FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has extended the deadline for the players' contracts for the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand until September 7, 2014.
This was mentioned on Facebook by GM Emil Sutovsky, the president of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP).
Carlsen had requested to postpone his decision to sign the match contract or not until after the Sinquefield Cup, which ends on September 7.
Only two days ago, FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer told Chess.com: “The deadline is August 31, 2014. A signature on September 1 or 2 is tolerable, but we cannot wait longer.”
But today, Sutovsky posted "breaking news" on the ACP's Facebook page:
Yours truly just had a very constructive and fruitful conversation with FIDE President, Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. After hearing all the arguments, FIDE President has accepted my proposal to approve Carlsen's request, and agreed to extend the deadline for signing the contract till September 7.
Gens una sumus again?”
Sutovsky spoke with Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein earlier today, and then spoke with the FIDE president on the phone.
“I find this possibility to speak to the FIDE president very important,“ said Sutovsky. “I wasn't excited by how the world championship and Olympiad commission treated this issue. Then I wrote an open letter, but as things didn't change, I found no other option than to call Kirsan.”
Emil Sutovsky | Photo © David Llada.
“I told him that it cannot be that the world's strongest player can be forfeited for this deadline," said Sutovsky. "He said that every day the deadline is extended, it is harder to organize the match. It was a friendly conversation.”
The FIDE President and Sutovsky eventually agreed on a new deadline: September 7, right after the end of the Sinquefield Cup.
Sutovsky: “This doesn't ensure the contract will be signed, but it was important to give them some time.”
Right after the phone call, Ilyumzhinov signed a formal letter and sent it to Sutovsky, who forwarded it to Carlsen's manager.
“Agdestein replied that he had received it. He will contact me later,” said Sutovsky.
Anand and Carlsen at the 2013 world championship match in Chennai, India (via Chess.com).
Carlsen's opponent in the match, Viswanathan Anand, has already signed the contract. If Carlsen decides not to sign it, Anand may end up playing Sergey Karjakin, who finished second at the 2014 Candidates’ Tournament.
The match between Carlsen and Anand is scheduled to be held November 7-28, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. The prize fund is about U.S. $1.5 million.
Update: Carlsen's manager Agdestein told VG that the 7 September date is “not very helpful” as now “[Magnus] has to think about this the whole tournament.” Agdestein also stated that they had in fact asked for 17 September.