Kramnik to play in Mexican World Championship

by ChessBase
12/14/2006 – It was not a foregone conclusion but up for debate: would Vladimir Kramnik, who had just won the reunification tournament in Elista, really be willing to put his title up for grabs just ten months later in an eight-player tournament? Yes he is, as we learn from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in this breaking news story.

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The Russian web site ChessPro has conducted an interview with the FIDE President which is due for publication next week. In this Ilyumzhinov confirms that Vladimir Kramnik has in fact agreed to take part in the Mexican World Championship which will be staged from September 12 to October 1st 2007 in the Sheraton Centro Histórico Hotel in Mexico City. The event will have the same format as the 2005 World Championship in San Luis: eight players, double round robin. Kramnik's acceptance means that four players are now fixed: Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Peter Svidler and Alexander Morozevich. The first by virtue of being the World Champion, the last three because they ended 2nd to 4th in the San Luis event. The remaining four players will be decided in the Candidates matches to be held next May in the Kalmykian capital Elista.

Kramnik and Ilyumzhinov (with Kramnik's fiancée Marie-Laure) at a dinner before the computer match against Deep Fritz in Bonn

The ChessPro journalist Yurij Vasiliev, who conducted the interview with Ilyumzhinov, asked the president whether Kramnik was obliged to first play a return match against Veselin Topalov, if a challenge was issued, in accordance with FIDE’s anyone-can-challenge rule. The president replied that FIDE has not received any official offer from the Bulgarian side. He added that under the current rules there must be an interval between any such match and the Mexico tournament of at least six months.

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