Akobian defaults on six million dollar match in Las Vegas

by ChessBase
9/3/2009 – Despite the admonitions of our readers we are once again unable to resist. A press release from the "World Chess Federation" informs us that Varuzhan Akobian will not compete in the announced World Chess Championship match in Las Vegas this December. However, now anyone can take part in or even stage the new World Championship cycle. Read on at your own risk.

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Before we share the new tidings with you, here some of the feedback we received on our previous article:

"I cannot believe anyone would take this seriously" – Rob, USA

"Did you forget, you already had an April Fools joke!" – Michael F, USA

"Wow, have I really slept all the way through till April 2010?" – Billy H, Bristol

"Is there an August 24th Fool's Day or is this a preview for next year's April 1st?" – Gabriel C, USA

"Read about him in gamesforum and Chess Circle"– Anatoly G, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

"I can only laugh... this kind of thing can only happen in the US. It would be interesting to hear what Akobian has to say about it. He is a serious player, isn't he?" – Martin C, Albacete, Spain

"What kind of a twisted travesty is this? It demeans Grandmaster Akobian to be portrayed in this ridiculous joke!" – Rick A, San Diego

"The critical letters in the release are 'WC', in the acronym's most traditional connotation" – Andrew P, Toronto.

"Shame on ChessBase for giving this charlatan even one ounce of free publicity" – Ken J, Missouri, USA

"Back in the 1970s and 1980s it was customary for the organisers of the biennial South African Open to invite a player or two of international strength (Elo 2300-2500) to play in the tournament as an attraction. In 1986 we were introduced to the great Stan Vaughan, supposedly around 2300 Elo, with much fanfare. If I remember correctly he got 6/11..." – Graeme F, Johannesburg, South Africa

"'Sorry, we simply couldn't resist: here is the press release...' Why is it so hard to resist publishing an obviously fraudulent story full of misinformation? An apology in advance simply doesn't help. It's still sleazy." Bruce B, San Diego

"Through the tears of laughter, I wish this match much publicity and enough noise to wake some FIDE officials up." – Kajetan W, Wroclaw, Poland

Once again we cannot resist. The latest press release of the WCC (or WCF or whatever) tells us that GM Varuzhan Akobian has not agreed to play, in spite of the six million dollar prize fund, because his World Cup contract with FIDE prohibits competition in any rival "world championship" for the next four years. The good news (we think) is that the WCC has set up a full candidates cycle, starting with Satellite qualifier matches in November, the Qualifier matches in December, then Candidates knockout finals in January 2010. The winner then goes on to challenge the current titleholder Stan Vaughan, who has kept his title as a result of challenger Varuzhan Akobian's decision to default.

Only in America, as some readers have told us, is such a match and such an announcement possible (wait, surely in Nigeria too?!) We promise to try very hard to refrain from publishing further press releases of the WCC – unless we are all shamed by a multi-million Dollar World Chess Championship actually being staged next year in Las Vegas. In that case we will do live broadcast and apologise to the organisers whom we have so insidiously doubted in our current reports.

For those who desperately need more information there is a contact address and phone number at the bottom of this page. You may want to give Tatiana a call?!

Press release – Sept. 2nd 2009

The World Chess Federation announced today that the sponsors of 'The World Chess Championship' 2009 have exercised their options to proceed with sponsoring 'The World Chess Championship' Candidates 2010 as well as “The World Chess Championship' 2011.

'The World Chess Championship' Candidates 2010 will take place in three stages: 1st stage: Satellite qualifier matches open to anyone in the world, which can be organized also anywhere in the world (November 2009). 2nd stage: Qualifier matches including winners of 1st stage, to be held in Las Vegas (December 2009) at the Riviera Hotel/Casino Las Vegas. 3rd stage: Candidate matches including winners of 2nd stage, to be held at the Riviera Hotel/Casino Las Vegas starting January 2010 consisting of knockout matches (first to 6 wins, draws not counting). Full details will be at www.americanchessassociation.org after October 1, 2009.

The winner of 3rd stage will earn the right to be the official challenger to compete for the World Chess Federation, Inc title 'The World Chess Champion' in a match for 6 million US$ in 2011 against current titleholder of 'The World Chess Champion' Stan Vaughan who retained the title through 'The World Chess Championship' 2011 as a result of challenger Varuzhan Akobian's recent August 30th decision to default in 'The World Chess Championship' 2009 after he was notified by competitor FIDE (International Chess Federation) that in signing contract to play in their 2009 World Cup tournament in Siberia (see World Cup Player contract at www.fide.com) that he had legally obligated himself under Article 4.2 to not play in WCF's 'The World Chess Championship' 2009 voiding a previous 2007 contract to do so. Rather than face a threatened breach of contract suit by FIDE over the non compete clause, Akobian elected to default.

WCF 'The World Chess Champion' Stan Vaughan commented, “It is my opinion that FIDE's noncompetition agreements, which they are forcing the 128 competitors in their 'World Cup' to sign as a precondition to participation is nothing less than illegal 'involuntary servitude' prohibiting those 128 players from competing in WCF events for at least the next four years, through 2013.

As such, I applaud the response of WCF in following the suggestion of Bobby Fischer to open 'The World Chess Championship' candidates 2010 stages to select my next challenger to anyone in the world without being required to be a member of any federation worldwide. This is simply the logical response to FIDE's declaration of war upon WCF via the new FIDE illegal 'involuntary servitude' noncompetition agreements as they attempt to prevent top chess professionals from competing in WCF's 'The World Chess Championship' events. A storm is brewing, and the Stalinist repressive dictator 'extortion' tactics against chess professionals and FIDE's attempt to control rather than govern has led to this unprecedented occurrence in the history of chess of a challenger choosing to default a match for 'The World Chess Championship' title of 'The World Chess Champion' formerly held by Bobby Fischer after FIDE signed away the rights to the title in 1992 and Fischer did not sign the so-called 2002 Prague Agreement which is of no legal effect.

American Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan said in 2003 that “It has become abundantly clear that men and women of good conscience can no longer support FIDE in the face of its...callous destruction of professional careers.” How much more so then, this statement holds true in light of now since then these illegal 'involuntary servitude' noncompetition agreements being forced upon those chess professionals as a precondition of participating in their FIDE 'World Cup', that at present, under Ilyumzhinov, FIDE is superfluous, even prejudicial to world chess.

FIDE has injured the prestige of its 'FIDE champion' title with inane rapid time controls that have spoiled the quality of games. In contrast, the WCF Candidates 2010 will be played with time controls of 20 moves /1hour in stage one; 15/1 in stage 2; 12/1 in the stage 3 Candidates matches played first to 6 wins, draws not counting and 10/1 in the 'The World Chess Championship' Finals match of 2011 played first to 11 wins, draws not counting.

By opening the WCF 'The World Chess Championship' Candidates 2010 to anyone in the world without being required to be a member of any federation, FIDE and its political structure is made irrelevant. As British Grandmaster Nigel Short opined in June 2007: “I have come to the conclusion that FIDE is unreformable in its current state and that corruption and incompetence are deeply entrenched.”

In The New Cold War WCF is hoping chess spectators would rather enjoy this December the WCF Candidates in Las Vegas and 70 degree weather versus FIDE's World Cup in Siberia's Khanty-Mansiysk and negative 24 degree celsius weather.

World Chess Federation, Inc
2533 East Palmera Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89121-4021
Contact: Tatiana Honek
(702) 809-8400

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