Kramnik questions the Prague Agreement

10/29/2002 – In May FIDE and leading Grandmasters signed a Unity Agreement in Prague. But until now vital principles of the agreement have not been honoured, says classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik. "Neither the steps necessary for setting up a professional management organisation, nor the proposed and agreed business plan have been implemented." He pleads for clear and speedy measures at the Bled Olympiad in this open letter.

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Open letter

to all participants of the FIDE Congress in Bled/Slovenia
29th October 2002

Unification of the Chess World

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In view of the forthcoming FIDE Congress I would like to express my concern regarding the proposed unification of the chess world.

Until now vital principles of the Prague Agreement of 6 May 2002 – signed, among others, by FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Iljunshinov, myself and leading Grandmasters – have not been honoured.

Neither the steps necessary for setting up a professional management organisation, nor the proposed and agreed business plan have been implemented. FIDE have not issued a license to any such management organisation. In addition, the system and structures of future world championship cycles after a possible unification match are by no means clear. The agreement to found a democratically elected Committee of Grandmasters has not been observed.

A further, essential point is the unity plan (Annex A) of the Prague Agreement. Accord-ing to this a united Classical World Chess Champion is to be determined within a period of 18 months. Taking into account the above circumstances the likelihood of achieving this target is open to doubt.

The fact that the FIDE administration (FIDE Rating Office) omitted me in the current world ranking list of top players (October 2002) does not contribute towards creating a positive and trusting atmosphere. Despite repeated requests by my management you have contravened your own rules (FIDE Handbook) and practice by not considering my matches against Grandmaster Garry Kasparov (Botvinnik Memorial 12/2001).

I sincerely hope that FIDE will decide on clear and speedy measures at Bled so that, on the one hand, the obligations resulting from the Prague Agreement are honoured and that, on the other, the unification process desired by the chess world may not be jeopardised.

Yours sincerely,

Vladimir Kramnik
(Classical World Chess Champion)


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