Ilyumzhinov: 'You are playing for the entire world!'

by ChessBase
9/30/2006 – The President of FIDE returned to Elista from a summit with President Putin in Sochi. At midnight he met with Vladimir Kramnik, and the next day he spoke with Topalov's second Silvio Danialov. They agreed to postpone Saturday's game and resume the match on Sunday. But with which game, which result and what toilet status? These questions are still unresolved.

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Crisis in the World Championship

The first press release from the World Chamionship office today was partially ambiguous. On the one hand we learned that there would be no game on Saturday, September 30, which was scheduled for game six. But the heading of the statement was: "FIDE President's decision to postpone Game of 30 September of the Match", and in his statement Ilyumzhinov said that he had "accepted the proposal of the Chief Arbiter of the World Chess Championship Match Topalov-Kramnik, Mr. Geurt Gijssen, to postpone the Game of today." That left a vital question open: would it be game five, with Kramnik having white, or game six, as the headline seems to suggest. In the latter case FIDE would have defaulted Kramnik on game five.

Ilyumzhinov invited the players for "a meeting in cottage 15 of City Chess at 12.00h to discuss the actual [current] situation and solve the problems. I am very confident, that with the cooperation of all parties involved, it is possible to continue the match."

“You are playing for the entire chess world”

After the first round of negotiations with the teams of Kramnik and Topalov, the FIDE President answered the questions of journalists provided the chess community with his comments on the current events.

Q: The first round of negotiations has just finished. What is the outcome?

Ilyumzhinov: The process of the negotiations started last night at midnight, immediately after I arrived in Elista. The first meeting was held with Vladimir Kramnik (our conversation lasted for about an hour), and today I spoke with Silvio Danailov. The first point, which we agreed on, is the postponement of today’s game, in order not to be under time pressure. Second and the most important point – both parties are ready to continue the match, they are ready to play. The stumbling block is the score, from which the match will be continued, 3:2 or 3:1. Also, the issue regarding the toilets has not yet been solved.

Q: In his letter, apart from other things, Kramnik is demanding official apologies from Danailov and the change of the members of the Appeals Committee.

Ilyumzhinov: The priorities in our discussions are the following: first – the score, second – the toilets and then all the other things.

Q: What arguments are brought forward by the parties?

Ilyumzhinov: Each of the parties is bringing forward their own reasons and is trying to prove that they are the ones who are right. The team of Topalov keeps insisting that the too frequent visits of Kramnik to the toilet are suspicious; Kramnik is referring to the clauses in the contract, describing the rights of the participants, in particular, the issue regarding the toilets. And it is a private issue, whoever goes wherever how many times.

Q: Danailov is his accusations is not giving any concrete examples, such as a series of strong moves, following the visits of Kramnik to the said room.

Ilyumzhinov: Danailov said that he could present a report, which decisions were taken during respective moments. I responded with pointing out the exact mistakes, especially in the first two games, made by both Kramnik and Topalov. Thus, for example, both participants missed the simplest mate in the second game, which I told both of them immediately after the game. As a chess fan I did not restrain myself from coming to the stage and asking, “Volodia, didn’t you see the mate?” “Which mate?” – he did not understand. It became clear during the press conference that also Topalov did not see the mate. If they had used the computer prompts, they would have never missed such a possibility.

Q: Please, comment the legal status of the 5th game: the clock was started, the delay was registered, Topalov signed the score sheet…. By the way, did Kramnik sign the score sheet?

Ilyumzhinov: Kramnik did not sign the score sheet. If a political decision from both sides is going to be taken, then the technical loss of Kramnik can be cancelled.

Q: What is the technical procedure in reaching this?

Ilyumzhinov: If there is a principal possibility of solving the issue, we will find a legal form for this. The issue has become political.

Q: Are there any levers of influencing Kramnik and Topalov in the current situation?

Ilyumzhinov: There is only one lever, which I mentioned to both Kramnik and Topalov – millions of chess fans all over the world, who are looking forward to beautiful games and not for legal disputes. This is the most important issue! I told them: break away from your disputes, look around, you are not playing only for yourselves, you are playing for the entire chess world. You are the ones who say that chess is in lack of investors, and now you are doing everything in order to even decrease their number. Yesterday and today I keep receiving telephone calls from the representatives of those companies, which I attract for sponsoring of the chess competitions. They are asking me: “How come, the two most intelligent chess players cannot share a toilet with each other? So no sense for us to interfere, with our millions….”

Q: Is there any deadline for taking final decisions?

Ilyumzhinov: Today. In the worst case, tomorrow before noon.

Q: What will happen in the hypothetical case if the parties do not find any compromise?

Ilyumzhinov: There will be no continuation of the match.

Q: The match will be stopped… And what will happen then?

Ilyumzhinov: Mr. Campomanes called me yesterday (laughing), he is ready to come here!

Q: Could you express your personal opinion, from which score should the match continue?

Ilyumzhinov: I want the parties to come to a compromise. Let’s wait…

Source: FIDE

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