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FIDE Announces Kramnik-Topalov Match

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Good news on the unification front from the FIDE presidential board meeting in Al Ain City in the Arab Emirates. (They go there to pick up tips on how to run things democratically.) After weeks of behind the scenes maneuvers and public rumors, FIDE has made a formal announcement of a world championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov to be held in the Kalmykian capital of Elista. The given dates are Sep. 21-Oct. 13 for a match of just twelve games with a prize fund "guaranteed minimum amount of 1 million US dollars."

Continuing the unfortunate trend of the past dozen years, this will be the shortest world championship match in nearly a century. The 1995 Kasparov-Anand match was 20, Kasparov-Kramnik was 16. I'm not even sure I consider 12 (or 16) to be a long match, but I'm okay calling this a unification expedient. With just six whites per player this is hardly going to be a cauldron of opening interest. But Ilyumzhinov has long since made clear his dislike of long matches. As currently scheduled by FIDE this exception for unification would be the last long match for the world championship in chess history. (An early Russian report adds this line: "The match will consist of 12 games and in the event of a draw will be continued until a decisive game is won.")

Not to be Debbie Doubter, but considering that we have had as many or more details about previously announced events that were eventually never held, it would be good to hear some satisfied remarks from the players asap. (If you find such links, likely from Russian sites, please post below.) [Kramnik's site quotes the press release, which is better than nothing.] It's tragi-comic how the announcement makes this sound like everything has gone according to plan when it comes after years and years of bungling. Then of course there are the concerns that handing Ilyumzhinov and FIDE the unified title so they can debase it with tournaments and rapid games isn't what the game needs. But Kramnik is clearly at the end of his classical rope.

Anyway, we can close our eyes and hold our noses for at least one day and don't worry and be happy. It should be an excellent match and it will leave us with a potentially much more marketable unified champion. At the very least we can answer the question "who is the world champion" without a fifteen-minute explanation. What is then done with the champion and the title we can leave for another day. Like tomorrow.


is it just me or does this announcement possibly have something to do with the fact 'illy' is running for re-election and needs to garner some interest?

it appears as if a drowning man is trying to grab onto that life preserver that's just out of reach.



Let's give them - Kramminik, Topalov & Fide's CEO - the benefit of the doubt. How about that?
Cheers - giovani

"As for the World Championship title, it was not easy to satisfy all demands of the involved parties during all these years but we always kept our principles and actions within the true spirit of our motto GENS UNA SUMUS."

Oh man, I shouldn't read that stuff at work...I laughed so hard I fell off my chair.

I agree: it's hard not to wonder whether this announcement, with Ilyumzhinov's hand written all over it (the match to take place in the capital of his own country, no less -- and has he said where the money's coming from?) has perhaps the tiniest connection to the upcoming FIDE election. How is Bessel Kok supposed to top that?...


/emote cheer
Kramnik's site posted it so it's probably not just Kirstan talking out his rear.
I hate the fact that is is only a 12-game match. As we have seen in the past two matches, such a short set-up affords a strong advantage to the man who gets the first win, forcing the other competitor to either force battles when none are to be found or draw in drawish situations to save strength for the next white.
/emote cheer
I can't say that I will be too excited about this until I know what happens to the real championship, Kramnik's, after the match. If it passes to FIDE, most likely this will be the end of good chess cycles. And yet, as Mig points out, there really isn't much else for Kramnik to do.
Enough cheer. Let's get Kirstan out.

I am still holding out hope that Kok can win, but with Toppy endorsing Kirsan and kooks in the east voting for Kirsan, I fear we are doomed to many more years of stumbling and a'bumbling!

What is it that I don't understand? Don't answer that...it would take too long to articulate all the things I don't understand! But, how can Topalov support Kirsan? Is it b/c Kirsan provided opportunities for players when Kasparov (1995-2000) and Kramnik (2000-2006) hijacked the candidate selection process? I guess that makes sense. I mean, what REAL chance has Anand had to contend for the so-called "Classical" title in the past 10 years? Toppy, however, did compete in the so-called "qualifier" in Dortmund and made it to the finals where he lost to Leko.

Nevermind, I think I am starting to answer my own question. I would still like to see what Kok can do though...and give Kiran a shiny red boot as a belated birthday gift.

Hi Mig! Kramnikīs site is announcing the match also (and puts a link to FIDEīs press release)

Letīs see if Kramnikīs health is back to normality before Dortmundīs Tournament (July 29 - August 26); this tournament should give us a clue about what we can expect from him in Elista.


Isn't it interesting that it took Ilyumzhinov 11 years to "accomplish" a unification match right before an election that offers a new order with some real possibilities for the future. Quite frankly, I believe that Kasparov and Short have gotten off easily for this debacle they helped to create back in 93.

That said, Topolov will win the match in October. Kramnik can then say that he wasn't in his best form yet, due to his ongoing medical problem and therefore request a rematch to show the world that he is indeed the true world champion. Not getting one, he can always use that reasoning to justify his loss.

I would really like to see Kok win this election, but the way I see it now, it would be one of the most pleasant surprises I've experienced in some time.

What's in Kramnik head? What is he trying to accomplish with this 'reunification' match? This obviously is going to bring world championship matches to an end. As the whole world knows, Illumzhinov doesn't support them. I don't understand Kramnik.

Matches dying out wouldnt be so bad in my opinion. Preserving classical time controls and high quality games is the most important thing.

I found San Luis to be a completely acceptable means of determining the world champion.

Ilyumzhinov is the man. He is the light in this dark, dark chess world. His reign is just in it's infancy. He will be here, radiating, for many more decades.

Who can we trust to bring us good matches?! Ilyumzhinov is the answer to this question. Proven again and again he has stepped up to the plate.

First he brought us the new FIDE champion Topalov and now he is going to bring us the next ultimate game, Topalov vs Kramnik.

Everyone knows Ilyumzhinov will be the next president and he shows he has the motivation and cunning awareness that is the key requirment for such a difficult job.

During Ilyumzhinov's next twenty year rulership over the chess world we will grow to levels that make all chess players cry with glee.

Ilyumzhinov is the statue of reason and knowlege. He understands this game is advertised in ways that are uncomprehensible to the majority of people.

Trust in Ilyumzhinov because he will be the ruler of chess until he transends to the next world, or stops running. He is the man, and he will always be the best at being president of chess.

Kirsan Fan

The current FIDE administration should have arranged this unification match ages ago. It is obvious that thanks to the forthcoming election, Ilyumzhinov wanted the match no matter what. I wish to rethank the Kalmykian people for their kind generosity in sponsoring the match.

Well done Bessel! You are already delivering by forcing FIDE to make decisions they should have made a long time ago.

I hope that at least until next month FIDE will be in place thanks to this election. However, the problem comes in June if Ilyumzhinov is back in office. Everything may go back to as it where.


Dear Kirsan fan,

Just one comment on your line:
"He is the light in this dark, dark chess world"

But excuse me, who was in charge these past years to make it a dark, dark chess world?


Todd asks how Topalov can support Kirstan.
Topalov won San Luis. Without being acknowledged as world champion, his great year does look considerably weaker. Additionally, without this match, his championship is meaningless (he doesn't defend it, just goes into the next cycle).

What does surprise me however, is the general reluctance of GMs to oppose FIDE. Is the money situation really that bad without FIDE and that much improved by FIDE's actions? We have Linares, Dortmund and Corus yearly for the big names, plus a few other smaller tournaments. I am guessing FIDE is responsible for the national championships, but aren't there are tournaments of similar scale held? FIDE does organize the knockout championships, but those are glorified lotto drawings.

The other possibility is that through their behavior Kasparov and Kramnik alienated the GMs to the point that they don't want to support their versions of the cycle.


Yeah, he's the Mother of all FIDE Presidents. My question is, what goes with mother?

"Possible Tiebreak: 4 games of rapid chess (25min+10sec), then 2 blitz games (5min+10sec), then sudden death (6min/5min) with white to win." (from TWIC)

Ok, let's hope it won't come to that.

Obviously this is good news in a way, but if it means that the match-based World Championships has officially come to an end, it is tragic for chess. Kramnik has always talked about going back to the match system as a condition for unifying, and if he has caved in now I guess he simply doesn't feel he can fight that uphill struggle any more.

But life goes on, and at least with a unified champion.

If I remember correctly, April 13th is Kasparov's birthday. Is Kirsan trying to make another point here?

Now it can no longer reasonably be denied that the match is happening ( although Mig does seem to be keeping that flame burning ) the professional criticisers have to retreat to saying that it should have happened ages ago. Which of course it should.

The key point now is that the field of serious contenders has dropped to two, the most managable number. Kasparov has retired, while the likes of Ponomariov, Kasimdzhanov and Shirov, all of whom have some moral claim, are realistically timed out. What's more, the two both wish to play, which is very important. Otherwise there would be no match.

As to the length of the match, I'm a little disappointed but it seems to me that the players themslves were in charge of this, and evidently 12 games was what they wanted. To get an undisputed unified title, this is a small price to pay.

Finally, if Kirsan wishes to maintain this undisputed unified title, I'm quite sure he understands that telling the champion he has to defend his title by coming first in a big round robin isn't going to wash.

Nick Faulks

Why does chess need a world champion? Who is the world champion of Tennis? They have the number one seed, not a world champion. Basically chess has had the same thing. Who was the best? Kaspy. Was he world champion? Not since 2000. Was he number one seed, yes.

Jim, I am with you. This whole world champ thing is silly. Lets have 4 majors a year (The Grand Slam of Chess) plus an end of the year Tournament/Players Championship (Top 8 or so players at end of year). And use the rating list to determine who is Numero Uno! Wow what a concept!

True, Nick, he will probably tell the champion that he must come in first in a big knock-out. Your newfound devotion to all things Kirsan is quite unbecoming. Where does this faith in Kirsan's devotion to classical chess and traditions come from? Contrary to all evidence?

As for the flame of doubt burning, only a complete idiot, Kirsan love-slave, or someone who has lived in a cave for the past ten years would do otherwise until the first pawn is pushed. And that a decade of destruction, corruption, and botched organization should be ignored in light of this match and in light of the many possible negative repercussions of it is a strange thing to wish for.

In general I think this match will be a good thing for chess, but not by magic and not by itself. The follow-up is also important. Having it be a 12-game swan song for the classical tradition, as Kirsan plans, would be tragic.

Why all the hate. Kirsan is the man he is the only man for this job. He has worked hard to gain the respect of the whole chess community.

The very few fringe haters out there are nothing more then trying to provoke a debate which is not needed.

Kirsan had Arnold on his webpage, does his competition? Nope. How can they even stand a chance when Kirsan had Two champions on his webpage and The Govenator Arnold?!? It's impossible to beat such a powerhouse approch. Besides the obvious above it's also about skill and Kirsan has the skill and the history that says he is the man. No one is the man for chess president but Kirsan.

If you visit: http://www.chessfidelity.com/ you will see Kirsan also has Famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy on his site. How can anyone trump Tolstoy supporting Kirsan, the answer is no one can. The point is, if Tolstoy was alive he would bet on Kirsan not any upstart armchair presidents.

On top of Arnold, Tolstoy, Kasparov, and Karpov he also has Topalov.

Here is a direct quote form the site above:
Veselin TOPALOV: “I hope Kirsan will win again.."

Topalov loves Kirsan and respects this great president. So you should also.

Kirsan Fan

Heheheheh. "Why all the hate?" followed by "gain the respect of the whole chess community." Comedy gold. I wasn't sure at first, but now it's clear "Kirsan Fan" is anti-Kirsan too.

But in case you've been misled, Kasparov obviously endorsed Kok in his column in New In Chess a few months ago. Then there are the federations of the USA, Germany, France, England, Spain, etc. http://www.rightmove06.org/

The Kalmykian dictator will win re-election easily, especially with all those bribable 3rd world Federations in Africa and Asia. So Kirsan hardly needed a reunification. If Kramnik or Topalov are just pointlessly reuniting a worthless FIDE tournament with a legit championship match well then shame on both players. The Matches shouldnt die just because the President of FIDE doesn't play in them.

Yes, the notable string of failed matches have mostly involved FIDE, but they've all involved Kasparov. This one is credible.

Mig, if you wish to place a bet that the match won't take place, please get in touch. Since you are obviously not going to do that, let's put an end to that pointless line of discussion.

What happens after the match is more controversial, and I am as always suspicious of Kirsan's motivation, but I'm not sure he will be in the driver's seat.

>>Veselin TOPALOV: "I hope Kirsan will win again"

What do you expect him to say? Kirsan is bankrolling the match. (Does Kirsan have a magic donkey that sh**s gold or something btw?)

I presume at this point both Kramnik and Topalov are simply thinking "Better one bird in the hand than two in the bush." What do they have to lose?

I certainly hope this won't stop people voting for Bessel Kok and a return to normalcy in the chess world.

Lots of folks looking pretty hard for reasons to not get excited about the Kranmnik-Topalov WCC match.

--It's only 12 games. Eight less than Kasparov-Anand, four less than Kasparov-Kramnik, two less than Kramnik-Leko. But 12 more than zero.

--This could be the last long match. But isn't Kirsan is moving in the "right" direction? He jettisoned the total knock-out format. He jettisoned the rushed time controls. He's now staging a "long match." Who's to say that after the current cycle he won't reinstate the long match?

--It might not happen. Kirsan's fear of Kasparov re-hijacking any unified title probably accounts for the collapse of Kasparov-Pono and Kasparov-Kasim, altho both Pono and Kasim blame Kasparov. With that troublesome gentleman out of the picture things are bound to run more smoothly.

--It's Kirsan's re-election ploy. He's a politician! Would you rather have Kirsan giving the chess world a Kramnik-Topalov WCC match or giving delegates expensive gifts. (I know, he's probably doing both.)

--Kirsan's rich and can spend his own money (?) on the match. Since when is life fair?

Since Brissago we've been staggering around through the desert dying of thirst. Let's not get too upset that it's dorkwad Kirsan who's offering us a half-full glass.

--It should be an excellent match. Yes.

I don't see Kasparov's endorsement on the Rightmove website.

The fact that this classical match, even of only 12 games, is taking place is clearly a good thing for chess. In normal times we would all agree on that.

The fact that the Kok campaign has no better response to this obvious truth than to call anyone who mentions it a "Kirsan love-slave" just shows me what a pathetic bunch they are.

The others were credible and I have the ticket to Yalta to prove it. It's not pointless to say that nothing this administration says should be taken for granted. Once burned, twice shy. I said I'm happy, but I'm not going to turn my brain off. As I said, when we hear enthusiastic comments from the players we can relax more.

I don't think Kirsan has any particular motivations regarding chess specifics. Attention, money, and power are the predictably banal considerations. Chess is just a means to those ends for him. That doesn't mean he doesn't like chess, or that he doesn't want to improve the lot of chess and chessplayers, or that these goals are contrary. But we don't need theory, we have his track record to go on. Greatest hits: slashed time controls, knock-out events, Libya, no cycle (partial credit for an attempt underway), no long matches, etc. This is not all swept away by one match after ten years of destruction.

Of course not everyone thinks those things are negatives, fair enough. But I'd trust just about anyone else more.

>>>The fact that the Kok campaign has no better response to this obvious truth than to call anyone who mentions it a "Kirsan love-slave" just shows me what a pathetic bunch they are.

1) The Bessel Kok campaign has not yet responded to this match.

2) You quoted Mig, not the Bessel Kok campaign. There is a difference.

3) So if anything is pathetic, it is actually your own post above, as far as I'm concerned.

ah, Mig is not part of the Kok campaign. How could I have missed that?

Because you've lost your mind, apparently, Nick. I'm in favor of this match and have said similar things for a long time. Why on god's earth the Kok campaign should say anything about it I have no idea. You keep talking like this match should be a big deal for Kirsan's election campaign. Since you are an official spokesman for the Kirsan campaign (how could we miss that?) it's clear you want the last ten years erased in favor of this announcement.

Let the Kok team select the Kok team. Or does everyone who posts here in favor of Kok work on his team? I certainly don't. At least Bermuda is would earn a board spot under Kirsan. Kudos.

Aida contributed to the bankruptcy of Egypt.

I hear Kalmykia is running out of money.

"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang but a whimper."

Indeed, after a bad day, I visit chessninja.com to read Kirsan Fan's postings to have a good laugh

Just seen Greg Koster's post, contains much good sense. On one point of detail, I suspect that since the demise of Saddam Hussein, Kok has MUCH more money than Kalmykia, and therefore Ilyumzhinov.

Ah yes quite so! Good times had by all... I spent half of the time laughing, and the other half trying to figure out if ye ol' fan o' Kirsan was actually a well-disguised master of satire. Either way: quality stuff Mssr. Fan!

Humor is good, but please let's not forget that it's common knowledge that "Kirsan Fan" is the current Director of the KFTV.

I don't get it. The announced prize fund is 1 million? And the match was confirmed "after months of consultation with both players".
But didn't Topalov turn down a higher prize fund months ago?(was it 1.5 million?) Only to come back and accept a lower amount? The whole thing doesn't make sense. Think after the elections, the match will be cancelled. This is clearly election fodder.

To answer Greg:

--12 is better than zero. It's also about halfway from Kasparov-Anand to a four-game knockout ladder.

--Each cycle proposal from Kirstan has been better than previous structure wise. Each has also denied champion champion-status. Without it, the cycles kind of become high-quality dung instead of regular dung. If you think that Kirstan has gone pretty far to stop a strong champion, it is only logical to conclude that he will continue to do so.

--If you believe, on the basis of little evidence, that Kirstan signed Prague with no intention of holding the matches, why would you believe anything he says this time? If you believe he was trying to sabotage Kasparov, why would he praise him after the first match collapsed and try to schedule a replacement? When Kasparov bails on the second, why not replace him with Anand? That seems like something Kramnik would have found acceptable.
Coincidentally, the irksome gentleman that you mention, signed the agreement for the first match in spite of his amendments not passing and found an alternate sponsor for the second when it looked like the first failed. Pretty troublesome, especially compared to Kramnik bailing as soon as Kasparov-Ponomariov failed.

--The problem people have with this being an election ploy is not that it's an unfair gift, but that it wouldn't be carried through once the elections are over.

--To sum up: it is pretty hard to be excited about a half-glass of water when it looks like a path through which you will be denied water from now on. And the man who just handed you the class has a criminal record for poisoning.

I agree that this will be a great match. I wonder if Kramnik will recover in time and pull some of his great defensive magic, coming back like he did against Leko, or if Topalov will continue his mad magic of the past year.

"To sum up: it is pretty hard to be excited about a half-glass of water..."

"I agree that this will be a great match."

Yuriy, I know its odd, but I have no problem getting excited about a great match.


Yes, but after the match is drawn 6-6 will we be any better off?

Greg, I agree, it is easier to argue with things people don't say. For example, if somebody were to say that they were excited about the match, but also had reservations, I would pretend that they were looking for reasons not to be excited about it as well as that they were looking for them pretty hard, the latter to make it seem like there were no good reasons to have reservations.


I don't understand how you single out "African and Asian nations" as being corruptible if they are merely exercising their voting right to FIDE.

Corruption... I'll tell you about corruption. Where is the land of Arthur Andersen, Enron, Global Crossings, Tyco, Microstrategy, and Barings? Billions of dollars of corruption... in rich lands... not in lands where people are struggling. Let's not make sweeping judgements on African and Asian nations.

If African and Asian nations are entitled to a vote for a candidate, who are you to question their motive? Are you assuming that all African and Asian nations are voting for the same ticket?

we waited unification (13) years ,after the (13) world chmpion left FIDE,in (13)april 2006 they anounced a unification match which will end in (13) octobre.lucky chess..

For the near future, Kirsan wants to multiply the numbers by three to 39, for the medium term multiply by seven to 91, for his next incarnation multiply by twentyone, etc.

>> What do you expect him to say? Kirsan is
>> bankrolling the match. (Does Kirsan have a magic
>> donkey that sh**s gold or something btw?)

Yes, his name is Putin.

Tapalov wins game one, followed by 11 draws. ;)

Hmm... A Topalov-Kramnik reunification match...
6 years ago, it would be the most unexpected one.
Let's see this one.

Given the positive results of FIDE elections, there should also a shortening of FIDE president mandates... like one year. Short time controls, short long matches, short mandates :-)

Also, Kramnik is betting the house on this one, since I don't think the sponsors of "Kramnik - Deep Fritz", in December, will be happy if he loses.

Did I read that the $1000000 will be split equally, regardless of who wins? We know that the winner becomes the World Champion, but so much incentive is lost when the prizes are equal. Or did I misread....

From today's Sport-Express:

"Match Kramnik-Topalov will take place in Elista, and "The Tournament of Eight" in Mexico"

"As President of FIDE Kirstan Illumzhinov put it to S-E correspodnent Yuriy Vasilyev yesterday in Dubai at the presidential committee of International chess federation, he signed three important contracts at once.

"The first two--with the world champion Bulgarian Vesselin Topalov and classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik about their match for the world chess crown. It will take place from the 21st of September to 13th of October in the capital of Kalmykia, Elista.

"'The third contract I signed with the government of Mexican capital, who want to have the next championship of the world in Mexico--a tournament of eight, like the San Luis championship. The Mexican organizers are already ready to transfer the prize fund of one and a half million dollars to FIDE's bank account, and The S-E will be first to inform the world about it'-Illumzhinov said.

"Here are some more details, as revealed by Illumzhinov. The match Topalov-Kramnik will have 12 games of classical chess time control, and in case of a draw there will be four games of shortened time control--25 minutes per person. Prize fund--1 million dollars--regardless of who wins, or who loses, will be split equally between the participants. This stresses the equal status of each participant of the unification match.

"SPORT-EXPRESS COMMENTARY: And so, that which has been in the air has gained a real form. A match for the title of world championship is officially announced. The contracts with its participants are already signed.

The next moment is very important. The winner of the match will play in the next FIDE world championship, which will take place in the capital of Mexico. However, the loser--even if it's the current title holder, Topalov, will have to start from "scratch" in the World Cup. The "classical" world champion, Kramnik, in turn, in case of a victory, will play in the next "Tournament of Eight" and if he loses--World cup. This is stated in the contract,--and this was signed by both participants of the Elista match. It is the opinion of the S-E observer, Yuriy Vasilyev that this means the end of dual reign in chess."

This is my translation--I have no problem with anybody using it.


I agree with you that it's unfair to group third world countries into one unit and say they are corrupt. However, if our idea of corruption is insider trading and lying to stockholders, we should consider ourselves lucky. The real corruption lies in regime where the government disregards rule of law, arrests people at random and where it takes a bribery to get anything done. Corruption is greatest in countries where the governments are rich and the population is poor.

It is not at all in accurate and perhaps not even that insulting to say that a chess organization which lacks funding and whose members are poorer is more likely to vote for the candidate who will give them the greatest amount of cash inflow.

Call me cynical, if you like, but I think this is very transparent.

Mr. I. is worried about his reelection. This announcement will hugely increase his chances.

After he is reelected, the match will disappear.
So I won't even bother to complain about the 12 games. (Should be more, of course.)

Daaim, Your knee-jerk reaction to blindly defending third world chess federations is flawed, precisely because of the long list of corporate scandals you mentioned,which were uncovered, something that is almost unheard of in the truly corrupt african and asian federations, generally speaking. Besides, your pathetic question to eopithicus let you down, he has every right to question the voting patterns of african nations ,we still are free to question, unlike the unfortunate citizens of the the third world countries that are infested with dictatorships.

With all due respect Yuriy...

Let's put things in their proper perspective.

On your last statement... the fact that a poor nation may vote for a particular candidate doesn't mean that the nation is corrupt because they feel their interests are being met.

In addition, I don't think the data will support you when you say the levels of corruption are greater in poor nations with "rich" governments. When you say "greater corruption" are you speaking of number of corruption cases, amount of money involved, or the level at which corruption takes place?

Your view takes the focus off of real corruption. Of course some literature will point to a handful of "rent-seeking" officials in poor nations who accept and offer bribes to feed their families and/or enrich themselves, but when did poor nations ever have rich governments? That notion is not consistent.

Even if we accept your argument, who are these corrupt leaders in poor nations being corrupt with? Poor governments are seldom corrupt with other poor governments because they would have little to gain... unless there is another rich country involved. It is well-known that rich governments collude with corrupt officials in poor nations to meet their objectives.

European and American governments have aided and abetted systemic corruption at the highest levels of operation and have done it for centuries. The current case of Iraq is perhaps one of the most egregious violations of American government corruption in history... far worse than "Watergate" and the Iran contra scandal (where the U.S. aided Iraq, but covertly sold missiles to Iran while Iran-Iraq fought each other).

Lastly, are you saying the several billion dollars worth of corruption committed by western multinationals (through insider trading) is less significant than government corruption in countries whose entire gross domestic product (GDP) may in fact equal that amount? I think not. A vast amount of current literature suggests that multinational corporations have exceeded the reach of their own governments. Not to mention market manipulations by the World Bank and IMF creating all types of market distortions and trade imbalances for poor nations (in favor of multinationals). It is no coincidence that the nations richest in resources are the poorest and the nations poorest in resources are the richest. How did it get that way?

For you to say we're lucky to have insider trading is endemic to the very problems of passing the blame to poorer nations. This happens too often and misinformation is so widespread. I wouldn't be surprised if smaller federations are blamed regardless of who wins this next election.

Still nothing about the candidates matches?

Bidding was supposed to end March 24 according to http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=896 and they haven't said anything about them to my knowledge.

The Presidential Board is supposed to take the decision (or if necessary the President), but nothing about that in the brief report on their recent meeting http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=979 (although they do say that the next WC tournament is going to be held in Mexico City..)

Daaim, your last post didn't even mention chess, you used it to rant against the western world. Your anti-western bias is obvious and lame. Comparing mulinational corruption and IMF monkey buisness to third world government corruption actually disproves your point because when a third world government is corrupt it's effects are MUCH worse; no schools, roads,medicine,education, free press, justice system,etc. Rich people getting richer( in the west) don't have nearly as an effect. Let's not leave out all the military conflicts and terrorism caused by, or supported by, third world countries.

I got a funny thought: wasn't 1 million dollars the money needed for Kok to enter the race for FIDE presidency?

"How to organize a unification match without paying a dime" by Kirsan Ilyumziwhatever: procrastinate until you hold the match after elections where you get your adversary to pay for the prize fund.

it's a win-win scenario. if you lose the election no need to pay for it, if you win it it's already paid for.


The original post said those third world African and Asian federations are bribable. At least in this sense, one could argue that other federations may be as capable of corruption but the price is higher, making them more expensive to bribe.

Anyway, it certainly is an unnecessary generalization.

You don't need Enron to see corruption in countries such as the US. Every time a docor orders an unnecessary test done at a lab which he/she part-owns, that is corruption. Every faked tax return, off the books transaction, etc. - that is corruption. Everyone who gets into college without merit - corruption too.


First of all... I was born in Chicago, USA. The fact that I lay out a theoretical scenario involving the corruption of western nations does not make me anti-western. I didn't provide a list of balanced sources because I wanted to stay on the main point which was corruption. Point out an error of fact in my post.

And while you're at it... answer this. Why do poor countries not have roads, hospitals, medicine, education, etc.? Oh... I get it. Corruption, right? Now answer this question: how is it that the nations richest in natural resources are the poorest and the nations poorest in natural resources are the richest?

You may have missed my points MiamiAl. In most developing nations, the poor infrastructure is caused by a myriad of internal and external factors. The literature is vast in this area. Often times, corruption is the effect of poverty, not the cause. To say it is the cause would presume that these nations were once rich. You also miss the point that there is a two-way street in corruption. Who are the corrupt leaders in developing nations colluding with?

I suppose the "corruption" angle is the easy way to absolve the rich and powerful nations of any complicity of causing economic destitution in developing nations. We hear it all too often and it is prevalent in the news media... and most people don't read for themselves.

In reference to your point of me comparing MNC/IMF/World Bank/WTO corruption (run by rich nations) with despotic corruption in developing nations... I was not comparing these two types of graft. I'm raising that question to Yuriy. My post was made to point out that the concept of corruption is not endemic to developing nations in Asia and Africa. It is fact in large part of systemic corruption is due to greed and manipulation by the world rich and powerful. Where has that NOT been true in history?

Saying that, one cannot make statements blanketing developing nations as corruptible because they vote based on their interests. That is what voting entities do. Developing nations will either vote for Ilyumzhinov or Kok... based on their own interests. Nothing wrong in that.

Not going to respond to most of Daaim's rant since this is still a chess board.
Those who doubt me can take a look at the stories of fallen dictators of third and second world and compare the stuff they pulled with the worst that has been said about the past Western governments.
Those who doubt the level of accountability of third world chess organizations can read Mig's account of the trouble with the USCF's championship fund on this website and wonder if say the residents of Chad have the same kind of press looking into the actions of their organization and a means to learn about and discuss the happenings.


No... the post by Eopithecus said "corruptible." However, I agree with your statement that the stakes are higher in corruption cases where the populace is poor, but we are not speaking of "relative corruption." The implication is that African and Asian nations are somehow more corrupt, which is false.

Again... corruption is brought on by conditions set by some precedent. The fact that there is more corruption in rich nations is true, but the impact is muted since people are economically able to sustain a reasonable economic standard of living. In poor nations, an economic condition gives rise to the populace trying merely to survive ("rent-seeking")... corruption takes a bigger toll.

Will Asian and African federations be more tempted to vote for a leader who has their best interests at heart? Of course... that what all federations will do.


So you call it a rant and invoke Mig's name. You're merely saying you don't want to address the points. That's fine, but say so.

The point is about corruption of nations (and its by products)... and yes that is an issue on this thread. We are trying to establish why people here think African and Asian nations are more "corruptible" if they should decide to exercise their electoral right for either of the two parties.

I think I did say that I wasn't going to respond. I would, in a different setting, such as another board or e-mail. You responded with six paragraphs that had little to do with chess. I consider that to be a rant. Again, I don't want to discuss non-chess politics here. African or Asian nations are not corrupt or corruptible if they decide to exercise their electoral rights. They are only corrupt if they choose who they vote for based on financial reward instead of which candidate they feel will do the right thing for chess and chess players.

Not sure why me mentioning who wrote a report on USCF means I don't want to address the points or matters at all. . .

Pinch me, I MUST be dreaming......4 games of rapid play if the match is tied after 12? What a pity. The match is already only half a match with 12 games max. Rapid chess to determine the new World Chess Champion. Why not just throw everything away, and play blitz!!?? Wow, we could determine the new Champion in one day! Look at how much time we could save. Really hope the top chess authorities give this guy Kirsan the boot in June.

The anti-"Third World" and anti-"Less Developed Countries" rant by some of you fellas are precisely the reason why Kok's team is facing an uphill battle. The arrogant, "know-it-all" and condescending attitudes underlying such talk push these same countries to vote for KI. Not money or anything else.

Just look at it from these countries point of view and their history of colonialism by the 'advanced" countries. If Kok wins, it is very likely that the place in the (chess-world) sun these countries had fought for for many years will start to shrink, and disappear in no time.

Kok was challenged that his campaign was "First World" and "top-end professional chess" centric. and the concerns of the less developed and smaller nations had not been properly addressed. So far, no satisfactory reply has been forthcoming from Kok's team.

I, for one, would like to a more professional management in FIDE. But the decision of each voting country will be based on their own interests. Corruption, in its varied form, would only be the sweetener. But what is corruption is a matter of perspective. Many would view as a glaring example of corruption, the French Federation's decision to support Kok in return for moving FIDE's ofice back to France and some position in FIDE.

Other countries may ask for less, maybe just one (or two) return air-ticket (economy class, no doubt) to Italy and back. Otherwise, they cannot afford to make the trip to Turin to vote. It's as simple as that.

Call it politics, if you may, but calling it corruption shows a lack of understanding or just plain hypocrisy.


You're right, you did state that you did not want to answer and I stand corrected, but you said that was because we were on this chess board. Understood, but you could have responded to me offline.

My paragraphs had to do with corruption which was something mentioned in the thread when referring to African and Asian nations voting in the upcoming Ilymzhinov-Kok Presidential election. The corruption of poor nations and the moral high ground of rich nations is a common habit I hear in my professional circles. Almost invariably, the comment comes from someone from a rich, well-fed nation. Corruption cuts both ways and as long as rich nations pretend this isn't the case, the more damage is done to the international appartuses which govern the world.

I agree with your last statement in terms of motives for electing an official, but I don't believe it is any different from country-to-country. As you may know, a favor does not always come in the form of financial gain.

"It is no coincidence that the nations richest in resources are the poorest and the nations poorest in resources are the richest"

I hadn't realized this. When I thought of resource rich nations I thought of Canada, Russia, and OPEC countries, and probably even the U.S. Maybe "resource rich" wasn't the term you were looking for...perhaps you were thinking more about nations with just one limited resource that the developed nations do not have (e.g. diamonds, teak)?

Thank you for the good examples showing me to not judge. I agree that the judgements we have made about corruption in other countries and none in our own is rediculous.

If I offer you a bribe of a million dollars and you accept the bribe. is it fair for me to say you are corrupt but I am innocent. I suspect that is what we are talking about here.

Who else but the rich would have a million dollars to offer a bribe. and who else would be able to make many times more money so that the million is a token cost of doing business and the profits will be huge.

the bribes must be coming from the rich. and the poor are of course accepting them. but the real problem is that the acceptance of the bribe is way too small compared to the profits that are made. if the poor countries could get a better handle on their resources, they could sell them for much more that the little bribe.

so again the poor lose out to the rich who by the way make the laws. The laws are not about justice, equality and fairness. no, the laws are all about protecting the rich, making the rich richer and putting the poor people into jail to maintain control.

But of course we need spin doctors to convince everyone that the Emperor is wearing some clothes.

Chinaman, what are the "concerns of the less developed and smaller nations"? And why would they prefer the current president?

Read April 24 New Yorker for most illuminating portrait of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov by Michael Specter


Nice colorful map!

There seems to be an inverse relationship between wealth and corruption? Again... those nations with the most mineral and natural resource wealth seem to be the poorest and most corrupt and those with the least mineral and natural resource wealth seem to be the richest and the least corrupt. How did that happen?

I would be interested to know who they surveyed. The colonizing and enslaving nations appear to be the least corrupt. Did we think that these poor nations at least had a partner in this corruption or were poor nations only being corrupt with each other (which wouldn't make sense). This map also refutes the saying, "Power corrupts absolutely."


I have seen reports of those world corruption surveys, which are done annually, I believe, and are widely reported in the business press.

The kind of corruption they seek to measure is the commonly understood definition: the extent of official bribery that both foreigners and citizens of the country are likely to encounter during routine dealings with public officials (police, licenses, passports, health inspections, shipping permits, elections, etc.)

On that measure, my recollection is that places like Iceland and the Scandinavian countries routinely come out as least corrupt, Canada also among the best, the US and mainline western Europe countries next, and east Europe and Third World countries at the bottom (most corrupt).

This also agrees with everyone's perception. For instance, if you're in jail in the US, although you might not belong there, there is relatively little chance you'll either be able to or be asked to buy your way out. Whereas, the latter seems to be the norm in countries that rank among the most corrupt in the survey.

So, you can see that this is a conventional kind of approach to measuring corruption, that aligns with the definition that most people would immediately recognize.

On the other hand, for someone looking for a broader, macro-political picture, that conventional definition will be unsatisfying. It fails to place corruption in a "bigger" context. It focuses on corruption within relationships between individual members of the public and individual public officials - not in relations between North and South.

The prevalence of such conventional corruption in poor countries is not entirely a result of national poverty. That does play a role, because police and other public officials are more likely to treat their public-servant functions as an "entrepreneurial" activity when they are poorly paid. But, undeveloped legal systems (no protections for property, for rights of people accused of crimes, or for others who must deal with public officials) and authoritarian political systems (no way of holding public officials to account), also are major sources of the problem.


Thanks for that analysis... enjoyed it.

In my earlier posts I made mention of the different types of corruption. However, I believe we cannot ignore the macro-level corruption which is usually not presented in these surveys.

My comments were rhetorical, but of course I've made my arguments in earlier posts. Those corruption studies (and I've studied many of them in Euromoney, Institutional Investor, World Trade, Economist and others) look at corruption from the micro-level ("rent-seeking").

My point is that these reports that I always see and the ones in the textbooks that I teach out of always provide the impression that these micro-level corruption factors provide the "big-picture" and I argue that they do not.

The other point of it is... the micro-level of corruption is easily measured because it is more visible that the big multinationals. The Enrons, Tycos, Global Crossings and corruption cases (of that ilk) are not discovered for years... if at all. Even bigger incidences of political corruption (by rich nations) are often not counted. Why is it that we will point at a corrupt leader, but not the nations that conspired with him and had him on the payroll?

With developing nations, the absence of basic services and necessities creates an environment of panic and desperation. What would be the corruption ranking if basic essentials were to suddenly become unavailable to richer nations?

Corruption is an interesting issue that is often glossed over with superficial figures and statistics... analysed by rich, "least corrupt" nations.

I believe in chess, things are a bit complicated. Federations will cut deals and engage in those activities that will give them the best opportunity to advance their aim. That is politics... not corruption. Some people try to extrapolate those corruption perceptions in chess and that simply is not a fair assessment when speaking of Africa, Asia and other developing regions.

Topalov visits Moscow and meets with Kirsan
http://www.chesspro.ru/events2/topkram.shtml (Russian)

Nice comment from GM Alexei Shirov, the person who had beaten Kramnik convincingly on 1998 match but got stolen his chance to fight squarely vs. Kasparov in a title match.

Kramnik, the world rank no. 9 is really the luckiest and always with great luck again to play against the World Champion Veselin Topalov.


Kramnik's forte are not tournaments because he is not able to prepare for each different styles of his opponents, that explains his bad results in the tournaments. In a candidate match way back 1998, he cannot also prepare in a very short period of time for various candidates even with major help of his best chess programs and that explains his lost against Shirov.

But against Kasparov who are having all games available for Kramnik's study and Kasparov had nothing much about Kramnik's games.

That will happen almost exactly the same for Topalov so I will bet for Kramnik, actually its even worst. Kramnik is well prepared for this match than Topalov, He is preparing for this match since after 2005 Russian Championship. He has plenty of Topalov's recent games and with the major help of his best chess programs, he can study the weakness of Topalov, while on the other hand, Topalov has nothing to review except the rubbish games of Kramnik not to mention Topalov's very short preparation for this match (He is actively playing tournaments).

Topalov's genius out of nothing (only rubbish games of Kramnik to review) will only make him survive in the coming match, that is his only chance.

Kramnik is also a genius but of different kind because of his great luck in my opinion and he is very wise not giving Kasparov a rematch for the fear of losing the title back to Kasparov. I am just wondering, why there were plenty of World Chess Champions and great chess contenders in the past, but Kramnik is the least respected contender that ever produced(some even considered him former champion or don't even consider him as the former champion but just a match winner).

Kramnik lost convincingly to Shirov. Kramnik is rated #9. He's lucky. He plays rubbish games. He's the least respected contender ever produced.
{And let me add that photos over the past year show him looking like road-kill.)

Topalov won Linares 05, Mtel Masters 05, the FIDE World Championship, and Corus 06. He's the 2005 Chess Oscar winner and the World's top-rated player.

And you're betting on Kramnik.

So, Sirov, why so little respect for Topalov?

I think Shirov makes a good point about the K-T match if FIDE is funding it. However if Kirsan is using his own money or money from some other source then it is up to the players.

The last 2/3 of the article is just old news. He no doubt has some valid complaints. But I don't understand why he blames Kramnik.

greg koster,

Yes, truly I will bet $1 for Kramnik, so when I lost on this bet its means nothing.

Topalov is the real world champion, no. 1 in world rank and the strongest player at this moment, no doubt.

So I don't need to bet for Topalov to show my respect to him. Obviously, recognizing him as the real world champion and the strongest player (that'st the truth) is far better and enough.

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