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100,000 Ways to Leave Morelia

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From a source very close to the Linares/Morelia organizers comes word that Radjabov was compensated by the hotel for the theft of his dad's computer [According to Goran Urosevic, by email Radjabov has denied receiving anything from the hotel.] but that to stay and play he wanted additional compensation from the organizers. 100,000 euros of compensation! That's over two billion dong! I suppose 100K helps you overcome a lot of emotional duress. He said take or leave it and they left it, rather unsurprisingly. I'm trying to get a comment from Radjabov on this. As I said before, dropping out after such a shock isn't entirely unreasonable, but saying you'll stay for a pile of extra cash is dubious. (And while it didn't mention numbers, Radjabov's press release made it clear he would have stayed for "reparation for the damages."


Wow, that must have been a state of the art laptop.

But who knows, maybe if Radjabov goes on to become the next Kasparov and he holds a grudge against Linares/Morelia and refuses to participate in Linares the way Kasparov refused to play in Dortmund, maybe the organizers will be sorry they didn't part with two billion dong in 2007.

Ipod: 100 euros. PocketPC: 400 euros. Laptop: 2000 euros. World's best database of Kings Indian novelties: priceless :)

It might be over "two billion dong" but it would have been ding-dong if the organizers would have accepted that amount. If it's true, it puts a new light on this kid. Isn't capitalism grand?!

For the moment, I prefer disbelief to astonishment.

Man Radja if this is true, come on...

Rule #1 take a backup of your database.

Rule #2 encrypt your database and have multiple passwords around it on your laptop.

Rule #3 take insurances. You won't have to beg everybody around you if your things get stolen.

Wow, nice rumor... I don't think I'm going to form an actual opinion on this one just yet.

When one is the victim of a crime, it is once of worst trauma's one can experience. And, one doesn't think clearly for a long while afterwards.

Maybe Radjabov thought a lot of money would make him feel better - or his father thought so.

There is no way it would have helped so soon. Just ask anyone you know who has been a victim of a crime. You will find out it takes a very long time to think normally again. And something always stays with you.

There is no way Radjabov would have been able to play his best...or even close to… it if he had stayed.

Maybe he asked for the money because that would give him a good reason not to play. We'll never really know, and I think it is not nice to gossip about someone's behaviour after such a trauma.

Well, we have other great young players, like Carlsen or Cheparinov. Cheparinov by the way won the open group as reported by Topalov's site.

I hope the thing for Radjabov is not true. 100K is a lot. What was in his room for a 100K?


Then why are you gossiping?


"What was in his room for 100K?" Well, once again, IF IT'S TRUUUUE, I would have to say alot of opportunism

The psychological effect of a such a loss must be tremendous. Not only that you lose your work but you could imagine that it could be in the hands of your opponents whether that's reasonable or not.

100,000 Euros is a lotta lettuce. If he thinks that the organizers' negligence was *that* extreme, then it's for a court to decide, not us.

I really don't like radjabov behavior.Fortunately we have Ivanchuk who is always ready to play,is a real chess lover and is friendly with everyone.

How much did Radja get paid to play? I assume he lost that money? I take it there is no chance he will get sued for breach of contract?

Has a non anonymous source already confirmed this rumour about Radjabov? If not, it seems very, very early to condemn him.

Radjabov would probably see the hand of Kasparov behind this gossip, taking revenge for that game he lost.

The 100K will be used to pay for psychotherapy with the world's most expensive psychiatrists. It takes years of intensive therapy to recover from a traumatic burglary of this magnitude.

Actually this issue of appearence fee always interested me. One obivous way to reduce the number of draws in a tournament like Linares (and promote the so called fighting spirit) is to compensate the players according to their standing at the end of the tournament instead of putting too much enphasis on the appearence fee. What is wrong with this idea? Is this not how they do it in tennis?

Considering that even the 8. placed player gets €11k, I doubt the appearence fee, if there is one, amounts to much. The winner gets €100k.

If you wanted $100,000 then put whatever you lost in the hotel safe next time. I doubt a hotel is liable for anything over $100.

Your source is lying

My laptop was stolen a couple of weeks ago...

Too bad Radja didn't get his pile of cash. I would have brought this to the attention of my insurance company as "precedence" with regards to such matters :-)

A source very close to the Linares/Morelia organizers. Sounds obscure and second-handish. Maybe a translation error? 10.000 euro's?

If true, sounds like Radjabov may be taking advice from Ponomariov's former business manager.

Maybe Radjabov wants the 100,000 euros to hire a bodyguard to bring to all his tournaments to protect his personal belongings?

I did not realize the winner gets $100K, I thought the players got only appearence fee. My apologies.

By the way the CB report states that Radja's dad is also his trainer. Is this correct? If so Radja's dad must be a strong chess player.

Anyone have a good link for what the appearance fees and prizes are?

If I were in his shoes, I know I would have asked for a large sum of money. He was invited to a tournament that didn't provide adaquate protection for the players, like he said in the press release, had he come back a few minutes earlier he could've been killed. What I saw in the press release were that several valuable items had been stolen, and certainly I would account for the software on the computer that was lost with the laptop, instead of just the laptop hardware itself. In the days of messy copyright laws, you can't just expect someone to back up a laptop to the point where a few dvds will bring any computer back to the way your old one was. While I can't comment on how much he should be compensated, since I don't know all the details of the burglary, I think it's entirely unreasonable to suggest that he should be compensated for the loss of a laptop and that's it.

Excessive, if true.

But it would be nice if somebody actually got on the record with these numbers.

If true, why won't they go on the record?

One way of explaining this - if true - would be that Radjabov feels like he was set up and is putting the blame squarely on the organizers. From the account of the incident, I can't blame him.

No, don't stay in Morelia, stay in this out of the way town. In this hotel we've got for you here. Then he leaves his room for 30 minutes and get's cleaned out!
Police? What police? What crime? What robbery? Who are you?

Uh-oh. Sounds like he didn't backup his chessbase stuff. Wonder if some top-flight opening theory has just been 'mega-deleted'.

Encryption is what is needed. I hope all the players encript everything they take to a tournament from now on. The information is super valuable.

That someone would steal the laptop for chess information is ridiculous. Prison immates would eat you alive if they asked "what are you in for" and you say "stealing chess moves." You'd think the top players would be very professional and won't buy stuff on the black market because they'd like the same courtesy if their chess moves were swiped. Now would a low-level player, not a top-player, steal chess moves when they don't get much money from chess anyways? Someone broke the lock on the door what more can an organizers do? Granted you could give them superstar treatment like say Beyonce but I doubt the organizers can afford Beyonce's security detail.

All King's Indian players are suspects here. It's a tough nut to crack. Maybe we get more clues on the real burglars in the upcoming tournaments. Watch for King's Indian novelties!

This was orchestrated and Danailov is behind it. They got the information and gave him back the laptop. Believe it.

>> What more could they do? >>



Radjabov's federation has issued a statement.


"They have stolen not valuable belongings but a personal computer holding personal data of Teymour. His numerous appeals were ignored. Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sport and Azerbaijani Chess Federation have sent a letter to International Chess Federation asking to investigate the premeditated robbery. The Federation will keep the focus on the investigation," the statement reads.

You would think that professional thieves only interested in the computer data would have the sense to steal the camera, alarm clock and bottle of vodka too. Then it would look like a common robbery.

The chess data is useless to any other top player. Using it more than two or three times, will make very clear to Radjabov, that *that* other player is the one who ultimatly got the laptop or its data - since obviously Radjabov can remember his preparation.

Not to mention that if Radjabov has any kind of backup, he can give it now (encrypted) to an escrow, for later proof ("hey Karpov is suddenly playing like in Radjabov stolen preparation" - sounds good titles for the DailyDirt or Chessbase).

Also I can't believe Radjabov has no backup. Drop your laptop and you can crash your hard disk and lose all your data on the spot. Not to mention any hard disk will crash ultimately, it's just a matter of time.

Now Radja suffers two losses, the psycological blow of the burglary and the effect of being turned down on the economic repair claim. The last one he should be shielded for because his manager (father?) is to take care of all such matters

I confess. I stole the laptop as part of an elaborate on-line chess sting. Since plugging Radjabov's analysis this into my ICC account, life has been grand. I've played 1000 flawless KIDs in bullet chess with countless novelties, and simply abort any attempt by my opponents to play 1. e4 or the Trompowsky.

My ICC rating is still unchanged because I continue to lose every game with White, but I am going after Kramnik's Catalan DBs at the next event so that ought to change. For now it's: "Thanks Teimour! Thanks Mexican policia!"

Once I get the back-up complete, I'll be selling the goods on E-Bay. 10% off for anyone who mentions chess ninja!!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but "A source very close to the Linares/Morelia organizers" is journalese for "someone who knows pretty much exactly", no? In any case, one wouldn't start a rumour like this without something solid...

"In any case, one wouldn't start a rumour like this without something solid..."

Mig wouldn't. A lot of people would.

""A source very close to the Linares/Morelia organizers" is journalese for "someone who knows pretty much exactly", no?"

It's journalese for somebody you trust who doesn't want to go on the record and have his name stated.

Most likely the source doesn't want to embarrass the organizers. Like because he works with or is close to them. But this kind of speculation is not very journalistic, which is why I tend to ignore news that comes from unnamed sources anyway.

It's perfectly reasonable for him to request compensation from the hotel. However, he has no claims against the organizers. Can you imagine the public response if Roger Federer demanded $1 million from the US Open organizers because his NYC hotel was broken into and some of his rackets were stolen?

Unnamed sources are a integral part of journalism. Imagine if Woodward and Bernstein were too "principled" to use Deep Throat as a source for their Watergate pieces because of his reluctance to go on the record.

Yuriy Kleyner wrote: "Most likely the source doesn't want to embarrass the organizers. Like because he works with or is close to them. But this kind of speculation is not very journalistic, which is why I tend to ignore news that comes from unnamed sources anyway."

Fair enough, and context of course matters most for these sorts of things -- but using unnamed sources can be very journalistic indeed. Seymour Hersh, for instance, would not get very far without the protection of unnamed sources. Not that Mig is uncovering plans for the US administration to bomb Iran, though...

The plans are already there. It's a question of short-term initiation, or not. You gotta know it's giving Hillary the shivering fits.

"Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sport and Azerbaijani Chess Federation have sent a letter to International Chess Federation asking to investigate the premeditated robbery"

Soon opening novelties will be state secrets...

Ed, the winner gets 100,000 Euros = 131,379 dollars.
I would be very happy to pocket the difference!

Unnamed sources of course are heavily used in journalism. I am in minority in that I don't think they should be used in pubishing and definitely nothing they say should be the item itself. IE: Unnamed sources say blah blah blah should not be the title or first sentence of the article.

You use the unnamed sources to prod the information out of the named sources or you get enough unnamed sources to present matter as factual information. IMO, then and only then you publish. Hersh, heck, Woodward & Bernstein all used unnamed sources to break their big stories. Initerestingly, however, Hersh is also one of the reporters the veracity of whose journalistic methods and sources have gotten a lot of criticism.

When exposing fraud in an administration, one might want to remain anonymous.

When throwing mud... I guess one might want to stay anonymous too. Nevermind.

There's a difference between criticizing someone for their use of anonymous sources and saying he is wrong. Hersh, for example, is often criticized by the people he exposes but rarely, if ever, proved wrong. (Not putting myself in his category, or that of any journalist, just pointing out the difference.)

I only rarely use such sources, but in this case I have no doubt at all about their veracity and have only acceded to a personal request to avoid someone having conflicts with the organizers of an ongoing event. Yes, it would have been best to first have a denial or confirmation from Radjabov. But if he declines to reply there is little I, or Woodward and Bernstein, can do other than trust what I deem to be a trustworthy source with no motive to lie.

I really don't see what the big deal is about the big number. Radjabov stated baldly that he requested financial compensation from the organizers. The exact amount, whether it be one, ten, or one hundred thousand, is really not relevant to how it reflects on Radjabov, at least not to me. He may have figured that by that point he wasn't going to play anyway so why not name a massive figure to give him an excuse to blame his non-participation on the organizers. I think it would have been well enough to say he was distraught by the incident and wasn't playing. It would have been up for debate about whether or not that was justifiable, but it would have been quite different than plainly stating "I'm distraught, but my level of distraughtness has a price."

I wonder if he got and/or kept his ~$20K appearance fee.

Your source lied that Radjabov was compensated by the hotel for the theft. With that logic, why should we trust the rest of information provided by him.

The exact amount is very relevant, five or one hundred is not the same, one being reasonable compensation, the 2nd equal to first prize.

"I'm trying to get a comment from Radjabov on this." after the post was already made. I think this was mistake.

"Daejung" Who said that Radjabov was not compensated by the hotel?

Now, now, Goran Urosevic (please stop posting as "Daejung" or anyone else, thanks. The fake ID stuff is simply stupid and makes you look bad. As Truong and Danailov have found out.) Yes, please do let us know why you say both the hotel in Patzcuaro and the organizers are lying. Radjabov has declined to answer inquiries to either question so far.

I have no intent of making this into some sort of scandal, it isn't one. But you aren't helping anyone with posting silly denials "anonymously". I sympathize with Radjabov, but demanding money (as he himself said he did) and blaming organizers for unfortunate events isn't helping.

The amount is very relevant. It's clear that organizers have no judicial responsibility for this theft. I can see how he might think that they have some moral responsibility (by recommending a hotel, for example). In such circumstances, it's reasonable to expect organizers to compensate SMALL losses as a good will gesture, but nobody will pay serious money just to show a good will.

To demand such an extraordinary amount as $100 000 is laughable. It simply shows that Radjabov lost all the sense of proportion (not that rare among the chessplayers, but still). Essentially he wanted to bump his appearance fee to $100 000, just because he got robbed. Organizers would be completely nuts to accept such a demand. Anyway, I'm glad that Chucky got in and is surely playing great chess.

Why would Radjabov be entitled to any compensation? I can't think of a city in the world where it is safe to leave a laptop unsecured and unattended, that is just careless. As is not having a back-up of your data especially when your professional livelyhood depends upon it.

"....On the evening of February 10th, my father-coach and I went to have a very quick dinner. Returning to our room within 30 minutes, we found my father’s door open, lock broken, and the room completely in disorder and searched. Upon investigation, many important and valuable items for us were stolen, which pertain both to my professional chess career and my father`s professional activity."

If the 30 minute time frame is correct, the robbery would obviously have been an aided by a hotel employee, doorman or receptionist maybe, who tipped off the criminals as soon as Radjabov and his dad left. I believe this to be a very relevant factor when considering Radjabov's emotional state, especially since no investigation was initiated or promised. Random thuggery would have been easier to accept than premeditation. Even though a request for $100K (if true) is clearly unreasonable, the guy deserves some slack given his state of mind at the time. Besides, we are lacking the context of the discussion; do we even know if he brought up the idea of financial compensation in the first place? Maybe the organizers proposed the idea and he simply named a sum that surely wouldn't be agreed to, more as a smartass insult than to give himself an out.

There are actually a few instances where Hersh was proven wrong, but that's not the question, the question is how many times he has been proven right. I like Hersh, but most of his charges remain in the "unconfirmed unproven category". And of course that's not the standard for journalism.

The other option that you had (and considering that this is a blog, it's not a big deal that you chose the other) is to omit the story until it's publicly acknowledged or to ask a couple more anonymous sources and then present it as confirmed news, not as an anonymous report.

Why is it a big deal to demand financial compensation for what is clearly a major blow (even if only psychologically) for Radjabov?

If a player gets mugged while streetwalking, that of course is not the organizers' fault.

If the organizers fail to provide reasonable security for the playing hall and armed men hold the GMs hostage and rob them, then of course, they are to blame.

The choice of hotel, I take it, was made by the organizers. They are responsible for choosing one which is reasonably safe, and a lot of evidence about this robbery suggests that it wasn't and in fact the hotel employees were complicit. As more details come forward, we can judge whether the organizers' arrangements were up to par. But if not, Teymour certainly can and should ask for compensation.

The amount matters, cause a large one places this (mentally) in "lawsuit" category and small one into "direct financial compensation".

I agree with YK above. Why get on poor Radja's back? He's the victim here. There is surely an implied clause of "fit for the purpose".

Now Mig, I'm not that stupid... IP, browser, OS, resolution etc...everything is same...

I have contacted Radjabov right after you posted this item. Should I say how angry he was? He said he didn't receive a single euro of compensation and that he won't give any new statements after the press release.

You have my email there, was it that hard to ask? Why publish my name if I didn't write it. Can you publish name of your source as well? I doubt you'll do it.


The issue is posting here under several names. It's abusive. Especially when you do so to call people names. It wouldn't have been hard to post, or email me, saying what you just said about having been in touch with Radjabov. He's also capable of writing email! Anyway, I added a correction to the main item. Thanks.

If Radjabov says he got nothing, the question that needs to be asked, if this is to continue in any way rationally instead of trying to make enemies of people, is whether or not the hotel/organization *offered* him compensation. One of the players and the original source with the organizers say he was compensated. Another person with the organization has since told me directly that this was the case. But if he says no, and since presumably none of these people saw cash being handed over, it may have been he was offered something, which came out as Radjabov WAS compensated. I assume (too many assumptions, I know) that Radjabov felt it was insufficient.

You didn't see me writing "Mig is biased" or "Mig hates Carlsen" in recent items. I believe it's clear I didn't come with other name to insult you or whatever to abuse the blog. If I wanted sensation, I would have published it already on WCN. But Radjabov said he won't give official statements and I respect that. Looks like I was stupid enough to manage the opposite and take him to the main item. If I wanted my name connected with Radjabov, I would sign the post as I always do without waiting for you to compare IPs. If I wanted to hide my name from you, nothing easier, change IP and browser. But this was useful lesson.

As you said in 2nd paragraph, it could be too many assumptions. What is compensation, what is offer/give, are the hotel/organizer one....so easy to slip. But I was amazed to find out last night how many people took "he asked for 100k of compensation" as granted. Probably that's the reason why I reacted. As long as the source is anonymous, I'm afraid the story cannot be confirmed and it's doing damage to Radjabov. I'm not sure if we need it after all the cheating scandals. You will say everything has to be investigated and brought to the daylight, but it's sensitive matter and I think this was bad start.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 19, 2007 2:27 PM.

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