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Kirsan, Putin and the world championship match

8/15/2006 – Some people were getting a bit nervous. After announcing the reunification match for a single world championship title between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik in April this year there was a lack of news on the event. Now FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and released all the details.
 

A week ago the President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who also happens to be the Head of the Republic of Kalmykia, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The latter congratulated the former on his re-election to the office of the President of the International Chess Federation, stressing that it is important to have a Russian leading one of the largest international sports bodies.

The FIDE President has informed the Russian President on the course of the preparation for the World Chess Championship match between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik. Ilyumzhinov received the assurance from the Russian President that this match is considered highly prestigious and therefore, all the necessary assistance will be provided.


The Two Presidents: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Vladimir Putin

Mr. Ilyumzhinov also informed Mr. Putin on some of the FIDE programmes and in particular, Chess in Schools. The Russian President has expressed his interest in this programme and has instructed Mr. Andrei Fursenko, Minister of Education of the Russian Federation, to become acquainted with the experiences of teaching chess in schools in different countries with the further possibility of implementation in Russia.

The President of Russia promised his full support in the continued popularisation of chess in the Russian Federation.


Find a caption (we suggest: "Come on, Kirsan, I know how en passant works!")

Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation and President of the Russian Chess Federation, is co-Chairman of the Topalov-Kramnik Match Organizing Committee together with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.


The World Championship Match Topalov-Kramnik

On April 13th 2006, at a FIDE meeting in Al Ain, UAE, the FIDE president first officially announced that the World Championship match Topalov vs Kramnik would be held from September 21 to October 13, 2006, in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia. The prize fund would be a guaranteed minimum of one million US dollars. The match is intended to "end any confusion about the World Championship status after the unfortunate schism which occurred in 1993."

There has been considerable doubt as to whether the event would actually take place. Cynics saw the announcement as a ploy for the incumbent FIDE president to win the election at the Turin General Assembly. They predicted that after Ilyumzhinov was reelected it would be cancelled for mysterious reasons.

This does not seem to be the case. FIDE has posted the regulations of the match, complete with a day-by-day timetable, as well as accreditation forms for journalists who wish to attend it in Kalmykia. Also our recent meeting with Vladimir Kramnik and his manager in Essen left little doubt that the match was going to take place.

Schedule of the World Chess Championship 2006
Day 1 21 Sept. 7:00 p.m. Opening ceremony
Day 2 22 Sept.   Rest day
Day 3 23 Sept. 3:00 p.m. Game 1
Day 4 24 Sept. 3:00 p.m. Game 2
Day 5 25 Sept.   Rest day
Day 6 26 Sept. 3:00 p.m. Game 3
Day 7 27 Sept. 3:00 p.m. Game 4
Day 8 28 Sept.   Rest day
Day 9 29 Sept. 3:00 p.m. Game 5
Day 10 30 Sept. 3:00 p.m. Game 6
Day 11 1 Oct.   Rest day
Day 12 2 Oct. 3:00 p.m. Game 7
Day 13 3 Oct. 3:00 p.m. Game 8
Day 14 4 Oct.   Rest day
Day 15 5 Oct. 3:00 p.m. Game 9
Day 16 6 Oct. 3:00 p.m. Game 10
Day 17 7 Oct.   Rest day
Day 18 8 Oct 3:00 p.m. Game 11
Day 19 9 Oct   Rest day
Day 20 10 Oct 3:00 p.m. Game 12
Day 21 11 Oct   Rest day
Day 22 12 Oct 3:00 p.m. Tie breaks
Day 23 13 Oct 7:00 p.m. Closing ceremony

Summary of the match regulations

  • The World Chess Championship match will consist of 12 games, the winner is the first player to score 6.5 points or more. If the scores are level after the twelve games four tie-break games will be played. No postponement of games are allowed, except with permission of the FIDE President.

  • The rate of play is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. However, if both players agree, then the time control used in the World Cup (90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move from move 1) can be applied.

  • For the tiebreak games the rate of play is 25 minutes for each player for all the moves, plus 10 seconds increment after each move. If the score is still level, a single decisive sudden death game will be played. The player, who wins the drawing of lots, may choose the colour. White receives six minutes, black five minutes, without any increments. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is the winner.

  • Topalov and Kramnik can inspect the accommodation arranged for them three days before the first game. They can inspect the playing hall two days before the first game.

  • The prize fund of the WCC match 2006 is minimum US $1,000,000 USD, and will be paid free of taxes. The sum will be shared equally between Topalov and Kramnik, independent from the final result. If a player withdraws after the start of a match without having a satisfactory reason for doing so, he shall receive no prize money. The prize fund shall be paid within seven days of the termination of the match by direct banker’s order drawn in United States Dollars on UBS, Lausanne or any other official FIDE bank.

  • The playing conditions require that only the players, principals and stewards will be allowed in the actual playing area, except with the permission of the Chief Arbiter. During the playing session the following additional regulations shall be in force:

    • The players are not permitted to bring into the playing area technical and other equipment extraneous to play, which may in any way disturb or upset the opponent. The Chief Arbiter shall decide what constitutes extraneous equipment liable to offend the opponent.

    • A player may talk only to an arbiter or communicate with a steward, or with his opponent as permitted by the Laws of Chess.

    • During the playing session, players are not allowed to leave the playing area without the permission of the Chief Arbiter.
       
  • The players are expected to co-operate reasonably with the media. Both players are required to make themselves available for post game press conferences, of not more than 20 minutes duration, immediately after each game. Additional interviews with them can be arranged through the Press Officer and the managers of the players, but exclusive interviews will only be possible after the WCC match has been concluded.

    Accredition form for journalists

The official logo and mascot of the World Chess Championship Match is shown on the right. The animal depicted is a baby saiga, a species of antelope whose dwelling are the steppes of Kalmykia. The designer of the logo is the well-known Kalmyk painter S. Badendaev.

An interesting detail of the forthcoming match is that the players will be using the same table and pieces as Anatoly Karpov and Gata Kamsky during their FIDE world championship match ten years earlier.Geurt Gijssen of the Netherlands will be the Chief Arbiter; he also served as the Chief Arbiter during the Karpov-Kamsky match.

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