Ponomariov signs deal with FIDE

2/14/2003 – They got together at six in the evening, the reigning knockout world champion Ruslan Ponomariov and representatives of FIDE. At 6 a.m. the next morning the 19-year-old champion, hardly able to speak any more, "signed some paper". Apparently Ponomariov has conceded to all demands and agreed to play the announced match against Kasparov. More

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From our Ukraine contact GM Mikhail Golubev we received the following message:

Ponomariov, Ilyumzhinov have met in Moscow

The news is more or less as follow: On Feb. 12 Ruslan Ponomariov arrived in Moscow, the capital of Russia. There he met Emmanuel Omuku, (Ilyumzhinov's assistant) Berik T. Balgabaev, and two representatives of the Ukrainian Federation, including its President Petrov. [Note that the Ukrainian Federation has a large duty to pay FIDE]. Ruslan Ponomariov's personal respresentatives, including his lawyer, were not allowed by the FIDE side to take part in negotiations.

The negotiations started at approx 18:00. Omuku spoke a lot in English, but there were no interpreters. Ilyumzhinov then emerged at approx 22:00, and negotiations continued until approx 6:00 a.m., Feb 13. In the end, when Ponomariov hardly could speak, he signed some paper. It seems, that in accordance with the signed declaration, Ponomariov withdrew his demands (draw odds, FIDE time controls) and in exchange was somehow ensured that the Ponomariov-Kasparov and Kramnik-Leko matches will be organized by the same formula.

The final decisions regarding Ponomariov-Kasparov match (official contract, etc) will be taken after the Linares tournament ends. On Feb 13 Ponomariov left Moscow for Ukraine.

Kasparov (or the Kasparov side) was not represented in Moscow negotiations, according to reports. There was no official confirmation of these news till now, and the FIDE-Ponomariov document is not yet published, as it seems.

Mikhail Golubev, 14.2.2003

In the meantime we hear that the Kramnik-Leko match is still on track. Einstein CEO Steve Timmins wrote: "The current state of play is that we are still negotiating with two locations with sponsorship for the match to be held on schedule in 2003." Einstein hold the rights to world champion Vladimir Kramnik's title. Recently their shares were suspended from trading, and one of their main sponsors, Mme Nahed Ojjeh, broke off all relations with them.

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