No financial guarantees yet for Anand-Topalov

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
"That the match between two retired champions causes more media frenzy than any other chess event tells you about the current state of affairs in the world of chess," Garry Kasparov said in Valencia last week. That the three current bids for the 2010 World Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov aren't backed by financial guarantees, is telling as well.

Yesterday a brief note on the FIDE website informed the chess world about something quite disturbing: although the World Chess Federation received three bids for the World Championship match between Anand and Topalov, scheduled for April 2010, the money isn't there yet:
When the deadline expired for bids for the World Championship Match between GM V Anand (current World Champion) and GM V Topalov, three bids had been received at the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece from Bulgaria, Singapore and Turkey.

These bids were opened in the presence of the FIDE Deputy President, Georgios Makropoulos and the FIDE Executive Director, David Jarrett.

Under the terms of the bidding procedure, the bids should have been accompanied by financial guarantees. As none of the bids provided such a guarantee, it has been decided that the bidders have until October 15th, the day before the opening of the FIDE Executive Board at Halkidiki, Greece, to meet this condition.
The fact that FIDE extends yet another deadline isn't that surprising, but do they really have faith in receiving such guarantees in the next two weeks? It should probably be interpreted as gaining some extra time to try and find money by other means, and we might have the FIDE President announcing a personal guarantee again, within the next few months, like it happened with the Kamsky-Topalov match and so many other events.


Anand and Topalov facing each other in Bilbao in 2008

Mark Crowther at TWIC isn't optimistic:
"Perhaps it is a sign of world wide economic weakness that a potentially great match hasn't found a backer, it is especially surprising that it hasn't been possible to find a bid sourced from India. There are a lot of people with new money over there (just look at the Indian IPL where the teams are awash with money) but apparently none for chess in spite of Anand being famous. India probably wouldn't be a good venue for Topalov (just as Bulgaria is sure to be unacceptable to Anand) but they do have a lot of foreign interests. I actually don't see this ending well."
So what kind of money are we talking about? Well, at least a bit over 1.2 million Euros: a minimum of 1 million for the players, the FIDE contribution (20% over and above the prize fund) plus some other costs, as FIDE announced on April 24th. What's missing in the bids from Bulgaria, Singapore and Turkey is either an 8-month term bank guarantee or a 100,000 Euro deposit, the kind of money that both Kasparov and Karpov allegedly were paid for their exhibition match in Valencia...
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