Open letter by GMs Bareev and Svidler

by ChessBase
10/5/2006 – With the crisis of the World Championship in full bloom, two friends, colleagues and former seconds of Vladimir Kramnik flew down to Elista to provide moral support. Grandmasters Evgeny Bareev and Peter Svidler spent two days with Kramnik, trying to get his spirits up. Now, back home again, they call for consequences – and sackings.

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Open letter by GMs Bareev and Svidler

For the past 13 years the chess world lived in a state of break-down. The Elista match was organized to determine a unified World Champion, and create conditions for the further development of chess. The match began brightly – to the delight of millions of chess fans the contestants were clearly enjoying a fair and uncompromising fight.

Former Kramnik second Evgeny Bareev of Moscow

However, when the match went off course for the FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov, his manager Silvio Danailov blew the situation up in the most unpleasant manner, accusing Vladimir Kramnik of overly frequent visits to the toilet.

Silvio Danailov's hard-hitting actions were clearly designed to at least put Kramnik under pressure psychologically, and at most to disrupt the match. Evidently, Mr. Danailov had no belief in the ability of his client to transform himself over the course of the match, as he has done in numerous tournaments.

Two members of the Appeals Committee, Mr. Makropoulos and Mr. Azmaiparashvili, who by their status were obliged to be neutral and uphold the law, took a morally repulsive step of handing the tapes from Kramnik's recreation room to his opponent's team. Then, on Danailov's request, they unlawfully changed the playing conditions of the match, paying no attention to the fact that it is explicitly forbidden not only in the contracts signed by both players, but also in the FIDE's own Regulations for the organization of the World Championship Match (clause 3.18.3). It is worth repeating that both Makropoulos and Azmaiparashvili are FIDE vice-presidents, and it is obvious that such unprofessional and biased people should not be at the helm of the International Chess Federation.

World's number four player Peter Svidler of St. Petersburg

FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov certainly should not have accepted the point earned by Danailov in an unfair campaign against Kramnik. During the press-conference after Game 6 Veselin, clearly embarrassed, admitted that he acted impulsively when in one of his protests he threatened not to shake his opponent's hand and stop attending the press-conferences after the games. It was odd to see how easy it was to take back the incendiary words which so offended both Kramnik and the organizers of the match. We believe that such blackmail can not be allowed, and once again FIDE and the Appeals Committee failed in their duty to do so.

By refusing to play Game 5, Kramnik forfeited a whole point in the World Championship match to fight the mean and dirty campaign waged against him. And although formally he lost, we believe that the leading players will realize that as long as Makropoulos and Azmaiparashvili are in charge of the design and running of the World Championship cycle, the future of chess is not too bright.

To the disappointment of the chess fans, a wonderful match was ruined as a spectacle to protect the financial interests of three people, and, regrettably, in the eyes of the world community chess is once again associated with scandals and dirt.

We are asking the top-grandmasters, World Champions and Ex-World Champions to express their opinion on the events of the last few days in Elista, as a number of leading Grandmasters have done already.

We are also calling on the FIDE President to sack Mr. Makropoulos and Mr. Azmaiparashvili.

GM Evgeny Bareev, GM Peter Svidler,
Moscow 04.10.2006

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