Bessel Kok on the World Championship crisis

by ChessBase
10/1/2006 – The Dutch businessman ran for the FIDE presidency against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in June this year. The latter won, but he has now proposed that the world chess federation adopt large parts of Kok's agenda and make him the head of a professional organisation to run top-level events. We asked Bessel Kok for his opinion on the current situation.

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We spoke to Bessel Kok, who is also one of the main initiators of the Prague Agreement for the reunification of chess, by phone in his home in Prague. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has offered Bessel, who ran against him in the last presidential election, the Chairmanship of a professional chess company that would run top-class events. The final decision will be taken later this year.

Bessel Kok (standing) at the Prague summit in May 2002, with Vladimir Kramnik,
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov

Bessel Kok on the World Championship crisis

The Appeals Committee blundered in accepting a complaint which was nothing more than declaring a suspicion of possible fraud. This was simply wrong. The Committee should have rejected this complaint immediately, stating that no proof whatsoever had been supplied. Instead of this, they accepted the complaint of Topalov’s manager Silvio Danailov, they disclosed private video images from Kramnik’s rest room, and they changed the match conditions which had been agreed in advance by both Grandmasters and their delegations.

Dutch business tycoon Bessel Kok, who may soon run the professional arm of FIDE

The arbiter subsequently started a game which should have never been played in the first place, because the playing conditions had been unilaterally modified. This was a second mistake, although Geurt Gijssen will probably defend his decision by stating that he based this on the verdict of the Appeals Committee.

So my conclusions are simple:

  1. The Appeals Committee made a wrong judgment and its decision to modify the playing conditions must be declared null and void.

  2. Game five was started under playing conditions that were not mutually agreed by both players (and in fact explicitly rejected by one of them), so the game should be considered null and void.

  3. Game five should start tomorrow, Monday, October 2nd, and the match should continue under the same playing conditions as agreed before.

  4. The Appeals Committee should be dismissed and replaced by a Committee agreed by both players.

  5. In the absence of an agreed Committee, the FIDE President is responsible for the duties of the Committee.

  6. Proceed as quickly as possible with the outsourcing of all top-level chess competitions to a separate company manage by professional organisers.

Get on with it! Enough damage has been done!!

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