'I have never given up the idea of reunification'

by ChessBase
11/13/2004 – Classical Chess World Champion Vladimir Kramnik recently expressed doubts on the current course of the reunification process, and dropped out of the Russian Super Final for health reasons. For this he has taken a lot of harsh criticism in the press and from chess fans. In a press release Kramnik explains his position.

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Dear Chess Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has now been more than three weeks since I defended my World Champion title, and I would like to thank all the chess fans for their keen interest in the match.

In the course of the match I unfortunately contracted an illness that I have not yet overcome. After the completion of the World Championship, doctors insisted that I should abstain from any form of competitive chess until the end of the year, so that the necessary treatment may be administered without any interruption.

I deeply regret that for the above reason, my participation in the Russian championship had to be cancelled. I would like to extend my special thanks to the Russian Chess Federation and to the organizers of the championship, for the understanding they showed me for the incapacity to play.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my surprise at the recent press campaign, in which several people have misrepresented my stance on the subject of reunification. In the last two and a half years following the Prague Agreement, FIDE has not only failed to fulfil the greater part of its obligation, it has also showed disrespect towards chess players rights in several instances.

It is therefore no wonder that a feeling of distrust towards the current FIDE leadership has grown among a large group of players, including myself. Such a state of affairs is not satisfactory and should not be allowed to continue. I have a principled position regarding many questions pertaining to further developments in the world of professional chess players, and I will uphold my views when the time for negotiations has come.

To conclude, I would like to repeat once again for the record: I have never given up the idea of reunifying the chess world and I am trying to search for a solution.

With best regards,
Vladimir Kramnik
Classical World Chess Champion
12th of November 2004

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