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Bulgaria Calling

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Topalov has been well received and heartily hailed in his homeland. This article from the Bulgarian news service - always with charming translations - says Ilyumzhinov has posited Bulgaria as a possible host to the 2007 world championship tournament. This is just happy talk of course; money talks and FIDE walks. The article has links at the bottom to two other items about Topalov's homecoming. They mention that he is only visiting Bulgaria but not that he has lived in Spain for many years (as has Anand). It's nice that neither Bulgaria nor India begrudge their heroes' choice of residence. No doubt this is helped by how both Topalov and Anand have actively promoted chess in their home nations. Maybe Spain has something to complain about instead. Nah.

[The current surge in traffic and comments has coincided with a dodgy upgrade of this blog system. I haven't seen many errors myself lately, but I understand some people are still getting "internal server error" every once in a while when they post a comment. (No need to repost usually, it just delays appearance.) I don't have time to deal with a full reinstall right now, so thanks for your patience. If you are getting any consistent errors (i.e., you can reproduce them), let me know. I'm waiting till the weekend for the reinstall.]


Money for FIDE is not a problem anymore. They have succeeded in pouring more than 4 million USD to the top players in less than a year and a half (Tripoli, San Luis and Khanty-Mansiysk). I really don't remember who else attracted more sponsorship for so many players and in such a short time...

One must wonder what'll happen once the funding dries up. Where does the money come from, anyway? Ilyumzhinov's pockets, or political connections of his?

It seems likely that FIDE's ability to independently raise large sums of money, from corporate sponsorship or other sources, must have atrophied over the Ilyumzhinov years.

It looks like independent sources are mostly funding the FIDE events. Tripoli was sponsored by the Libyan Olympic Committee, San Luis by NEC and the local government while Khanty-Mansiysk seems to be funded by the local municipality and Russian oil companies: http://www.worldchesscup2005.com

Speaking of chess promotion, did Kasparov do anything for Russia? I know he was (is?) quite active in the US. It would be nice if he starts something like the Botvinnik chess school - take some talented youngsters and give them guidance at a crucial stage. Anand is doing something like that in India.

Kasparov, however much I don't like him (to say the very, very least, not to use other words), I respect him as much as a chess player.

He did a lot for Russia chess, for sure, many of what we even do not know about, I know of these:

Internet websites: kasparovchess and now another one, with the highest quality stuff available. This was in russian, and was the best online chess improvement resource.

This may even be enough. Added to the books he recently wrote, which are meant for Russians, too, his chess carreer is to be respected even more and more.

The most he did for Russia chess is becoming a World Champion and defending the title many times. This tops it all. He has done his chess job well.

"They have succeeded in pouring more than 4 million USD to the top players"

The problem of FIDE is that it's players do not respect the organization that is behind them. Top players are getting more cash and tournament chances than ever before, yet they attack FIDE whenever they get a chance. This is a strange family relationship, I am surprised FIDE didn't give up (divorce)on them a long time ago.

Also, the GENS UNA SUMUS is not what it used to be. "Thanks" to the players, not FIDE or some officials working for it.

More on chess:

Chess players are 99% incapable of any kind of leadership. They, are however very capable of playing good chess and, what is more important, being friends, much more than in any other sport.

Being practically incapable of leadership (which is a logical by-product of playing chess, nothing really bad about it), it is very logical that most wish a long-term champion, and a long-term leader.

Considering Iljumzhinov as some "dictator", one can say the same for every previous 4-year World Chess Champion, too? The only difference being that the World Champion was additionaly a friend, as he played chess.

We tend to disqualify all leaders who don't play chess, when at the same time we have a situation where many chess players failed when when wishing to lead in one way or another.

I am sure Iljumzhinov, for example, would have more respect gained, if he had played or plays a couple of tournaments. I am also sure that even if he doesn't, no chess player (onlye some retired one) can qualify for this job well enough.

I am glad Karpov is trying to follow footsteps of Max Euwe, for whatever reasons he has, and I will not mind if he loses the race, too. Watching chess over the years leaves not much confidence in Grandmasters becoming Presidents.

I don't know really, just wasting some time before sleep, time will only tell?

Hi Mig - I read this site almost every day and I haven't encountered a single error. Just FYI.

Controversy sells.

Wasn't Euwe a very good FIDE president? But then, he wasn't a professional chess player. But also Karpov has extensive experience from the world outside of chess.

Ninja friend, it's not sure that all top players don't respect FIDE. Topalov, Anand, Ivanchuk, Adams, Stefanova are some among those who generally support FIDE's actions. It is just that the vast majority of players is silent while the minority is actually producing all the noise...

Bulgarian news agency "Focus" have a list of participants of the M-Tel Masters 2006 ammounced on today's press conference: Topalov, Kasparov, Svidler, Anand, Ivanchuk, Bacrot:

IMHO, this is a list of invited ones. When asked for comments, Klara Shagenovna just repeated that Garry is not coming back:

Who will replace him?

Latest news on the match from Carsten Hensel (Manager of Vladimir Kramnik)
"At the current time Vladimir Kramnik is not giving any interviews in this matter. With regard to the status of affairs in this matter I would only like to say: Veselin Topalov has received in written form a lucrative offer to play against Kramnik in the second half of 2006. Discussions with the Topalov management so far were conducted in a positive and constructive atmosphere. For this reason I can assume that a positive result will be available within the next two weeks. Even though there is massive public pressure and many dozens of press requests, Vladimir Kramnik and his management are not willing to disturb the negotiations under way and cannot, for this reason, make further details available at this time."

Thanks Vlad. Where does Hensel say that?

"lucrative offer" to Topalov? If Topalov is speaking so negatively about a Kramnik match the offer is likely not "lucrative" at all. Money talks, Kramnik walks...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 26, 2005 1:10 PM.

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