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More Kamsky-Topalov

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This email was sent by the USCF president on Nov. 4 in response to Ilyumzhinov's announcement.

Thank you for your email. Everyone hopes that Mr. Chernienko's money finally arrives. But if not, why would FIDE even think about reopening negotiations with the Bulgarian Chess Federation?

On June 1, FIDE issued and posted the press release below, announcing that the Lvov match and its prize fund were guaranteed by the backing of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov. Surely, FIDE cannot be considering reneging on this public promise? This would be a terrible blow to the prestige of the organization and of world chess, as well as probably being illegal.

Bill Goichberg
President, US Chess Federation

So I guess it was the same Kirsan Ilyumzhinov after all. Or maybe his evil twin. Wait, I guess that would be his competent twin? Whatever. As much as I'd like to see my Brooklyn homeboy Gata Kamsky playing for buku bucks, let's remember that this is an eight-game candidates match and that the winner gets what should be a good payday against Anand in 2009. The problem is that chess and FIDE sponsorship have the credibility of a man who swears he has no idea how that lipstick got on his collar. Kamsky had his rightful shot at Anand, won in battle at the Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup, intercepted by FIDE shenanigans and has no reason at all to trust them now.

Speaking of Gata, I'm glad he's being the coolest cat in town and waiting for this all to play out. But this Chernenko (as it's usually been written) character doesn't seem to be doing much better than FIDE in the promises department so far. It may come down to Sofia or nothing this week.

By the way, Chessdom has a bit saying Topalov won't play Corus 09 because it would interfere with his preparation for the world championship. Eh? Weird. h/t peach in the message boards. Kamsky IS playing there, btw. There are still three open spots in the Corus A field, I believe, with Anand and Kramnik not confirmed or denied yet to my knowledge. [Macauley says below that Anand is definitely not playing in Corus.] Ivanchuk, Carlsen, Morozevich, Aronian, and Radjabov are the top seeds right now. Movsesian is the qualifier from last year and his rating has also jumped up a lot. Van Wely is back after a horrible 2008 with the additional motivation of making Jan Timman eat crow. Stellwagen and Smeets are being thrown to the lions, which is good. Sink or swim sometimes creates some pretty good swimmers. [The complete field is now up, adding Wang Yue, Adams, and Dominguez to reach 14.]


Anand is NOT playing Corus. He told me himself in a video interview to be published by ICC Chess.FM (www.ChessClub.com) this week. -Macauley

Any idea why not? Sufficient time to rest from his Bonn labours and a tonne of opening novelties to boot.

In a way, it's really a shame Topalov got this free-ride into the candidate final. The new proposed cycle with the winner of the world-cup (KO tournament) and the grand-prix (regular tournaments) is actually quite sensible and interesting. I sincerely hope the transition to this new system will work fine in spite of the Topalov's messing with it!

In case the Kamsky-Topalov match indeed takes place, I will root for Kamsky like I have never before rooted for any chess player in any chess match :-)

Kamsky's openings are still getting blown away quite frequently, how will he survive against Topalov, let alone Anand? I would like Topalov to get through, he is always a fighter and would provide a great match. He would be very hungry to prove that he's still a no.1 contender. Kamsky is also very interesting but his openings will really have to rise a few levels if he's to really challenge those two. Can't see Anand losing to Torre Attack etc.

"Wait, I guess that would be his competent twin?"

While the always ridiculous Kasparov vainly implores Obama to spit in Putin's face for no discernible reason, Kirsan continues to control chess with a mastery that Kasparov and co. cannot begin to fathom.

In 2002, Kirsan rope-a-doped the smiling Kasparov into the Prague agreement, then jacked him around for three years until Kasparov (and his potential to re-hijack the title) finally gave up and retired.

I don't know why the Lvov match appears to be floundering, but Kirsan sure does, and you can bet it's not "incompetence."

I find it pretty cynical that the same people who denigrate Kirsan for his ill-gotten wealth, also complain about his turpitude at reneging on his promise to fund events from his own pocket.

(Actually, being a practitioner myself, I consider that kind of thing to be an insult to the high art of cynicism.)

"Sink or swim sometimes creates some pretty good swimmers."
Good one Mig ;)

On a side note, I hope that USCF will be able to rip that 1 million off Kirsan. After all, he's very rich and seems to be quite stupid.

Kramnik isn't playing Corus either. The (former) big three were all invited, and all declined.

Mig, how did you implement the tag cloud? Its really cool, I want to implement one myself now! Any useful info? Thanks in advance.

d_tal, heard of google? It's quite useful. Try "rotating tag cloud" and hit "I'm feeling lucky".

junior, what's your problem? For Pete's sake. Crawl back to whatever hole you came out of. Everybody's a satirical comedian on the internet.

As the official Bart Simpson of this forum, you have to post the following 10 times:
"I will google before asking stupid questions"
"I will google before asking stupid questions"

I feel ill every time Topalov gets mentioned, and yet I'm still marveling at his exceptional win against Anand in Sofia 2005. These feelings remind me of how I struggled with Bobby Fischer many years--great chess by a person I don't want to know or think about. I hope Kamsky clobbers him wherever they play (if they do).

"Moscow, 6 November 2008

Announcement of the FIDE President concerning the match Topalov - Kamsky

Dear chess friends,

As already known, FIDE had initially reached a decision to award the Challenger's Match Topalov - Kamsky to the Bulgarian Chess Federation which offered a prize fund of 150,000 USD.

Afterwards, and following consultations with both sides, FIDE gave the opportunity to Alexander Chernenko, the manager of GM Gata Kamsky, to bring in an improved bid with Lviv suggested by Mr Chernenko as the host city. The prize fund offered by GM Gata Kamsky's manager was 750,000 USD. Since then, FIDE received several letters, by banks supposed to co-operate with Mr Chernenko, stating that the funds were "on their way". But up to this moment, and despite numerous reminders to Alexander Chernenko, no bank guarantees have been provided and of course no transfer of the prize fund has been made to the bank account of FIDE.

At this point I must say that I have deeply regretted the trust which I had shown to Alexander Chernenko, concerning the reliability of his offer. The actions of Mr Chernenko indicate an abuse of right to invoke my guarantee which was declared after his own request and in good faith to help him secure the necessary funds. Furthermore, I understand the complaints of the Bulgarian Chess Federation concerning the procedure followed, although FIDE was only trying to improve the financial conditions for both players.

In order to restore the procedure towards holding this very important match, FIDE announces the following:

a) The Bulgarian Chess Federation will be re-awarded with the event if it accepts in written form, by 14 November 2008 12:00 GMT, to hold the match with a prize fund of 250,000 USD plus 50,000 USD as contribution to FIDE and all organising expenses covered. In this case, the dates of the match Topalov - Kamsky remain as already announced (29 Nov. - 12 Dec. 2008) and I intend to nominate FIDE Vice President Mr William Kelleher of USA as the FIDE Supervisor of the Organising Committee (*duties of the FIDE Supervisor as annex 1 to this announcement). The confirmation letter of the Bulgarian Chess Federation should be sent by email at office@fide.com and by registered post to the FIDE Secreteriat, address: 9 Syggrou Ave, 11743 Athens, Greece.

b) By 14 November 2008, 12:00 GMT, both players have to officially confirm, in written form and in a clear and explicit way, that they will play the match. If GM Topalov refuses to confirm his participation, then GM Kamsky qualifies automatically for the 2009 WCC match. If GM Kamsky refuses to confirm his participation, he will be replaced by GM Shirov (the runner-up of the World Cup 2007). The confirmation letters should be sent by email at office@fide.com and by registered post to the FIDE Secreteriat, address: 9 Syggrou Ave, 11743 Athens, Greece.

c) If the Bulgarian Chess Federation will not confirm that it accepts the financial requirements of (a), an open bidding procedure will be launched with a deadline of 31 December 2008. The best bid will be awarded with the event which will then be held in February or March 2009.

The unfortunate handling of the situation by Alexander Chernenko has brought us to a point where the time limits are very tight. With this procedure, FIDE puts the Challengers Match back on track and with a clear timetable. We are all looking forward to a great match which will produce a worthy challenger to World Champion Vishy Anand for the year 2009.

Gens Una Sumus!

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
FIDE President"


This release is very weird in quite a few ways.

But I also already hear something about a press release stating that the Bulgarian Chess Federation is going to organize the match in mid-January... a Bulgarian posted this on chessgames.com .

"At this point I must say that I have deeply regretted the trust which I had shown to Alexander Chernenko, concerning the reliability of his offer. The actions of Mr Chernenko indicate an abuse of right to invoke my guarantee which was declared after his own request and in good faith to help him secure the necessary funds"

i see FIDE/Kirsan redefined the meaning of the word "guarantee".

A very good press release. Except, yeah, wasn't the money guaranteed? Who has a link to the "guarantee" press release?

Why can't the USCF raise $175,0000 to bring a Kamsky vs Topalov match in the US?

This is an average of $2 dollar per member which they could tag to membership renewals or as a voluntary contribution. This is a worst case scenario if the USCF is unable to find any corporate sponsorship. This country is not yet dirt poor even with the financial meltdown.

I only read some lame statement from Steve Goichberg regarding Ilumzhinov guarantee to organize the match which has been corrected in the latest FIDE statement.

Link to Susan Polgar's blog where she posted information about a press release on the FIDE President's guarantee of the Lvov prize fund on June 1, 2008:

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 5, 2008 3:34 PM.

    More Memos about Kamsky-Topalov was the previous entry in this blog.

    Corus 2009 Field Complete is the next entry in this blog.

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