'Kramnik agreed to reunification under FIDE'

by ChessBase
11/18/2005 – In reply to the press releases from Veselin Topalov's camp and FIDE's Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, Vladimir Kramnik's manager Carsten Hensel describes his view of the negotiations for a million dollar Topalov-Kramnik match and how it broke down. The debate rages on.

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Press Release
Source: Carsten Hensel

In reply to the statement of Deputy President of FIDE, Georgios Makropoulos, I respond as follows:

In his statement Mr Makropoulus claims that the World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik was not prepared to play a world championship match under the auspices of FIDE. That is false. The Kramnik side has never rejected a world championship match against Mr Topalov under FIDE auspices.

It is correct that Universal Event Promotion GmbH (UEP) made an offer to the players. UEP strove to reach complete agreement both with Mr Topalov and with Mr Kramnik regarding the general financial and organisational conditions of the match. This procedure was accepted by both players. The necessary agreement was reached – at least at the level of the managers of the two sides.

During these negotiations UEP expressed its interest in making the “World Chess Match of the Champions”, which both sides had agreed on, a reunification match, with the participation of FIDE. Vladimir Kramnik accepted this plan.

Vladimir Kramnik with his manager Carsten Hensel

At a later time the Topalov side made extended demands and ruled out any match being held without the participation of FIDE, even for the case that no agreement with FIDE would be reached. This news was surprising, since previously agreement had been reached to stage the match under any circumstances. In any event UEP was not willing to fulfil the new financial demands. Incidentally the FIDE fee, quoted in the UEP press release, was brought into the discussion by Mr Danailov, and did not come directly from FIDE.

It is further incorrect that FIDE “suggested a meeting with all parties concerned.” I did not receive an invitation, either directly from FIDE or from the Topalov management.

It is remarkable that Mr Danailov, in his statement of 16.11.2005, declares that he does not recognise any champion other than Mr Topalov. It is possible that the use of the title “GM Kramnik” in the statement of Mr Makropolous indicates a similar view on the part of FIDE. We would like to point out that in Prague FIDE recognised Vladimir Kramnik as the Classical Chess World Champion [LINK]. This remains the current situation – also from a legal point of view. The same applies to Mr Toplaov, who participated in the Dortmound Candidates Toournament in 2002 and signed a contract to play a match against Classical Chess World Champion Kramnik in case of a victory in this tournament. Even in May 2005 Topalov’s manager signed up Vladimir Kramnik as the Classical Chess World Champion to play in the Mtel Masters in Sofia. Immediately after Topalov’s victory in San Luis Mr Danailov, when discussing the prospect of a match, referred to Vladimir Kramnik as the Classical Chess World Champion in an interview (quote: “He is, in spite of everything, the successor of the Classical Chess World Title. Kramnik defeated Kasparov and defended his title in the match against Leko”). Until a few days ago the status of Vladimir Kramnik was never cast into doubt by Mr Danailov, not even in the negotiations with UEP. It is quite unclear to me what reasons have led to this sudden change of opinion.

In the name of Vladimir Kramnik I would like to thank chess fans for the countless emails, Telephone calls and messages we received from all over the world.

Carsten Hensel
(Manager of Vladimir Kramnik, Classical World Chess Champion)

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