Mig 
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Kasparov to FIDE: "Make It Official"

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In brief comments during the Linares tournament, Garry Kasparov has said he would consider playing in a unification tournament. "When everything is arranged and I have received an official invitation, then I'll make my decision. There's nothing for me to say now because there is no concrete proposal."

Well, exactly. This highlights the foolishness of FIDE's habit of making announcements, giving interviews, and setting deadlines instead of organizing events and issuing invitations like a professional organization. Ilyumzhinov deals in rumors and threats and then acts indignant when someone calls his bluff.

I also stumbled across a Spanish newspaper interview with Veselin Topalov in which he was asked about the unification event: "Sincerely, I don't think this is a real possibility for unification because we already know that of the eight players three - Kasparov, Kramnik, Leko - surely won't participate. Definitely not. In my case I want to see the contract. .. I'm not very hopeful about unification. I stopped being interested in it a while back. These days the world title is something purely commercial. Before, the world champion was considered the best player in the world, but now you can see that's not the way it is. The current champion, Kasimdzhanov, is number 25."

I'll post more at ChessBase.com tonight.

17 Comments

I wish I could feign surprise. But it's just (FIDE) business as usual.

"The only way for me to regain the championship is to beat Kramnik in my eyes he's the only legitimate title holder." --Kasparov as quoted in the final Linares 2001 Chessbase report.

In the same lines, the only way for Karpov to have ever become a legitimate champion was to have defeated Fischer. Since he never did so, he was never a legit champ - and neither was anyone after him.

Hail Fischer.

Sorry Murali, but since Botvinnik didn't defeat Alekhine in a title match, he was not a legitimate champ according to your definition. Therefore no one since Botvinnik is legitimate. Including Fischer.

Hey Mihailo,

First of all, my comment was a sarcastic reply to greg's. Since greg tends to take Kramnik's side against Kasparov in his posts, I assumed he intended to say that "Kasparov himself recognizes that unless he beats Kramnik or beats someone that beats Kramnik (etc.), he has no legitimate claims to the title". The problem is that if Kramnik refuses to play anyone for the title he will keep his World Champion title for life, just like Fischer - hence my comparison.

(Rambling digression): There is nothing I hate more than the fact that Kramnik drew that final game in his match against Leko. I bet if Leko had won that match he (Leko) would have been much more open towards a unification match with the FIDE winner. But unfortunately, the winner (no, DRAW-ER) of that match was Kramnik, this #$@&^#@@* bastard who considers himself above all opposition and wants the best in the world to compete in a cycle to play him. And he demans this while displaying mediocre performance in tournaments (when he decides not to chicken out of them) and not winning a match since 2000. I said it before and I repeat it here, Botvinnik never had such a good student! Maybe Kramnik will even insert a rematch clause in the ACP cycle.

I think that since it has now been 5 years since Kramnik won the WC title, and that he has found a way to duck a re-match, Kasparov might think a bit differently now. Kramnik is yet another fraud champion like those who sought to keep the title longer than they deserved it. He WAS champion in 2000, but now he is Kramnik-The-Chickensh**-WC.

Sorry Murali, my sarcasm detector wasn't on yet. I will now retreat shamefully into a corner.

Isn't it time to create an "Official Bash Kramnik Thread" by now? Of course, I forgot all the threads are for that.

(As if I haven't been posting enough...but I felt I should say something nice about Kramnik once)

I will respect Kramnik if he starts playing actively in the tournament cycle and resumes his invincibility streak of the late 90's. Even if he is behind Kasparov in all tournaments and never accomplishes more than a solid +2 or +3, managing to never lose is no small thing - it proves that Kramnik is not inferior to any other player in the world, thus a worthy World Champion.

I truly believe that if Kramnik wanted to, he could regain his invincibility of the late 90's. I think his recent losses and poor tournament performance all stem from his attempt to be more aggressive and win more games (especially with the Black pieces). Unfortunately, this strategy is just not suited to his style.

Kramnik should revert to what he is good at: drawing anyone with the Black pieces and pushing for a win with White in those rare occasions when he can get a microscopic advantage and exploit it to a win without ever risking losing. Unfortunately, he has already screwed up a bunch of tournaments, so the burden is now on him to prove he can pursue this strategy again.

Let's not forget that when Karpov won a default World Championship in 1975 he went on to rape every tournament in sight to prove his worth. Then, after 1993 when he defeated Timman for the parallel World Championship with the Kasparov-Short Match, Karpov went on to destroy the 1994 Linares tournament with a +9 score, further proving his worth as reigning World Champion. The 1994 Linares achievement by Karpov will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements of all time, in line with Fischer's 20-game win streak and Kasparov's Linares victories.

Did Kramnik prove his worth?

i don't know how that alone makes Kramnik even as good as his competition, Kasparov and Topalov push for win with black pieces also and often times manage to do it, and especially Kasparov who plays aggressive in every game and perhaps takes risks to lose but always somehow manages to avoid losing. Does this not mean superiority over someone who only plays for draw with black, and super-solid with white?

One can say it's a question of style, but ultimately style is a question of talent. If one is not super-talented, it makes sense to adapt a style which is safer. And it's also convenient to hide behind phrases like 'an artist paints what he wants to paint'...on general level, i agree with Kramnik's statement, but if his chess style is an expression of his self, as artist's style of painting is of his...well, all i can say is that for myself his "art" gives extremely little, and as far as i am concerned doesn't express the beauty of chess in a proper way (is the beauty of chess truly just playing for draw with black?...what about all the brilliant victories of great players with black pieces, then?). No, it's a very narrow expression of chess.

Why don't we just respect Kasimdzhanov's FIDE WC title, even if he isn't the best, under the stipulation that he has to accept a certain amount of challengers with a reasonable shot at the title over a certain period of time. Then, any challengers, if they win the title, must agree to the same stipulations. Thus, everyone from the re-unification cycle gets a chance to grapple for Kasimdzhanov's title, and that of the eventual victor over Kasimdzhanov, and it would eventually come to rest with the strongest SuperGM.

Oh, and disposing of Ilyumzhinov and replacing him with Yasser Seirawan would only help this probably very absurd plan.

Of course, any moron can come up with a reunification plan; the problem is to get all of the players at the table, who seem to always be dodging it because of the purse or the politics.

Murali,

Your critiques of Kramnik's playing style would have more weight if you played over his games.

"There is nothing I hate more than the fact that Kramnik drew that final game in his match against Leko."

Yup.

Hey greg, I do follow these elite tournaments and I play over all of Kramnik's games. I agree he is the ultimate chess perfectionist, which is a quality. I am also a perfectionist, but it doesn't mean much when I have an 1800 rating. Which is why I don't boast about it.

Let Kramnik resume his invincibility, and he can talk about painting as much as he wants. As long as he can't do better than tied #4 at Corus, his comments are not credible. (After the latest interview, I will give him the benefit of the doubt - I will refrain from overly criticizing until he recovers from the flu and his stress).

Finally, when I said that I hated the fact that he won, it was purely for unification's sake. I feel Leko would have fewer demands for a final reunification match, and it would have happened more easily.

BTW, it's not that Kramnik hasn't won any tournaments or matches since 2000 as some of the commentators here seem to believe.

"BTW, it's not that Kramnik hasn't won any tournaments or matches since 2000 as some of the commentators here seem to believe."

That's right, he won Linares 2003 and 2004 with a (gasp!) 0.5 lead over the rest of the field, and a undefeated score of +2.

He was also tied for first in Dortmund 2004. Score in classical time controls: +0-0=10 (?) (not sure about the number of draws).

Whatever you say, he beat Kasparov in a match and Kasparov was the legitimate representative of the line that stretched back at least to Staunton (tho in a serpentine way.) I'll agree that he doesn't have the tournament record of a champion but he has at least played one match with the title on the line so you can't say that he won't play. He has. Instead of trying to tear him down away from the board, people need to be finding opportunities for him to play.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 6, 2005 7:01 PM.

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