FIDE Grand Prix in Karlovy Vary officially cancelled

1/19/2009 – The Grand Prix circuit, announced by FIDE in February 2008, has run into further trouble. After Doha pulled out and the event had to be hurriedly moved to Elista, Kalmykia, some of the participants – Magnus Carlsen, Michael Adams – followed suit. Then the fourth Grand Prix in Montreux, Switzerland was cancelled, and now the sixth in the Czech Republic is off the table. Press release.

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Today we received the following message from Bessel Kok and Pavel Matocha, officially confirming a rumour that had been circulating for some days now. It concerns the sixth FIDE Grand Prix tournament that was supposed to be held in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.

Bessel Kok and Pavel Matocha issue following statement

We have been informed that the NWR coal corporation which intended to support the Grand Prix in Karlovy Vary in December 2009 will not enter into sponsorship. This information and the reasons behind this decision were already communicated to Geoffrey Borg and FIDE and also to grandmaster David Navara, who was nominated by the Czech organisers to Grand Prix tournaments.

There are multiple reasons for this decision:

  1. the withdrawal of top players from the GrandPrix tournaments (mainly withdrawal of Magnus Carlsen, the number one player of the GP and the most media attractive player is problem)
  2. the confusion on the role of the winner of the Grand Prix (will be there the match between the winner of GP and the winner of World Cup for the right to play the world championship match? or there will be a candidates tournament?), it is unacceptable to change the rules during the game
  3. the current financial crisis, which wiped out 80% of market value of NWR and sponsoring has been their first cut in operating expenditure.

In Prague on the 19th of January 2009

Last February FIDE announced the following dates and venues for the 2008/2009 Grand Prix Tournaments:

2008   April 20th May 6th Baku, Azerbaijan
2 2008 July 30th August 15th Krasnoyarsk – held in Sochi
3 2008 December 13th December 29th Doha, Qatar – moved to Elista, Kalmykia
4 2009 April 14th April 28th Montreux, Switzerland – cancelled
5 2009 August 1st August 17th Elista, Russia
6 2009 December 7th December 23rd Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic – cancelled
  Reserve cities are Istanbul and Teheran.

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