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Kamsky-Topalov in Lviv

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You say Lviv, I say Lvov, let's not call the whole thing off. Can we leave the question mark off the title now? Chessbase is saying Yuri Vasiliev is saying that Kamsky's manager Alexander Chernenko is saying that the FIDE bank in Lausanne is saying that the money from the Ukrainian organizers for the Kamsky-Topalov candidates match has arrived. The prize fund is stated as $750,000, five times more than the original $150,000 (the minimum) offer from Sofia, Bulgaria. And of course not playing on Topalov's home turf is a huge difference for Kamsky. The given schedule of the eight-game match is Nov. 26 - Dec 11. Bid details here (pdf).


750k for this match??! man, what is the lvov city council smoking?

Why the big jump from $150k to $750k. Why not $250k, or $350, or even $500. Why jump all the way to $750. I have seen nothing about this in chess news any where.

Me says Lwow! 'L' silent.

Well put, who would bid over 300K for this?????? What are we missing...or can we get some of that smoke???????????

Pass the dutchie on the Lviv hand side.

Alexander Chernenko said that he always was Kamsky's fan and just wanted to help him. So he approached Kamsky and asked to be his manager, and 750K is his personal money.

Heck, for 750 G's Chernenko should tell them they need to play a traditional 12 Game Candidates Match. If they balk, cut the funding by 300 G's. It's a shame the folks here in America who have deep pockets, do not love chess even half as much as this guy!! My props to you, Alexander Chernenko!!

Mig, it would be more respectful to use Ukrainian name of the city. Lviv (should be read like L'viv)...

Still, I don't believe that this match will ever be held.

You are not correct, you should elimanate the ambigousness by spelling L V Y V, then nobody complains.

"Mig, it would be more respectful to use Ukrainian name of the city. Lviv (should be read like L'viv)..."

Respectful? It's just a matter of taste which form of the name that you use, when referring to these "frontier" cities in Eastern Europe.

I'd prefer to see the city referred to as "Lemberg", as the city largely evolved into what it is when it was under control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I don't know why the Ukrainians are so touchy about not using the Russian form "Lvov". While it is a large city, it has rarely been under the control of a Ukrainian state entity. I could see a case for calling Kiev "Kyiv", since that is Ukraine's capital city, and by far the largest and most important one. However, I see no harm in people using the common spelling, even in that instance.

It is rather Quixotic to attenpt to conform all place name nomenclature to local practice. Do Germans get upset when we refer to Munich rather than Munchen. It happens that "Munich" is the name for that city, as used in the English language. So it is with Lvov, which the commonly accepted spelling--in English usage-- for that city.

Go get 'em DOug.

Now would someone please pass me the doobie that Chernenko rolled? That has got to be some righteous grass.

Lvov, Lviv, L'viv ... How about Chernenkoville

American Chessplayers participating in matches with larger prize funds is only the beginning of getting more interest in chess. Look what happened to poker when publicity and large prize pools appeared.

Isn't one of the things with poker that the large prize pools can be won by just about anyone? Even if you haven't played poker for very long, you can enter a qualifier on one of the online sites, and end up in the big money. That's now how it works in chess.

this match may get cancelled faster than you can say Mr "Blood Diamond".


http://webcast.chessclub.com/Mtel08/GOTD/Macauley.html (select "Silvio Danailov weighs in" from the list)

& http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaiSHcHM0PA (clip from Jerry Maguire)

Somebody should do a mashup. :D

I am dumbfounded by why people would question the prize fund for this match. It is a contest between a former World Championship Challenger and a former World Champion. A concurrent match with a major prize fund is being staged, so how could it make sense to have this match played for only $150,000? Please, speak reasonably -- the importance of this match dictated that it be played with a fund commensurate to its level or not at all.



"It is a contest between a former World Championship Challenger and a former World Champion."

Heck, I'd pay 50 cents to see a Khalifman-Kasimjanov match. If you could just find 1.5 million people like me you could stage a $750,000 match between TWO former world champions.

Just so people know, Macauley Peterson has an article up on the USCF site - http://main.uschess.org/content/view/8432/456 - in which he calls the whole chessbase.com article into question. It's not just a question of quoting Dainailov's suspicions either (though he does that). Peterson says he has talked with Chernenko, who is in Accra, and Chernenko did not say the things that Vassiliev (in the chesspro.ru article, reproduced at chessbase.com) said Chernenko said. In particular, Peterson says that he has been told that the money has NOT arrived yet in FIDE's hands. Also, he says that the money is not Chernenko's "personal money" but comes from a Ukrainian holding company.

For the record I have no bias toward or against either country and would like to see the higher prize fund, all other things being equal, but it's not clearly a done deal.

History tells us that there is good reason to be skeptical about whether or not the Lviv match will actually happen. But if it does, it would be great to see Kamsky & Topolav competing for a $750,000 prize fund. It seems like an appropriate amount for what is effectively a semi-final playoff for the world championship. It would be nice if it was even larger.

By comparison, here are some facts about professional golf, specifically PGA Tour winnings so far this season:

- The season is a little bit beyond half over, having started in January, and ends in September.

- Of course Tiger Woods is the money leader, with $4.4M.

- 38 other players have earned at least $1M

- A total of 110 players have earned at least $400K.

- A total of 183 players have earned at least $100K

- These figures are only for PGA Tour event prize winnings. They do not include money earned from corporate sponsorships, speaking engagements, non-PGA events, etc.

I know some of you will say, so what, chess is not golf. That is true. But at one time, not even golf was golf .. at least from the perspective of today's earning potential. In fact, the PGA Tour broke away from the PGA specifically to focus on improving earning potential for playing-pro's, as opposed to teaching-pro's, or others who make golf their business. Seems like they have succeeded.

Topalov is interesting, a key player in any future WC struggle. But Kamsky .. who cares.

750K could buy a lot of interesting chess, far more than this match could offer.

abc -

The entire chess world cares. Kamsky was once one of the 4 best players in the world, contending in both of the parallel WC cycles, reaching and losing the finals against Karpov .. who as I recall was a fairly strong player back then. Then Kamsky quit chess, not because he had lost any strength, but to pursue other careers. Now that he is back, everyone is intrigued to see if he can get back to where he was, or even surpass it. Remember, he is 5 years younger then the current world champion.


How new to chess are you? Way before Topalov was relevant, Gata Kamsky was a dominant force on the international stage. Your statement would be akin to somebody logging on a decade from now and saying "Seriously, who is this Carlsen?" should Magnus decide to take time away from the game.

Mr. Koster,

I trust even you are clearly aware of the significant difference between matching Khalifman and Kasim vs. matching Kamsky and Topalov. Nobody who has ever followed top-level chess needs to scramble to the search engines to discover the identities of the latter two titans.



Sponsorship is a matter of public interest. What we need is a young, attractive, preferably non-white superphenom who loves sponsorship as much as chess.

Chess needs its Pele, or Woods, or Babe Ruth. Kasparov should have been the guy, but unfortunately was and is every bit as combative off the board as on...

My opinion on the whole sponsorship thing: It's not just having a personality that can be marketed (like Woods, Jordan, etc.), but a game that can be broadcast to a wide audience. As has been noted here and other places, the reason poker made such a big splash was that the rules were tweaked so that it could be televised and people could follow it. I mean, you can see what cards the players hold, the hands move fairly quickly and there is commentary on the game that is easy to follow. How do we do that with chess? Until someone comes up with a way to broadcast chess so that the "common man" can follow the game, chess cannot hope to get the sponsors, viewers or money that other sports have.

Sure, everyone posting here will say, "I'd watch!", but we are NOT in the numbers that watch golf, tennis or even figure skating on television.

750k (actually nearer a million taking into account FIDE's cut) is unprecedented especially when you see all the matches that could have happened in the last decade or so but failed to take off due to money matters.

Jaideepblue, I am unclear on what is unprecedented about the sponsorship that is made available for this match. Surely, you have forgotten that the Kramnik vs. Anand match has a prize fund of 1.5 million euro, which is substantially more than 750 thousand US dollars.




I expect jai will reluctanly concede that $750,000 is less than 1.5 million euro. But in his clumsy and artless way he seems to be asking you to provide an example of a chess match at the semi-final level with prize fund anywhere near $750,000.

A couple years ago I read in a Chess Life issue from around 1970, Larsen talking about his prize money from a Candidates match he won (must have been a quarter-final, because I don't think Larsen ever got close to a WCC match).

His prize for what I think was a best-of-6 match was either $2,000 or $200, I forget which. I don't think the loser (Portisch? Geller?) got anything.

For the record ;)

"FIDE has confirmed that up to this moment (Thursday, May 29, 2008, 15:00h), no funds have arrived on the FIDE bank account for the Lviv bid."


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 16, 2008 8:21 AM.

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