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2006 US Olympiad Teams

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The US Chess Federation has finally announced its Olympiad teams for Turin, 2006. If the silver medal winning 2004 US women's team was worthy of the over-used moniker "dream team," the same could be said about the US men's team this year. The names Onischuk, Nakamura, Kamsky are enough to get Yankee hopes up. Add seasoned pros Kaidanov and Ibragimov and rising star Akobian and it's an impressive array. Of course this won't make them a paper favorite to medal with Russia and Ukraine capable of fielding teams averaging 2700. (2004 gold medal winner Ukraine's board six was Karjakin...) But team USA will be an exciting and balanced group with legit medal chances. The Olympiad starts on May 20.

The women's team is without Susan Polgar, who led the medal run in 2004. The last two US women's champs, Zatonskih and Goletiani, are joined by Krush and Baginskaite. The men's team is captained by John Donaldson. The women get US championship runner-up Yury Shulman. Kudos to the USCF; this is really an all-star cast, other than Polgar's absence. (She wrote about it on her blog here, and scroll down on that page to read USCF exec Bill Goichberg's response and corrections.) The main funding came from my main man, indirectly. The Kasparov Chess Foundation put up $30,000. The Internet Chess Club ponied up $5,000.

Anyone up for a letter and press release campaign to see if we can't get the teams in the news? The local papers of each player's hometown is a good place to start. I don't know if the USCF actually pays to have their press releases sent out on the wires. They certainly wouldn't mind if we sent it, email or mail, along with anything else that might grab attention. Here's a PDF version of it you can download and send. Post below if you send it, or anything else to cut down on duplicates. Spamming won't be appreciated.


I read the blog Mig linked to and found Ms. Polgar's dialog with Bill Goichberg to be rather dissapointing. That type of dialog should be conducted in a meeting between the concerned parties not in a public forum like a blog. Having said that still I do appreciate the effort to avoid backroom dealing.

After reading the debate on Polgar's blog, I gotta say this:

Susan Polgar is an angry individual. She just can't seem to let things go; instead is always an endless debate of "you said-I said". How old is she? It's like listening to a child.

Then again, I am biased. Every time I read Polgar's Chesscafe article, I find it is always a tool for her to not-so-subtly publicize herself, her organization. Strangely enough, she always comes across as a martyr, valiantly fighting the oppressive anti-chess USCF (Heaven forbid she actually try to run for a USCF office.)

When people are treated with disrespect that is really abuse. when people are abused they feel anger inside.

Now what is the real problem? is it the problem that the abused person feels anger? or is it the problem that people are abusing others.

I say the real problem is we must learn to treat people with respect and not abuse them.

I very carefully read all that was posted. I feel that I am not biased in my reading and decision making. It seems to me that Susan Polgar was not treated with Love and Respect. She feels she gave all her love to chess and the USCF and got abuse ( lies ) back. Of course she feels abused by them and thus feels anger.

Let me say that some abused people accept the abuse. time after time. well the anger may not be expressed but it is building up inside. Some people are more advanced. when they feel abuse they immediately speak up. This simply shows that Susan Polgar is more adult in her response. Susan should be praised for not accepting abuse. No one should be heaping more abuse onto Susan because she expresses her frustration with those she had higher expectations from.

I agree that Susan Polgar was the key to winning the last olympic medal. She should have been constantly consulted on all aspect of all future olympics. There is an old saying


Susan Polgar is a winner. Everyone should have stuck very close to her. From the sound of what I read. it looks like KCF tried to lock this up for an even longer time frame.

To Bill G

I like your responses. it shows you are keeping a level head and want to do the best possible. I know all this is not your doing. something you inherited. I hope you can help heal the wounds. Susan has shown she is willing to heal the wounds. she is willing to meet with everyone. I hope everyone does get together and iron out a good solution that will benefit everyone.

Let us learn to treat our champions with dignity and respect and love. then everyone will win again and again.

The public debate there, I just looked at it, it doesn`t seem that childish or anything. I mean, it never devolved into anything of the level of "you suck!" "nuh uh" "yo mama!"

Notice that even Goichberg doesn`t deny that GM Zsuzsa Polgar has at least some grounds to be a little pissed off. I think she does. I appreciate that you confess your bias, dfas, and though I can see a bit of what you say, I think perhaps it is a little overstated there. Besides, I think she does have valid points listed there; whether you like her approach or not, I don`t think that would justify having it swept under the rug.

I can't say that I dislike Susan, but I quit going to her blog. Basically,(about 80% of the time) it's self-promotion, promotion for girls (women's)chess and more self-promotion. It's her blog and she has every right to to with it as she pleases, just not my cup-of-tea.

Regarding the Men's Olympiad Team, if they play their very best they'll be lucky to bronze. Apologize for the cynicism, but in addition to the teams that Mig mentioned, there's at least two more teams that will feast on the USA this time around. Today's test question: which two teams? A gold star to the correct answer.

I would bet on India, Azeris, Armenians and Israelis all finishing ahead of the USA. Still alot depends on which guys turn up on the top 3 boards. Not in the physical sense but in the mental sense. All reasonably streaky.

It depends on how many matches we have the Kamsky-Onishuk-Nakamura-Akobian lineup for... Clearly not a weak lineup.

I am still deliberating on the Susan Polgar issue. I agree with you, chesstraveler, although I have not yet decided to boycott her blog. Joshua Lily, your comments are right on target. And, dfas, I'm going to have to chew on what you said. I too have sensed some of what you say, but I haven't come to the concrete conclusions tht you have. Tommy, I'm not sure about your abuse/anger exegesis, but I agree that (despite some of her apparent turnoffs) Susan is a winner and very good for the 2004 Olympiad...and I appreciate your comments for Bill. He seems to be making the best of a bad situation and displays a good attitude under great duress!

It is a great lineup we for this Olympics. I for one will be following it with great interest.

Good luck to all!!

Hi Mig!

When you get a chance to speak to Kasparov, get his predictions on medal prospects for different countries.

tommy was just trying to live up to the Socrates debate with that treating Susan with love crap.
dfas was accurate in his assesment Susan was wronged but if she could forgive and move on the SPF was extended a welcome by Bill G. but then again "Hell hath no fury..."

Susan Polgar is too much of a prima donna. In reality she is no better in chess than all of the male GM's who are so much more down to earth.

Note that I mean male GM's of her class. Before you point out Kasparov... or former stars like Ehlvest.

people, do you really think that Susan is writing all this????
no way, she is a really nice person( from my experience).
Paul is the one who is taking care of this type of issues...and I think he likes it.

Hey prima donna might be a bit harsh! Ms. Polgar is worthy of respect and admiration for her efforts to further scholastic chess(for girls and boys)in the U.S. It is very sad that the former board and president of the USCF acted in so many ways to damage the chess future of this country. What is frustrating about her posts in that blog is her anger and consequences are being directed towards the wrong people.

Susan Polgar's blog are full of articles about promoting chess not just for girls, but all kids in the US. And there's a reason she's in the articles a lot: she's often the driving force behind the promotions. That the blog is updated daily with multiple articles makes it better than most chess blogs out there. Susan Polgar does have a bit of an ego, but for someone with her accomplishments, you almost expect it.

Susan Polgar's certainly doing a lot of good, but when good-doing is mixed with a hefty dollop of self-promotion and harping on past grievances, it somewhat detracts from the philanthropic aura of it all.

Yes, there is indeed self-promotion on Susan's blog. On the other hand, chess is her livelihood. If she doesn't promote herself, who's gonna do it?

Susan's self-promotion doesn't bother me, because she produces real results. There's no denying that she led the U. S. Women's Olympic Team in 2004, and indeed she won the overall gold. There's no denying that she has actively encouraged the development of chess in schools. When talk is backed up with action, I respect that.

I think some of her bitterness about past wrongs can come across as somewhat shrill, and if I were advising her I would suggest that she tone it down. But given the idiotic politics in chess these days, I have no trouble believing that these things did, in fact, occur.

This is vintage Susan (from her blog):


Which is the best chess playing style in your opinion? Please note that this is a non-scientific question :)

- Positional (Smyslov, Petrosian, Karpov, Kramnik, etc.)

- Attacking (Tal, Shirov, Topalov, J. Polgar, etc.)

- All around (Spassky, Botvinnik, Fischer, S. Polgar, etc.)


I can accept Judit for "attacking", but for Susie Q to put herself in the "all around" category without mentioning Kasparov anywhere is hoot-larious!

Susan, all about self-promotion ;)

Anyway, WorldChessNetwork.com is sponsoring Canadian Olympiad team with $10.000 USD

Well all criticism aside lets not turn this into a critic of Polgar. Mig put this post up to solicit help in raising funds for the Olympiad by publicising the event if we can. If we get to bashing Susan too hard tommy is going to be forced to lecture us all about judging others again and I still am short a pair of pants after his last post on that subject!

The laments of Susan Polgar and Alexei Shirov move one to ask: What's your point?

Upon the announcement of the new U.S. Olympiad teams, Susan Polgar launches into a lengthy rant against the OLD BOARD??! As Polgar herself says: "There is nothing the new board can do legally....The new board and the new ED have tried very hard to mend fences. They have done a very good job on many issues." Give it a rest, Susan.

Upon FIDE's Kramnik-Topalov announcement, and because Kasparov allegedly screwed him over six years ago, Shirov launches HIS own rant.

1) Kramnik whipped Kasparov in 2000. His failure to have "qualified" for that match became forever IRRELEVANT. If, without ever having boxed a round, you climb into the ring and whip the heavyweight champ, YOU are the champ.

2) So Kramnik's classical title doesn't qualify him, in your view, for a match with Topalov. Did I hear you suggest that Topalov's opponent be chosen on the basis of San Luis results? Then Svidler, Anand, Moro, Leko, Kasim and Polgar have a beef that Kramnik is playing. You don't.

Or did you suggest that Topalov's opponent be chosen on the basis of rating? Then seven players, Anand, Aronian, Svidler, Leko, Pono, Ivanchuck, and Moro have better claims than Kramnik. (April 2006 rating list.) But those seven, AND Kramnik AND Gelfand, Adams, Grischuk, Radjabov, Polgar, Bacrot, Akopian, and Bareev, SIXTEEN PLAYERS in all, have better claims than you do. Give it a rest, Alexei.

Todd: Heh! Obviously, S. Polgar has a healthy self-esteem to list herself with the likes of Karpov, Fischer and Petrosian.

You bunch of morons! Is this how you are promoting your national team? Plenty of other Polgar items on this blog to satisfy your immature ranting urges.


Where did it say that we had to promote our national team on this thread. To quote Mig, "Anyone up for a letter and press release campaign to see if if we can't get teams in the news." Apparently, no one's up for that at this present time. Besides I don't see where you've made any suggestions about it, so why the harshness? My suggestion would be...deal with it!

Can anyone clarify to me what exactly did KCF to SPF?. What did garry do wrong? Just asking


I am so sorry for the harshness.

I think it's a great idea to assist the USCF in promoting the Olympiad team.

However, I would add the caveat that it is essential that the press contact listed on the release be prepared to respond quickly to any press inquiries that come about because of this distribution. Which means if you're going to add material to it, even a spin letter about a hometown hero, you need to make sure that information is forwarded to the USCF as well, and that they know how to get back to you to handle questions.

For example, suppose you say that player A "attended school in Dallas." The Dallas paper may want to know which school, which years, and if there are the names of any local teachers or fellow students they can contact for follow up. Or they may not care. But chances are the USCF office will have no idea what prompted you to add that spin in the first place.

In the long run, one of the most essential missing pieces that needs to be filled is to establish the USCF as THE reliable source of professional and national event chess information in the US. Reliable to a journalist means both accurate and timely (for the journalist) information, including response to followups.

The media are also going to want to be able to talk to the individual players for exclusive quotes. One of the reasons that Susan Polgar gets so much press relative to other players is that her backers do such a good job of responding to the press and making Susan herself available for interviews.

So before featuring a player in prepublicity it would be nice to know if the USCF has their contact information and can produce them for a phone interview within, say, 24 hours.


First I should say that I think Susan Polgar is (overall) a positive force for U.S. chess and we are better off with her than without her.

That being said, here are few things concerning Susan Polgar that have annoyed me:

1. Remember when she used to write her Chess Life column under the title of "FIDE World Women's Champion*" even though she wasn't the FIDE Champion? There was a note explaining how although she wasn't officially recognized as the FIDE champ any longer, she had never been defeated in a match.
Please. I mean, even Karpov wasn't willing to try that one...

2. When Topalov won the FIDE title in San Luis, Susan was quite eager to proclaim him "The Undisputed World Champion", giving all the typically illogical arguments for why Kramnik's status should be completely discredited. I mean, I can see where some people would lend Topalov's title some weight since he is also the highest rated player. But how anyone could take the position that , Kramnik's title meant NOTHING, is simply ludicrous.
With the match in Elista coming, it appears that even FIDE and Topalov themselves don't think so little of Kramnik's title.

3. Just a gut feeling, but her "multi-record breaking simul" thing she did seemed a little fishy. I think Andrew Martin raised some good questions regarding her 'epic' performance.

The recurring theme seems to be Polgar's self-deluding interpretation of facts for the sake of her own self-interest. Not a particularly admirable trait, although also not uncommon among top chess players.

Sometime ago the Hindu had a decent interview with Anand on India's prospects. Its worth a read especially as there are good chances that India will finish in the top three this time.


As I've pointed out before, with Susan you have to make the distinction between self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. As it happens, she does a lot of both.

As for her strange exchanges with Bill G, if she told him (and she doesn't seem to deny it) that she would be unable to play no matter what in 2006, why is she carping about the invitation?

I swear, the world of chess makes the world of boxing look straightforward.

All this male chauvinistic ranting...

So which other GM does as much chess promotion as Susan Polgar?


India was poised to finished 3rd in the last Olympiad, but had a meltdown in later rounds. In fact, I had predicted them to get the bronze medal.


India will benefit from Harikrishna's maturation, but the team is basically the same. They should do well. The U.S. men's teams looks strong as well.


Your first two choices were the two I had in mind. In addition to the other two, I would add China also.


To your list I would add this item, found on Susan Polgar's website: "3-time winner of the Chess Oscar." When asked, Susan will tell you she is a 3-time winner. Of the YUGOSLAVIAN Chess Oscar. She's never bothered to amend on her website the misleading "Chess Oscar" item.

How horrible to be queen of the chess world-- and then to be deposed by your little sister. No amount of public attention could ever compensate for such an awful fate. So:

Susan Polgar

is doomed to spend the rest of her life using every means, fair or misleading, to get all the attention and praise she can....but it'll never be enough.

For all I know, Susan is 100% correct in her attacks on the USCF...but it is hard to credit someone who habitually shades the truth.

"Shades the truth," I wonder if Anna Hahn would categorize it as such? Oh well, even though what I'm implying here directly involves two women, I guess I must be displaying more "male chauvinistic ranting." tsk tsk.

A very strange comment by Mr. Kostner. In my letter I never stated that I should directly play Topalov. But Kramnik shouldn't either and it is easy to see. He should fight for the qualification on the same basis as 16 candidates that include me for some reason.

FIDE had never any right to recognise Kramnik's title. Even Kasparov was not a World Champion between 1993 and 2000 according to FIDE. Yes, he was number 1 while Kramnik is number 9, isn't there a difference?

As for rating, it's now not 2699 as the latest list suggest, but some 30 points higher accumulating the latest events. But, of course, it can still be lost before 1st of July, in contrary to some other GMs I can't be inactive :) Neither do I see the relevancy of it, the point of my letter was totally different than what Mr. Kostner understood.


I like the picture of Susan Polar with 3 women chess players who won scholarships. who else has done the same. let him throw the first stone. if you have done zero then please ......

Susan Polar is the best we have for chess in usa.

Susan with the winners WFM Alisa Melekhina, WGM Anya Corke and Abby Marshall. Each co-champion was awarded a full tuition and fees scholarship (value approximately $40,000 each) to the University of Texas in Dallas.

if anyone is to complain. first how many scholarships have you helped others to obtain. She is wonderful for chess.

Also, if you want to criticise George Bush, first tell us governor of how many states you've been! And president of how many major nations!

GM Shirov, its great seeing you back in the so-called "Elite" group. Hopefully, we will get to see you in action in the supertournaments. Sometime ago I had asked you on ICC why you weren't being invited anymore, and you said you were focusing on the 'non-elites'. Well, I guess all that paid off!

"Also, if you want to criticise George Bush, first tell us governor of how many states you've been! And president of how many major nations!"

And in a similar vein, doing a bunch of positive stuff gives you immunity from ever being criticized for doing negative stuff!

"In my letter I never stated that I should directly play Topalov. But Kramnik shouldn't either..."
--Mr. Shirov, aren't you one of the 16 challengers in the current cycle? How does it hurt you if, in the meantime, Kramnik-Topalov is played? Would it make you happy if Kirsan keeps his money in his pocket and cancels Kramnik-Topalov?

"FIDE never had any right to recognize Kramnik's title."
--I'm not sure Kirsan "recognizes" Kramnik's title any more than you do. Krisan simply recognizes that some people DO recognize Kramnik's title. If Kirsan can reunify the title without depriving you and others of your shot, why do you complain?

"[Kasparov] was number 1 while Kramnik is number 9, isn't there a difference?"
--The champion's rating makes little difference. A classical champion like Kramnik, with mediocre tournaments, may not be the top-rated player. But if he saves his energy and opening innovations for a successful title defense he remains the champion.

"...in contrast to some other GMs I can't be inactive. :)"
--Kramnik is trying to treat himself for "a rheumatic disease that causes arthritis of the spine and sacroiliac joints and often inflammation of the eyes, lungs, and heart valves". Are you taking a shot at his inactivity? How very classy.

Koster it is easy to harp on the players but they are the ones forced to submit to the whims of fans critics and sponsors. We go to our jobs in relative safety from losing our incomes on the whim of a boss, and don't have to submit to a head to head competition for our incomes. Your post lacked class not Shirov's.


There is enough in this article to be a little bit more understanding toward his position.

Mr Shirov, I fully symphatise with you in regards to the 1998-2000 affair. Yes, you deserved the title match. Yes, you were deprived of the chance of your life as well as of a lot of money. Yes, Kasparov decided on an early stage to throw you out, in a glaring violation of sporting principles.

But, respectfully, it's been 7 years since Kasparov decided to play Anand/Kramnik instead. The chess world can't be put on hold even now just because you are still bitter about what happened back then. Kramnik is one of the champions. Topalov is the other. What any one of us thinks personally about the respective titles has no bearing on the fact that the championships need to be unified. A direct match against the champions is the best way of doing that. When at last it's happening we don't need to see a top player complaining about it. It doesn't benefit anyone. It's easy to think that it harms you personally as well that you're unable to get over it.

I'm glad to see you do so well lately. Good luck in your upcoming events. Is there anything before the Olympiad?

>Quote: "And in a similar vein, doing a bunch of positive stuff gives you immunity from ever being criticized for doing negative stuff!"

Comments like these have no substance to them, therefore I call them for what I see them.

Pray tell, what horrible "negative stuff" has she done for the chess world?
All I see is she does more for chess than all other GM's in the US combined.

She has not done anything negative for the chess world. In fact, she has done a lot of good things to promote scholastic and , especially, girl's chess.

The problem is she that she definitely misrepresents her accomplishments and sometimes there are outright lies in many of her public relations announcements.

I'm begining to think that little piggy and kirsan fan are in cahoots, if you know what I mean?

I haven't found "outright lies" in Susan Polgar's announcements, nor have I found "misrepresentations" of her accomplishments. She is engaging in appropriate publicity. As I said upthread, a girl's gotta make a living. It's not her job to publicize other people's accomplishments. What she says about herself is accurate, and she also delivers the goods to show it.

Another poster noted that one of her blog posts listed herself as an "all-around" player (along with Spassky, Botvinnik and Fischer), while not including Garry Kasparov. I would have agreed this was ridiculous, had it ended there.

But had you looked, you would have seen that this was part of a two-part post, and in the second part she included Kasparov, Anand, and Korchnoi in the discussion.

For once, I agree (mostly) with Greg Koster. Topalov's match with Kramnik doesn't hurt anybody else, and it finally resolves the lingering dual-championship that has clouded the chess world for so many years.

Of course, Kramnik was the beneficiary of a very lucky break. By all rights, he never should have been playing Kasparov in the first place. But they played nevertheless, and Kramnik won fair and square.

Kramnik's play since then hasn't been so impressive. Naturally, some top GMs would say, "Why him?" Kramnik has managed to milk a 2-0 victory six years ago for about as far as it can be milked. Nevertheless, by at least one rational definition, he remains the nominal world champ. This match will resolve that, once and for all.


You've convinced me. Susan Polgar is accurate. No misrepresentations. Appropriate publicity.

--Greg Koster
9-time winner of the Chess Oscar

(the highly coveted "Swanberg Lane; Lily Lake, Illinois" Chess Oscar)

Greg, your comments are accurate too ... assuming such an Oscar exists.

And besides, getting back to Susan, if her worst crime is that the Oscar she won is not the Oscar everyone thinks, it seems to me a relatively minor complaint. She has tons of very real and significant accomplishments that are undeniable.

Well I certainly appreciate that Mr. Shirov speaks out. At least he lays out what he thinks whereas I have no idea what many other players think.

I do think he makes a good point about the topalov Kramnik match if and only if it is going to be bankrolled by FIDE. I'm not saying I would not support the match if it were bankrolled by FIDE, but it is defintitley something to think through.

I would like to know if he has anything against Kramnik. Is he upset with Kramnik for taking Kasparov's offer? Or is there something else which causes the venom when he talks of Kramnik?

Also I would like to know if he is upset that so many fans just don't care much about "tournament champions" We can call any sort of event we want a "World Chess Championship", but if that event is the same thing we get 5 times a year, its not going to hold much weight. Does he wish everyoen would recognize Topalov as the world champion due to his win in the SL double round robin?


Aren't you tired of finding a few potato chips in a large bag pumped full of air, small candy bars disguised in large wrappers, fine print in credit card applications?

But yes, I'm sure she's a very lovely person.

Niceforkinmove, as I interpret it, Shirov (and quite a few other professionals) resent Kramnik for hauling in a huge payday that -- as they see it -- he has not earned.

Whether he has "earned" the right to be there depends, in turn, on what validity you attach to his +2 victory against Garry Kasparov in 2000.

Many fans, though by no means all, still consider Kramnik either a co-champion, or indeed the only legitimate one. Most top-flight professionals seem to consider Kramnik just another player, who shouldn't enjoy any special privilege. Obviously there's no denying what he did in 2000, but the question (in some people's minds) is whether the "title" he won is past its sell-by date.

Then again, Kramnik achieved his +2 in a 16-game match.

24-game WCC matches, of questionable validity:

1990 Kasparov d. Karpov +1
1987 Kasparov -- Karpov (tied)
1986 Kasparov d. Karpov +1
1985 Kasparov d. Karpov +2

1978 Karpov d. Korchnoi +1
(unlimited match, 32 games played)

1969 Spassky d. Petrosian +2
1966 Petrosian d. Spassky +1

1958 Botvinnik d. Smyslov +2
1954 Botvinnik -- Smyslov (tied)
1951 Botvinnik -- Bronstein (tied)

Lets say, for the sake of argument only, I agree with you. Lets say I decided some arbitrary date to be the "sell by date" for the title he won from Kasparov. Lets say I disagreed with all those fans who don't think a tournament championship means anything. I certainly woudln't blame Kramnik for playign this match. And, other than jealousy, I don't see why anyone would.

Greg, I do believe you miss the point. To the extent Kramnik's legitimacy is in doubt, it's not because his victory was "only" +2. To the contrary, at the time it was an extraordinary achievement. Even more remarkable than the margin of victory, IMO, is the fact that Kasparov couldn't rack up a single win in 15 tries.

No, the question is how long that extraordinary performance continues to have any ongoing relevance, other than as a fact of history. Since there is no governing body that recognizes Kramnik as champion, his relevance is totally dependent on people's willingness to take him seriously.

Obviously, the sponsors paying for the match take him seriously, and maybe that's all that counts. But most professionals seem to be saying, "Sorry, Vlady, but lately you haven't proved it over-the-board."


You, Kir$an and Topalov evidently take Kramnik seriously. That's good enough for me, and it's probably good enough for Kramnik.

Kirsan had no choice. If he didn't arrange this match Zhukov wouldn't have nominated him for FIDE president. Not that Ilyumzhinov's endorsement should be good enough for anyone after what he's done to the game.

What's not good enough for Kramnik? I don't blame him for taking this match, but it's certainly a dent in the moral high ground tune he's been playing for so long. It's called cashing out. Regardless, I don't see people blaming Kramnik for taking the match. The silly part is it's being funded by Ilyumzhinov.

Well Kramnik did defend agaisnt Leko who won a qualifier that Topalov played in. Moreover whether you ahve an organization or not you still need others to agree with them for thier champions to have any validity.

I'm not sure what other players think. I'm not sure Waht Adams or Svidler or Gelfand think. Marc do you know what they think?

Anyway it is interesting that that Topalov and Kramnik will be splitting a smaller prize fund than Kramnik a Leko split.

Maybe certain players do think the champion is the guy who won the last tournament. Thus you can win a World championship event but if you don't win all a non championship event you lose it. OK thats find they can think that way. But why call any event a world championship at all then? Indeed why not call every event a "World Championship"

I do agree with Mig in that I do sort of wish Kramnik could say no to this match. Like he said this may be a 12 game "swan song" destroying the best thing chess has going for it.

I really don't know if Kramnik has any options to save the Championship. The players chose to, in a sense, abandon him and play in SL. By doing this they agreed not to play in any qualifiers Kramnik might be able to put together. This no doubt made it almost impossible for kramnik to find sponsors to have a traditional cycle. The players chose to trust Kirsan would implement his promised cyle. Now they will reap what they sow. Kirsan has already canceled the final match and made it a tournament.

Now no professional chess players will ever be as well known as the champions used to be and thier sport will suffer. They made thier choice now they will live with it.

Where else but on this blog can a man act blamelessly ("I'm not blaming him...I don't see people blaming him...") and yet be accused of abandoning the "moral high ground" and "cashing in"?

It's strange how so many people seem to think that putting his title on the line against arguably the strongest player in the world, while even if he wins he has to defend it again in an 8-player tournament only next year, is something that benefits Kramnik personally! Nobody could force him to do it, but he did. The money? Sure, but it's exactly in his position as World Champion that he can easily get lucrative offers like the Deep Fritz matches.


If Kramnik didn't do what you described, his title would have as much value as Fischer's title today.

I disagree. FIDE doesn't control his title and, with FIDE having abandoned Prague long ago, there's nothing to stop Kramnik from simply saying "Why on earth should I unify under your terms?"

There are only practical reasons against. If the overwhelming majority of top players chose to keep being loyal to FIDE, then eventually he would have a problem. Not for refusing the match per se.


True , FIDE doesn't control Kramnik's title. Say, Kramnik doesn't play the match with Topalov and rests on the laurels of his 2000 match ( or, whatever is left of it.) Obviously, it is much easier for FIDE to establish a cycle than for Kramnik to establish a cycle. So, how long do you think Kramnik's title will have value ? Till 2008 ? Till 2010 ? Till perpetuity ?

He did it because it was his only practical chance of preventing himself from becoming irrelevant, not due to any altruistic motives.

Neither FIDE nor Topalov needed the match because it adds an unnecessary complication. It is Kramnik who needed the match.

Neither FIDE nor Topalov would have given Kramnik the match if it had not been due to pressure from his Excellency, Mr. Zhukov.

Peach stands absolutely correct. The whole truth in four simple paragraphs.

Who knows or cares what's in Kramnik's heart?

Given the unfortunate fact that FIDE has locked up the world's top candidates, Kramnik has no choice. Kramnik-Topalov is best for chess and for Kramnik. This October we'll again have an undisputed champion.

Kir$an keeps trying to please Mig:
--scrapping the knockouts,
--scrapping the speedy time-controls,
--staging Kramnik-Topalov

Kirsan also knows Mig wants a return to the 24-game match and despises the matches-into-a-WWC-tournament format.

The lack of movement re the Candidates matches in the next cycle allows room to hope that Kir$an will scrap them in favor of a tournament...culminating in a (dare we hope?) 24-game match.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 4, 2006 11:49 PM.

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