A letter from Makro

by ChessBase
11/22/2004 – Two days before the start of the 57th Russian Championship Super Final in Moscow a press conference was held in which Garry Kasparov spoke defensively about the prospects of his up-coming reunification match against Rustam Kasimdzhanov actually being staged. Now FIDE deputy Georgios Makropoulos has sent us a reply to Kasparov.

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At one stage during the press conference a journalist, IM Ilya Odessky, asked Kasparov about his reunification match against Rustam Kasimdzhanov, scheduled for next January in Dubai. Kasparov reply was summarized by Odessky in the following three points:

  1. I have the same sources of information as everyone else in the room. I do not know anything more. With other words, I really don't know anything.
  2. I still haven’t received any bank guarantees from the sheiks or from FIDE.
  3. The Turkish Chess Federation was prepared to buy out the rights to hold this match and to provide within a ten day period all necessary guarantees for the reunification match. But it was not given the chance to do so by FIDE.

Odessky reported that while Kasparov was speaking he suddenly heard a voice which said: "He is lying about everything". It came from the personal assistant of FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Berik Balgabaev. "First of all, Ali (the president of Turkish Chess association, Mr., Ali Nihat Yazici) did not say that he is willing to buy out the rights," said Balgabaev. "Secondly, a representative of FIDE has already flown out to Dubai, and soon all necessary guaranteed will be announced; and thirdly, Kasparov’s business is to play chess, and not to engage in squabbling."

Today we received the following letter from Deputy President of FIDE, Georgios Makropoulos, formally reacting to our report.

Letter from Georgios Makropoulos

Dear chessfriends,

I would like to make the following clarifications concerning the article published on the ChessBase website on Nov 16 about the 57th Russian Championship Press Conference.

GM Garry Kasparov was very accurate about points 1 and 2 of your summary (his source of information and lack of bank guarantees).

In point 3, concerning the proposal of the Turkish Chess Federation, it is obvious that Garry isn't fully informed about the real facts. The President of the Turkish Chess Federation, Mr Ali Nihat Yazici, requested from the FIDE General Assembly in Calvia to issue a deadline to the Dubai organizers for the completion of all procedures and the delivery to FIDE of all necessary financial guarantees. In case the Dubai organizers would not be able to keep the deadline, then FIDE would have to terminate its efforts to organize the World Championship match in the United Arab Emirates and give a period of 10 days to the Turkish Federation to provide an alternative solution together with all financial guarantees.

The President of Turkish Chess Federation and FIDE delegate Ali Nihat Yazici

The Turkish Federation was of course in no position during the FIDE General Assembly to guarantee that it would indeed succeed in securing sponsorship. The only guarantee on the table was the optimism of Mr Yazici that he would succeed and the fact that he is a serious president of a very active federation which would never engage FIDE in an adventure from which we would lose all potential sponsors.

The FIDE General Assembly did not reject the Turkish proposal and decided to request from the FIDE President, Mr Ilyumzhinov, that he himself will set the deadline since Mr Ilyumzhinov is the only person having complete knowledge about the progress of negotiations with the Dubai organizers. Mr Yazici was not satisfied with this decision and he informed me that under these hazy conditions the Turkish Federation will not be able to organize the match in any case.

Consequently, GM Garry Kasparov did not lie during the recent Press Conference in Moscow but instead he was speaking based on the only information he had. It is also his irremovable right, as with all chessplayers, to publicly express his opinion about all matters which concern himself or the general structure and the further development of our sport.

FIDE and the whole international chess community should express its satisfaction with the efforts and the patience shown by GM Garry Kasparov for the realization of the Prague Agreement.

Georgios Makropoulos
FIDE Deputy President

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