As everyone keeps posting about, Gata Kamsky and Nigel Short had a chat spat during the Playchess commentary today. Nigel was looking to settle a score from 1994, when they played a PCA candidates match full of enough insult and acrimony to make Topalov-Kramnik look like a Buddhist ceremony. I dug up the contemporaneous reports on the match to refresh my memory. There are certainly some similiarities between Elista and that match in Linares (Danailov and Kamsky count bathroom visits; Short counted Kamsky coughs), but I'd like to think Topalov has more control over Danailov than Kamsky had over his choleric father. And apparently match officials have gotten dumber over the years.
I didn't know Kamsky then, although I met him and his father briefly later in 1994 in Buenos Aires. He's been such a charmer since returning to the scene a few years ago that digging up all these things from what was practically a former life isn't really fair. Not that Short should sympathize similarly, of course, but if 1994 reflected poorly on the Kamskys, today's online aggression reflects poorly on Short in 2006. He rebuffed Gata's attempts to deflect the accusations amicably until eventually things got out of hand. That's a pretty old axe to grind. Aren't we supposed to get older and wiser instead of just older? I suppose Gata could have apologized for his father threatening Short's life in the dining room after game 4. On the other hand, if Gata took the time to apologize to everyone his dad offended back then his own child would grow up fatherless.
A mercifully brief recap of the 1994 match: After winning the first three games Kamsky caught a cold and was sniffling and hacking at the board. An annoyed Short suggested - during the game, a violation of PCA rules - that Kamsky drink some water. Kamsky lost the game. An engraged Rustam Kamsky accosted Short in the restaurant after game 4 and said "If you keep breaking the rules I will kill you!" (Now that's a provocation, Danailov you piker.) Short even filed a police report, though no charges were filed. Kamsky went on to win the next two and then draw to win the match 5.5-1.5. There were various protests from the Kamsky side during the match, including, I believe, about trips to the bathroom (!) and making eye contact with another player (Anand) during the games. I'm not sure if any of these protests came before the game 4 incident.
I copied the chat text (for the various GM analysis comments, actually) but all the misspellings give me tsuris. I see Susan Polgar has most of it up for the world to see, but she has added her own comments and superfluous "he said, he said" texts, which is rather against the spirit of the medium. Mystic Rollmops has a clean version here, if you must.
Speaking of Kamsky and matches, my fellow Brooklynite tells me FIDE is now offering a $15K prize fund for the candidates. That will actually come out to less than what the guys who didn't make the candidates got in Khanty-Mansiysk! We can call this "getting Shiroved," or "getting Cazorlaed," i.e. being paid less than the guy you beat. As Kamsky points out, if such a low fund had been proposed from the start, it would have been relatively easy to find sponsors. Now it looks like they'll play everything in, you guessed it, Elista, in April.