Kamsky-Topalov match to be held in Bulgaria – maybe

by ChessBase
11/6/2008 – The Bulgarian Chess Federation had made a $150,000 bid for this special qualifier match for the world championship, but then Gata Kamsky's manager Alexander Chernenko offered a $750,000 prize fund for it in Lvov, Ukraine. Unfortunately the bank garantees were not forthcoming, and after a final deadline FIDE has reopened the bidding procedure. Press release.

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Moscow, 6 November 2008

Announcement of the FIDE President concerning the match Topalov - Kamsky

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Dear chess friends,

As already known, FIDE had initially reached a decision to award the Challenger's Match Topalov-Kamsky to the Bulgarian Chess Federation which offered a prize fund of 150,000 USD.

Afterwards, and following consultations with both sides, FIDE gave the opportunity to Alexander Chernenko, the manager of GM Gata Kamsky, to bring in an improved bid with Lviv suggested by Mr Chernenko as the host city. The prize fund offered by GM Gata Kamsky's manager was 750,000 USD. Since then, FIDE received several letters, by banks supposed to co-operate with Mr Chernenko, stating that the funds were "on their way". But up to this moment, and despite numerous reminders to Alexander Chernenko, no bank guarantees have been provided and of course no transfer of the prize fund has been made to the bank account of FIDE.

At this point I must say that I have deeply regretted the trust which I had shown to Alexander Chernenko, concerning the reliability of his offer. The actions of Mr Chernenko indicate an abuse of right to invoke my guarantee which was declared after his own request and in good faith to help him secure the necessary funds. Furthermore, I understand the complaints of the Bulgarian Chess Federation concerning the procedure followed, although FIDE was only trying to improve the financial conditions for both players.

In order to restore the procedure towards holding this very important match, FIDE announces the following:

a) The Bulgarian Chess Federation will be re-awarded with the event if it accepts in written form, by 14 November 2008 12:00 GMT, to hold the match with a prize fund of 250,000 USD plus 50,000 USD as contribution to FIDE and all organising expenses covered. In this case, the dates of the match Topalov-Kamsky remain as already announced (29 Nov. – 12 Dec. 2008) and I intend to nominate FIDE Vice President Mr William Kelleher of USA as the FIDE Supervisor of the Organising Committee (*duties of the FIDE Supervisor as annex 1 attached to this announcement). The confirmation letter of the Bulgarian Chess Federation should be sent by email at office@fide.com and by registered post to the FIDE Secreteriat, address: 9 Syggrou Ave, 11743 Athens, Greece.

b) By 14 November 2008, 12:00 GMT, both players have to officially confirm, in written form and in a clear and explicit way, that they will play the match. If GM Topalov refuses to confirm his participation, then GM Kamsky qualifies automatically for the 2009 WCC match. If GM Kamsky refuses to confirm his participation, he will be replaced by GM Shirov (the runner-up of the World Cup 2007). The confirmation letters should be sent by email at office@fide.com and by registered post to the FIDE Secreteriat, address: 9 Syggrou Ave, 11743 Athens, Greece.

c) If the Bulgarian Chess Federation will not confirm that it accepts the financial requirements of (a), an open bidding procedure will be launched with a deadline of 31 December 2008. The best bid will be awarded with the event which will then be held in February or March 2009.

The unfortunate handling of the situation by Alexander Chernenko has brought us to a point where the time limits are very tight. With this procedure, FIDE puts the Challengers Match back on track and with a clear timetable. We are all looking forward to a great match which will produce a worthy challenger to World Champion Vishy Anand for the year 2009.

Gens Una Sumus

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
FIDE President


Duties of the FIDE Supervisor for the Challengers Match 2008

A FIDE Supervisor will be appointed who will be above the Organising Committee in all issues involving:
a) fairness concerning treatment of both players in respect of organisational issues,
b) equal playing conditions
c) anti-cheating measures
d) fair publicity of both players through the event's press office

The FIDE Supervisor can request from the organizer and at their expense, any additional security arrangement he finds necessary in order to secure a fair match and equal match conditions for the players.

The Organising Committee has to follow the orders of the FIDE Supervisor in all issues involving the above aspects before and during the match. Any decision of the FIDE Supervisor can be appealed by one of the players ONLY to the Appeals Committee.

The position of FIDE Supervisor was first introduced in the WCC match Anand – Kramnik this year with FIDE Deputy President Mr Georgios Makropoulos holding this position. Although it is not included in the regulations yet, FIDE will establish the role of FIDE Supervisor in all important matches of the World Championship cycle.

Released by FIDE, 6 November 2008

Recent history

A few days ago FIDE set a final deadline:

Dear chess friends,

Yesterday 3 November 2008, FIDE received the following message from Alexander Chernienko, the manager of GM Gata Kamsky:

"Due to technical reasons (copy of the banking letter re delay of the transfer was sent by me on the 1st of November 2008), the payment of 935,000 USD according to the BID for the organisation of the Kamsky-Topalov match to the FIDE account, will be effected on the 5th November 2008."

As we have been receiving such letters by Mr Chernienko for a long time now, with yet no transfer made to the FIDE bank account (and we are only one month before the start of the event), this will be the last extension accepted by FIDE as all possible time limits, in order to assist Mr Chernienko with his bid, have been exhausted.

If the amount of 935,000 USD is not transferred to the bank account of FIDE by Wednesday 5 November 2008, FIDE will re-open negotiations with the Bulgarian Chess Federation, the original organiser awarded to hold this match.

FIDE is obliged to take all necessary steps in order to ensure that the Challengers Match shall indeed take place and a worthy challenger for World Champion Vishy Anand will be established. We are all looking forward to this exciting match!

Gens Una Sumus,
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
FIDE President

To this the United States Chess Federation reacted with the following letter to the President:

Thank you for your email. Everyone hopes that Mr. Chernienko's money finally arrives. But if not, why would FIDE even think about reopening negotiations with the Bulgarian Chess Federation?

On June 1, FIDE issued and posted the press release below, announcing that the Lvov match and its prize fund were guaranteed by the backing of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov. Surely, FIDE cannot be considering reneging on this public promise? This would be a terrible blow to the prestige of the organization and of world chess, as well as probably being illegal.

Bill Goichberg
President, US Chess Federation

ChessBase reports on this match

The following articles are in descending chronological order, i.e. the latest are at the top, the oldest at the bottom.

Bulgaria to Ilyumzhinov: we are worried
27.09.2008 – During the Bilbao Masters tournament Veselin Topalov's manager IM Silvio Danailov told journalists that there were no news regarding the Topalov vs Kamsky match. Now Stefan Sergiev, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation has appealed to FIDE President: "Mr. Ilyumzhinov, please inform me where and when the match will take place!" Full story, now with official corrections.

Topalov: 'Next Year I Will Challenge the World Champion'
24.08.2008 – A few days ago former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov visited the International Alcubeirre Tournament in Spain, where he gave a simultaneous exhibition and spoke to a local newspaper about Kasparov, the Zaragoza Expo, Scarlett Johansson ("I like her more in some ways, but my thing is chess"), his chess career and chess playing computers. Heraldo interview.

'Topalov has not signed' – Challenger Match in doubt?
25.07.2008 – Just when we thought everything was settled for a World Championship Challengers' Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov in Lvov, Ukraine – November 26 to December 14 – Topalov's manager Silvio Danialov says his his client has not yet signed anything. Turns out neither has Kamsky, since according to FIDE "the contract has not been finalized with the organisers". Details.

Alexei Shirov replies to Gata Kamsky
02.06.2008 Last week Alexei Shirov published a press release asking FIDE to resolve the crisis surrounding the special Challengers' Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov. Kamsky's representative replied, and then FIDE came up with a decision on the venue in Lvov, Ukraine. "This is exactly what I wanted with my press release five days ago," says Shirov in his new press release.

Ilyumzhinov guarantees Topalov-Kamsky match in Lvov
01.06.2008 – After a great deal of international bickering the matter is now settled: the special Challengers Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov will take place between November 26th and December 14th 2008 in Lvov, Ukraine. This has just been announced by FIDE, with President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov guaranteeing the organiser’s offer of US $750,000 with his personal finances. Press release.

Shirov's press release
29.05.2008 After numerous extensions of the deadline for bids to stage the special Challengers Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov FIDE is now faced with a demand by the next-in-line player to have a chance. Alexei Shirov is willing to play in Bulgaria, something Kamsky balked at. "According to the match regulations he should be replaced by me in this case," Shirov says. Press release.

Breaking news: Kamsky-Topalov in Lviv, Ukraine?
11.04.2008 – We reported yesterday on FIDE's decision to extend the deadline for bids for the Kamsky-Topalov match. The Bulgarian Chess Federation protested vigorously, but today the reason for FIDE's decision is becoming clear: there is a US $750,000 bid to stage the match in Lviv, western Ukraine. This stop press story comes from Yury Vasiliev of Sport Express. First details – and doubts.

FIDE extends deadline for Topalov-Kamsky, Bulgarians protest
10.04.2008 – The match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov for the right to challenge the World Champion is scheduled for the second half of 2008. The Bulgarian side offered to finance and stage the match, but Kamsky balked at playing on the territory of his opponent. Now FIDE has extended the deadline for rival bids by twelve days. The Bulgarian Chess Federation has protested sharply.

Challengers Match Kamsky-Topalov to be held in Bulgaria...
14.02.2008 – ...unless a country comes up with a US $250,000 bid by April 11th. FIDE has announced its decision to tentatively accept the US $150,000 bid made by the Bulgarian Chess Federation. The match is scheduled for Nov.-Dec. 2008, after the Anand-Kramnik match. Spanish Playwright Fernando Arrabal has published the entire correspondence between FIDE and Kamsky. Press release and links.

Khanty-Mansiysk Final: Kamsky wins, to challenge Topalov
16.12.2007 – American GM Gata Kamsky has won the FIDE World Cup. In the fourth game he was able to force a perpetual check and hold Alexei Shirov to a draw, which meant that he had won the Final with a score of 2.5:1.5 (three draws, one win). Kamsky won, did not lose a single game and performed 102 points higher than his nominal 2714 rating. Congratulations Gata!

Veselin Topalov and the new FIDE world championship cycle
24.06.2007 – At the Presidential Board meeting, which is currently being held in Tallinn, Estonia, FIDE has introduced a new Grand Prix series and a new world championship cycle. With a high-ranking Bulgarian delegation presenting a case for Veselin Topalov to enter the world championship FIDE made some special rules to govern the 2007-2009 stage. We have tried to decipher the new system.

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