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Topalov-Kramnik Rematch Proposal

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Oh it's all a-go-go now, baby. Kirsan's interview preview was likely a reaction to Kramnik's radio interview and now the third shoe has dropped. Just a day later ChessPro publishes a proposal for a Topalov-Kramnik rematch from the Bulgarian's manager, Silvio Danailov. (Glad to know he's taking a break from sending out photos of the wreckage of an Elista bathroom under false names. Because, you know, cables in the ceiling mean, umm, something.) The proposal is for a match in April, or March if FIDE and Kramnik insist on following the rules currently in place that say these special challenge matches can't happen within six months of a world championship (Mexico City on Sept. 12 in this case).

That would mean a rematch just five months after the Elista unification. Topalov is already scheduled to play in Linares/Morelia, which ends March 11. (Both are playing at Corus, which runs till the end of January.) Sofia, Bulgaria, is unsurprisingly given as the host site of the proposed match. Prize fund of 1.5 million, 2/3 to the "champion," meaning Kramnik. A pretty sweet pot, although Kramnik doesn't exactly need the cash these days. Of course FIDE will want to see the numbers on the bills first (some of them unmarked and delivered in a brown bag, at least of Makro and Azmai are still around). That FIDE could pocket 300K might lead them to quickly favor this proposal, although whether or not Kramnik is obligated to play (and so quickly) is the important thing. I.e., if Topalov loses again can he just challenge again, especially if FIDE sets a precedent of ignoring the six-month rule? The rules don't say anything about time between matches one way or another, which is silly. There is a rule about FIDE needing five months to set up a match though. So unless both FIDE and Kramnik are eager for this it ain't gonna happen.

I'm always up for more chess and more matches and I don't see any downsides to this from that perspective. I despair at the thought of the dirty tricks we might see there, but I suppose we have to be optimists. Kramnik rarely shows impatience at the board and is prone to keeping his own counsel on political matters as well. We could go a while before this is clarified no matter how much noise comes from Ilyumzhinov and Stopwatch.


"...the third shoe has dropped..."

I hope you're not insinuating that Danailov is the middle leg of chess.

First, why didn't Radjubov transfer his challenge to Topalov over to Kramnik? Should he be first in line? Second, is there some rule about how much time the champion has to prepare for a match? In my mind a challenge should be issued at least one year before the potential match dates, not three or four months.

I can think of a lot of downsides and I'm not even trying- but here are two obvious ones: Kramnik refuses to play and is stripped of his FIDE title. Unification lasts a whole 2 or 3 months.
Kramnik plays and loses. Who plays in Mexico City? I can't imagine even FIDE could actually get away with having someone sign a contract saying the winner of the Elista match must play in Mexico City, and then say this contract is nullified and the winner in Sofia must play in Mexico...and do you want to be associated with them if they do Mig?

Think of the Linares SPONSORS if Topalov drops out to play the match. Think of the Corus SPONSORS if Kramnik and/or Topalov have to drop out to prepare for the match.

I'd be wary of an assassination attempt from the lunatics. after close to a decade Kirsan has the chance to set things right in the chess world. I'd give it 100/1

Forget it, horseface.

It's not just because it's Topalov, I certainly hope (and think) this match won't happen.

I remember a time when we thought a World Championship should be announced way in advance, giving the participants plenty of time to prepare, rest, etc according to how they see fit. This match has to start in TWO MONTHS at the latest if it's going to be finished in time per the regulations. And the participants already have tournament obligations. Would that be a farce or what.

The news was announces by topalov's site long ago.... Well, Danailov still says the documents are not in.

Let's see if the magician from the toilet will run away. The story seems to be developing

Yeah I can see Kramnik agreeing to a match in Sofia Bulgaria, when hell freezes.

These ridiculous rules of FIDE just make The Champion an indentured servant unable to make any future plans.

There simply is no time to play this rematch. It has nothing to do with running away except that Danailov knows Kramnik doesn't have the time for this rematch. Already Topalov has said, "he is a bit skeptic about the future match because Kramnik has long history of absence from important events." Imagine what they're going to say when Kramnik says he doesn't have time to play this rematch right now.

And what's this about the new nickname for Kramnik "popular in chess circles?" Rather silly statement, that is.

Kramnik not only won't play a rematch in Bulgaria, he won't play a rematch with Topolov again anywhere and why should he? He doesn't need money that comes with so much baggage and gives an opportunity for that idiot Danailov to slander him with more nefarious antics and line his pockets again. Who in their right mind would want to appear on the Jerry Springer show once, let alone a second time?

I do not want to see a rematch because I find Kramnik's style boring. It will be great if Kramnik first plays Anand, and then Topalov plays with Anand.
Anyhow we will se that ot Corus 2007. It will be exciting.

Yeah.... rules seem to let the match go. But will Kramnik lose the title if he refuses?

Soon to come: WCC proposals from Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Joel Lautier, DF-10, Paul Morphy, Stephen King and Dmitri Kovtun. After and only after we hear from all these essential entities will we finally hear from a little tall man by the name of Vladimir Kramnik who is after all still just the world's heavyweight champion and without whose agreement, all of these proposals is just people running their claptrap.

Topalov proposes a rematch. What a surprise. Kirsan says Kramnik will play Mexico. What a meaningless development.

The Topalov proposal obviously goes against the rules of FIDE: they need 6 months before Mexico and 5 months to organize it. So this should have been proposed way back in October to have a legal effect.

Kirsan's statement is nothing new at all. Within a few days expect a statement from Kram-Rus saying that the situation is unchanged and Vlad is still hoping to defend the title against Mexico winner.

The downsides were about the chess if the match happens, not all the various things that can go wrong. Obviously March would be silly because it would clash with traditional events. Even in April it would hit Amber, which I don't care about so much. But since I see this as around 0% chance of happening I'm not much concerned about that.

Mig, and what is in your view the chance of Kramnik playing in Mexico?

That's a tough one since so much is in flux right now. I'd put the over-under at 60% he plays at this point. After Elista I thought maybe 20%, but strides have been made. I didn't think FIDE cared if Kramnik came or went, especially since Mexico loved Topalov so much, but there is real money floating around for 2008-2010 and they have a concrete incentive to keep things together. I think Garry still has Kramnik playing in Mexico pegged at around 0%.

The bad news is that it sounds like the Kok deal is falling through.

Off topic:

Kasparov gave an interview to Der Spiegel Online. Topics discussed: raid on Kasparov's office staged earlier this week by the anti-terrorist police force and cancellation of Kasparov's participation in the ARD-Talkshow "Sabine Christiansen".

The German original is here: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,454167,00.html

a Russian version is also available:

And the English version of the Kasparov interview is available at chessbase.


What's the problem with "Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Boris Kowtyn..et al" proposing ?
Why not ? Let them all bid and struggle, the more the better. This is genuine, viable, economics and professionalism in chess.

Wasn't the lack of money the justification for clinging to Kirsan's Mexico proposal and for pressing Kramnik to play in it ?

Now you see that it ain't this the problem. To the contrary it is FIDE/Kirsan "wcc cycles" and the like that which keeps interfering and destroying the professionalization of chess.

Noone wants a rematch Kramnik-Topalov because Topalov has not qualified for it. He has lost the match and has to qualify again.

Noone wants a rematch Kramnik-Topalov because Topalov has not qualified for it. He has lost the match and has to qualify again.

It doesn't matter what others, not matter how many, want. What is matters is if Champ agrees or not.

Freitag, under the Fide rules any GM over 2700 can challenge provided they can raise the necessary money, which Topalov appears to have done.
Shrewd PR move on his part, because he knows Kramnik will never accept and have to use some Fide regulation to get out from under. Then they can play the " Kramnik is a coward " ploy again.


Kramnik will play in Mexico. 100 percent.
His reputation will be destroyed if he avoids both the Topalov rematch and Mexico tournament.

True David. But maybe this is just a ploy to try and force Kramnik into playing Mexico rather than slander him further. If he rejects the Toppy rematch offer citing (or hinting) lack of preparation time, then he must play Mexico to avoid looking like a liar. IMO, Topalov had his chance and lost, he doesn't deserve another shot so soon (if at all given his team's antics).

Kramnik may accept but demand to be held later, August or so, to have time to prepare.

Mexico may go on and be relabeled "Kirsan's Cup" and its winner be Kirsan's challanger to Kramnik's title for a match in 2008, granted that Kirsan will be able, just as Danailov now, to get the necessary money for a challange and Kramnik will agree.

So, is FIDE allowed to force Kramnik to back out of any signed contracts he may have made for tournaments in order to make him play Topalov? It would be just like FIDE to hand Topalov the 'title' simply because Kramnik chooses to honor his commitments.

Kasparov's statement that there is NO chance of Kramnik playing in Mexico is most interesting. Is Kasparov sure that a) Kramnik will go back out into the cold or that b) FIDE won't require Kramnik to play Mexico?

Let's not turn it into a "statement," please. Garry's felt this way since before Elista even started, that if Kramnik won he would have no reason or desire to play Mexico and FIDE would have no way to coerce him. He said as much in the article he wrote during Elista. Obviously there's always some chance, but if I wanted to bet on him playing I could get some excellent odds.

Somewhat ironically, all the aggro during the match has made it more likely Kramnik will play since it kicks Topalov in the shins.

Oy, or hoy. Now I find a long Topalov interview in Spain that accuses a KGB conspiracy. The subhead: "The Kremlin won't admit they killed the Russian spy or that Kramnik cheated." Nice that it's an actual interview instead of just an article that paraphrases. I'll translate anything new or interesting in a separate item. Lordy.


Wonder what serious money Mig is hinting about in 2008-10 timeframe? Hard to imagine large companies investing now in FIDE chess.

Perhaps certain special young Western players might get individual corporate sponsorship (Carlson?) for a WC run? Maybe certain players will benefit from some kind of state or national sponsorship (could Bulgaria finance Topolov's quest?)

Perhaps the makers of Fritz could sponsor the human chess matches, and make money by having Fritz as the "expert commentator." Like having John Madden on our American Football television shows. "Well, Fritz, how do you see it?" "Na1 0.002 12/15" "How exciting!!"


Is there anything that requires Kramnik to meet the challenger's timing? Based on the Chessbase summary of the FIDE rules, it doesn't appear there is any requirement on the Champion for timing.

After getting through the intial disgust of another potential pottygate, I like the idea of more matches. This challenge concept may be a really good idea - players can court sponsors rather than the FIDE (who has shown little ability in this regard). This may be more of a return to the 'good old days' than we think.

I am suprised at the announcement Kramnik will play in Mexico, but I'll never argue against more chess between the best players.


FIDE/Kirsan can always get the money he needs by simply taxing more the kalmykian people.

As you could read Topalov has the support of the Bulgarian state and, likely, Anand could get such thing too. India is booming economically and
organizing such match would only add to their national pride.

Carlsen, if I am not wrong, is sponsored by Microsoft.

Maybe this is the reason Kramnik is playing in Mexico City. FIDE say you want a match then you play Topalov in April, but if you agree to play there then we'll say we can't organise the match in five months and that will be that as you can turn it down as being within six months.

Even if you agree with the concept of these challenge rules, the rules themselves are absurd. As far as I can see you could say to Kramnik, we have the money and organisation and FIDE have agreed, so see you next Tuesday in Sofia. There is no period of time minimum for preparation stated nor provision for clashes with other events.

"Glad to know he's [Danailov's] taking a break from sending out photos of the wreckage of an Elista bathroom under false names. Because, you know, cables in the ceiling mean, umm, something."

* speechless *

Mig, Who cares what Garry thinks? That he even admits he screwed the chess world when him and that wanker Short walked and organized a rival chess group is a minor revelation. His backhanded BS is getting old.

Garry should shut up and politic and accept that he is the *second* best chess player in the world behind Kramnik.

After all the idiocy in one of his last interviews, what I want to know is how Veselin "Never reneged on a contract" Topalov plans to play both this return match and Linares in the same time period. Oh, I forgot, he's Superman (if you believe his fans), and will simply play a simul. Sheesh!

First of all, the any-2700-can-challenge rule itself is a stupid idea. It was fine 100 years ago when there was no structure and no processes. Today when there some 20-odd 2700+ players, it is completely unfair that the other 19 (and all the sub-2700 too!) should not get an equal opportunity.

Secondly, there should be at least one full year's gap between 2 WC matches. For Christ sake, they are not playing blitz games on ICC where you try to challenge your opponent immediately after losing a game (with a hope that you will win the next and massage your ego!)

I have a feeling that may be Danailov knows that its not possible for Kramnik (and FIDE) to accept the proposal when Mexico is already lined up and so the Bulgarian contingent can extract some PR mileage (after the Elista fiasco) from the rejection of their offer.



Could be that the game is "on" right now and "they" put combined pressure on Kramnik.

First Vassilev comes with his "fact accomplished" news which even if false adds to the pressure, has Kramnik think of himself as if he has said "yes".

Then this "either Topalov or Mexico !".."your life or your money !"

Kirsan is a GM to such games and he has defeated Kramnik before. During Elista he had the announcement "The match continues tomorrow, etc."
released without an agreement reached, but later Kramnik caved in and went with the schedule.


You speak as if you have insider info on what went on at Elista, which you don't, so you are just spouting BS. How do you know Kirsan did not apply Payola to Kramnik behind the scenes and play this out in the press like so many other times in the past?

Kramnik did not 'cave in' at any point. These top-level chess players are the most selfish lot in any organized endeavor, and him, nor Topalov, would do anything or make any concession without personal gain at any point. Game 5 forfeit case in point.

Kramnik *KNOWS* without him there is no WCC. Kirsan know it too. Neither could give 2 dumps about Topalov, Danailov, or their BS WCC 'challenges to be made later'.

Still waiting for Garry to announce his coming out of retirement but that won't happen until Danailov/Topalov manages to get Kramnik dethroned, because, you know as I do, Kasparov fears only one man, and he goes by the name of Kramnik. Right Mig?

Like boxers, one man can force another into retirement as fast as the dethroning of one can draw another OUT of retirement just as fast.

petee wrote
>Mig, Who cares what Garry thinks? >

relax petee, you at least seem to care since you post about it.

garry has become "blunder prone" recently indeed but whatever he says is going to be noted by the chessworld for the next 40 years (if he lives as much as Bronstein of course).


There is no problem with anybody proposing. It's not a question of problems but the question of relevance and significance we are attaching to these proposals, which is just the same parties insisting on same old ideas. Kirsan still thinks Kramnik is legally obligated to play Mexico and Topalov still thinks he deserves a rematch. Kramnik has not agreed to either idea. No news.

This proposal is in fact a good sign that there is money out there for a match between Topalov and Kramnik. That other worthy candidates could find a sponsor or that somebody wants to hold a genuine qualifier candidate tournament is not in any way indicated by this proposal. That it's taking place in Sofia is another sign that the sponsor is committed to Topalov, not chess.

I am not sure when you say "justification for clinging to Kirsan's Mexico proposal" if you are talking about Kirsan's reason, Mig's reason or the small part of the public that likes the idea.

You speak as if you had inside information yourself, Petee. Which you don't, I dare say, so, err, well, you work it out.

Mark C; surely there's a minimum of five months provided for in the FIDE rules between the challenge and the match itself? This challenge is just nonsense even by the rules it seeks to exploit. What I haven't seen in FIDE's rules is anything about venue - it doesn't say whether the challenger can choose or FIDE chooses, or what. Or have I missed it - not that it matters much anyway.

I am skeptical that Kasparov fears (or feared better) Kramnik or anyone. Maybe he feared Karpov when he was very young.
You got the things upside down : Kramnik was amongst the very few who didn't fear Kasparov in the 90s.

Yuriy, I have always assumed that any sponsors were first attached to something else than chess (national pride, advertisment for their products)
Even Fischer's paycheck went high because the match was hyped by the cold war context.
I do not really care what kind of secondary interests sponsors have.

I don't either, but the question was whether sponsors can be found for a candidates tournament or a world championship match. If they can only be found in very narrow cases or for one specific GM that doens't really help matters much.

Sports: 15 December 2006, Friday.

Bulgaria's chess king Vesselin Topalov, who lost the title of world's best chess grandmaster with a narrow defeat against Vladimir Kramnik, has officially thrown the gauntlet to the Russian for a rematch.

The regulations of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) allow every former world champion to challenge his opponent.

The official invitation for a return match was sent late on Thursday night at the FIDE headquarters, Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov said.

Bulgaria is ready to organise the event in Sofia between April 12 and 30, 2007.

Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov was the first who supported the idea. If Kramnik consents the match will be held under his patronage. Bulgaria is ready to provide for the prize of the game.

The world chess champion will win USD 1 M. The host country will cover all organisational expenses.

If Kramnik does not accept the offer, FIDE may be forced to strip him of the world's only chess king title.


Does accepting the challenge mean all the conditions are non-negotiable? I didn't see anywhere in the FIDE regulations about accepting the challengers location for the match.

It is funny to read how Topa accuses Russians in helping Kramnik to cheat, and at the same time he proposes to play in Sofia under patronage of the Bulgarian President.
Do you remember how many accusations were made about Topa cheating a year ago (Kramnik was naver accused by anybody except Topanailov in his life)? Isn't playing in Sofia looking suspicious after that, especially under patronage of a President who has a direct authority over the country intelligence?
Topalov can accuse Russians in killing Litvinenko, we do not know the truth yet, but we know for sure that Bulgarians assassinated a Bulgarian dissident Markov in London not that far ago (1978) with umbrella equipped with a poisoned needle.

What are about financial guarantees for the match? It is OK to issue a challenge but to make his challenge credible Danailov should have presented a letter of credit or something similar I suppose. Is that not required?

The chance that Kramnik plays in Mexico? Very high after recent developments even though it was over-hasty to see Kirsan's words as a complete confirmation. Perhaps 80-85%.

Another flaw in the Challenge match scheme is that the Challenger can apparently **force* the World Champion (in this case, Kramnik) to play in the home country of the Challenger. Up until recently, whenever FIDE had a circumstance where the Champion and the Challenger were from different countries, the World Championship match was played in a Neutral venue.

Of course, Kasparov had no qualms about playing his title matach with Short in the UK--the choice was between FIDE's Manchester, and the Keene group's London venue.

Obviously, there ought to be rules about the minumum amount of time that is gauranteed to the World Champion between Title Defenses, and the maximum number of times a Challenger can have "a go" at the Champ...as well as whether it is appropriate to allow the same Challenger to have consecutive challenges.

Mark Crowther is almost certain correct when he points out that Kramnik's apparent willingness to compete in the Mexico tournament entails that Kirsan has made the quid pro quo arrangement whereby Kramnik does not have to accept Topalov's challenge.

Perhaps in August, Kramnik's lawyers can find a suitable loophole in the Mexico tournament contract, which will allow him to bow out, and maintain a claim on the title.

Of course, the simplest "solution" would be for Kramnik to agree to play in Sofia, and then proceed to soundly beat Topalov.

haha 1978 Markov' murder and Litvinenko 2006 murder
may be you Vlad look in the history better, there is many massacres made by bulgarians in 10th century haha
you became very funny deffending your country and your idol Kramnik

I did some research on the matter and collected all the known evidence that the Kremlin is behind Litvinenko's death. Here it is:

Surprisingly enough, there's also no evidence linking the Kremlin to:

--the death of Anna Politkovskaya, shot dead in her elevator after investigating the war in Chechnya.

--the permanent disfiguremenet of Viktor Yushchenko, the president of Ukraine, poisoned with dioxin.

Putin's enemies are dropping like flies. I think some rogue democrat is doing it to make him look bad.

All of those people had PLENTY of enemies. Even just going by that, there is no reason at all to assume Kremlin involvement.

Apart from this, your sarcasticly meant point may well be valid. Novaya Gazeta, the paper Politkovskaya was working at, speculated that she was killed either on the order of Kadyrov (Putin-supported prime minister of Chechnya)... or by his opponents to discredit him.

In the case of Litvinenko, suspecting Kremlin is perhaps even more far-fetched, being that Litvinenko was such an insignificant figure. And seriously believing that they would have done it in such a dramatic way, with easily traceable material, one that was totally certain to give rise to all these suspicions and gravely damaging Russia's reputation, is quite weird. Litvinenko was not taken seriously by Russians anyway with his "Loose Change"-like theories about FSB blowing up those apartments to blame the Chechens. That said nothing should of course be ruled out. I think it's more likely that it was done by someone who wanted to harm Russia. But nobody knows.

There has been many murder cases in Russia that never make sensationalist headlines. What do you make of the Vlad Listyev case? Yeltsin murdered him?

I have no clue re Listyev. But you forgot to discuss Yushchenko.

"And seriously believing that they would have done it in such a dramatic way, with easily traceable material certain to give rise to all of these suspicions and gravely damaging Russia's reputation is quite weird."

Wiping out a small fish in a public, dramatic way is an efficient method of intimidating all the small, medium, and large fish.

I don't think even Yushchenko himself blamed the Kremlin. As far as I know he only blamed the Yanukovych government. Can you give me a good reason to believe in Kremlin involvement?

There is no "evidence" and I wouldn't "assume" or "believe" Kremlin involvement in any of these situations. Where unusual, public, dramatic harm comes to their opponents, however, I think you have to put the Kremlin high on the suspects list.

Sure, relatively high -- in that I think there are several theories even more unlikely to be true.

In all the cases you mention, I think Kremlin involvement is possible but highly unlikely, and probably the Litvinenko case is the least likely of all. That has also to do with history. Neither the FSB nor the KGB ever killed a defector on foreign soil, and whether their predecessors did is still open for speculation (Krivitsky?)

acirce, i don't think that you're correct in assuming Russian/Kremlin/Soviet inactivity beyond borders is correct:


The Litvinenko affair is not the first time Russia has been accused of assassination attempts beyond its borders.

Decades ago, the Kremlin was blamed for the London assassination of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident who was killed in 1978 by a dart fired from an umbrella tip and bearing the toxin ricin. His killing remains unsolved.

Earlier this year, an Italian parliamentary commission accused Soviet leaders of being involved in the failed plot to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

In 2004, a car bomb killed Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, former Chechen separatist president, in Qatar. Two Russian FSB agents were arrested and convicted in Qatar but later were released after intense diplomatic pressure from Russia. Later that year, pro-Western Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was hospitalized with dioxin poisoning, which disfigured his face and nearly killed him. Many fingers pointed at the Kremlin, which had strongly supported Yushchenko's opponent, Viktor Yanukovych (who is now Ukraine's prime minister).

Fifteen years after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia behaves as though it still calls the shots in the former Soviet republics. This fall, Russia severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Georgia and deported hundreds of Georgians when the former Soviet republic, which is looking to join NATO, expelled four Russians it accused of spying in September. Earlier this year, the Kremlin looked set to cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine over a pricing dispute before howls of protest from other European countries forced it to back down.

And, as if nothing had changed in the past 15 years, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's defense minister and a former KGB agent, said in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that "we border ... Afghanistan and Iran." Neither of these countries borders Russia, but they do border independent countries that once were part of the Soviet Union.

"It may seem like a trivial thing, but it isn't," said David Satter, a Russia expert affiliated with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a vocal critic of Putin. "It's part of a psychology that has to be dealt with. This kind of imperial thinking for a country like Russia is just absolutely self-destructive because it eliminates the possibility of a more healthy development."

I was talking about defectors specifically. They have tracked them up but almost never killed them.

Still, even that article says Markov's "killing remains unsolved", Italians "accused" Soviet leaders... the usual stuff.

I don't know enough about the case in Qatar, where two FSB agents were indeed even convicted, which is very rare, although they claimed to have been tortured. I am quite sure that the FSB is ready to do *that* kind of stuff, but even then there is a bit of a difference between Yandarbiyev and a guy like Litvinenko!

I feel (perhaps against my better judgment) that I can not stay away from this animated conversation. I am sure Mr. Putin can sleep soundly, now that he knows that our valiant acirce will always defend him from the "widespread Russophobia" (quoting from acirce's post in an adjacent thread) of the chessninja crowd.

This time the prominent scholar acirce has decided to conduct some exhaustive "research", so of course we should not even attempt to dispute his findings. I guess, that should be it then, "Neither the FSB nor the KGB ever killed a defector on foreign soil, and whether their predecessors did is still open for speculation (Krivitsky?)" is the verdict that shall stand. Of course, "They have tracked them up but almost never killed them" takes it down a notch, but, hey, no need to be petty, right? We are after the grand scheme of things, aren't we?

I feel grateful to acirce that he found a chance to spare a minute from his busy schedule and share with us his findings. If I may, I would only ask our resident history expert for a minor clarification: what about an inconvenient case of one Leon Trotsky? Oh, stupid me, Trotsky was not a defector, he was deported, right, Mr. Famous Historian? And I guess it would have been silly indeed to cite ancient history like that, if not for an inconvenient coincidence: it just so happens that over the past few years, Litvinenko has received a number of nice messages saying things like "the ice pick that killed Trotsky will reach you too."

I would like to state it for the record here: I do not know who killed Litvinenko. I follow the case as best I can, in all the languages I can comprehend, and I have not reached any conclusion. I do have the chutzpah to have my opinion, though. I do not believe (as of this moment, at least) that Putin was personally involved. I do believe that FSB was involved. I can not prove either assertion.

That said, why won't we return to the subject where some more definite conclusions could be drawn without much effort. Come to think of it, acirce is not as ignorant as he might seem. He has indeed heard of Trotsky before. In his previous incarnation as a famous book critic, acirce even reviewed Trotsky's book and in his review (after an equally thorough research, no doubt) reached another mind-blowing conclusion: "Trotsky, objectively an enemy to socialism who allied with the Nazis against the USSR..." (quoting from http://tinyurl.com/ygdkca)

Dear Mr. acirce, thank you so much for opening my eyes! If not for you, I could have easily grown old not being aware of this pearl of wisdom. Being naive as I am, I always believed the traditional version of events, whereby Trotsky had been killed (with the ice pick mentioned above) by a KGB (NKVD, technically) agent in August 1940, almost a year before the Nazis had attacked USSR (June 1941). And at the time of his death, the Nazis and USSR actually were allies rather than enemies. (Molotov-Ribbentrop, etc., sapienti sat.) But now, thanks to you, acirce, I see it clearly: that snake Trotsky knew even then who he had to be allied with and why. He had it (the ice pick) coming, didn't he? And as FSB/KGB/NKVD/OGPU could not have possibly done it, the only question (a quite insignificant one, mind you) that is now open, who was his killer?

And as for Putin, his only slight problem might be that with friends like this...

Sigh. Good job trying to turn this into a flame war. Grow up or find someone else to pick a fight with if you prefer that to a discussion with real arguments.

Thank you for the compliment. And especially for not disputing my very real arguments. One, really - that you have no clue about history and your "conclusions" are laughable at best. Keep up the good work!

Btw, I tend to agree with your brave statement (just made in another thread) "I was accused myself of being a friend of Putin's government. Just for the record, I am not." No, you are not. I bet even Putin would be ashamed of someone whose heroes are Stalin and Hoxha. Sorry that my irony went over your head.

Your post was alternating between petty attacks on me and random stuff on Trotsky and Stalin totally irrelevant for what's being discussed. If that is your idea about real arguments, well, I beg to differ but it means I don't have a reason to waste more valuable time on you.

Your eagerness in defending your idol is of course perfectly understandable but your "rebuttal" leaves me slightly puzzled: where exactly did I mention Stalin in my post?

I am afraid I do not possess words simple enough for you to grasp, but I will try one last time. At the start of my post, I took on your principal statement made in a bunch of posts in this thread and showed that it had no bearing on reality whatsoever. I then proceeded to demonstrate that the "random stuff on Trotsky" was in fact entirely relevant to Litvinenko's murder, the main subject of this debate. I ended my post with taking a look at another statement of yours, made elsewhere, and - surprise - it met the same fate as the first one. Based on these two examples, I concluded that your skills as historian are somewhat lacking.

Since you are the only live Stalinist I know (or know of), would you please kindly satisfy my intellectual curiosity. Is that the usual way you guys are "reading" a written text? Or did we just witness some of your personal quirks?

Thank you so very much for your forthcoming explanation of the subtleties of a Stalinist's psyche. Certainly beats going to a zoo.

acirce, somehow you even manage to fail as a Stalinist. Ducking an honest fight, aren't we? (Reminds me of one contemporary chess player, another idol of yours. No need to digress, though.) The party secretary will be unhappy indeed.

I will try my best to stay relevant to this thread's flow. The "wet affairs" department of KGB/... (KGB further on, for simplicity) has a long and illustrious history and, I believe, acirce's lame attempt to negate it should be deeply offensive to its tireless workers. Watch out, acirce, these people are not exactly known for their good-humoured nature.

The list of that department's "clients" is very long indeed. The most famous case of a defector who had met his fate at the hands of KGB assassins is probably that of Ignace (Ignaty) Reiss (killed in Switzerland in 1937.) The case is in fact well-known to cultured Russians since one of the suspected killers, Sergei Efron, was the husband of Marina Tsvetaeva, a famous poet. Tsvetaeva herself was interrogated in Paris where she lived at the time. Whereas Efron was never caught by the Western authorities, he disappeared without a trace and later showed up in Russia where he himself was in due course executed by his colleagues (probably from a neighboring KGB department.)

Other prominent names of KGB victims that come to mind are that of Lev Sedov (Trotsky's son, found dead in a Paris hospital in 1938) and Stepan Bandera, an Ukrainian nationalist (poisoned in Munich in 1959.)

However, it should be noted that an authoritative history of KGB assassinations will probably never see the light of day. Many of the hits were designed so that they could pass off as suicides (Walter Krivitsky mentioned by acirce is a case in point; Krivitsky, a close friend of Reiss, was found dead in 1941 in Washington, D.C.) or natural deaths. I think we should not expect the mystery of Litvinenko's death to be resolved any time soon, either.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 14, 2006 6:48 PM.

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