Peace in our time

by ChessBase
5/6/2002 – The Prague negotiations described in our previous report have born fruit, all parties have presented a plan that sees the winner of the Einstein cycle and the winner of a special FIDE match between Ruslan Ponomariov and Garry Kasparov playing a match in November 2003 for the undisputed Chess World Championship title under the FIDE banner. The Unity Agreement has been signed, you will find the text of the document here.

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Prague Chess Unity Plan

Prague Unity Plan – Annex A

This Annex A document explains the plan to unify the chess world.

Before discussing the unity plan, we must all realize that the current situation in the chess world makes it virtually impossible to offer a plan that will fully satisfy all interested parties, from FIDE, Vladimir Kramnik and Einstein TV (ETV), Garry Kasparov, the rank and file World's grandmasters and the Chess Commissioners Office for the First Cycle. Contracts have been signed, sponsors have made their commitments and the calendar of chess events does not encourage the staging of many and varied classical chess events to create a FIDE Classical Chess Champion. The plan for the First Cycle should be economical, efficient, marketable and reasonably acceptable to the world's chess players and fans. While the First Cycle is being staged, a firm agreement for the Second Cycle is agreed and its implementation and funding must begin as soon as possible.

Currently, Vladimir Kramnik and ETV have embarked on a cycle that will stage a tournament in Dortmund with seven top grandmasters and the German Champion GM Christopher Lutz. The Dortmund winner is to play Vladimir Kramnik in a match for the Classical Chess World Championship.

We all realize that four top ten players are missing from the ETV cycle: Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov and Vassily Ivanchuk.


Although to would certainly be preferable to include all top 10 players in the First Cycle, timing and existing commitments and contracts appear to make that impossible. In the given circumstances and in the interest of the future of chess we will have to accept that the unity plan is far from perfect.

The Dortmund winner will play the Classical World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik and the present FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov will play Garry Kasparov, the current World's number one rated player.

The two match winners will play a reunification Classical Chess World Championship match in October/November 2003.

The unity plan brings about a single unified Classical World Chess Champion within a one and a half year period. That opens the doors to a new World Chess Championship cycle inclusive of all the top chess players in the world. We realize that cooperation and support of all parties is necessary and that by setting aside personal interests we can achieve this goal.

Garry Kasparov, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Vladimir Kramnik

Resolution of May 6, 2002 on the Unification of the Chess World

  • All parties and persons present at the meeting of May 6, 2002 in Prague have expressed their willingness to support the process of unification of the Chess World.

  • This process accepts the main principle that FIDE is the custodian and owner of the World Chess Championship title and that there should be only one federation – FIDE – recognized by the IOC and the world of sports representing the Chess World

  • The unification process has to lead to only one undisputed World Champion recognized by FIDE.

  • The professional chess world requires a professional management body to be constituted on the basis of a business plan, which will be submitted by Bessel Kok and to be discussed and agreed with the World Chess Foundation and the FIDE Presidential Board within 90 business days after May 6, 2002. on approval of the business plan, FIDE shall issue a license (excluding Einstein Group pre-unification events) to this body to manage professional chess as a profitable business.

  • FIDE supports the principles of unity plan (Annex A) presented by Bessel Kok and will cooperate to help with the acceptance of the principles on which the unity plan is based and the implementation thereof, by all players concerned including the FIDE World Champion, and all organizers involved.

  • All parties and persons present agree to the principles put forward during the meeting with respect to the post-unification World Championships system.

  • All parties and person present at the meeting of May 6, 2002 in Prague have agreed that they will do their utmost to achieve the unification of the Chess World.



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