FIDE world championships in Libya, Hanoi

3/19/2004 – It's official: FIDE is to hold the next knock-out world championship in Tripoli, Libya. The announcement comes with a set of must-see pictures of FIDE president Ilyumzhinov playing chess against Moammar Al Qaddafi. And another secret is out: the superfinal between Kasparov and the winner is to be held in Vietnam. More...

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World Championships in Libya, Hanoi

The full wording of the announcement is as follows:

"FIDE has a pleasure to announce the dates and venue of the World Chess Championship 2004 – Tripoli, the capital of Libya, from June 18 till July 13, 2004 under the patronage of the Leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya, H.E. Moammar Al Gathafi, who also provides the prize fund for the Championship.

The FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov recently met with the Libyan Leader Mr. Moammar Al Gathafi at the chess board, discussing the coming Championship."

On the FIDE page there are shots of Qaddafi with the FIDE President and officials, including two in which the Libyan head of state plays a game of chess against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Judging by the position on the board and the way he is moving a piece Qaddafi would be one of the few world leaders who can actually play chess. Ilyumzhinov is a master level player.

FIDE wants Vietnam to host the chess champions

In the meantime the Voice of Vietnam has published details of a plan to hold the super-final between Garry Kasparov and the winner of the FIDE knock-out championship in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. There is some confusion in the report about whether Kasparov will play the winner of the 2004 Libya championship or the winner of the 2001 world championship Ruslan Ponomariov. We believe it is the former. None-the-less here is the VoV report verbatim:

FIDE wants Vietnam to host the chess champions

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has selected Vietnam as venue for the champion match to be held in December this year or in January next year.

In letter to the Vietnam Chess Federation on Monday, FIDE Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Southeast Asia Chess Federation Ignatius Leong said the international grandmaster Garry Kasparov had agreed to come to Vietnam and play with Rusian Ponomariov, the youngest champions in FIDE history, in a 12-game match.

To host the match, Vietnam will have to spend US$1.5 million, including a US$1 million prize and organization fee.

Vietnam hopes to give the answer before April 15.

In the meantime we have received clarification from the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece: "The match of GM Kasparov shall be against the World Champion, who will bee the winner of the Championship in Libya this year, and not against Mr. Ponomariov." Just as we suspected.

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