Shirov speaks (3RD UPDATE)

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After many months, FIDE still hasn't been able to confirm details around the Kamsky-Topalov match, and one of many who've lost their patience, is Alexei Shirov. The World Cup finalist says that by now he should be replacing Kamsky. Updates with comment by FIDE and by team Kamsky.

Several times FIDE extended the deadline to receive additional bids to hold the Kamsky-Topalov match. On May 15, 2008 it seemed only a matter of days for FIDE to confirm the bid done by Kamsky's manager Chernenko to organize the match in Lviv, Ukraine. That was two weeks ago.

If this bid will be rejected then FIDE will return to the Bulgarian offer to host the match (which had already been accepted in June last year). However, as Kamsky has made clear that he doesn't want to play in Bulgaria, a possible scenario is that Shirov, who lost the World Cup final to Kamsky (Khanty-Mansiysk, December 2007), will play Topalov. Yes, the same Shirov who, after beating Kramnik in a 1998 candidates match, waited in vain for his deserved match against Kasparov, in a similar policital scuffle.

Here's what Shirov wrote today:

With this short press release I would like to bring attention to the following facts:

1. In spite of having passed all the possible deadlines, FIDE still has not announced the venue of the match Topalov-Kamsky. That means that the match should normally take place in Bulgaria because the Lvov offer seems not to have been materialized.

2. Mr. Gata Kamsky has declared that he does not wish to play in Bulgaria. According to the match regulations he should be replaced by me in this case.

3. It is absolutely clear that the silence and uncertainty should end and the firm decision about the forthcoming match should be taken. Nobody can wait forever and this concerns the reserve players as well.

Alexei Shirov, Tarragona, 29.05.2008

Update 13:10 hrs CET I just spoke on the phone with George Mastrokoukos, a FIDE official working at the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece. He couldn't provide any details yet, as "the Kamsky-Topalov match will be discussed at the Presidential Board Meeting this weekend." He did reveal that until now, the money of the Chernenko/Lviv bid has not been received by FIDE. So a possible Kamsky replacement by Shirov must be on the meeting's agenda.

Update Fr, May 30, 20.22 CET Chessbase comes with a reaction from the Kamsky camp:

To FIDE President Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

May 29, 2008

Awaiting FIDE determination regarding the bid made by Mr. Oleksandr Chernenko for the Kamsky-Topalov match and the official contract from FIDE that determines the rights and obligations of both players, on behalf of Gata Kamsky I would like to address disturbing rumors that are being spread in press by Aleksey Shirov.

Since Gata Kamsky intends to play against Vaselin Topalov and did not officially decline to play against him, it is inappropriate for A. Shirov to offer his candidacy before official FIDE resolution on that issue has been made.

Accordingly please provide a working draft of the documents that FIDE anticipates GM Kamsky and GM Topalov to execute. Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Bella Kamskaya, Esq., at bkkrupnicklaw (at)

Sincerely, Bella Kamskaya

Update June 3: Chessbase has posted a new comment by Shirov:

I do not quite understand why Mrs. Kamskaya used such words as "Shirov's disturbing rumours" in her answer. I think I was just operating with public facts such as Mrs. Kamskaya's communication with FIDE earlier this year. And, of course, Mrs. Kamskaya knows that both Rustam and Gata Kamsky talked to me about the matter in April during the Russian league, so once again, no rumours involved.

Of course, it is very important for the players and the Chess World in general that FIDE has finally resolved the situation. This is exactly what I wanted with my press release five days ago.

Alexei Shirov, Tarragona, 1.06.2008

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