Kamsky - Topalov will be in Lvov.

Kamsky - Topalov will be in Lvov.

| 1 | Chess Politics

Kirsan has the final word

The president of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (pictured), is reported as confirming that the Kamsky vs. Topalov match later this year will take place in Lvov, Ukraine and not in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The question that has not been answered is - where is the prize money coming from?  The Ukranian bid seemed to have failed to come up with the finances to hold the match despite an extension to the deadline.  Has the controversial and extremely wealthy leader Kirsan funded the event himself?

More immediately concerning are reports that Bessel Kok, head of the recently formed GlobalChess organisation has resigned from his post.  Bessel Kok, the Dutch businessman, ran unsuccessfully for president of FIDE against Kirsan in 2006 and was later appointed by Kirsan to lead the GlobalChess organisation, which aims to promote and market chess.

If he has indeed resigned, then it is a great blow for efforts to modernise the organisation and promotion of chess worldwide.

UPDATE 1/6/08

FIDE press release:

FIDE President Guarantees Topalov-Kamsky Match

FIDE 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 “neutral” territory of Ukraine, as the players wanted to avoid Bulgaria or the USA. FIDE 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 FIDE 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.


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