Greengard's ChessNinja.com

In Vino Veritas

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Well, my girlfriend broke up with me a few days ago and my friend and chess idol just gave up being the best chessplayer in the world, so what choice did I have? I went out drinking and dancing with a beautiful (nod to the contest thread) femme chessplayer. Just arrived back home at 4:30am and thought I should post something before I sober up. Just in case the overpriced triple vodkas wear off too soon I've poured myself a tall one. And I bought doughnuts, which are St. Patrick's themed and greenish.

First off, CRAP. DAMN. The greatest player ever of the game I love just hung up his pawns. You Fischer-freaks can make a case for his mighty three years at the top and Garry himself can make politics by calling Fischer the furthest ahead of his peers, but which game compilation would you take to a desert island? Yeah, I thought so. 20 YEARS. Screw Bobby and his technical perfection and crystal clear strategy and anti-Semitic paranoid schizophrenia. If Bobby Fischer had been born in Lithuania he would get half the pages.

Kasparov, as the kids say today, rocked. When I was starting to take the game seriously in the eighties he was a black and white nuclear bomb. He was The Clash in 1979, Nirvana in 1991. On and off the board Kasparov was chess as extreme sport: explosive, dynamic, bombastic, infuriating, glorifying, intoxicating. He shook the foundations of the hierarchy and the game itself.

If you think I'm exaggerating, did you just see the same Linares tournament I saw? Did you see one of the world's best players, Mickey Adams, tossed around like a rag doll? Do you remember Kasparov-Andersson, Tilburg 1981? Kasparov-Salov, Barcelona 1989? Kasparov-Nikolic, Manila 1992? The Evans Gambit against Anand? The immortal against Topalov? How many others? How many of you remember the first time you spent a few hours marveling over a Kasparov win in a magazine? Okay, now I'm looking at games, weeping, drinking, and eating more doughnuts. (Why am I so attached to the '88 game against Smirin?)

More serious (if error-ridden) retrospectives will come like a wave, but right now it just hurts. And I'm out of vodka. Crap.


Wow, Mig must have been knocked out real hard to admit that his gf left him. Mig, who refused to post pictures of his nephew here! I hope he does not delete the comment (or edit this post) when he sobers up in the morning :-)

Viva The Clash! I had just listened to London Calling, The Guns of Brixton, Clampdown, Rudie Can't Fail and Lost in the Supermarket (in this order) when I saw Mig's post. (No big coincidence here when 70% of what I listened to in the past few months was The Clash...) I just can't understand how a The Clash admirer (which I assume Mig to be) can be such a hige ABBA fan (ugh!). But I digress.

And ain't it ironic that the victim of Kasparov's most fantastic game ever was also the one who beat in him in their very retirement game?

Still awake, sorry. ABBA? Ick. That's Inky's demimonde, not mine.

Regarding the GF, this is a blog, so even in my current condition I didn't think it terribly inappropriate to mention. Having two heavy emotional events two days apart makes it difficult to separate the reaction to either. Tears come easily. The vodka probably doesn't help in that regard, but it helps in others.

"Death or glory becomes just another story"

Kasparov's retirement from professional chess comes at (to me) an appropraie time. He really has played the best chess in the last thirty years. Been crowned undisputed world chess champion, and finally won the Russian championship (with great play, Tseshkovsky game aside).
I hope that the democratic reforms in Russia take place, because it seems democracy is losing in the USA! So Kaspaorv's backing of his 2008 initiative may have a chance.
Pat on the back for Mig, women are hard to figure out!

mig, hope you dont wake up with a tremendous head that makes you wish you didnt wake up at all, which was what happened to me the last time I had a combination of break-up and too much alcohol (wine in my case).

I'm almost speechless myself, and very sad, as anybody who loves Chess will be. At least this explains that inexplicable loss at the end, I was really puzzled.

Always sad when the mighty no longer grace the stage. Mig said it so well that there is not much left to say about Gary, but one thing about him that made him great apart from his Chess wizardry was his warrior instincts. The same instincts that made Alexander the Great weep at 23 that he had no more worlds to conquer, the will to always take on a challenge and prove himself, time after time after time.

He retires if not truly at the top of his game, at least at the top of the world of chess and everybody else's game. Its a measure of the man's genius that he no longer is as invincible as he used to be, but he's still streets above anybody else, young or old.

Do you know what annoys me? Well, I'll tell you anyway. I'm 37, and I became interested in chess in 1999. The first game of Garry's I got to see (via the internet) was BrainGames WC against Kramnik and would you believe that is the only "Match" I have "seen" Garry play. I have been so looking forward to seeing him play a match against Kramnik. I was always sure it was going to happen. Silly me!

Stupidly, I have missed nearly all of Garry's career and it's all my fault.

Have one for me Mig.


Hear, hear! Kasparov largely inspired me to start playing chess, and today i've been going through some of his games before my time. Beauty and destruction, pure genius.

Thanks to Garry, and all the best.

Now i find myself looking forward to the next super-tournament with much less enthusiasm, there's just no one to be that excited about.


Mig, may I add a draw to your games list? My personal favorite is the fourth game in the 1990 match again Karpov. This game still drives me mad.

I will spend the weekend reviewing old Kasparov games. Perhaps I decide to get drunk too, in the end. Sacateca, I was also inspired by his games. I spent 20 years in my patzer carreer hoping to emulate one of his combinations. Until now, I failed miserably.

My favorite Gary game will always be the 24th game victory over Karpov in his 1987 championship match. Back to the wall, he must win to retain his title against a man who is one of the greatest defensive technicians of all time. The whole Soviet establishment is behind his opponent, and it is not unreasonable to think that if he loses, he will find life a great deal more difficult. Under all that strain, he comes up with a win. Truly a hero's deed.

Mig, I shocked to hear you got drunk on vodka. Everyone knows that when your girlfriend breaks up with you, you are supposed to get drunk on bourbon. Makes the hangover much worse as well. When you wake, I prescribe two very large Bloody Mary's and an afternoon (evening?) of listening to Muddy Waters (and George Thorogood if things start to look up)

When I was going to meet Garry for the first time I scoured my apartment for something for him to autograph. There wasn't much, so I printed out a game for him to sign (of course I didn't know at the time I'd be working with him for the next seven years). It was game 24 of the 1987 match WC with Karpov.

After the interview I brought it out and he was surprised. "Not really a great game," he said. "Maybe," I answered, "but it represents the ultimate in sport, a must-win against the best. Maximum result under maximum pressure. Pure balls." "Yes, it was... an important game," he replied.

I still have it, signed [sic] "To Mig - let's make chess world a better place!" Heh, he's embarrassed about that sort of thing now, but his English writing is much better these days!

Mig and all you who (as me)
consider GK as the great man,
if the great man has a right to make
the great faults, mistakes, and misdoings,
in GK case,
this thesis proved fully to be true
(should i remind smth?).
By-side remark:
from top four in Linares-05,
VA is the clear first 3.5/6,
and GK is the clear fourth 2.5/6-
if you consider games between four only.
In the history,
there were many great persons,
and they will be forever:
sure next chess generations
will have their own
BFs and GKs.
Zak, Israel

Me personally was lucky enough
to see the great 16th game Kar-Kas with ...d5!

hmmm.. up and about again, so cant have been much of a binge mig. I have had hangovers where I cant move at all until the evening after..yep Kasparov's greatness lies in being a conquerer. Chess was just the vehicle for his conquests.

Mig, I understand you so well.
I feel as if the sun has gone down, and the next dawn is very uncertain.

Tough to see Kasparov give up chess, but he leaves with a final supertournament victory, and frankly the chess world needs a shakeup. Perhaps his retirement will bring some new blood into the super tournament circuit, and maybe even jumpstart reunification.


I am yet to feel sad about Kasparov's retirement, I am yet to believe it's true. I am trying to console myself that its only a temporary phase and the greatest player of all time will be back soon!

Give me sometime and I am also going to blurt it out afer a heavy session of vodka!


Mig: We feel your pain. But, all melodramatic evocations of ex-girlfriends and ex-supreme chess geniuses aside: how did the date with the "beautiful chess femme" go? You dog you.


A minute after writing my previous post, I just could not bear it anymore...!

Let's try to build up some kind of movement of Chess fans around the world to create a unified World Chess Championship cycle (something that gives a chance to all the eligible elites and the young hopefuls). In my view, the old candidates cycle was best and instead of 3 year cycle, we can make it a 2-year cycle. I am willing to contribute $50-$100 for this. Even if we can create a group of 100,000 chess-fans around the world, we can at least arrange for the prize-money and I believe once the championship cycle is set in motion, corporate sponsors will have more confidence in it. But organization has to taken care by somebody who has experience with it (and somebody who has not spoiled himself in FIDE)

What was that... some stupid idea. Well, I am willing to try, rather than cry over each others shoulders for the loss the Chess World is suffering not only because of Kasparov's retirement but also due to these parallel championships. Of course, I don't want to suggest a third cycle, but I believe any championship that involves all the top players in the world would not require a "formal" recognition from anybody.

All Chessninja, ICC and playchess.com, chess21 and other chess enthusiasts all over the world can join this movement.

What say, guys ? Do something!!

P.S. :-- I am not drunk.


I don't know about $100, but if ICC were to donate $5 from every membership (around 30,000 right?), or raise the yearly
fee $5 for one year, that would be $150,000. Not much, but
a start.

It's really tough to see Garry go out like this. I'm used to the NBA where the greats announce their retirement and do a farewell tour of sorts. Maybe someone can talk Kasparov into sticking around for the rest of the chess year so that the chess world might give him the send off he truly deserves. It's too bad somebody can't get hold of one of his jackets and hang it in the rafters of some chess hall of fame.

"He died with his boots on"


"The King is dead, long live the King"

--but always

"Give unto Ceasar that which is his..."

The citations could go on and on, and still Garry's fans would feel lost
and at the same time proud of his outstanding chess career. This last "move"
doesn't look like his long-awaited (by me?!) next blunder, it rather looks
like a gambit... For he has taken the pains with him and assumed the
role of redemptor, dying for the good of chess..
and leaving us, "critics"?!, with a bitter taste in the mouth..

I take my hat off, lower my head, keep a minute silent, grief constraining my
heart with the memories of his past brilliant victories, and the vivid memory of
Moscow 1981 still as fresh as the smell of his brand-new leather jacket
he wore on those distant days. I rise my head but my blurred eyes see nothing
in the chess scene, tomorrow will be another day, and anyway the
wind blows, and the show must go on, but great chess players never die, they
even don't just fade way.... For all that: Thank you, Garry.

Another ripple effect of the Adams' loss to Kazimdhanov in the Libya final.

Think about how much that one blunder affected the chess world - if Adams was the FIDE champ, sponsorship wouldn't have been a problem, the match would have happened, GK would still be playing!

Yes I know GK beat Adams in both games in Linares, but still, ask yourself who would you rather see him play in a WC match - Adams or Kazimdhanov?

Hi Mig,

Sadly, the ending for my two favourite players Bobby and Garry can be found in another Clash line:

"I fought the Law / and the Law won"

Both fought the chess bureaucracy and both "lost" the fight. But the truth is chess and chess fans lost... :-(

Come to BA where we don't run out of vodka!


(aka Kogi Kaishakunin)

He certainly is the greatest ever. And he also retires at the right time with a flourish.

Whether he and his fans admit it or not, he (along with FIDE) was the biggest obstacle to unification, and with him gone, unification will be that much easier. Now, it is up to Kramnik, FIDE and/or ACP to organize something.


My first reaction to the news, I was pleased that GK retired on his own terms. Scythed through the field of pretenders so that no one can doubt he is, as he has been, the greatest. What class!

I recall a recent interview in which GK remarked that skittles bears no relation to professional chess. I look forward to seeing his occasional demonstrations of the art of the amateur game. I'm sure it will be more entertaining than much of its professional variant.

Some random thoughts: If Kasparov has as much to contribute to the world of politics as you suggest, Mig, then he has done the best and most responsible thing by retiring from chess. Kasparov didn't retire from work or the world of society yesterday.

His announcement may have even jumpstarted his new career. What ever that is, I have a feeling it might enrich the lives of a great many, the way his chess career has. His upcoming book about how chess decision-making can apply to other areas should turn out to be quite an fascinating read and I'm excited to see how he will apply these ideas to his own life, if he chooses to remain a public figure.

Even if he doesn't become more involved in politics, I think it sounds like a wise decision on his part. The real world is, after all, so much larger and more interesting than the world of the chessboard. I am more saddened by people who can only live for chess. Kasparov is deeper than that, as Kramnik might say. I think Kramnik himself is more balanced than that and I hope one day he fulfills his dream of becoming a classical pianist.

To me, Kasparov's retirement from chess feels like a breath of fresh air. The most touching thing about yesterday's announcement was his mother's statement: "We have been going to tournaments for thirty years now," she said, "and this is the last time." The world's number one player, it seems to me, has been very lucky to have such a supportive mother.

The Clash rule. Kasparov rules. f Fischer.

I agree 100% with Mig. This is the greatest tragedy in the history of Chess, by a long, long way.

I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate to have ahd the pleasure of Garry's presence in the Chess world for this long, but one gets greedy and always wants more of a great thing.

Mig said
" Do you remember Kasparov-Andersson, Tilburg 1981? Kasparov-Salov, Barcelona 1989? Kasparov-Nikolic, Barcelona 1989?"
As first reaction to Kasparov's retirement I'm spending hours in the admiration of his chess masterpieces. (My fault: I'm looking some of them today for first time, or worse I'd forgotten some of them)
Games in my chess databases started since '95 so
I connected to chessgames.com to find previous games.
I started with Mig's games: the ones with Andersson and Salov I agree Mig, they are among the absolute masterpieces of chess history.
But according to that site the game with Nikolic is a "normal" (speaking of course at top gms level) draw.
Please can Mig (or another blogger who knows the game) tell me which game Mig refers? Is the site
chessgames.com wrong or our yesterday's drunk Mig :-) confused tournament and/or Kasparov's opponent name ???
Thank you.

"The Clash rule. Kasparov rules. f Fischer."

Exactly right.

Don't get me wrong, few people make such a mark in two fields. Kasparov would have to be a politician and writer of Churchillian worth to pull that off. I think he should have played chess for at least another few years.

Regarding the games, Marco, I'd meant to have Nikolic, Manila 92 and Short, Barcelona. Then I removed the Short game but screwed up the rest. In Vino Accident!

Ironic? Why?
More like poetic justice, I would say.


Since you are meeting Garry soon, please convey the feelings of the chess fans - Simply stated we want him back.

We can mount a signature campaign or whatever. Will that influence GK to change his mind.

My god! This loss is almost unbearable. It was bad enough seeing him blunder against Topalov and thenmoments later saw the devastating news on chessbase. First thought this was a joke. Then it sank in.

Ever since I saw his game against Murei (c 1982) I had been an ardent follower of GK's career. GK's games was one of the best things I had to look forward to.

Please let GK know that his decision will leave the chess fans and chess world in a state of void.


I wish GK the best. I respect his decision, and think it may be the best for the Game overall. Let FIDE declare Kramnik the undisputed WC and let's get on with a new cycle.

The winner of the next FIDE "World Cup" joins Kramnik then the next top 6 by FIDE rating in Candidate's matches, and away we go! Done.


Kasparov retired. He was one of the best players ever, if not the #1 (nobody can tell).

Every decades and generations have their best chess players and chess idols. GK was the last of them. But life wont stop. There will be successors, as there were predecessors, of course. We will remember GK as we were BF, and others.

Thanks Garry. We are waiting to know, who will follow you, as the King.

The Clasch and Nirvana both kicked ass.

sh** happens.

Btw, I hope Kasparov's retirement didn't hurt you more than your ex did.

I am really sorry for Mig. Maybe he can begin a new career and become a political observer now?
Regarding Kasparov and the chess world, I do not see any real problems. Why one should play at 41? It is quite a difficult thing to play chess, I can tell you.
Well, GK will be missed by many in the chess world, but maybe only now we got a chance for a really FRESH START.

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but only one Kasparov...

Golubev, why would you play chess when you were young (and not so young)? After all, you knew that it was quite difficult. Besides, very few would care if GM Golubev won or lost his last game. Note how different it is with Garry. Many people who don't like him still sincerely regret that he had to retire.

Please, keep your personal dislike for Garry away from here. There are better times to push your personal chess agenda than the moment when the strongest chess player in the history of the game retires because the chess world is in such a disarray that he doesn't have a shot on the title while still remaining the best player at the age of 42.

Garry's deep interest in history ( both the game's and history in general ) is fully interweaved with his particularly keen sense of drama - an expression of which is certainly last night's announcement ( which I thought was just a little bit unfair to Topy in its content, but anyway ). In a sense his decision appears to be fully justified and rational - we can't seriously expect the world's strongest player of the past twenty years ( and by far the game's biggest personality as well ) to keep expending forever his time and energy for the 'mere' purpose of adding another Wijk or Linares title to his resume. But on the other hand, there is not a single player today, or in the near future, against whom GK would not feel fully confident - and eager - to play a match for the world title, while his will certainly remain the game's most recognizable name ( among non-convicts at least ) for quite a long time to come. So, writing now in his Karpov book about Korchnoi , ( who mounted a furious challenge and played his best chess at an age older than Garry is now ), and remembering also his mentor Botvinnik, who won back the title at the age of 50 ( with some sweet revenge along the way ), will surely serve to keep Garry's appetite for combat and thirst for revenge in place. My prediction : we most likely haven't seen the last of Garry playing very serious chess, the last and most dramatic episode in his career is yet to be scripted and it is certain to produce great excitement and drama.

A separate note about Kramnik ( assuming that Garry does indeed stay retired for the rest of his life ). Vlad, you are a tremendous and unique player and possibly a very likeable person as well - but the chess world will never forgive you for not giving it another Kram-Kasp chess feast. Nobody cares about all those legalities and regulatory fine points that are so often invoked - in the state of total anarchy that chess exists into for the past twelve years, these serve more as pretexts and excuses than as valuable and usefull arguments. The two of you are the nominally and practically strongest players in the world - just pick up that damned cell phone and work it out for the 99.9999% of chess fans around the world who are dying to see it happen.
It really is so easy and so obviously necessary.

So the King has left the castle. I can hardly imagine how the world of chess will be without Kasparov, like a chess game with no kings.

I some how understand Kasparov. He is much older than all the other top players, and like Alexander the Great he run out off worlds to conquer. There is no more for him to do in chess. He has done it all. Looking for new challenges he will go in to politics. Good for Kasparov, but sad for the chess world. No more masterpieces from Kasparov to study. No more live games to follow. Chess fans all over the world will miss Kasparov. When Kasparov complains about none supported him in the mess we have seen the last few years he is wrong. Chess fans all over the world support him. He is our champion.

I am sad he leave. I am not sad for Kasparov, I am sure he will have a bright future wherever he goes. I am sad for the world of chess. I am sad for the chess fans including myself for not seeing any more of his fantastic games. Fortunately he has played so many great games in the past, and these games we can still study and marvel.

Chess is one of the very few sports where players can continue into old age. With Koichnoi being the best example. Other great master of the past like Smyslow, Bronstein, Spassky, Larsen and many others we have seen growing old with the game, their ratings not longer as high as in the past, but still able to play great chess on their best days, still giving a lot to chess. We can include Karpov on this list to. Kasparov will not be on this list of old master aging with grace still handing out blows to young coming master. It is of course possible that Kasparov one day will make a come back. Somehow I doubt it, even though chess is hard to leave, as we have seen many times in the past. However I guess that with the development and all the chess prodigies arriving with still increasing frequency it will be harder and harder to stay on top when you pass 40. Perhaps in chess we will see in the future that players retire around 35-40 as in most other sports.

I hope Kasparov will continue to write. I am sure he has a lot of knowledge and a lot of ideas about chess that will be great books. I am sure he has a lot of opening novelties on stock, novelties now never to be played. He now doesn't need to keep them secret anymore. But more interesting than opening novelties will be how Kasparov thinks chess. If he can write a book about the thinking process in chess it will be great. Well-commented game collections will also be great. I suppose we get such a collection in his final volume of his great predecessors books.

I feel an era has ended. An era starting with Steinitz is ending with Kasparov. Chess will continue one way or another but the greatness of the past I fear chess will never reach again.

Kasparov will be missed in the chess world. Good luck to Kasparov, wherever he will go.

Best Wishes,
Karsten Fyhn
(AKA Rimfaxe on the message board)


Most women are very strange. Next time, be careful. Most of them are really a waste of time, and a lot of trouble.

That is what Kasparov wrote in January:


"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"

I can trust that Kasparov believes in what he say. But he is not the one who can keep his promises firmly. Nor exactly this type of man.
So, from my viewpoint almost nothing has changed after this press-conference. Maybe Kasparov was just upset and wanted others to feel bad as well.
If Kasparov would ask FIDE to exclude him from the rating list, I would take it more seriously, perhaps. Otherwise, it is just a words.
Anyway, in the last 20 years he achieved absolutely everything in chess. It is understandable that he is trying now to concentrate on something else.

I think Kasparov read on these boards that ChessFan was calling him his "Main man" .. got scared.. and quit chess.

I know tha the chess world is a lesser place for the loss of GK he is the only player worth following and many non hard core fans will leave chess in droves. Kramnik is obviously scared of playing GK again because e knows he will be beat. All the rest who hate GK do so out of envy they can never achieve one hundredth of what he has achieved in his lifetime

Anyone out there agree with me

Long live the king the king is dead


Sorry, Miggy.

The tragedy? (Besides the gf part,) that the chess world got so horribly screwed up that not only do you feel for Kasparov, but you agree with his decision. At least I do.

Hell and damnation, what a double whammy. I'd drink myself under a table too if the same happened.
But fear not, Senor Greengard. I feel in my bones Gazza will play serious chess again. It may be a three year hiatus, but it will happen.

Mig do you know if there is any truth in this statement from a Norwegian chessgames.com regular:

"Magnus has gotten himself a new trainer. A Russian GM called Simen Agdestein on the phone and proposed the collaboration, and guess what, it was none other than Garry Kasparov. Magnus is going to Moscow in about a month... "

Another scoop might be interesting for some, this is what Gata Kamsky has in his notes at the ICC(Talion):

5: Don't ask me about Kasparov's retirement please. I personally hate the guy and frankly , he stopped being a #1 a long time ago. Ratings are not everything. Linares win, please, only points he scored were against lower half, and losing to Topalov.

I agree with the Mikhail Golubev.

Sentiments and occasions should not cloud reason, logic, and facts.

And yet another thing that upset me. Garry lost and yet again had an excuse ready and failed to acknowledge Topalov's play. When was the last time that Garry lost and didn't offer a flimsy excuse for that (either he is tired, rusty, has flu/fever/headache etc.)?

In Linares, he complained of not doing well towards the end because of retirement. I feel that he actually had an advantage as he was fresh unlike Leko, Anand, Topalov etc. who were tired after playing in Wijk. And because he was retiring, he could use a lot of his home analysis/preparation. In fact, almost all his wins were on the lower half of the field using home preparation/novelties. He drew with Anand and Leko and lost to Topalov.


He was full of force and determination, he was a man without barriers; he brought romantic chess to this incredible era of computers; damn he sacced rooks, queens and everything, he wasn't afraid to play bold; and yes it sounds like an obituary, but how else can one feel this retirement? I was never a truly Kasparov fan, I was just a kid when the weak echoes of his matches with Karpov arrived at my ears without much interest, and I was happy cause the winner had a similar name. But chess started for me in 2002, so all I knew was history and a mature Kasparov, all his great games were in the past for me. And yet how much I'm going to miss his daring games. I barely understand the great fortune of having been a contemporary of one of the greatest chess players in history, cause damn again, it's not easy to sac and he used to do it in a time when one shouldn't do, cause this is the a drawing time in chess and he seemed to thing he was in the 19th century. He was great and we all are going to miss his uniqueness.

Kamsky is a loser. Who wants his opinion anyway. In chess the ultimate test is against Gary and Kamsky knows it. He did not like Gary because because he was at the receiving end most of the time in their games. And of course Kamsky was well disciplined by an aging Karpov. The loser and his worthless piece of sh** dad just suffers from exaggerated feelings of self importance.
And as regards Gary finding excuse for his poor play against Topalov - Did you look at the game. Gary simply self destructed. It was NOT a special game from Topalov if you ignore the opponent.
And stop the talk of winning against weaker opponents. Since when is a 2680+ GM weak? Or is Mickey Adams weak? It was a great tmt and Gary won period. True the last round was a blemish but that takes little away from the overall performance of Gary.

Yeah, true. Stop moaning about Gary winning against the lower half of the tournament. Why, then, didn't Anand or Leko do the same if it's so easy to do?

When i saw the last game, i was at first shocked, and thought Garry was just not motivated cause he had won the tournament already. But when i realised the reality, the pressure under which he was playing, i felt only more admiration toward him.
Yes, he is arrogant and can be self-centered (everyone is, some are too unaware to admit it, and more importantly Garry has the talent to back it up, whereas most people don't) but at the same time he is still vulnerable...it's hard for me to imagine that some people just don't get it. He's not just a great genius, he's also a great human being.

Like everyone else I feel things have changed in the world; the world has taken a real tilt on its axis. Couple of things; he said he would be back for "fun" chess events, we can only hope that there are plenty of tempting fun events for him to get involved with; he will concentrate on his writing, so the brilliant Predecessors series will go on (and presumably include an autobiography, what a treat); we still get the usual crap from Kapalik and Golubev, someone ought to explain the concept of the Salieri complex (everyone remembers Motzart, but no-one remembers Salieri). I think we will be suffering more than Kaspy; he is clearly an extraordinary human being, in some respects it is a shame he has wasted so much time on a piddling little board game (believe me I love the game!), when there are serious jobs to do! Finally, Mig, regarding the girl think, I think it's time to turn to some internet pawn, that should put things into perspective.

Just saw the Topalov clip at Chessbase.com. He is a class act. "In the next five or ten years the chess world will be leaded (sic) by Vishy or Kramnik or leko (or me, let's say), but we are not the same, we are not the same kind of players, "
I think I have just joined the Topo fan club.

I second Costello. Comparing this video with Garry's press conference, one does see who is the self-centered chess genius and who is the nice guy chess champion.

Perhaps we'll never know if you can be a nice guy and lead a sport on the world stage for 20 years. Kasparov is certainly self-centered - although he tends to back it up - but be careful what you wish for. Having a non-entity as champion would be (is?) boring at the least. We have lived in interesting times, for better and for worse, thanks to Kasparov on and off the board.

In my experience, being "a nice guy" ultimately doesn't add up to much, and in the long run most "nice guys" don't end up being any more pleasant to be around than people with edge, even to the contrary. That said, i'm not entirely sure what a nice guy is like to begin with...in my opinion the common idea of a nice guy is quite irrelevant in every respect, and is more a matter of fancy than some innate characteristic.

Topalov certainly is a class act, but so is Garry...Garry has shown no less respect for great people.

I can't say anything about GM Kasparov's attitude towards people at tournaments where he was playing, because I've never been fortunate enough to be in the audience at one.

However, I have talked with a number of everyday fans who've met him at book signings and charity events, and they have all uniformly said that he was pleasant and positive, traits not always assigned to all GMs in similar situations.

And without going into details, I will say that after I became quite ill and the profile was published at Chessbase about me, he went out of his way to make a very, very kind gesture, with no possible purpose other than simple good nature.

For my own selfish reasons, I am very sorry to see him retire from professional chess, because I enjoy his games and I appreciate the positive energy he creates surrounding the sport itself.

But he has always seemed to me to be a very human champion, with many interests and activities. I certainly hope that he finds success and satisfaction in whatever he chooses to do next.


That was the impression i always had about him...that his apparent self-centeredness would be balanced by his good nature, and also sincerity...it's kind of what i wanted to imply with my previous post on the subject, that certain self-centeredness doesn't mean a person is "bad", even if at times it may seem so, even if he doesn't appear to be a "nice guy" all the time (those who seem to be nice guys all the time usually aren't exactly sincere). i wrote it hastily, but neither did i want to promote people who are just obnoxious, rude and only out for their own benefit.

While it could be see as the logical move of a frustrated man who has nothing more to achieve, I agree with guys like GM Golubev who see this as a show, perhaps even a ploy to get some rich guy to thrust big money into a Kasparov Anand match or something. It is like Anand said in the interview, Kasparov can win and win and win but it is never enough.

Mig, just wanted to offer my condolences on the girlfriend front and the Kasparov front. They were both devastating body blows, I'm sure. I do see one silver lining, which is that hopefully now Garry will feel fully able to share all of his insights and variations when he reaches "Garry the 13th" in his Predecessors series. And I also want to thank you for all that you have done to form this Chess Ninja community. I'm sure that the website helped to provide a lot of support for a lot of dejected Kasparov fans, as we all tried to come to grips with the stunning news. I know I was visiting it twenty times a day to see what everyone was saying, and for me the memory of Kasparov's retirement day will always be strongly linked with memories of the Daily Dirt and your poignant vodka-deprived sharing. So I'm sure it's bittersweet, to say the least, but I hope you can feel some amount of satisfaction in your own contribution to the experience. With the brief exception of the ChessBase press conference clip, Chess Ninja was obviously the place to be, that day.

I think Golubev is right on the money when he quotes The Big Liar's comments in January when he was irritated with an inept and dissembling FIDE.

The long and short is that the greatest player in the history of the unmasterable game was never honest for more than a few moments at a time. Churchill's comment "He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but picked himself up and went right along as if nothing had happened" presaged The Big Liar beautifully. He was and remains a petulant manchild who never showed objectivity towards opponents and brought as much grief to professional chess as he bestowed upon it a rare fighting spirit.

Thought-experiment: Elia Kazan was one of the most brilliant directors and dramaturges of the 20th century; he was also an utterly despicable bastard and plunderer of countless American artists' careers and lives. Greatness can contain both sides, and The Big Liar is just such a figure.

I think Anand was right when he said "time to remember the positives" but all of The Big Liar's apologists out there should use this snap retirement to quit sunbathing in the illusion that he was something of an upstanding person away from the board. This is a guy who split from the GMA because he couldn't get his own way, a guy who took a move back against Polgar and lied about it afterward, and a guy who was part of the group who ripped off Shirov to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rivals like Shirov and Timman didn't despise him because he was the best player -- it was because he was a lying sack of hammers and they knew it.

Farewell to The Big Liar, whose tireless trade in dishonesty will be better served in the provinces and transports of political life.

Golubev's words:

Well, GK will be missed by many in the chess world, but maybe only now we got a chance for a really FRESH START.

Amen to that.

mig, remove trolls!!

Mig, I would like to second the words of gratitude to you put forth so eloquently by Jeff Sonas. You have indeed created a wonderful community here and that is why inept outpourings of those few who can only rehash a bunch of ancient canards stand out so saliently. It is not worth your time or effort to debate them.

Could you please ask Garry what he intends to do with his database of 17000 variants he mentions in the Sport Express interview. Maybe now Dokhoyan will be allowed to enter tournaments and use some of that treasure trove?

As the old quote goes, criticism is how small men become large at small expense. That they are reduced to posting the same two or three anecdotes, and usually stretching the facts or just making stuff up on top of that, shows they are just harmless trolls. That's the problem with the internet, for them it's free. Unreasoning, anonymous haters like Clubfoot can post the same garbage over and over again and you either have to refute them again and again or just give up. They have more time and receive more gratification from the effort.

Even now, when the thought of a chess world without Kasparov over the last 30 years exposes their arguments as trivial at best and moronic at worst, they must copy-paste the same poison. Why? Because they enjoy it, plain and simple. They feel important simply because we answer them. That is the nature of the troll. No new information, posting only to provoke and to change the topic to their never-changing rant.

I think I'll change from a profanity filter to a lack-of-originality filter. Items like the Shirov match and the Polgar touch move and the GMA have been discussed to death. (The result: not that bad. Not good, but not crimes against humanity.) This way the trolls can save us space and time by just writing: "Rant #23" with a link.

Garry Kasparov is the greatest chess player, ever. But, it is obvious that he is not universally liked, or even respected. When a person begins to garner the hatred of his collegues, I begin to wonder. Sure, some of it may be fueled by jealousy, but still.

I love Kasparov's chess, I even met him once (at St. Johns, 1988) and he was fine (though Karpov was surprisingly much nicer). But I resent his breakaway from FIDE in 1993 because he hated Campamones. I resent his insisting on a return match with Kramnik after fighting against return matches for the W.C. I resent him not competing in Dortmund. And I resent his special status coming out of the Prague Agreement. If a Ponomariov - Kramnik match happened directly then, we might be in the middle of a new cycle for the W.C. right now; who knows?

I'm not trying to troll... and I appreciate that negative stuff about Kasparov might not be appropriate for this thread, but I just want to point out that not everyone loves the guy... that's all.

Go Morozevich!!

With all due respect,

Kramnik wouldn't have played a match against Ponomariov, that was one of the problems. He wanted, as now, at least one level of qualification in order to face him. Perhaps if there had been a Kasparov-Ponomariov match in 2002 things would be quite different now. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps many things.

The WSJ article by Garry is up, subscription only though. They've given me permission to post it to ChessBase.com, which I'll do this evening.

Ilyumzhinov, a man who hasorganized mega-tournaments and contributed tens of millions of dollars to chess somehow failed to organize Kasparov-Pono and Kasparov-Kasim unification matches. Could it be that Ilyumzhinov has never had a sincere interest in unification with troublesome folks like Kasparov, Kramnik et. al. and simply wants to run his own show?

Hello mig!

I first want to say that I donīt share the hatred of Kapalik, Goloubev, Clubfoot whoever they are against Kasparov. For me Kasparov is(was) the only chessplayer in the top who is worth his name. Of course he has done a few things wrong in his lifetime, after all he is just a human being. If he touched a piece against Polgar and lied about it afterwards. Sure I agree this is wrong and he shouldnīt have done that but who on this messageboard is the right to judge?. The Shirov-thing though I must say. Here he did a very bad thing in my opinion. For me Shirov had earned a match against Kasparov when he won that qualifier against Kramnik. I never understood why Kramnik and kasparov would play a match after this. Mig donīt say this has been discussed to death because I have never heard Kasparov giving a reasonable answer on this. I have asked this question in another tread and I hope you will ask Kasparov why he did this. Even though Kasparov is my main chess man(like somebody calls him on this messageboards) I really want to hear a good explanation by Kasparov on this. If you look at the situation to day when a coward like Kramnik is sitting on the crown the situation may have been much better what ever would have happend in a match against Shirov.

Isn't it clear by now that Kasparov accepted a match and that Shirov refused, demanding more money?

Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean the answer hasn't been given three or four hundred times! Kasparov didn't DO anything to Shirov. There wasn't a match because there was no money for a match, at least not enough. The only offer, and a preliminary one at that, that I ever saw was from Southern California and was turned down early by Shirov because the prize fund was too low. This was his right, and it certainly was much lower than what he had been led to expect, especially since he wasn't paid for beating Kramnik.

Shirov and Kramnik played in Cazorla without any financial guarantees in place. The organization, of which Kasparov was a part, was haphazard and rushed. What happened afterwards was a train wreck, no doubt. Shirov got screwed, absolutely. But that doesn't mean he was screwed by Kasparov, or that Kasparov benefited from what happened coincidentally. He would have loved to play against Shirov in 1998.

As it was he went through a year of grief looking for sponsorship for Shirov before someone offered to put up money for an Anand match. Anand declined (over financial guarantees, smart guy!) and six months later the offer went to Kramnik, next on the rating list. The sponsor was not interested in a Shirov match. Unless you expect Kasparov to basically retire and never defend his title, he had to play somebody at some point. That's the problem when you don't have a system in place. It puts too much power in the hands of individuals who have their own agendas, whether they be players or sponsors.

It's beneath Mig (but then again, maybe not) to resort to personal attacks against a poster with whom he does not agree. If you check the countless and interesting Daily Dirt threads, it's Mig who is always on the march to prevent such attacks and restore order. But tell the truth about Kasparov and Mig's temper flares: suddenly I am a "hater", a "troll" and a small person who manipulates "free" [??] Internet time to satisfy a craving for attention.

Mig's ad hominem response is reductionist and a bit of a giveaway, especially the astonishing hey-that's-old-news deflection at the mention of Kasparov's transgressions over the years. For some time he has acted as Kasparov's de facto press agent on occasion, and his unconditional love for the man is clear; but when he fails to follow his own advice with an "I don't agree" response and starts name-calling when someone points out that this is not a god but a flawed man, Mig is unfit to mediate an opinion page. At least today, anyway.

And what is this nonsense about being "anonymous"?? Like everyone else I sign up for posts according to Mig's rules. So what if I'm not a Friend of Mig?? I am not a cultist anyhow. And Mig's final shot, that I'm "unoriginal", is a cowardly and disgusting way to dismiss whatever point I was attempting to make.

Clubfoot, I was simply lumping you in with the rest of your kind and addressing the group. But feel free to take it personally. Nothing you posted hasn't been said over and over here and elsewhere. That's how I usually define "unoriginal" and "troll."

Mediate? Who said anything about mediate? I moderate - very rarely - profanity, abuse, hijacks, and redundancy. These are sins of netiquette, not content. I am free to post my own opinions just like anyone else around here.

As for the telling the truth, you won't know until you try. It shouldn't surprise to find I get angry when people with zero information post the same old BS to attack a friend of mine in the most abusive tone. If you don't want to be called a troll, post something with some original thought behind it sometime, maybe even some information.

According to Shirov, the reason he refused to play Kasparov was that there were no satisfactory financial guarantees, even of the $400,000 figure that has been bandied about.
And Anand did not decline the match with Kasparov over financial guarantees - the offer was withdrawn from him after the deadline for an answer was advanced by a month and Anand wanted to stick to the old deadline.

Anand said that he would not agree to play unless the loser's share of the prize fund were deposited in his bank account (or possibly an escrow account). The organizers were unwilling to do that. Anything about deadlines was relatively irrelevant.

The deadlines were not irrelevant at all. Anand had the contract with his lawyers in India and was negotiating all the issues when he was suddenly told that the deadline on the contract was a misprint and he had to answer a month earlier than expected. At the time he was in the middle of a tournament and refused to deal with the matter until the event was over, so the offer was withdrawn. To claim that financial guarantees caused the match to collapse is to spin the blame onto Anand - even if this in retrospect looks like a reasonable demand.
In fact Anand never had a considered chance to put his position on the contract the organisers had presented him with.

Congrats Clubfoot, that got deleted. I'm sure you won't be able to imagine why. By the way, toward your last "point," it was Kasparov who refused to shake Shirov's hand, and it had nothing to do with 98. Facts are annoying things, you are lucky not to have to deal with them yourself.

Sure Mig, whatever you say -- or rather whatever Kasparov tells you to believe. People who pinprick the bubble of your illusions are just as annoying as them "facts" you proclaim from the safety of your hobbyhorse.

By the way posters, I called him "Migalomaniac" in my post. Feel free to use at your leisure.

Clubfoot, don't flatter yourself. I have information. I don't need Kasparov to tell me anything (and if he did that would still be actual information, unlike your lies, for which you aren't even embarrassed). The handshake thing is well documented and started when Kasparov said Shirov had implied the 2000 match with Kramnik was fixed.


The problem with all the whining about my bias and the now-routine insults is that they still don't budge the facts. Of course everyone can interpret the facts as they like, but distorting them and making things up is childish and tiresome. Don't start whining about bias when I point out that you are simply wrong, as in this case with the handshake.

Tassie, I don't think it's a question of blaming Anand. That implies unreasonable demands and I don't think that was the case.

There were two attempted Kasparov-Anand matches in 99-2000. The first had Grimaux and Kok organizing and fell through when Oracle bailed at the last minute. That one cost Anand a chance to play in the 1999 FIDE KO. The second was the Braingames match that eventually went to Kramnik. The deadline for Anand to sign was moved up, but the demands had already been made clear and Keene had called the two sides irreconcilable before the March 27 deadline passed. Mark Weeks has a summary here:


Arvind's original article is online here:


The salient part:

"World No.2 Viswanathan Anand announced on Tuesday that he decided not to play World No.1 Garry Kasparov as the terms of the contract were not on equal terms. Anand was made an offer to play Kasparov in a 16-game series by a British consortium for $2 million (about Rs.8.80 Crores) with the winner taking two-thirds and the loser one-third. The venue, sponsor, organiser were not disclosed and GM Raymond Keene was negotiating the deal. The deal fell through with Ray Keene claiming that Anand's lawyers wanted $300,000 as advance something which they could not come up with.

Anand feels that if the match feel through (like last time) he would get nothing to compensate his expenses on training and his loss of income for not playing in the FIDE Championship for five years. Besides the escrow and the contract guaranteed only Kasparov the money if the match fell through. He did not want to be in a passive position and rely on Kasparov's goodwill for such a compensation. The organisation was a company to be floated in the future and there will be nobody for Anand to sue. It was like a futures deal.

Under these circumstances he was set to reject the deal when the London consortium wanted to advance the signature date to March 21 from April 21, showing lack of respect for the World No.2 player. It was learnt later that Kasparov was visiting London on April 5 and wanted to make the announcement during that visit. The new deadline was given by an announcement when he was playing at Monte Carlo.

The whole world was wondering why he rejected the offer. The reason is clear: the guarantee was not sufficient enough and the typos/mistakes in the contract make one assume it was not a professional work."

"Prick"! Step between us good Benvolio, my wit fails!! You're still the rapier-keen Art Buchwald of chess journalism.

I didn't make anything up. And you did not deny a single thing in my original post, you just panicked and dismissed it all as the "unoriginal" work of a hater and a troll. I'm not the one whining -- you did that just fine after the triple vodka binge you felt it necessary to share with all of us. And if you really wanted to prove me wrong about the Shirov-Kasparov feud, you'd restore the post you deleted.

You've bottomed out, Migalo -- you'll fight to the death to defend the indefensible.

It's amazing to see how Mig perverted facts here. I dont' wish to touch these subjects again but I still have to remind that:

1.Kasparov started talking about a match with a different challenger as early as in October 1998, four months after Cazorla 1998. Compare with Kramnik-Leko, for instance.

2.Kasparov's refusal of handshake in Wijk an Zee 2001 had no grounds (except maybe that I was a point ahead of him in the tournament) because the thing he accused me of was a pure imagination and couldn't be proved anywhere except with his own words

3. The contract for the Cazorla match was correctly made and later on it was recognised by the Spanish court. It indeed did not have the bank guarantees but unfortunately it's the common case. A player can be cheated anywhere - it's just a good luck that it doesn't normally happen in tournaments so far. But it did happen in Cazorla. By the way WCC (oficcialy led by Rentero, William Wirth and Kasparov) turned out not to be even registered anywhere, so it's to be admitted that the organization was 100% fake.

I sincerely hope that Mr. Miggs (sorry, Mr. Mig, that caracter from 'Silence of the Lambs' can't be forgotten) will stop writing his lies (sorry again, his views) about 'Cazorla's fraud' one day. At least now when his friend is out, that day can approach sooner.


Alexei Shirov

Hey Gata ( Clubfoot ), what's up ? How's your dad doing these days ? Admitedly, calling the then ' Hitler and Stalin ' a mere ' Big Liar ' now indicates that your opinion of Garry is actually getting better with time. Too bad your individual chess score will never follow the same course.

Mig's perversion of facts is well known, as is his catamitic relationship with Kasparov. Coincidence? We'll leave this to Mike Wallace.

Mr Shirov: I was checking out your game with Nickoloff this morning. Was that a bluff at the end? Whatever the case, an incredible draw.

The justice of this Kasparov-Shirov abortive match controversy appears to hinge on two questions:

1) Was there money out there for a Kasparov-Shirov match and if so,

2) For what reason would Kasparov sabotage a payday against an opponent over whom he had enjoyed substantial success?

If I heard a credible "yes" to the first question and a plausible explanation to the second, I'd probably side with Shirov.

Perhaps the handshake tempest was an innocent misunderstanding between Shirov, who complained over how the Kasparov-Kramnik match was put together/"arranged" and Kasparov, who misunderstood Shirov to complain that the match was "fixed."

hmmm... this is getting nasty.. GM Shirov thanks for posting, always interesting to hear from you. Obviously you feel pretty strongly, and understandably so about the match that never was. I have no idea whether GK is as black as you paint him to be, but I think nobody believes he's as pure as the driven snow, no human is. I appreciate him though for his chess mastery and his fighting abilities, which he posseses above any other Chess player that ever was, seemingly.

Clubfoot you're just an effing jerk. You think couching an insult in a sophisticated term makes it acceptable? Looks like you're the man child here. Possibly you have personal experience of catamitic relationships to write so knowledgeably about them?

Okay...now let's recap d's last two posts:

POST #1 (conciliatory and reverential towards GM Shirov in an oily way ):

"hmmm... this is getting nasty.. GM Shirov thanks for posting, always interesting to hear from you."

How sweet. And very nice of d to call a halt to all nastiness. Now let's check out d's very next post:

"Clubfoot you're just an effing jerk. [...] Looks like you're the man child here."

Your consistency is impressive. But sophistication is not what I was going for: it started as an opinion, nothing more, until Migalo (and you) started tossing grenades. But let's hope GM Shirov's words come true: now that Migalo's tin saint is out of the game, maybe his website will no longer be the vanity page of a raving hysteric.

clubfoot, maybe you should try anger management classes. Shirov didnt call anybody a catamite, or wax shrill and profane otherwise, as you did rather pathetically. As for conciliatory, couldnt care less. I just want Shirov to keep on posting because I love his Chess, and sometimes he posts little nuggets that are fascinating. You on the other hand.. Need I spell it out old son? :-)

Old son?

Who's angry, d-star? No, Shirov didn't call anyone a catamite -- that was me and I'd like to know what was so pathetic about it -- I thought I delivered the comment in a clear and concise fashion. But GM Shirov DID call someone a liar, namely your hero Mig.

:-) you really are a sad case old boy. Old son incidentally is a form of address, English in origin (the country). Glad you posses the gift of ESP to know why my heroes are, should keep you in food and attire at least. Also clarity of statement doesnt necessarily preclude something being pathetic, the content does.

A previous post "identifies" Clubfoot as Gata. Can this be so?


Upon rereading the old material, there appear to be half a dozen reasons why Anand was unhappy with the match contract - see the extract below from
The Week in Chess 282.
However ultimately the match offer was taken away from him before any of the below issues had been resolved. It's easy for Keene to say that the $300,000 advance was the sticking point, but if Kasparov really was guaranteed $1,000,000 (as Anand claimed below) then it's just being used as a cover for cutting off negotiations.

TWIC 282 extract
Anand was unhappy with many clauses of the contract, including:

(i) Anand would be required not to compete in any other World Championship for the next five years.

(ii) Kasparov is guaranteed $US1m if the match does not take place. Anand was not sure of receiving anything unless he relied on Kasparov's goodwill, which is why he asked for $300,000 up front.

(iii) He was given until April 21 to consider the contract. On March 21 the organisers claimed that this was a typing error and that he must make a decision immediately!

(iv) At one point in the negotiations Anand offered a list of changes to the contract which were accepted by the negotiator. Then that same evening he was told that all these conditions were not acceptable. He was later told that his changes would be considered only after he had signed the contract!

(v) The contract was to be signed with a new organisation which did not yet exist, but this would be the party Anand would have to sue if things went wrong.

(vi) Anand was told to keep the plans for the match completely confdential but then in Linares he discovered that information about the match had been leaked to 'The Times' of London.

(vii) The source of the funding was never named.

Nothing like being called a liar and then agreed with. I'm not sure why Alexei Shirov says I'm lying about the Cazorla match situation when he states the same facts I gave, even including the later handshake idiocy (which I called childish at the time). I didn't say Kasparov had a GOOD reason, I only stated that it was at his initiative, in contradiction of what another poster said. I thought it was silly. I wouldn't think Shirov would like to be accused of the childish behavior he accuses Kasparov of. Oh well.

I've seen faxes and letters to and from Kasparov's management and representatives regarding attempts to get sponsorship for a Kasparov-Shirov match dated as late as November, 1998. Not having an internet polygraph handy, that's about all I can say. I don't doubt that Kasparov and/or his manager started looking at other options before that.

I also said the WCC and the match organization was a disaster, and that Kasparov was a part of that organization. Where are the lies? My only interpretive point was that Kasparov did not willfully screw up that match because he had nothing to gain by doing so and much to lose.

Below are some of my writings at TWIC the time all this was going on:

31.10.98 [After the match, scheduled for October, had totally collapsed along with the spurious WCC.] "Alexei Shirov has collected the title "most screwed-over player" for 1998. He wins his candidates match with Kramnik only to find there was no cheese at the end of the maze. Kasparov blamed the WCC and Rentero, Rentero blamed political changes, and Shirov was left holding the short straw. Kramnik got some of his prize money for losing, Shirov gets nothing for winning. Following this logic I may be eligible for some prize money for not playing. It will a real pity if there is no Kasparov-Shirov match in the coming months."

30.11.98 "I will refer to Kasparov as "world champion" for the next month, after that his three years without defending his title are up and he will be demoted to "world number one" as long as he maintains that rank on the list. In my opinion you can’t be world champion forever just by not playing, a la Bobby Fischer. And if he plays a title match against anyone other than rightful challenger Alexei Shirov it will be worse than no match at all. What would he be saying? "I will defend my title against the winner of this match. Oh, unless HE wins." NO WAY! If Kasparov wishes to salvage any credibility at all he should join Shirov in looking for sponsorship for their match.)"

I did mess up the dates, sorry about that. I was thinking Cazorla was in February but of course that was Linares, which was hastily announced as a candidates tournament. Cazorla ended on June 4, 1998. When was the first mention of Anand? Anyway, it was obviously still in 1998, which means too early.

My opinion on the matter changed when I was shown documents that indicated there had been an offer to sponsor the match, one that Kasparov had agreed to and Shirov had declined as too low. As much as I then and now respect Shirov's right to get what he deserved (and Barcelona looked like a real possibility at the time) after being ripped off in Cazorla, I felt I couldn't hold Kasparov responsible for it anymore.

Tassie, yes, just about any one of those reasons would have been legit for Anand not playing, especially since he had just missed a chance to play in the FIDE KO (back when it was really big money) because of the collapsed 1999 match he had even signed contracts for.

Since Kasparov announced his retirement I've been amazed at the intensity of the attacks on him in internet parlors of gossip. I can't blame Shirov or Kamsky or other actual opponents and peers of his hating him for the rest of their lives..but I'm stunned how so many non-professionals have been foaming at the mouth. I'd expect unbridled rage from butt scratching sports fans..but not chess enthusiasts. There are enough people I come into contact with on a daily basis for me to hate on a one on one, meaningful basis. I try not to waste it on people I don't even associate with personally be they chess masters or rock stars. Yes, I often slip when I read about Paris Hilton..but I'm working on that. If you don't actually know GK or Bobby or "Drawnik" yet rant against them several times per day on the internet...I think you've gone overboard. Focus on their chess!

Sorry Whiskey, I'm going to have to delete that post. It makes too much sense and clearly has no place in this thread!

How about this one (I'm a few drinks further along). I saw the CLASH in their prime live; I'd rather remember them like they were then than later. With a proper glow from alcohol I'd expect most chess fans should be able to do the same for GK, Bobby, Spassky, Larsen, Karpov, Bisguier, etc. It's sobriety that fuels nit-picking and finger pointing here and at other prominent chess discussion forums. Remember: "drink to forget..but don't forget to drink".

heh.. you seem to have an abundance of good cheer whiskey! Tell me, what's your poison? I personally prefer Cognac to whiskey, though i do have a weakness for Islay Malts..

whiskeybarrel... re: "but scratching sports fans"... I think it's awesome that BSSF's like myself are chiming in with our opinions! If chess is ever to get more popular, we need more BSSF's! (maybe, "Butt Scratching Chess Fans"; BSCF's ;-) The kind of bile that makes Boston - New York sports rivalries (and I shall refrain from gloating here, as a Bostonian posting on a New York run blog, ahem...) so great is the kind of fervor we need more of in Chess!

I've critisized GK, but I admire anyone who can rile up the masses with their feelings.

I also think it's wicked awesome (remember... Bostonian here ;-) that my thoughts are posted in the same thread as GM Shirov's and (apprently) GM Kamsky's. I guess this is the kind of "democracy" Gary Kimovich wants for Russia!

Forever scratching,

After reading all comments at once, I found an interesting legitimacy:
It looks like the failed attempts to organize matches Kasparov vs. Anand, Shirov, and Ponomariov have much in common:
1) Garry's opponents are blamed in public opinion;
2) The only person who managed to get some guaranties from organizers, was Kasparov;
3) The only person who had his change requests accepted by organizers, was Kasparov, and his requests were mostly never disclosed to the public.
4) If Garry's requests are not satisfied by organizers, they become a side to blame.

I remember Kasparov blamed Karpov and Campo for conspiracy, but does not abovementioned look similar?

This is so sad when the greatest minds are found to be not the honest ones ;-(

1) I don't recall (or see above) much public blaming of Anand or Shirov at all, and I was one of the people trafficking what you are calling public opinion. The stuff about the Shirov match didn't come out for a long time and it was almost universally acknowledged that Shirov was screwed. Even Kasparov admitted that, although he said he lost out as well, which was beside the point since he was still champ and hadn't pushed a pawn. As for Anand, Kasparov (and Keene & Co.) certainly pushed him to accept in 2000, but from reading the contemporary accounts it looks to me like most people understood why Anand would be very wary.

2) Ponomariov collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for not playing Kasparov. Kasparov was not paid a cent for any of the three (four, really, since there were two Anand matches). He wasted just as much time as Anand and the others, not to mention all the time spent trying to get these things organized in the first place. (Although Anand would have played in the FIDE KO in 1999 and Kasparov wouldn't have anyway.) Shirov is the only one who actually played, was owed money, had a contract for money, and got ripped off.

3) If Kasparov's change requests weren't disclosed to the public, how do you know they were accepted, or that they existed at all? It's a catch-22. If Kasparov works to organize a match he was accused of having too much influence with the organizers. He was the champion and the big name, there is no doubt he would receive preferential treatment from sponsors he recruited and who considered him the meal ticket. This is NOT fair, and the problems were seen in the 1995 PCA match. That's why we need a fair and impartial organization and system in place. Rule of law. Sure, stars get a few perks in any sport, but when they have to be event organizers you are going to have conflicts of interest everywhere. I don't blame Kasparov for asking for things (assuming they are fair), it's everyone's right. It's the organization's job to be impartial.

4) Could you give some examples of Garry's requests to organizers? Again, I don't think asking for things is bad, it's a long tradition. (Fischer-Spassky the most extreme example, and not a good one.) The problem is chessplayer as organizer. When the PCA collapsed Kasparov was basically on his own to set up the world championship, the same position Kramnik was in after Einstein disappeared and is in now. Mostly a disaster.

1) As for public blamimg, you're right, and I am right, too ;-) I meant first public and media reaction, before the things got clarified (mostly in rumors). If I am right, both Anand and Shirov disclosed details lately (again, I can be wrong here).
2) As for Pono, FIDE did not accept any of his change requests and pushed him really hard. Even Kasparov admitted once, that they dragged their feet on Pono. But he told this only lately. At that time he was silent on his own demands (or even lied, because he stated he has not had any demands at all), but stated that Pono behavior is just unacceptable. Let's accept this money as some kind of moral and material compensation, especially because Pono still did not recover as chess player, as we see.
3) As for change requests, let me ask: if Kasparov did not ask for an additional day-off during his match with Pono, how this change (strongly opposed by Pono side, and one of main reasons for Pono to decide not to play) was made by FIDE? Agree on the rest of your statements here.
4) For an example look above. I agree with you on the rest.

Pono was also accused in not signing the contract to play. As we found lately, Kasparov also never signed it. How could he blame Pono in this case?

I dunno, I don't remember any of the usual suspects in the press bashing Anand or Shirov. Kasparov has definitely had a bully pulpit as champion and famous guy. He knows how to use the press and does.

The point of my comments about FIDE and the Pono-GK match is that if Kasparov asks for an extra rest day (and I didn't say he did not; I assume he did) that doesn't seem like some wild thing to do. What is wrong with asking for something? If Kasparov got what he asked for I don't see why this is evidence of some abuse on his part. FIDE did grant several things to Ponomariov, although by that point it all looked trivial on both sides. (Russian-speaking arbiter, rest days, etc.) Again, the problem was FIDE not being an impartial (or competent) organizer.

Fischer asked to play in a back room and got his wish. It was his fault for asking, but far more it was the organization's fault for agreeing to such a ludicrous request. The thought of that always makes me feel sorry for Spassky.

Where did we find that Kasparov never signed to play Ponomariov? He returned his player agreement to FIDE signed, Ilyumzhinov showed it at their press conference in Moscow.

I don't blame Kasparov for asking for something. This is his right as negotiator. I blame him for saying he did not ask for something he asked for. If he signed a contract, my apology to him. I had never seen this press conference. When was it held, if you still remember?
But again, this is just a detail. My point is that while stating that he tries to make chess players life better for decades, he regularly shows the conspiracy behavior examples. I can't believe this happened to be a good will act from every match organizer when they provide Kasparov with everything requested, while constantly rejecting requests of an opposite side. Please note, these were matches, not well-established top tournaments, where organizers wouldn't allow anybody, even Garry, to treat them low.
P.S. I already stated somewhere, that Garry is the best student Botvinnik ever had, and one of main well known Botvinnik match preparation strategy details was to create difficulties to his opponents before the match begin!

Here's a page with the FIDE press release mentioning that Kasparov signed and submitted his 'players undertaking'.


I still don't think you have shown any conspiracy or anything beyond self-interest by Kasparov. While he has played the cards dealt him, I don't see how how changing his behavior would have made them work. "He gets his way so he must be doing something evil" is tempting but backwards. Again, his being part of the organization in many of these examples was the main problem. It's a conflict of interest even if he doesn't actively interfere.

Kramnik will be subject to the same charges unless he manages to distance himself from the ACP, assuming of course that they manage to organize something. When you and your manager bring in the sponsor and the group you run oversees the match, your opponent has a right to feel a little uncomfortable! Anand certainly didn't like it in 1995.

Whan I say 'conspiracy', I don't mean a conspiracy against somebody. I mean conspiracy in favor of somebody (Kasparov).
Here is our example from the match vs. Pono:
1. What and when had Kasparov signed?
Had he signed the original text, approved by the Presidential board? No. Because if he had, why Pono was asked to sign a text, different from the one previously approved? Original text did not contain an additional day-off before tie-break.
Kasparov signed the contract with changes made in his favor, or with reservations like the above mentioned (both FIDE and Kasparov never disclosed the text of this signed agreement, and even lied saying Kasparov signed the contract without reservations made).
So what makes Kasparov better than Pono who also signed the contract before deadline with reservations made, and never tried to hide this fact?
Why Kasparov's demands were approved without even notifying Pono (not mentioning Pono was strictly against these changes after he realized the details), and Pono demands to cancel these changes were denied?
What Pono was blamed for by both FIDE and Kasparov?

Isn't this a clear example of conspiracy involving FIDE and Kasparov?

By the way, as I remember, FIDE first confirmed they got $150K from Argentinian organizers, but later Kirsan said Argentitnians did not pay FIDE. Pono had his demands for the cancellation fee ($100K) withdrawn volunteraly and was not payed. We'll never know if Kasparov received any money, or what FIDE did with it. Kasparov says 'no', but there are many people who don't believe he said truth, because he misrepresented facts too frequently in the past.

Well "conspiracy" would mean there was a secret agreement between Kasparov and FIDE to give Kasparov better benefits than Pono. While I don't know what actually happened, I can't see any facts indicating there was something more than negotiations.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 11, 2005 4:32 AM.

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