WCh match postponed by one day

PeterDoggers
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The World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov has been postponed by one day. We received an official statement by FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos moments ago. Update: the postponement was also announced during the first press conference today.

Photo of today's press conference (thanks to Chessdom) where Georgios Makropoulos announced the one-day postponement, and basically told the same story as we published earlier, about the hazardous travelling of the Anand team. When asked why Viswanathan Anand wouldn't want to follow the Sofia rule, Anand answered: "because this is a World Championship and I want to play it according to World Championship rules".
Hon. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov Chairman of Organising Committee of FIDE World Championship Match 2010 Sofia Bulgaria Sofia, 21 April 2010

Dear Hon. Prime Minister,

In my capacity as FIDE Supervisor for the World Championship Match 2010, I have consulted with all the parties to try and resolve the “force majeure” situation which has arisen these last few days. It is clear that we have reached an impasse in the discussions and a decision must be made. I also requested a meeting with you, but I was informed, that unfortunately this was not possible.

After reviewing the World Champion’s request for a three day postponement, I understand that this would create enormous difficulties for the Organisers. Similarly, starting the match on Friday 23rd would cause enormous difficulties for the World Champion. I appreciate that whilst the one day postponement may cause some problems, it is justified by the circumstances that the whole world faced last week and ensures a fair play situation for both players.

Therefore, in accordance with chapter 7.4 of the match regulations as well as article 2.4 of our 2010 World Chess Championship Agreement, I would like to inform you that the 1st game of the match will be postponed by 1 (one) day to start on Saturday, 24th April 2010, for the following reasons:

a) As a result of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland which caused the cancellation of thousands of flights from most European airports, including Sofia, we faced serious problems, not only with the late arrival of World Champion Vishy Anand in Sofia but also with the late arrival of FIDE officials and principals of the match. It is obvious that this is an "Event of Force Majeure" [pages 2 and 12 (article 11) of our 2010 World Chess Championship Agreement] which has resulted in an unfair position for World Champion Vishy Anand as he has not taken full benefit of the seven-days period (article 8.2 of our 2010 World Chess Championship Agreement) in order for him to acclimatize to the conditions and ensure that all his team will be organised to support him logistically and technically in the match.

b) According to the 2010 World Chess Championship Agreement, the final inspection of the match was to be held on the 18th April 2010, five (5) days before the 1st game (article 3.9). This deadline was not followed due to the Organiser’s delay and it has been agreed by all parties that the final inspection will be held on the morning of the 21st April 2010. Therefore a postponement is also needed in order to secure that all organisational requirements will be met in the remaining three days before the start of the match in lieu of the five days originally envisaged for such compliance.

The opening ceremony will not be postponed and will be held on 21st April 2010 as originally planned.

The whole world will undoubtedly appreciate the efforts that Bulgaria has made not only to organize such a prestigious match, but also to find a fair and equitable solution to this problem.

I would like to thank you for your understanding and all your commitment for this match to be organized at the highest level possible.

Yours sincerely,

Georgios Makropoulos FIDE Deputy President FIDE Supervisor for the World Championship Match 2010
The decision can be seen as a compromise solution, where the Anand team had asked for three days and the Bulgarian organizers refused any postponement. According to one of our sources, however, it was the Bulgarian Prime Minister himself, who is also the chairman of the organizing committee, who agreed on a one-day postponement. The fact that several (FIDE) officials are also having difficulty arriving in time in Sofia, may also have played a role...

At the moment it's unclear how exactly the schedule will be changed. It's likely that one of the free days, or perhaps the rest day between game 12 and the tiebreaks, will be removed.

Schedule

April 21 – 18.00 EEST (15.00 UTC) - Official opening April 23 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 1 April 24 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 2 April 25 – Rest Day April 26 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 3 April 27 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 4 April 28 – Rest Day April 29 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 5 April 30 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 6 May 1 – Rest Day May 2 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 7 May 3 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 8 May 4 – Rest Day May 5 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 9 May 6 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 10 May 7 – Rest Day May 8 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 11 May 9 – Rest Day May 10 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 12 May 11 – Rest Day May 12 – Tie breaks

The last inspection of the playing hall. We see Chief Arbiter Panaqiotis Nikolopoulos (Greece) and Viswanathan Anand, with in the background Hans-Walter Schmitt and Aruna Anand.



The challenger, Veselin Topalov, checking his chair



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