Breaking News: Anand Seeks Postponement

Breaking News: Anand Seeks Postponement

SonofPearl
SonofPearl
Apr 18, 2010, 7:43 AM |
65 | Chess Event Coverage

The match for the world chess championship between Vishy Anand and Veselin Topalov has been thrown into doubt - and for once it's not FIDE's fault.

The last few days have seen an unprecedented grounding of almost all flights over much of Europe due to volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland.

Passengers and business deliveries have been thrown into chaos as flights have been cancelled as a precautionary measure to avoid the dangerous ash clogging aeroplane jet engines.

It has now emerged that Vishy Anand is stranded in Germany with his planned flight to Bulgaria cancelled.  As a result, he has requested a delay to the start of the match.  The documents below are from the All India Chess Federation website.

UPDATE: Reports suggest that Anand is now en route to Sofia, but his means of travel are not clear.  FIDE should announce any decision about postponement in due course.

The plume of volcanic ash stretching right across Europe (picture from Nasa, via BBC News).

ash_plume.jpg

AICF Seeks Postponement Of Anand-Topalov Match

By Arvind aaron

The All India Chess Federation has sent an urgent message to FIDE seeking postponement of the Anand versus Topalov World Chess Championship match which is scheduled to start from April 23, 2010 in Sofia.

The AICF Honorary Secretary D.V. Sundar has sent an urgent message requesting the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to intervene and postpone the World Title match to allow time for the defending champion Viswanathan Anand to reach the venue.

Anand is unable to fly to Sofia as flights in Europe are cancelled. The ash from the volcanic activity in Iceland has stranded passengers all across Europe and Anand is stranded in Frankfurt.

The AICF letter requests the intervention of FIDE President and requests the match be put off by at least three days.

The match is a best of 12 and in case of a tie it will be decided in a rapid play off by May 12, 2010.

Anand was scheduled to reach on April 16 but has not been able to fly due to closure of the airport in Germany. He needs time to make alternate booking and the AICF has officially asked for a postponement of the match.

Below are the Anand statement, Legal Notice and AICF Letter to FIDE


Anand Official Quote:

"In view of the extreme force majeure situation we are facing, it has become difficult and near impossible to travel in Europe. We are working with the FIDE supervisor to see how we can travel at the earliest. Given these circumstances it has been agreed, keeping in mind Vishy's arrival in Sofia the schedule could be moved accordingly. We wouldn't want to speculate on rumours at this point and will try and arrive at the earliest", said Aruna Anand, wife and manager of the world champion Viswanathan Anand.

Anand Legal Notice

From: Anand
To: All the concerned parties
Sub: Notice of Force Majeure Condition.

We were due to arrive at _13.05 on 16th April by Lufthansa LH 3484 from Frankfurt to Sofia. We were in transit from Madrid. Unfortunately from 16th April all flights have been cancelled as is the case in most European countries due to the volcanic eruption.  Therefore due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to reach Sofia as scheduled on 16th April, 2010.

We are in close consultations with Lufthansa and if the airspace in Germany does open we will fly to Sofia.

Meanwhile have been checking on alternatives of going to airports that are reachable by train. However, trains are overbooked and further the Airports seem to be shutting down. Rebooking on flights seem very difficult and we have used considerable influence in getting ourselves rebooked at the earliest.

Trains to Sofia would take about 28 hours to reach and I would not be in a mental state to play immediately after travelling such distance. Further to play immediately would be unfair and unjust due to the fatigue given that the opponent has arrived a few weeks back. Under these circumstances the contest would not be equal and fair.

This letter may be treated as notice under clause 11(2) of the Agreement of intimation of Force Majeure condition. I will immediately intimate you on finalizing an alternate arrangement to reach Sofia.

In this current scenario I request you to postpone the First round by three days.

Regards,
Yours faithfully,
Viswanathan Anand

AICF Letter To FIDE

His Highness Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV
FIDE President:

Sub : - Request for postponement of the first round World Championship match between Grandmaster Vishy Anand and Grandmater Topalov of Bulgaria

Greetings from the All India Chess Federation. We write to seek your kind intervention in postponing the Match between Grandmaster Vishy Anand and Grandmaster Topalov by at least three days. As you are aware, the Volcanic Ashes across Europe has rendered many passengers sulking in various Airports across the Globe, more particularly in and around Europe. Anand and his team could not reach Sofia on 16th as planned and are in transit & held up at Frankfurt. I understand that they are frantically trying to reach Sofia as early as possible so that the schedule is not disturbed. However, this being an important match it will only be fare to Anand that he is not made to play the first round amidst such tension. He needs at least three to four days of acclimatization before he starts his defense of his title. I understand that Anand has already appealed to the authorities as per the Rules Governing this historic Match.

I am sure you will see reason and take a proper and just decision in the matter and help to bring in equal playing conditions to the player. We await your immediate action and response in the issue.

With kind regards

D.V.Sundar
Hon.Secretary
All India Chess Federation

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