FIDE: Lviv it will be (UPDATE)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Last Friday the money wasn't there yet, and the issue would be discussed during the Presidential Board meeting this weekend. As it turns out, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is offering his own wallet once and again, to guarantee the Kamsky-Topalov prize fund.

It's a small and simple chess world sometimes. We've just received a press release from Athens (, and since a BCC list wasn't used, one was able to see that the same e-mail was also sent to e.g. Silvio Danailov and Gata Kamsky. Well, at least we don't have to worry whether the main characters in this ongoing soap opera have already heard of the following:

Athens, 1 June 2008

President guarantees Topalov ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Kamsky match

President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has announced that the World Championship Challenger Match between Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Gata Kamsky (USA) will take place in Lvov, Ukraine in November 2008.

The organiser offered a prize fund of 750,000 USD and to hold the match on the ?¢‚Ǩ?ìneutral?¢‚Ǩ? territory of Ukraine, as the players wanted to avoid Bulgaria or the USA. President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov guarantees the organiser's offer by backing the event from his personal finances.

FIDE Presidential Board acknowledged the offer as well as the guarantee and assigned Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos to conclude the final contracts and to check the availability of the finances. The Match will be held in dates between November 26th and December 14th 2008.

------------------------------------------------------ Released by FIDE, 1 June 2008

Chernenko's bid is not mentioned and instead we read about "the organizer". Furthermore, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov now personally guarantees the prize fund. The money is still not there and the President apparently decided that this weekend a decision had to be made.

By continuously postponing the deadline, FIDE got themselves into a big mess again, but it was understandable: Chernenko's bid contained a much higher prize fund than the one from the Bulgarians and who wouldn't want to wait a bit longer for six hundred thousand more?

Forgetting about the intriguing line "to check the availability of the finances" for now, Iluymzhinov's "solution" of today is one we've seen before and one that generates mixed feelings. On the one hand it's good thing the match will be played in a neutral country and with a decent prize fund, but on the other hand, again we will witness a top chess event without a normal sponsoring structure - something the chess world could really use by now.

Update June 3:

After his first press release Alexei Shirov has now published a second press release as well, commenting on Bella Kamskaya and on FIDE's press release.

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