And here it is: new plans for a reunified chess world

4/25/2002 – The Einstein Group in London and Nahed Ojjeh have announced their support of the reunification of the chess world. To this end they are seeking collaboration with all interested parties in a daring new proposal that is to be discussed at the upcoming Eurotel Trophy in Prag. The funding would be mainly supplied by Madame Ojjeh, a Syrian born billionaire who lives in Paris. You will find the joint press release of both parties here.

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A joint proposal from
the Einstein Group plc (London)
and Madame Nahed Ojjeh (Paris)

Einstein Group (Einstein), the London based multi media group, that owns the einstein.tv television channel, and Madame Nahed Ojjeh today announced their intention to support the reunification of the chess world. Einstein and Madame Ojjeh are looking forward to collaborating with all other interested parties and have developed this proposal which takes into account existing ideas and contractual obligations. The document aims to help ensure that the Prague meeting will be a success.

Nahed Ojjeh: "I am very pleased to work with Einstein and any other party who shares the same aims. The following proposal is an excellent basis to reach the goal of reunfication. After ten years of division a solution is needed in the interest of professional players, sponsors and chess lovers. A reunification of the Chess World will assist in popularising chess and spreading it to schools. Learning chess has been proven to assist in children’s educational development."

1.Reunification

1.1. "Einstein Cycle"

  • Einstein Candidates Tournament in Dortmund
    The Dortmund qualifier will run as announced. Participants: Adams (England), Barejew (Russia), Gelfand (Israel), Leko (Hungary), Lutz (Germany), Morozevich (Russia), Shirov (Spain), Topalov (Bulgaria). The prize fund will be USD $400.000 (1st USD $160.000, 2nd USD $100.000, 2x3rd USD $40.000, 4x5th to 8th USD $15.000), guaranteed by Madame Nahed Ojjeh (France). The German tax will be deducted from the prize money.
  • Einstein World Chess Championship Match
    Classical World Chess Championship Match - Vladimir Kramnik vs the winner of the Dortmund qualifier is to be held in April/May 2003 according to the existing Einstein/Kramnik agreement. 16 games of classical chess with draw odds for Einstein World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. The prize fund will be divided between the finalists so that the winner receives 60% of the prize fund and the loser 40%. In the event of a draw each finalist shall receive one half of the prize fund, but Vladimir Kramnik shall keep the title. Detail rules and regulations to be codified by the Committee of Grandmasters. Full media and commercial rights owned by Einstein. 5% of the prize fund to the Commissioners‘ Office for the administration (including the creation of a Professional Players‘ Health and Benefits‘ Fund) and for the support of the Committee of Grandmasters.

1.2. "FIDE Cycle"

  • Match 1
    Anand (India) vs Ivanchuk (Ukraine): 6 games of classical chess + possible tiebreak. Detail rules and regulations to be codified by the Committee of Grandmasters. The prize fund of USD $150.000 - guaranteed by Madame Nahed Ojjeh - to be divided 60% for the winner and 40% for the loser. The host country‘s tax will be deducted from the prize money. Event to be held in the period August/September 2002.

  • Match 2
    Kasparov (Russia) vs the winner of Match 1: 8 games of classical chess + possible tiebreak. Detailed rules and regulations to be codified by the Committee of Grandmasters according to match 1. The prize fund of USD $250.000 – guaranteed by Madame Nahed Ojjeh – to be divided 60% for the winner and 40% for the loser. The host country‘s tax will be deducted from the prize fund. Event to be held in the period November/December 2002.

  • Alternative:
    Another format (e.g in one event) to determine a challenger to FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov is also possible. The prize fund of USD $400.000 is guaranteed then by Madame Nahed Ojjeh. The host country’s tax will be deducted from the prize fund. Detail rules and regulations to be codified by the Committee of Grandmasters.

  • FIDE World Chess Championship Match
    FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov vs the winner of Match 2 or vs the winner of an alternative competition to be held in May/June 2003. 16 games of classical chess with draw odds for FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov. FIDE to be responsible for the prize fund. Prize fund to be divided between the finalists so that the winner receives 60% of the prize fund and the loser 40%. In the event of a draw each finalist shall receive one half of the prize fund, but Ruslan Ponomariov shall keep the title. More detailed rules and regulations to be codified by the Committee of Grandmasters. Full media and commercial rights owned by FIDE. 5% of the prize fund to the Commissionars‘ Office for the administration (including the creation of a Professional Players‘ Health and Benefits‘ Fund) and for the support of the Committee of Grandmasters.

1.3. Reunification World Chess Championship Match

  • The Reunification World Champion Match means a match between the winners of both cycles: "Einstein World Chess Champion vs FIDE World Chess Champion". 16 games of classical chess + possible tie-breaks, no draw odds. The Commissioners Office to be responsible for the venue, prize fund and organization. The minimum prize fund should not be less than the best prize fund of the two World Championship Matches before. The prize fund will be divided between the finalists so that the winner receives 60% of the prize fund and the loser 40%. The winner of the event is the "undisputed" World Chess Champion.

  • Detailed rules and regulations to be codified by the Committee of Grandmasters. Einstein TV will have full media rights, but the new professional world chess organization in classical chess to be founded by the end of May 2002 will have full commercial rights to be refined in a separate agreement. The new organization will be administered by the Commissioners Office and the Committee of Grandmasters.

  • FIDE will sanction the reunification match as well as all further events in the area of Classical World Chess Championships related to the new organization. From the prize fund of the reunification match and from all further World Chess Championship events in classical chess a total of 15% will be deducted, to be apportioned as follows: 10% to FIDE, 5% of the prize fund to the Commissioners' Office for the administration (including the creation of a Professional Players' Health and Benefits' Fund) and for the support of the Committee of Grandmasters.

  • An agreement related to the reunification cycle and future sanctioned events in the arena of the Classical Chess World Championships to be signed in Prague on 6 May 2002 by the FIDE President, Einstein Group Plc London and Bessel Kok acting for the new Commissioners Office.

2. New Cycle after the reunification

Taking the proposal of GM Yasser Seirawan into account the following modified format will be determined:

  • Each cycle starts with a "Classical World Chess Open" to be held soon after the World Championship Match (the first Open soon after the Reunification Match). Every player with an ELO rating of more than 2600 has the right to participate. The TOP 100 players (according to rating) are to be invited. A further 100 players are to be invited as FIDE nominees (FIDE zonals). The Classical Chess World Open Tournament played under the the Swiss System should have a minimum number of players (300). The TOP 50 players should receive free accomodation. The number of games should not be less than 13. All detailed rules and regulations to be developed by the Committee of Grandmasters.

  • The top four finishers in the Classical World Swiss Open qualify for the next stage of a „Classical World Chess Candidates Tournament“ and are joined by the three world’s highest rated players and the finalist of the previous World Championship Match. The format, all rules and regulations to be developed by the Committee of Grandmasters.

  • The winner of the Candidates Tournament will challenge the Chess World Champion. The „Classical World Chess Championship Match“ will last 16 classical games. The Committee of Grandmasters will be responsible for all detailed rules and regulations.

Every cycle has a fixed duration of two years. The first World Chess Championship Match after the reunification has to be finished by the end of November 2005, the next one by the end of November 2007, and so on to ensure stability and predictability as in other sports. From all prize funds in the new classical cycles FIDE will receive 10%, and another 5% of the prize fund will go to the Commissioners‘ Office for the administration (incl. the creation of a Professional Players‘ Health and Benefits‘ Fund) and for the support of the Committee of Grandmasters.

3. Organization

3.1. Commissioners' Office
The Commissioners‘ Office is responsible for the contract management with the players and their agents, oversees the regulations, the bidding procedures, commercial and media rights, the distribution of above mentioned fees, etc. The Commissioners are working closely together with the FIDE representatives. Any important points of contention are communicated in writing by organizers, players and agents to the Commissioners, whose decision is final. The Commissioners hold office for a non-renewable five-year term.

Proposals to be made to the following Gentlemen:

  • Anderson, Erik (United States of America)
  • Dato Tan Chin Nam (China)
  • Kok, Bessel (Netherlands)
  • Jukov, Alexander (Russia)
  • Wirth, William (Switzerland)

3.2. Committee of Grandmasters
A committee of respected and well known professional chess players will codify the rules of play, including but not limited to issues such as rating errors, tiebreak procedures, proper time frames within a two year cycle, staging of events, tournaments, calendar, health benefits etc.

Proposals to be made to the following Gentlemen:

  • GM Beliavsky, Alexander (Ukraine)
  • GM Illescas, Miguel (Spain)
  • GM Jussupov, Artur (Germany)
  • GM Khalifman, Alexander (Russia)
  • GM Lautier, Joel (France)
  • IM Pein, Malcolm (Great Britain)
  • GM Rogers, Ian (Australia)
  • GM Seirawan, Yasser (United States of America)
  • GM Timman, Jan (Netherlands)

4. Remarks

4.1. Classical Chess
All games to be played with Classical Chess time controls. This means a game 40 moves in 2 hours each; 20 moves in1 hour each and then an extra 30 minutes for the rest of the game.

4.2. Rapid Chess
FIDE will be the responsible organization in the area of all professional rapid chess events, such as rapid or blitz Chess World Championships, Grand Prix’s and so on. The classical chess organization guarantees to abstain from activities in the area of rapid chess with the exception of tiebreaks within the Classical World Championship.

4.3. Relations
FIDE and the new professional organization agree to work closly together in all possible areas of professional chess:

The management of a well organized event schedule should have the highest priority. The goal is to avoid clashes between all top events in the World of Chess. Such as: Classical World Championship events, FIDE Rapid Chess Grand Prix’s and existing Classical Top Tournaments.

FIDE as well as the Commissioners will try to motivate the elite players to participate in both top competitions: rapid and classical chess.

4.4 Olympic Movement
FIDE is the active and governing body and strives to make chess an olympic sport and holds all rights for possible events in the arena of the Olympic Games. The endeavors of FIDE will be supported by the new organization and the elite Grandmasters.

London, 25 April 2002
Signed by CEO Steve Timmins
Einstein Group plc London

Paris, 25 April 2002
Signed by Madame Nahed Ojjeh

Contact: Zena Howard, Head of Communications.
Einstein Group, Tel: +44-7978 441293

 


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