Kramnik backs off from reunification?

by ChessBase
10/21/2004 – According to the Prague Unity Agreement the winners of Kramnik- Leko and Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov play for the unified world championship title. Now Vladimir Kramnik is expressing serious doubts whether this can happen. Instead he proposes a fourway tournament (Kasparov, Anand, Kasimdzhanov and Ponomariov) to find his opponent in the unification match.

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Kramnik confirmed that if FIDE would not agree to a dialogue with him and the ACP, then the ACP will go its own way. He is ready to discuss conditions under which the unification can take place. In principle, his attitude to the idea of unification is positive. In Kramnik's opinion the development of chess should be seen in relation to corporate sponsors and civilised European countries. If FIDE does not like this, he will not work with them. Kramnik does not see prospects in the direction which is taken [by FIDE] now.

On the match Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov: "Kasimdzhanov, of course, deserves the match with the great player Kasparov. But I do not understand for what reason they will play for a world championship". At this point Vasilyev interjected that Kramnik had put his signature under the contract that provided for this match. Kramnik answered: "Sorry. I put my signature under the Ponomariov-Kasparov match. And here were other conditions, which were not fulfilled." As an alternative Kramnik proposes to organise, in place of the Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov match, a tournament with the participation of Kasparov, Kasimdzhanov, Anand and Ponomariov. The winner would play the unification match against him.

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