"Kamsky-Topalov in Lviv, Ukraine"

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
According to journalist Yuri Vasiliev, who spoke to Gata Kamsky's manager today, the Topalov-Kamsky match, scheduled for the end of November, will take place in Lviv, Ukraine with a prize fund of US $750,000.

On February 12, FIDE had communicated that bidding for the organization of the Kamsky-Topalov match was possible till April 11. A Bulgarian bid of 150,000 USD has already been accepted in June 2007 but FIDE decided to allow other bids as well.

Through his lawyer, Gata Kamsky, the winner of the 2007 World Cup, had asked for an extension of the bidding deadline, to give other nations a chance to organise the match. Not surprisingly, Kamsky isn't exactly looking forward to playing the match in Topalov's home country.

Yesterday, FIDE communicated with just one single sentence that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov "has authorised the extension of the deadline for receiving bids for the match V. Topalov - G. Kamsky until April 23rd 2008", perhaps influenced by this letter of Kamsky's lawyer to FIDE, which includes:

Since FIDE and not the Bulgarian Federation is in charge of the Topalov- Kamsky match it has the ability to amicably resolve any issue by organizing the match in a neutral country with a respectable prize fund of about 300,000 Euro which is 20% of the FIDE dues received from the Kramnik-Anand match with an advertised prize fund of 1.5 Million Euro. The Bulgarian side can contribute its $150,000 to the total prize fund. This is a realistic approach to the venue and prize fund problem and a better alternative to the existing playing conditions.

GM Kamsky is planning to work with FIDE regarding organizational issues of the Topalov- Kamsky match in a neutral country. Frankly it is unclear why Topalov insists on Bulgaria as the venue for this match especially if he is planning to play a fair chess game. Accordingly GM Topalov who became the challenger to the 2007 World Cup winner thru a FIDE nomination, bypassing a formal qualification process, should agree to play anywhere. I believe that FIDE is powerful enough to convince GM Topalov to voluntarily agree to the change of venue for the Topalov- Kamsky match.

FIDE's extension of the deadline was quickly followed by a protest by the Bulgarian Chess Federation, published at the Bulgarian news website Chessdom:

On 25th of June 2007 on the presidential board meeting in Tallinn, FIDE decided that the semi final match of the world championship cycle (2008-2009) between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov will take place in the second half of 2008 in Bulgaria. The same decision was confirmed at the 78th FIDE congress in Antalya in November 2007. The Bulgarian Chess Federation expressed it's readiness to provide the necessary prize fund of 150 000 USD and to cover all additional taxes and expenses around it's organization.

The contract for the match had to be signed in Singapore. But that did not happen. At this meeting, which took place without the presence of a Bulgarian delegate, FIDE (unknown under whose pressure and in whose interest) changed the decision from the congress and decided to seek another candidate for the organization of the match, offering a bid for increasing the prize fund. To the possible candidates was given a deadline 11th of April 2008. The term is over. There are no offers for organizing the match in the FIDE office. The information that has been published in certain media for possibilities the match to take place in USA, Lvov (Ukraine), or Elista (Russia) have nothing to do with the reality.

Instead of following the decisions taken at the 78th congress, the FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov has extended the bidding period until April 23rd. With this act he one more time shows that is serves certain circles and that he is under enormous pressure which does not help chess.

The Bulgarian Chess Federation severely objects to the last decision of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and insists on FIDE giving in to outside pressure and to firmly resist any attempt for the resurrection of chaos in the world of chess, and to follow the decisions of its governing body - the Congress.

The Bulgarian Chess Federations shows its readiness to organize this match and to guarantee equal conditions to both players. No hosting of chess matches, except the Elista 2006 one, has ever affected their outcome. The optimal conditions are guarantee for opportunity for creative work. This we find as a necessary condition for every chess match and it will be guaranteed in Bulgaria!

We declare our readiness to sign the contract for with FIDE the upcoming match Topalov - Kamsky and to start preparation.

Bulgarian Chess Federation, Sofia, April 10, 2008

After reading all this, perhaps it's good to recall that I asked Silvio Danailov in Nice about the possibily of Lviv, Ukraine, a city that has shown interest in organizing the match. "It's not official yet," Danailov said, "We have to wait for an official bid." He also made it clear that Topalov isn't opposed to playing outside Bulgaria at all.

Anyway, it's clear that there are many complications around the organization of this match, and as long as the political fights are not over, the new world championship cycle is still in danger...

Update 15:10

According to journalist Yuri Vasiliev, who spoke to Gata Kamsky's manager today, the Topalov-Kamsky match, scheduled for the end of November, will take place in Lviv, Ukraine with a prize fund of US $750,000. This news is brought by the Russian website ChessPro. Vasiliev writes:

"As visitors already know from official sources (the FIDE website), the deadline to provide bank guarantees prize for the match Topalov-Kamsky was extended by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov until April 23. But what readers do not know is that just half an hour ago I spoke with the manager of the American grandmaster Gata Kamsky, Alexander Chernenko, who told me the exact amount of prize money as well as the exact location of the match. The place where the match will take place: Ukraine, the city of Lviv. The prize fund is 750,000 dollars. FIDE will receive royalities separately."
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