Kramnik Simul and Interview

by ChessBase
5/7/2004 – May 6th is the second "anniversary" of the signing of the Prague Unity Agreement. The person who originally suggested the formula, Vladimir Kramnik, recently played a simultaneous exhibition in Bonn, Germany, where he spoke about his classical chess title and the current chess political situation in this interview with René Gralla.

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"I wish Kasparov all the best – in politics"

Interview with Vladimir Kramnik in Neues Deutschland

By René Gralla

May 6th is the second "anniversary" of the signing of the Prague Unity Agreement. The mechanisms of this grand plan to bring the different world championship titles together was originally suggested by Vladimir Kramnik (see Yasser Seirawan's interview). During a simultaneous exhibition in the city of Bonn, where Kramnik was playing 20 opponents, amongst them members of the German women's team, ND journalist René Graller spoke to 28-year-old Kramnik about the political situation in chess. Here is a summary of the interview, which appeared in the Eastern German newspaper Neues Deutschland.

Kramnik's simul in the "Bundeskunsthalle" in Bonn, Germany

On the "Prague Agreement": "I can only speak for myself. I have an official title of World Champion, and the match against Peter Leko continues with a classical cycle: the winner is the new Classical World Champion. Everything is fine, there are no doubts. The problems are on the other side, with the world chess federation FIDE. There the situation is very unclear."

On the market value of his match: "My match against Leko will be conducted with the cooperation of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP), to which about 100 top players belong. Leko and I are continuing a tradition of world championship matches that started in the 19th century. The title which I am defending is not bound to any special organisation, it belong to the entire chess world."

On Garry Kasparov: "He is an exceptional chess player – but he is no longer world champion. Chess is a sport and has objectively measurable results. When you win you are the winner. When you don't win you may be an excellent player – but you just haven't won.

On Kasparov's joining the political fray in Russia: "It was a great surprise for me. I wish him all the best."

On his own political aspirations: "If I was not a chess player I would probably be an artist or musician."

On his chances against Leko: "Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch said it is not enough to be an excellent chess player, it is also important to play well."

Neues Deutschland 06.05.04

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