Top grandmasters dissatisfied with FIDE tournament policy

1/28/2003 – Following the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the six top grandmasters have appealed to FIDE president Kirsan Illyumshinov in an open letter. Points of criticism are the abandonment of the FIDE world cup after two of five scheduled tournaments, as well as the uncertainty about date and form of the once planned world championship. More...

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Mr Kirsan Illjumzinov

Dear Mr President,

We, a group of leading grandmasters participating in the international tournament in Wijk aan Zee, turn to you in this critical moment for the fate of world chess. We are deeply worried about the fact that the three stages of the FIDE Grand Prix have not been played. The first stage took place in Dubai in April 2002, the second in Moscow in June of the same year. As it is known, during the FIDE congress 2000 in Istanbul it was decided to return to the 2-year cycle of staging the world championship. The prize fund remained the same as for the 1-year cycle, i.e. three million US $ instead of the 5 million US $ for the 2-year cycle in 1997-1998. The explanation for reducing the prize fund was that the money saved this way would be used for the FIDE Grand Prix.Without stating reasons, the FIDE Grand Prix 2002 was stopped after two stages instead of the scheduled five. Furthermore, its official results have not been published. As this is one of the most important tournaments in the official FIDE calender, we find these situation unacceptable. Also, we are worried about the lack of reliable information concerning the world championship 2003 which the FIDE congress scheduled for November/December of this year. For professional players like us, it is absolutely necessary to plan far ahead so that we can prepare ourselves for the confirmed date and the rules of this tournament.
In this letter, Mr President, we have expressed but a small part of the problems which have recently been worrying the grandmasters and the whole chess world.

Sincerely yours,
L. van Wely, E. Bareev, A. Karpov, R. Ponomariov, A. Grischuk and A. Shirov.

Wijk aan Zee, Holland, 26.01.03

Original letter in Russian...
To the FIDE President

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