Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Continuing Problems in the Chess World

When the deadline expired for bids for the World Championship Match between GM V Anand (current World Champion) and GM V Topalov, three bids had been received at the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece from Bulgaria, Singapore and Turkey. These bids were opened in the presence of the FIDE Deputy President, Georgios Makropoulos and the FIDE Executive Director, David Jarrett. Under the terms of the bidding procedure, the bids should have been accompanied by financial guarantees. As none of the bids provided such a guarantee, it has been decided that the bidders have until October 15th, the day before the opening of the FIDE Executive Board at Halkidiki, Greece, to meet this condition.

Kasparov has a good observation on this sad state of affairs when discussing the recent K-K quick/blitz match in Spain...

It’s tragic that a Kasparov-Karpov match, twenty-five years after our first World Championship, five years after I retired, and Karpov no longer a real force in the chess scene, that this is still the greatest show in the world of chess. It shows that something is wrong, and I think that is a very important message, for chess organisers, for FIDE, for chess fans, for grandmasters: I mean guys, something is dead wrong, if nobody cares about everything else and everybody pays attention to a match of, okay, two old guys. Anyway, we are still here and we are creating the biggest show in the world of chess. I think it is wrong. I can only hope that things will somehow change. I don’t know how, because looking at the game of chess which is now being played in Elista, Nalchik, Sochi, Khanty-Mansiysk, sometimes Baku and Yerevan, it brings chess to obscurity. For twenty-five years since our first match chess was sliding towards obscurity, and now it is a game that is out of the mainstream. If the top leading players are happy with that there is nothing you can do about it. But I think chess deserves better.

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