Kasparov's letter to FIDE

10/29/2004 – The reunification match between Garry Kasparov and Rustam Kasimdzhanov is scheduled for January 7 – 24 in Dubai. However at the FIDE Congress in Calvià nothing concrete was announced. The funding of the match and many other details appear to be in doubt. In an open letter to the FIDE General Assembly Garry Kasparov delivers firm ultimatums.

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The following letter was delivered by fax to the FIDE General Assembly by Garry Kasparov. It addresses the question of the reunification match between Kasparov and Rustam Kasimdzhanov that was announced for January next year. Kasparov is getting very nervous about the final confirmation and financial guarantees, which are still outstanding. He addresses these concerns in his letter, which was only read briefly and in excerpts at the General Assembly.

Open Letter by Garry Kasparov

To the FIDE General Assembly

RE: 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I believe that everybody in attendance is aware of the press announcement of the FIDE World Championship in Dubai January 7th – 24th, 2005. The fact that this match appears to be following the same disastrous sequence of last year’s two failed FIDE World Championship events is of considerable concern to me and to most of the chess world.

The feeling of déjà vu is overwhelming as once again I see the same trend looming. Deadlines coming and going. Grand media announcements totally devoid of real detail or substance. This time, the FIDE Congress must act and put people in charge who know how to negotiate and agree contracts before issuing grandiose statements.

The harsh facts are that nobody can go into serious TRAINING and PREPARATION for a World Title with this uncertainty. It’s just not possible!

Unless we have an agreement that I can sign – with acceptable payment terms by October 31st, I would like to suggest the following.

That FIDE appoints a three-man committee to immediately negotiate with the Turkish Chess Federation, backed up by the Turkish Republic.

If they can move quickly the match can still be played in January, but unless I have a fully executed Escrow Account in place by Nov. 10th, the match must be moved to a date mutually acceptable to the two players, the organizer and FIDE.

From the time of the Prague Agreement on May 6th, 2002 to the present, I have stuck to my word to FIDE to work hard toward the reunification process.

True chess aficionados know that chess must see an undisputed World Chess Champion and then and only then will normal sponsorship flow into our noble game. In this way the game will grow and the sport will flourish.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has contacted me on several occasions about this match and my reply to him has been consistent.

Given the two failed attempts in 2003, I told Kirsan personally that while I was ready and willing to play the match, I would not sign any document until he had irrefutable proof of funding and could set up an escrow account or satisfactory instrument of payment. Kirsan agreed to this and many times during the past days and weeks told me “The agreement and proof of payment will be with you soon.”

On Friday 22nd October, I called Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and informed him that representatives of the Turkish Chess Federation, backed by the Turkish Republic, are highly interested in organizing and funding this tournament. They will only need 10 days, once FIDE gives them the sole option to present the Championships in Turkey.

I understand that Kirsan is now on his way back from Dubai. He has had a month or more to get it done in Dubai. Unless he has the money, we should give somebody else the authority to act.

I do not enjoy giving deadlines so instead you can view this as a REALITY.

Unless the $1M prize money is in escrow by Oct. 31ST, 2004 (for Dubai) or Nov. 10th, 2004 (for Turkey) I will no longer be available to play in January of 2005.

It must be of concern to everybody present that FIDE is in danger of losing control of the World Chess Championship cycle and a delay could mean that the impetus is lost. There are those at large who would love to see FIDE fail and reunification die – FIDE must not let it happen!

The first step toward reunification must be taken now. Then FIDE will only be one step away from its stated goal.

Give people like Georgios Makropoulos, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, and Israel Gelfer only 10 days to negotiate with Turkey and we will know one way or the other. At least it will not float in the air

Awaiting a response.
Garry Kasparov


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