Danailov: bank guarantee for Kramnik challenge rejected

by ChessBase
1/15/2007 – According to a FIDE regulation any player with a rating of 2700 or higher can challenge the World Champion, providing he or she can provide a prize fund of one million dollars. Silvio Danailov, the manager of former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov, issued such a challenge, but FIDE did not accept the bank guarantee. Now Danailov has protested in an open letter.

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1000 София, ул. А. Кънчев 11, тел/факс 0035929816160

To Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,
President of FIDE

Dear Kirsan Nikolaevich,

On the 15 December 2006, the number one on the FIDE World Ranking List, Bulgarian Grand Master Veselin Topalov, sent you a letter expressing his wish to challenge the FIDE World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in a match for the title in March/April 2007, according to the FIDE regulations.

For that purpose, an Organizing Committee was established in Bulgaria, where the Minister of the Interior Rumen Petkov, the President of the State Agency for Youth and Sport Vessela Lecheva, the Executive Director of Mobiltel Nikolay Nikolov, as well as Martin Batkov, Member of the Board of Standart Daily and Anatoly Paziyski and Ertan Kara, advisors to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria George Parvanov, are members.

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, H.E. George Parvanov, also expressed his support for the contest. The Organizing Committee initiated the process of issue of Bank Guarantee for the match at the D Commerce Bank. The Bank sent FIDE a letter confirming their intent to issue a bank guarantee. It was not clear from the reply that FIDE bank had some special requirements as to the bank which would issue the document.

A few days ago,on 11 January 2007, however, the Organizing Committee understood that FIDE had not heard of D Commerce Bank, which was ready to issue a bank guarantee for 2 Million US Dollar (the prize fund and the organizational expenses) and will not recognize the document. From the letter FIDE sent we understood that the bank of the International Chess Organization will only accept bank guarantees from four Bulgarian banks – DSK, Bulbank, UBB and International Asset Bank.

We are astonished with this decision because it means that we have to initiate negotiations with a different bank, which will require quite some time. With this letter FIDE show no respect to our Organizing Committee ,our President and our country.

We are very surprised by FIDE’s approach, because there are no requirements as to the bank in the rules of the International Federation. We deem the last decision an attempt to jeopardize the match in Sofia.

Wijk aan Zee, 15 January 2007 Sincerely,
  Silvio Danailov,

Addendum: FIDE has asked us to clarify that it is not FIDE that rejected the bank guarantee provided by Silvio Danailov, but the financial institution that FIDE uses for all its transactions. This is the Swiss bank UBS AG, one of the biggest and most prestigious in the world (assets: 2.8 trillion Swiss francs). UBS could not accept a bank guarantee for two million dollars from D Commerce Bank, but required it from one of the four Bulgarian banks listed in Danailov's letter.

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