Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"FIDE is delusional"

The latest from Ilyumzhinov demonstrates an absolute refusal to deal with the realities of unification. Now he wants to have a tournament with all the top players with the winner anointed the new unified champ. Sounds dandy, but of course there’s no money (always “interest”), he did it without first speaking to the players, it’s only a double round-robin, and classical champ Vladimir Kramnik has already said he’s only interested in playing the winner of a qualifying cycle. This puts the onus on Kramnik/ACP to come up with something, and FIDE should be working with and/or pressuring him Kramnik/ACP to produce a cycle. So instead of another KO, FIDE would take a half-million (fictional) dollars and give it to eight players instead of 128 and still not have unification. Would the chess world be any more unified around the winner of Linares? This Linares would be Ilyumzhinov’s fantasy tournament if you replaced Vallejo Pons with Kramnik and added Morozevich. That’s hardly the new cycle people are hoping for. If Kramnik actually put his title on the line in such an event it would be a remarkable gesture toward unification. I don’t recommend holding your breath until this happens. Calling this Linares a qualifier to meet Kramnik makes more sense, but it’s a little late for that. Of course none of this stopped Ilyumzhinov from laying down one of those worthless deadlines he’s so fond of. Sign up by March 15 or, or… what, exactly? Not invited on the carpet ride to fantasy land? Sent to bed without dinner? Sure, go ahead and sign up. Just don’t block out those dates on your calendar until the money goes from “potential” to “ka-ching.”

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