Danailov, Topalov challenge Kramnik

by ChessBase
12/15/2006 – There is a FIDE regulation that states that any player with a rating of 2700 or higher can issue a challenge for a match of 12 games for the World Championship title against the incumbent World Champion. Condition: the challenger's side has to provide the prize fund of one million dollars. Now Silvio Danailov, the manager of former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov has issued the challenge.

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The challenge, which is given verbatim below, comes a day after the news broke that Vladimir Kramnik, the unified world champion, has agreed to play in the Mexican World Championship next September. In fact it may be a reaction to the news. Here first is the challenge:

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

To Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: FIDE President
CC: Mr.Georgios Makropolous: FIDE Deputy President
CCO: FIDE Presidential Board

Official Proposal for World Championship match

Dear All,

This is an official proposal for World Championship match Kramnik-Topalov, according to the FIDE regulations.

Patron of the match will be the President of Bulgaria Mr.Georgi Purvanov.

Place of the match: Sofia (Bulgaria)

Schedule: April 12-30th 2007 (preferable dates)

Reserve option: If FIDE insists on the regulation You can choose dates in March 2007, which is six months before Mexico.

Financial conditions: Prize fund US Dollars one million and five hundred thousand* (net)

For the World Champion: One million USD (net)

For the challenger: 500,000 USD (net)

For FIDE: 20% of the price fund ; 300,000 USD (net)

The Organizing Committee cover all the expenses during the Match.

Please, be so kind to confirm the participation of the World Champion, as well the schedule of the match as soon is possible, in order to start the preparation of the event.

Best regards,
Silvio Danailov
President Kaissa chess management EOOD

* Note that in the letter we received the word "thousand" was missing in the line that originally read "Price fund US Dollars one million and five hundred (net)". In the following text it is implied, and so we added it to the letter, while also correcting some obvious orthographical errors.

The FIDE rules cited by Silvio Danailov would seem to support the challenge. This is what the relevant passages say:

A player with a current FIDE rating of 2700 and above, as well as an ex-World Champion, can issue a challenge for a match of 12 games for the World Championship title against the incumbent World Champion on the following conditions:

  • The challenger’s side shall provide an amount of 1,000,000 (one million) USD as guaranteed prize money for the incumbent World Champion, net and not subject to any further deductions such as tax.

  • At the same time, the challenger’s side shall guarantee the organisational budget of the match, including a contribution fee to FIDE in the amount of 20% above and over of the total prize fund, net and not subject to any further deductions such as tax.

  • Should the above-mentioned provisions be fulfilled, the World Champion is obliged to play the match.

  • The match should be terminated at least six (6) months before the start of the World Championship Tournament, due to be held in September/October 2007.

  • The challenger’s side should present the bank guarantees, for the whole sums, at the same time as his proposal, after which FIDE shall organise the match within a five-month period.

You can study the full rules on the FIDE site. We note that there are slightly less than nine months left before the start of the 2007 World Championship in Mexico City, which starts on September 12th 2007. This means that the Kramnik-Topalov return match, if it is considered, would have to end no later than March 12th. However, the tournament schedule of both players is as follows:

  • Kramnik and Topalov play in Wijk aan Zee from January 12 to 28.
  • Topalov plays in Morelia/Linares from February 16 to March 2nd.

It is unclear how a Kramnik-Topalov match can be staged six months before Mexico without at least Topalov cancelling his participation in Morelia/Linares.

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