Kamsky-Topalov to be held in Bulgaria, Feb 16–28, 2009

by ChessBase
11/19/2008 – FIDE has announced that an agreement has been reached for the Challenger Match between Topalov and Kamsky. It will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 16th to 28th February, 2009 with a prize fund of US $250,000, which will be shared equally by the players. Press release and blitz interview.

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Press release

FIDE Press Release on Topalov-Kamsky Challenger Match

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 13:27

FIDE is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached for organisation of the Challenger Match between Topalov and Kamsky. There has been full agreement between FIDE and the players regarding all aspects of the Match.

The Match will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 16th to 28th February, 2009 with a prize fund of USD 250,000 which will be shared equally by the players.

Both teams agreed on the following appointments:

Appeals Committee:
Nigel Freeman (BER) Chairman
Boris Kutin (MNE)
Vanik Zakarian (ARM)

Ignatius Leong (SIN)
Ashot Vardapetian (ARM)

Match Supervisor:
Hal Bond (CAN)

Gata Kamsky announced that Mr Chernenko is no longer his Representative and that he has appointed Emil Sutovsky as his Official Representative in all negotiations and as chief of his delegation and spokesperson for the team.

FIDE is pleased that the meetings with both delegations were conducted in a very friendly and constructive atmosphere and thanks both teams for their cooperation.

We did a quick interview with Israeli GM Emil Sutovsky, former European Champion, who was Gata Kamsky's official representative during the negotiations with FIDE and the Bulgarian delegation representing Veselin Topalov.

ChessBase: What happened to the Lvov bid? Is that off the table and why?

Emil Sutovsky, representative of Gata Kamsky

Sutovsky: Well, the Lvov bid never materialized. The money was not transferred and negotiations had to be terminated at some point. Who is to be blamed for it? I think, the answer is quite clear.

Is Gata happy about playing in Sofia?

No, Gata is not happy about playing in Sofia, but we decided that such a messy situation can't last forever.Of course, it was possible to start with an accusations, reopen the bidding procedure, etc. But we preferred to agree to Sofia after we got FIDE's promise that everything will be done in order to ensure the equal terms. Of course, it would be much better to play on the neutral territory, or in the US. But alea jacta est!

Is Gata sure he will get a fair match?

We hope to be treated fairly. I have to say that FIDE, and personally Mr. Georgios Makropulos, who was in charge for negotiations, is trying to do the best they can in order to ensure the fair conditions.

Was it a tough to hammer out this deal?

It was just a long process, with a lot of details to be fixed. It took some seven hours on the first day of negotiations, and three hours on the second day.

Have the contracts now all been signed?

No, the contracts are not signed yet, but it seems that we finally have an agreement on all the important points.

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.

Kamsky-Topalov: Bulgarian offer, Chernenko's $935,000 guarantee
14.11.2008 The Bulgarian Chess Federation confirmed that it wishes to host the match, but is "extremely surprised why the financial arrangements have been changed" [from $150,00 to $250,000]. Now Gata Kamsky's manager Oleksandr Chernenko tells us that his US $935,000 bid will be transferred to FIDE the moment he sees the contracts and knows what he is paying for. Open letters.

Gata Kamsky: 'The time for the negotiation is over'
08.11.2008 – "The only way to fight FIDE is to expose their mistakes," writes the World Championship candidate, "and fight them in a court of law. I would respectfully request all USCF Board members to unite and find ways to make sure that justice and fairness will prevail." Kamsky accuses FIDE of providing Topalov a backdoor into the final steps of the qualification proceedings. Open letter.

Roustam Kamsky: 'Gata’s life could be in danger'
07.11.2008 – Yesterday we published a press release by FIDE which re-opened the bidding for the Kamsky-Topalov World Championship qualification match. Today we received a letter from Gata Kamsky's father protesting this decision and the pressure it put on the players to confirm their participation in a match for which no specific conditions are known. Open letters by Roustam Kamsky and the USCF.

Kamsky-Topalov match to be held in Bulgaria – maybe
06.11.2008 – 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.

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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