'s that the -'s really shouldn't be relevant. KRAMNIK SHOULD HAVE GRANTED HIM A REMATCH. Kramnik whimped out. Kasparov deserved, and earned, his seeding in the unification. But FIDE drug it out too long and destroyed the window of opportunity. Now Kasparov is backing away and letting the process continue(noble, not whimpy). Please Kramnik, LEAD, follow, or get out of the way.

I also want to add my 2 cents on Mig allegedly overemphasizing Kasparov. As a rather new fan of chess, Mig is about the only commentator and reporter I have heard that can connect with chess experts and individuals, like myself, who know almost no detailed theory. Kasparov is an Ambassador of chess, giving back to chess with books, appearances, and good will. Regardless of the -'s, he should be highly honored and treated with the highest respect. Whether you like it or not (chess insiders), Kasparov is the face of chess for the majority of the world. Berating him will hurt chess. Kramnik has done nothing with his potential celebrity. Anand I seem to like, but he too is an underachiever in the publicity and celebrity world.

No excuses, Kasparov has given the lead to Kramnik. My question, can Kramnik handle it?

Kasparov is without a doubt the 2nd greatest player in the history of the game, and he is correct in exposing FIDE for what it is: a completely inept organization. Having said that, it is clear he feels the world owes him special privilages for having been such a great player for such a long time. This latest fiasco shows there are no winners in all of this. Chess is in danger as it hasn't been in years of actually nearing extintion at the professional level. Why will the chess world care now? With the endless short draws we are fed in ever "World championship match", with a world champion who is doing poorly and just manages to win one or 2 games? And, specially with an organization who can't even set a coherent championship cycle? Sad, sad, sad...

Mig, you write that "Then Intel pulled out of the PCA and Ilyumzhinov took over FIDE."

Ok, true that. But who's fault was that!!

Let's see.. the only sponsor of any merit that Kasparov has for the PCA is intel .. so he goes and gives Intel's biggest competitor millions of dollars of free publicity by agreeing to play DeepBlue. What did Kasparov expect?

If he didn't expect Intel to be rightly pissed, then he clearly doesn't have the business acumen to have ever been in charge of the PCA to begin with. And if that's the case, then he is at fault for not recognizing his own limitations and blindness.

Ultimately, Kasparov is equally to blame with FIDE in this, because it is by Kasparov's actions that the PCA failed. Had it not failed, then FIDE's mess right now wouldn't matter.

Ok another 2 cents.

Kasparov has played major part in this mess, we call WCC. He split up with FIDE in 1993 because he's had some bad experiences with it (esp. during his matches with Karpov), and considered it a corrupt and pathetic organization. Unfortunately he (unlike Fischer) managed to create a championship, but Short is as much to blame for playing it as Kasparov is, if Short had refused to play Kasparov, Short would have become the FIDE World Champion (he was way better than Timman or Karpov back in 1993) and Kasparov would have found himself in a position similar to Fischer's with only two options:
1. Quit playing Chess
2. Return to FIDE

Unfortunately Short played Kasparov, and FIDE did the next best thing it could, it let Karpov and Timman play a FIDE WCC.
Now if FIDE had played it cool, there would have been a realistic chance for a reunification sooner or later, but FIDE did not play it cool, in an desperate attempt to reform itself inorder to attract more sponsors, FIDE created those pathetic K.O. WCCs and handed full control over to Kasparov (and later on Kramnik); I guess there's hardly anybody out there, who doesn't consider Kramnik's match vs. Leko as the real championship (or is there anybody who regards Pono or Kashim as WCs?)
Now Kasparov has once again split up with FIDE and the reasons were more or less the same as in 1993. Does Kasparov exit has any effects on reunification process? Probably not.

In my opinion the best solution would look like this:
1. FIDE needs a new president who's respected by all players, and not a bizarre figure like Ilyumzhinov. In my opinion someone like Spassky or Smyslov, would be ideal for that job.

2. FIDE needs to correct its errors and create a real FIDE Championship (the old system with interzonals was not that bad at all)

Other solutions are in my opinion not very likely to work out, the ACP will sooner or later crack like Kasparovs PGA did, and then it'll be upon the FIDE to prove, that it could justify it's claims as the Worlds'Chess Oraganization.

But as the situations is now, it is more likely that Kramnik will be the last Champion.

Mauricio says:
Kasparov is without a doubt the 2nd greatest player in the history of the game, and he is correct in exposing FIDE for what it is: a completely inept organization. Having said that, it is clear he feels the world owes him special privilages for having been such a great player for such a long time.

You too Mauricio!! Did Kasparov not responsible for creating all this mess? Now you say that the world owes him special privileges. Thank God, the world is not so blind. Yes he is a great player, but also a great selfish trouble maker. He knew very well about FIDE from the very beinning. But still he collabrated with FIDE at prague for his selfish ambitions. No moral person would do that.
Kramnik got what he wanted.

Ryan --

Please read Mauricio's post again, in his he says, and you quote:

Having said that, "IT IS CLEAR HE FEELS THAT" the world owes him special privileges...

In this statement, I believe the HE refers to Kasparov. Mauricio does not state that that is his own belief.

There is enough heated debate on this thread without misrepresenting other peoples posts (and I hope I didn't as well, if so I humbly apologise).

It's a shame. FIDE is such a rotten organisation not worth for any negotiations. It doesn't matter what Garri had done, does or will do - FIDE should not be longer part of anything in the world of chess. This organisation (the biggest sports association beside the soccer organisation)need to be complete re-organized. Say about Kaspy whatever you want - he is one of the greatest chess players ever. Even if he would not be the 20 years top 1 player - no one deserved such a treatment. Mr. Ilyumzhinov - resign!

"Saguni, dozens of players started at round one in each FIDE KO, but Anand was never one of them. He was always seeded into the second round. But the FIDE KO title is not under discussion here.
Posted by Mig at January 18, 2005 10:44 PM"

Mig, though admittedly it's not a discussion about Fide KOs, I guess Olivier Touzanne has never made it to Fide KO second round.

Btw, did it strike anyone else that the man who was supposed to singlehandedly bring so much sponsorship money into the game, simply by his gracing the FIDE precincts, that it was to have benefited all chess players, couldn't bring enough for his own match to happen? (Of course Fide is to blame if the money isn't there, but Kasparov is to praise if it IS. Just like some general responded when asked whether it isn't true that it was his deputy who actually won the war? He replied after thinking -- well,true, but had it been lost, I'd have lost it.)

Could it be that the law of Karma goes beyond Karpov...?

"Saguni, dozens of players started at round one in each FIDE KO, but Anand was never one of them. He was always seeded into the second round. But the FIDE KO title is not under discussion here.
Posted by Mig at January 18, 2005 10:44 PM"

Mig, though admittedly it's not a discussion about Fide KOs, I guess Olivier Touzanne has never made it to Fide KO second round.

Btw, did it strike anyone else that the man who was supposed to singlehandedly bring so much sponsorship money into the game, simply by his gracing the FIDE precincts, that it was to have benefited all chess players, couldn't bring enough for his own match to happen? (Of course Fide is to blame if the money isn't there, but Kasparov is to praise if it IS. Just like some general responded when asked whether it isn't true that it was his deputy who actually won the war? He replied after thinking -- well,true, but had it been lost, I'd have lost it.)

Could it be that the law of Karma goes beyond Karpov...?

Proloy wrote:


Btw, did it strike anyone else that the man who was supposed to singlehandedly bring so much sponsorship money into the game, simply by his gracing the FIDE precincts, that it was to have benefited all chess players, couldn't bring enough for his own match to happen? >>>>

Very true.

A very seldom mentioned act of sheer stupidity and dishonesty on Kasparov's part: after his loss to Deep Blue, he accused the IBM team of cheating!!!

No wonder he can't raise any money these days...

Actually, I think Rhys's idea is a good one - a Daily Dirt covering FIDE would be interesting, particularly for those of us who aren't actually that familiar with the internal political history of the chess world. :-)

People keep commenting that it is only Kasparov's celebrity that brings in sponsorship, and that the chess world is basically 'over' without him. I think this point of view is highly inaccurate. I think that all sponsors really want to see in the chess world is legitimacy. Kramnik does not draw enough money because there is doubt in the minds of the sponsors as to who the 'real' world champion is. We all know that the FIDE knock-out tournament is a joke, but sponsors are not so sure. Restore a true world championship cycle and a legitimate world champion and the sponsors will come. By the way, the people who suggested cheapening the qualification cycle by using the internet are not understanding that this will kill sponsorship, because no one will really view such games as legitimate. Only an old style zonal/interzonal/candidates match cycle will really work for chess. If you want separate titles for blitz and quick chess then you can use the internet perhaps, but not for classical chess.

"But if we can learn anything from the last 10 years it's that there is no viable alternative to FIDE."

To the person who wrote this I would ask, 'When has a viable alternative to FIDE been attempted?'. It has not been tried, so how can you come to such a conclusion? To have a viable alternative to FIDE, we would need to have a players organization like ACP meet with the main federations of the world, such as Russia, US, France, Britain, Ukraine, etc., and draw up the rules for a new federation. This has never been tried, and I think it would work fine if it were. The country federations would simply withdraw from FIDE and make FIDE irrelevant.

Mr. Cross...

Why would you only include the "main" federations? Who gives them the right to lead the other 100+ nations and how you determine what "main" is? Is India a main federation? China? Cuba? If not, why wouldn't they be? Are you proposing a new chess organization with a Security Council? That would create the same imbalances that exist in the moribund United Nations. In fact, these "main" nations you've mentioned have contributed to the current crisis and are struggling to run their OWN federations.

The Prague Agreement was created by members from the "main" countries and even failed to include India's Anand in the deliberations. I think it is very naive for you to believe that 100+ federations would leave FIDE en masse into another organ constructed by these "main" nations, as you call them. Perhaps reform it what is needed, but too often the same people are involved in these discussions.

The urban legend of Intel pulling out of the PCA because of Kasparov-Deep Blue has been debunked. Intel was already unhappy and had announced their intention to leave before anyone knew about the Deep Blue match. And yes, nobody ever talks about Kasparov's reaction to losing to Deep Blue. Totally unknown, even the major movie made about it...

Ah, I forgot that in the Moscow FIDE KO they did away with seeding higher-ranked players into the second round. That was done in Groningen, Las Vegas, and New Delhi (where Anand won).

There are always many people to blame when it comes to a lack of sponsorship. But overoptimism is the biggest problem. There just isn't that much money out there for anything, period. Chess sponsorship for matches is entirely haphazard. Tournaments and Olympiads do better. But matches lately have depended more on digging up an individual with deep pockets and an interest in the game. Sometimes it's their own money, other times it's their company's money. But it's a long, hard process regardless.

It took two years for Kramnik-Leko to find Danneman, and that was without a FIDE hanging around wanting 20% for doing nothing. The amount demanded by FIDE of the Turks was wildly unrealistic. The players have also become unrealistic, Kasparov included. It's not as simple as asking them to play for free, but the nice round number of one million dollars needs to go away. Sure it would have been easier to find sponsorship for Kasparov vs Adams or Anand, but it's a sport and thems the breaks. Wimbledon doesn't change the prize fund if the big names are knocked out before the final.

As for Kasparov's old sins, the past two and a half years have surely been punishment for them. After all the talk about how he was the winner in Prague, he ended up getting nothing but grief. He missed countless events, wasted months at a time, and was criticized all the while. Ponomariov lost some time, but at least he got paid. Kasimdzhanov deserves some sympathy for being jerked around, but he's a grounded sort who takes things as they come and never bought into the hype from the start.

Mr. Shabazz,
I apologize for not making myself clear. I never meant to insinuate that all federations should not be involved; what I really meant was that it could not be a legitimate attempt to form a new world federation if all the main federations, at least, were not involved. Of course I wish that ALL federations would get together to draw up a new world chess federation.

I would also like to follow up to Mr. Shabazz' including China as a main federation. I live in China right now, and I certainly see no sign that China should be viewed as a major federation. We (meaning foreigners) have no way of playing chess here in China, which in my mind precludes them from being considered a serious chess federation. China may be good at training some of their own players, but it is ludicrous that foreign chess players have no clubs/tournaments in which to play here.

Thanks for clarifying Mr. Cross.

I believe regardless of whether you can play chess in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong or wherever you may be, China has to be considered a major federation. In fact, their women have four gold medals in a row; the men recently dominated a strong team event (which included Russia, France and the Ukraine) and are one of the world's top teams.

My point is that non-European or non-Western nations are often not at the table in these discussions and it mirrors the existing order in world affairs. This is one of the main mistakes in our chess world and it was even more glaring as I sat in the General Sessions at the Olympiad.

With respect to match money I really don't understand this. I think players seem to make out very well in matches as opposed to tournaments.

Kramnik Leko was a huge success. The Prague hoopla was going on almost suggesting Kramnik v. Leko was just a semifinal. The players had to do this on thier own with no help from FIDE. (ACP was in its infancy) Yet they had what about $800K in prize money?? When was the last time tournament participants averaged $400k per tournament?

Why do we have this beleif that matches must pay players 10x the amount of money per game that torunaemtns do? If anything the additional incentive that playing the match allows you a shot at the world championship should mean players would accept somewhat less to play in a championship match cycle than if they played the same number of games in a tournament. I just don't understand it. How much are the players on average going to make from Corus? these aren't rhetorical questions I woudl really like to know the reasoning for this.

Maybe FIDE needs a good dose of disrespect, for its behaviour. I for one remember Fischer having trouble with this organization, so it is not unusual. Quite possibly it could be a good thing for Chess if a Great Grandmaster Competition took place, kind of like The Heavyweight Championship Boxing Matches, with all of the rights and arrangements with the Media dealt with by representatives and agents of the winning highest ranking players of the day, lets say in the span of 2 years of qualification matches. When on top of the list as a Chess Grandmaster Challenger, you are placed in a category whereby you must be played by a World Chess Champion such as a Kasparov or any previously undefeated World Champion that wishes to play in a Televised Global Tournament (such as a Robert Fischer) but this World Chess Title Event should take place without FIDE having anything to do with it. The only thing for FIDE to do is present the challengers, after that the winners and their agents and networks and publicists work everything out pertaining to the locations and amounts. This certainly would change things and make 'Chess Matches' more profitable and well known. After all the honest truth, which the sideline critics refuse to acknowledge, and sometimes even the recent World Champions, is, that Robert (Bobby) Fischer has a right to post any challenge and play any Champion until his title is lost, time or FIDE cannot take this right away from him, but because of FIDE's attitude towards Gary Kasparov maybe great changes will take place and new eventualities will ensue. Let's hope so.

Mr. Cross, you're correct in stating that no one has ever actually tried to create a full-blown alternative to FIDE. But your suggestion on how such an alternative would have to be formed kind of makes my point, in that you basically say we need SOME organizational infrastructure to be created by the ACP and the big national federations.

But in my original post, I suggested a group of top GMs (such as the ACP) should focus their efforst on pressuring their national federations to remove Kirsan. I think that would be much easier than essentially building a new FIDE from scratch as you suggest.

As I read your post, I think we would agree the problem is not the infrastructure of FIDE itself; it's the people at the top. And to clarify my position that there is no alternative to FIDE: FIDE has not gone away throughout all of this. People still join their national federations; the federations still support FIDE. That's not going to change. The presence of FIDE itself is actually not all that bad, in my opinion. It's just screaming for new leadership, and I think we'll get there faster by focusing on removing Kirsan ASAP, rather than taking on the multi-decade process of building a new FIDE.

What?? Again??? This chess " scenario " reminds of Fischer WC match withdrawn? Not again.....Perhaps, the only solution is to call back..... Bobby Fischer!!!!! Long live to the greatest chess player of all time!!!!!! Cheers!

Mig, I have two questions, just for curiosity:

1) One of the terms of the now defunct Prague agreement was that Bessel Kok, the chairman of the agreement, should present a business plan for FIDE in 3 months. I have never heard of him since. Do you know something?

2) Was the record for comments broken?

Fischer: started it all by refusing to play in FIDE organised WC and later played in his own WC (and called it so?) Now in Japs prison and still waiting for his next WC match.

Kasparov: refused to play in WC organised by FIDE same as Fischer. But was more intelligent and organised a rival WC match right away and tried to continue a rival faction with no support from national federations. Still claims that he should be called upon and given a direct match whenever a WC match is organised somewhere. Now says he doesn't wanna wait for a WC match.

Kramnik: Was very happy when Anand refused to side with Kasparov and Shirov was refused by Kasparov himself. Got a chance to play for WC (as he never had success in FIDE organised WC, lost early every time he tried) because of Kasparov and later put a knife on back of Kasparov by refusing to play him. Still calls himself WC (even though he didn't win any championship, just a match with kasparov) and waits for his next WC match.

Short: Even though people don't mention his name, he and his English counterparts (actual blame should go to these people) gave backing to kasparov and organised the rival match.

And, who lost out because of this:

Anand: Despite being a top 3 player for more than a decade, he never got a chance to play for proper WC cycle after 1995. Now, only god knows whether he would have been undisputed champion by now replacing Kasparov (who was the last one). He doesn't play in FIDE as well as rival WC matches these days. Has a strong 1 billion backing, but never quite knows how to use it unlike Kasparov who can use every man he knows.

Leko, Shirov: Had their chances and grabbed it as well sometimes and sometimes lost out. But, a proper WC cycle would have given them a chance to compete for undisputed WC title.

Future players: We will never have an undisputed World Chess Champion from now on. (atleast until unless this crop of players go out)

So, the question that really never gets asked is this: Do the top players (say Top 20) really want an undisputed World Championship process?

I mention this because the schism that occurred when Kasparov and Short bolted from FIDE and 1993 have led to what many players have mentioned was a lucrative time of the PCA/GMA/Intel/World Cups and then subsequently the lucrative Kirsan financed Knockouts. We, the chess patzers, wonder why the top players are never in a big twist about the unresolved World Champion issue. Maybe it's because if it were ever resolved they'd probably be making less money.

It's now been five whole days since Kasparov's "withdrawl from chess politics." It must be difficult for an individual with such a lengthy history of selfless devotion to chess to sit silently by while the formation of a new chess cycle is discussed by lesser mortals. Let us expect, therefore, that before the start of the Linares tournament we will see A) a Kasparov press release: "I'm still withdrawing from chess politics, but here's how the new cycle should be set up" or b) an item in the Daily Dirt: "I was talking to my old friend Garry (who never dreamed his words would see print) and this is how he thinks the new cycle should be set up."

Misquoting again, Greg. He's out of chess CHAMPIONSHIP politics. Kasparov is currently working on a Wall Street Journal article and doing some work related to the Committee 2008 meeting presided over a few days ago.

The irony is that as much as he tries to stay out of things everyone will keep asking him. One, just to get a hot quote because everybody knows he won't be able to resist when asked. Two, because they'll want something he'll play in. Of course they should also ask Kramnik, Anand, and the other top players, but few will complain about that.

Garry's recent momentous announcement means nothing more than that he won't disrupt his schedule for a Kasim match unless there's money on the table. He'll continue talking to sponsors, other GMs, the press, and anyone else who'll listen about how the next cycle should be set up and on what terms he'll participate. Which means, of course, that Garry has not withdrawn from chess CHAMPIONSHIP politics.

Let's just make it that the title of World Chess Champion is vacant until someone reaches 3000 on the rating list !!

Further to my last post I just realised there'd most likely be an argument as to WHICH rating list ...

Aye, there's the rub. (He said, channeling his inner pirate.) When you don't have head-to-head competitions (or head-to-head-to-head-to-...if you favor a tournament for such things) OFTEN ENOUGH then a player can make a claim of superiority through any avenue that suits his argument. GK say he da man due to rating; Vlady say I won it the last time we held it (even if that was 4 years ago); Vishy say who better than me in the big tournaments lately?; Kasimsomethingorother say FIDE say I da man; blah bitty blah bitty blah. Maybe Topalov hangs on in Wijk, wins a few more tournaments in 2005 and suddenly he's making claims. Think I'll make a claim - hey, if no one's gonna actually GET TO THE BOARD then why not?

Call me when the games start. These Don King-like machinations are wearing me out like defending a pawn down endgame.

Or take this scenario which illustrates the problems of deciding the world championship through a tournament format or by "rating":

In a quadruple round robin tournament the players are:
Kramnik, Anand, Sneezy, Grumpy, and Bashful.

Anand draws all his games with Sneezy, Grumpy and Bashful, but defeats Kramnik four times, finishing 10-6.

Kramnik loses all his games to Anand, but wins all his games against Sneezy, Grumpy and Bashful, finishing 12-4.

Complaining that the format stinks, the guarantee's too low, and he's entitled to a rematch with Kramnik, Kasparov doesn't play in the championship tournament, but wins his next 30 consecutive games against 2600 players, pushing his rating over 2900, then goes on a two-year book tour where he doesn't play anyone.

Who's the "real champ?"

is it important where Kasim comes from when it comes to FIDE championship?

i think it is good for chess ,if kasparov played this match it is aknowledging kasimdiminov as world champion which is really kramnik deserves ,i think there are two men in the world claim they are world champion and they should play a match to determine who is the absolute champion ,the match kramnik-kasimdiminov will solve all problems

Hi guys
Well, as a matter of fact, Kasparov finishes joint first (with Topalov) at Linares 2005

Kasim finishes far behind, although I don't know him as a player and merely report whatever results I saw about this super Tournament

Finally, it seems now Kazsparov IS retiring from pro Chess, and that Linares was his latest and last success.

Rgds to all
May Chess live forever

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 18, 2005 8:31 PM.

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