Reports | October 19, 2010 14:08

Kasparov on the FIDE elections, Carlsen and more

Kasparov interview by De SchaakfabriekLast week for the fourth time Garry Kasparov played a simul in Antwerp against top Belgium CEOs, politicians and children. Earlier that day he was interviewed by Jan Lagrain of De Schaakfabriek. The 13th World Champion spoke frankly about the FIDE Presidential elections, about Magnus Carlsen and more. Here's the interview in English.

With a confused expression on his face Garry Kasparov walks into the lobby of the stylish Hotel Julien. The Internet connection on the fourth floor of the hotel leaves much to be desired and apparently this bothers the former world champion excessively. The combination of the Internet concerns and the search for the journalist he has agreed to for an interview, seems to make him somewhat astray.

But looks deceive. As soon as we sit down in the meeting room of the hotel, Kasparov is sharp. We meet a passionate and friendly man who is not afraid to speak his mind and who combines every opinion with a matching facial expression. Among other things he speaks about our sports minister ("no intellect"), Ilyumzhinov ("a disaster"), the electoral defeat of Karpov and, of course, about Magnus Carlsen.

"Sorry if I seem a bit confused," Kasparov starts the conversation, "but I've been very busy the last few months. I'm back to normal life now, preparing for my lectures... eight in November. I was on a diet for five months so I have to recover. Because of FIDE, and I was also out of politics for five months. Now I have to restore my normal life routine and also contact people who worked for us in Khanty-Mansiysk, just to keep this war going. You don't want to leave good people behind."

Apparently in this 'normal life' Kasparov is in contact with people mostly through Skype, because just as we've started his 'phone' rings. "Now you see why I don't like it when there's no good internet connection. With Skype as your main means of communication, you have to have internet." With a loud and determined voice he cuts the conversation short. Everything will be fine. The interview can start. Before I get to my first question, Kasparov already starts talking about the re-election of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov.

"A lot of people recognize now that FIDE is in such a deep trouble that we have to do something to change it. It takes longer, we expect it, but if something doesn't work, you should not leave people behind. It feels very important now to help them, to establish the programs, to start work with different federations and with different chess organizations in advance. It is important that they are not disillusioned."

So how is it possible that he got re-elected?
We worked hard against him. Probably time was very short and the fact that it happened in "Russia probably was crucial. Karpov couldn't succeed in mobilizing support of Russian sororities and to the contrary certain support was given to Ilyumzhinov. Arkadij Dvorkovich was fully behind him and there was no political force in Russia that would stop him. The Kremlin was not involved directly but the fact the top aid for Mr Medvedev was breaking every law of the land to help Ilyumzhinov and this sent a very bad signal. We couldn't succeed in destroying this image of Ilyumzhinov as a very powerful man who pushes all the buttons. All they did in Khanty-Mansiysk, especially the General Assembly, was a criminal act of violating literally every provision of FIDE rules. But it was a very strong signal for many delegates of the developing countries that Ilyumzhinov is in charge. I think now, in a year or two, there will be a very painful recovery from this illusion."

Kasparov interview by De Schaakfabriek

Do you think it would have made a difference if the elections were in for example Norway or the United States?
"Absolutely. Karpov would have won in any other country but Russia. Karpov would have won."

You were part of the Karpov side...
"I was running the campaign." do you look at the current chess world?
"The world of chess is not in a good shape and this illness is not a fresh one. The fact is that chess is the only major sport that hasn't any commercial sponsorship. That tells us that something went wrong. I've been fighting for the improvement of global chess for many years and I believe that unless things change, chess will not see any bright future. I also learnt a lot by talking to different federations and different delegates. Many of them I met for the first time in my life in Khanty-Mansiysk and I am more than ever convinced that the current administration of FIDE and the way FIDE has been run make things impossible to improve."

And it doesn't help that in the international press Ilyumzhinov is talking about aliens; it's a strange image.
Unfortunately it's a very precise image of the person that nobody wants to touch. Ilyumzhinov's biography and his record is devastating for any organization that is aiming to attract corporate sponsors. This is something that people should recognize. It takes a little bit more time but I think we already fertilized the ground for the future. In a year or two, maybe earlier, they will see that Ilyumzhinov's promises, they are as unreal as his contact with aliens.

But they already know him for so many years...
"Yes, but it's not only him you know. In many regions we didn't really fight Ilyumzhinov but the people who work with him, like Jorge Vega in America or [Ignatius - CV] Leong in Asia, it's an infrastructure. It's very difficult, you know, to win without having any infrastructure built as an opposition. We started from scratch, we relied on our contacts but in three, four, five months it's very hard to change people's perception. Our message was well received and Karpov's program was offering a lot to federations and they saw it. But in such an intense election people don't want to be on the losing side, they are afraid to be on the losing side. The fear, the terror, the intimidation, those are the key elements of Ilyumzhinov's campaign. That's why I'm saying in Russia they succeeded because they pretended that the Russian regime, Putin's regime, was behind them but in fact this time it was not about Putin, it was about one very arrogant, impudent Russian bureaucrat who had support of some top business people and they put the power behind Ilyumzhinov, and it was quite convincing. It was more about fear and intimidation rather than about a conscious choice for Ilyumzhinov.

Kasparov interview by De Schaakfabriek

What would be your advice to someone who wants to run for FIDE President next time?
"If anybody wants to do it again, you have to start early and you have to show people the alternative. Even if you had the greatest message on earth, having four, five days to communicate it to people and to make them to believe, it's virtually impossible. They have to see that, you know, you can be there around for a while. I think that if any campaign to succeed it should build an alternative to Mr Ilyumzhinov. Not two months before the election but at least two years before the elections."

What is the main difference between Karpov and Ilyumzhinov?
"Attracting sponsorship is part of any international organization. FIDE is the only organization of that size which lives on the account of national federations. The top element of Karpov's program was to reverse the relation between FIDE and the federations and offer finances and to stop receiving any money from federations; eliminate all the fees. That's the number one task of FIDE to attract commercial sponsorship. Under no circumstances this leadership is capable of changing things. Ilyumzhinov's reputation plus the reputation of all others; Makropoulos, other members of the organizational board... they have zero record of raising any corporate sponsorship. This is important: you look at people surrounding Mr Ilyumzhinov and none of them ever raised any corporate money."

Isn't the chaos surrounding the World Championship cycle responsible for that too?
"It's not a separate issue. Of course it's not good that right now the World Championship match is not as an important element of global chess as it was 25 years ago. It's getting a bit better now because Ilyumzhinov actually came back to the matches. People should remember that Ilyumzhinov destroyed the classical system in 1996 and when he talks about unification, that he was responsible for reunifying the world of chess, he's lying. On the contrary: in 1996 everything was ready for reunification, all he had to do as newly elected FIDE President was to follow the agreement approved by Campomanes and signed by Karpov and myself and to organize a Kasparov-Karpov match for reunification. He didn't do that. Instead, he went for organizing a knockout. For ten years the world of chess remained divided because Ilyumzhinov wanted to have some new, crazy ideas. The World Championship cycle recovered a little bit of the ground, of the image, because he came back. So that's the only good thing that happened; after ten years of failures he just recognized that killing the title with so much power and historical relevance was a wrong idea. But it's not enough because the normal system should be restored. The normal system should have a proper selection process and right now the selection process looks like a joke. They're planning to have these three matches in a row and I think it's an insult because how can you expect the best player to win the candidates if you have three matches in a row, 4-4-6... First of all the matches are too short. Four games it's is too short, I mean, for the quarter-final and especially for the semi-final. Let's say in the semi-final a match Kramnik-Carlsen, I mean, I want to see eight-game matches. That is what you should sell, not all this nonsense that playing these top players straight on, which gives a huge advantage to the current World Champion. The chances that the best player wins this competition are not very high. Anything can happen. Too much is given to chance. I can only hope that things will change but, again, not with this leadership. The reason they cannot do that is because there is no money. They don't have corporate sponsors. Karpov's program was very specific: the matches to be restored in normal shape, six games for the quarter-final, six games for the semi-final, eight games for the final, all played in different places, giving players time to rest. That's the way to run it. Again, to organize everything you need to have proper finances."

Suddenly Kasparov interrupts the interview. "If you don't mind, I'll just put on my screen the games in Bilbao." Of course we don't mind. It's the perfect moment to leave chess politics and switch to different subjects, like Magnus Carlsen, the other current top players and the simul Kasparov will give tonight at the Alfacam studios.

You still follow the top tournaments closely?
Yes, I look at all the games quite intensively. Not just because I like to, but this way I can still dedicate myself to chess creatively."

The Boss does more than just follow the games. He really studies them and still updates his database regularly. "I like chess and I can guarantee you that my database is still up to date. I still search for and find new ideas and I always want to know if one of the current top players found the same ideas. So far this hasn't happen very much, by the way," he explains proudly, while looking at the game between Alexei Shirov and his former student Magnus Carlsen.

Carlsen didn't do well at the Olympiad.
"Indeed, but it doesn’t really surprise me. Magnus is a brilliant player, but he really has to want to work hard. Otherwise he won't succeed."

Is that the reason you don't work together anymore?
"No, that's not all. It's a combination of factors. I was very busy with the elections and lacked the time to help him. But I also felt Magnus wanted more freedom. I always gave him advice about openings and it seemed that he sometimes didn't like it when I pressed him to make certain choices."

At the Olympiad he surprised a few times with his opening choice, like in his game against Adams, where he answered 1.e4 with 1…g6 followed by some kind of Pirc and a knight that quickly went to h5. What do you think about that?
"I don't approve of this. In fact I think it's almost an insult to play such an opening against someone like Adams, a well-known top player. In my opinion Magnus deserved to loose this game. But it comes down to a professional approach. Magnus is capable of beating a 'normal' 2700 player without too much trouble, so to speak. He has enough talent to do that. But it's different at top level. Facing Adams, Jobava, Sjugirov is not the same as facing Kramnik and Anand. He definitely doesn't have enough ideas, enough chess mass... He's playing a lot of tournaments now... I'm afraid that by the end of the year he might not be the number one on rating."

Yesterday he was virtually surpassed by Anand.
"We'll see. I feel that it's a great pity because he's nineteen and nineteen there are... temptations in life. I felt strongly that he needed more guidance. But at the end of the day I... I worked with him and I promised to bring him at the top, so I did. He should be responsible for the rest."

Carlsen G-Star

What do you think of his fashion model career?
"I have to be honest. I think he did very well, because it's fantastic promotion for chess. But at the same time, if you want to beat players like Kramnik and Anand, you have to be focused 100%. Otherwise it won't work, especially at important tournaments. So it has a downside and I hope he won't forget that his chess career will suffer when he doesn't prepare sufficiently.”

Is it possible that you will cooperate in the future?
It seems unlikely to me now because he has to change his attitude. It depends on whether he's willing to work hard, and whether I will have enough time. Obviously I would like to provide some more advice because advice, you know, it's not a tip. It's really hard work. It needs full dedication. He was dedicated in the spring and summer of 2009. We had a great session in Croatia for almost two weeks so that was a big, big contribution. Then we had a good session in Marrakech, so... it helped, you know. Unless he wants to go back from the fashion world to the hard work... My advice is not like giving advice to a kid you know, it involves work for hours. Unless you work five, six hours a day on a regular basis it doesn't work. In Croatia we worked with him at least five hours a day, this was the minimum. When you have five hours a day for almost two weeks that's a lot of work. Plus, it's not only working hours, but then you do more work, you think about it, so it puts you very much inside the problem."

What do you think about Anand and Kramnik, are they still...
"Look, Anand is forty. It's amazing that the generation after me, they're still on top. It shows that the generation which learnt from Karpov and myself, that grew up with our matches, this generation is still strong. They both work very hard. Kramnik is six years younger than Anand but I think they belong to the same generation, it's the generation after Kasparov. These two guys are on the top now, they're doing great, it's a demonstration. They learnt in the eighties and early nineties. Those players grew up by absorbing the ideas from the K-K matches."

What do the simuls mean for chess?
"It's my job but I think it's good; it promotes the game and especially the event here, it's a traditional event. This is what I like because it's every year, the same time. Actually it's always around my daughter's birthday; it's already her second birthday she's celebrating here. She was two, and now she's four. But it's important because it sends a message around. It's a big thing, with these preliminaries, the simul with Nigel Short, now they're bringing Almira Skripchenko... so it's a good event, which sends the message that chess is a popular game. The fact is that many CEOs and politicians are participating. That also helps to establish the image of the game. I think the organizers do a very good job promoting chess in this part of the world. That's why for me it's more than just a job. It's to help good people to establish a reputation of chess."

Kasparov interview by De Schaakfabriek

It's interesting that you mention this, as in Belgium chess is a little bit in a crisis, not only because of financial problems with the board, but our sports minister recently said that chess is not a sport.
"This is a general problem of FIDE's failure to get full recognition from the International Olympic Committee and this failure is related to Ilyumzhinov's rule. In 1995 FIDE was very close to get full recognition and may have become part of the Olympics. Mr Ilyumzhinov never pushed hard and actually one of the reasons is that he made no efforts to bring the two titles together. Divided titles is one of the curses for the IOC. But even after 1995 he showed no real interest in doing that. Now, for instance with the case in Lausanne, where five federations sued FIDE for a violation of the rules, the real fight was not about the merits of the case but, as we described in our last article on Karpov2010, FIDE challenged the jurisdiction of CAS. FIDE doesn't want to be part of the full Olympic family. It doesn't want to be fully recognized in order to keep their hands free for whatever reason. So it doesn't help of course to recognize chess as a sport in countries like Belgium. But specifically with this case, I believe it's very stupid, those remarks of the minister, they just show the lack of intellect for me."

He says it's no sport because there's no physical activity.
"How does he count physical activity? Are there any physical activities in golf? Or curling? How does he count, is it physical contact? There's no definition of sport. By every element of sport as I understand it, of course chess is a sport. Sport is a fight. Whether it is a fight of intellects or a physyical fight, or just a competition like curling, I could give you many examples of games without any hint of physical contact. This lousy attempt to reduce the definition of sport is for me a demonstration of very narrow intellect. In order to fight these intellectual limitations we need a powerful international body, just to send the message. We need a full-scale recognition on the international level."

The interview was conducted October 12th, 2010 by Jan Lagrain, editor-in-chief of the excellent Belgian (Dutch language) blog De Schaakfabriek. Many thanks to Jan for all the material and photos.

On the same day, for the fourth time Kasparov gave a simul against Belgian CEOs and politicians as well as a selection of young players. The kids had earned their spots in preliminary simuls against Nigel Short and Almira Skripchenko. Here are the games:

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Antonius's picture

A very interesting interview, such a strong personality Garry!
It appears to be clear that he and Magnus got some different opinions, and it means that Carlsen has a strong personality too, which is good for him and his chess career.

Harry_Flashman's picture

I was incredulous when i saw Carlsen's opening choice against Michael Adams at the Khanty Olympiad..
History of sports is full of " chosen ones " who , in the end , didn't achieve as much as they seemed destined for.. Let's wait and see..

Peter's picture

Carlsen is still very young. I hope trying to be the best chess player he can be will be his top priority. I can't imagine all the knowledge and wisdom one can gain from training with Kasparov, arguably the best chess player ever.

inoki's picture

"almost an insult to play such an opening against someone like Adams"
- very true

Arne Moll's picture

A Very good read. Fine job, Jan!

unknown's picture

Thanks for the interview.

BTW. "I’m afraid that by the end of the year he might now be the number one on rating.” - now nor no?

Septimus's picture

Magnus could probably use some rest. Take a month or two off. You can see a slight generation gap showing. Older players are very rigorous in preparation and approach. The younger ones are a bit less so. This may not necessarily be a bad thing...time will tell.

fgdfd's picture

"now nor no?"


Bob's picture

Honestly, some of these games are appallingly weak resistance.

Mario's picture

While replaying the simul games I noticed the weak play of Kasparov's opponents. It seems like he barely had to think in any of the games. Only game 16 managed to reach a bad bishop ending, which is of course hopelessly lost from the get go but at least much better than what the other opponents accomplished. Due to his lack of concentration (or so it seems), Kasparov apparently failed to notice a discovered check in the last game when he played 23. Bf2.

PS: is it true that no one over 1900 can enter Kasparov's simuls like these? This is what I read somewhere but I somehow doubt that, even though it seems to be the case in this simul.

R.Mutt's picture

If Kasparov thinks it's an insult to play 1 ... g6 against Adams, he must hve felt pretty insulted himself when Noa van Elsacker played 11 ... Nxe4 against him.

R.Mutt's picture

P.S.: Please delete my previous comment, I googled the name and see it is an 8-year old. I don't want to badmouth a little boy.

Clifford's picture

It is true that Kasparov bans serious players from his simultaneous exhibitions. The limit is somewhere around 1900. There are a number of stories of keen juniors who turned up for a Kasparov simul and discovered that they were not allowed to play because their rating was too high.

aolsen's picture

I've been rejected for a Kasparov simul because of too high ELO - 2050.

I was told if ELO over 2000, you can't get in.

luzin's picture

still, the organizers should have instructed the kids to resign when down a rook against Kasparov, these games are a shame really.

Eiae's picture

I hope Carlsen just stays himself and keeps up his unortodox approach to chess training. After all that's what brought him where he is now. Best thing he has done so far was to break off from training with Kasparov.

Guillaume's picture

I don't buy this idea that Kasparov would limit the strength of his opponents to 1900 during these simuls. I mean, come on, when he was active Kasparov used to play simuls against national teams and he was still crushing them!

Clifford's picture

From the web site of Kasparov's manager, Owen Williams:

Players must be true amateurs who have 1999 ELO points or less, no exceptions. No player who has ever held a Rating of 2000 or over is permitted--it is contrary to the spirit of the simul and to the agreement.

Steve Giddins's picture

Nice interview, to which I have reacted on my blog -

code_word's picture

Here's a tip: avoid stylish hotels if you want good Internet access. Put priorities in the right order... :)

I think I saw a Rochade ad for a Karpov simul (25 games) that had a limit of 1800 or so, maybe 1700. It was with the World Senior Champ perhaps. I think this is typical as a limit. How good was Chernev? Expert level, or a master? I think he wrote about playing Capablanca in a simul, sitting next to Prokofiev. I do think simuls are important for publicity. The early days of USCF had Kashdan and Horowitz both playing almost everywhere to push interest in chess. The Soviets used them for juniors (Botvinnik against Capablanca as famous), but that is not so anymore. My memory says Waitzkin (age 11? not sure) played Karpov when young, and I recall it went to rook vs two pawns, and this was the last to finish, and Karpov brought a clock over (5 minutes each) to wrap it up, and Waitzkin couldn't win it, not having the technique. He was about 2000 at the time if he was 11. He definitely played Kasparov that year (1988), but maybe Karpov was the next year.

leigh's picture

Kasparov really is chess garbage. fighting, arguing, attacking.......

suplexer's picture

I prefer anand simuls where you regularly get 2200 players in there like at dortmund.
wouldn't be surprised if the end of cooperation was due to carlsen's father, he seems very proud, and know it all. And in pictures and video every time Anand is speaking to henrik carlsen, he pays the world champion no attention.
There is no doubt in my mind that Carlsen's lack of form coincides with the kasparov splitt. Nanjing a tournament Kasparov was always talking about with carlsen is where he had his best result. From then on his reults have become a bit less sensational.

suplexer's picture

OH yeah. Anand/kramnik are two different people. (Even kasparov is saying it now.) One is the 4 year reigning world champion, the other is a former world champion who in his last 2 title defences had to go into tiebreaks to seal the deal.

iLane's picture

I know some of the players personally. Not mentioning the names I can tell that there were some young kids with ratings around 1200-1400...

Simmillion's picture

Coming from Kasparov the frase about insulting an opponent is meant as a compliment isn't it? Just as the fact that he sounds a little 'sour' about Carlsen is the biggest compliment the lad can get?

Peter Doggers's picture

@unknown, fgdfd
Thanks, corrected.

calvin amari's picture

I must say that the narrative, by Shipov and others, that fatigue is causing Magnus to flag a bit (and in Bilbao to avoid going down the path of tough calculating lines) seems credible. The oldtimers in Bilbao probably had better prep, as has always been the case compared with the "team-less" Magnus, but when opportunities presented themselves, Magnus did not demonstrate the ability to outwork the oldtimers over the board, as he has done under the best conditions. In Bilbao he seemed less willing or capable to work OTB than Anand and Kramnik.

Or maybe at this level there is no substitute for all that prep of Anand and Kramnik. What I mean is, it may not be a matter of finding clear wins in home preparation, but preserving OTB calculating effort until when there really is no substitute for it - staying fresh until crunch time.

I'm certain that Magnus will be on top again soon. He needs some of the Kasparov competitive willfulness that seemed, more than any other benefit, to have rubbed off on him during their training. Perhaps Kasparov, his database, and (indirectly) his writing team benefit Magnus because, while not a traditional team of seconds, they are far better than no team. And one thing is clear in Garry's tough candid comments about Magnus -- he really does care about the kid fulfilling his promise! In any event, whether it is re-engaging Garry or assembling a real team of seconds -- although it is not easy to think who they may be -- I see some productive use of some of that G-Star $.

At this point Magnus can remain in the elite top 6 or so in the world with little effort. His participation in elite tournaments appears for the foreseeable future to be the biggest fan and media draw currently available. But Garry is correct - life is better as # 1, and worth the work. Garry is also correct, as set forth in is magnum opus of writing, that true world champions bring something to the development of the game that constitutes a marked advancement of chess wisdom and performance. Surely that type of contribution requires a rare combination of talent and labor and, at least in terms of raw talent, Magnus seems the only player that can now make that type of contribution.

Another point worth noting: Garry came up in the chess world and became world champion in the Soviet era where chess was fully supported by the state. He now is a strident advocate - and who can disagree? - for greater corporate sponsorship of chess. Magnus has gotten a terrific start on garnering high-profile corporate support. Yes, it unfortunately takes some time and attention away from chess but, as a chess professional in the sponsorship system that Garry and Karpov foresee, perhaps that is the necessary price. It's all a balance, of course. But corporate sponsorship, like that of G-Star, etc., although it may demand temporary distractions from chess, is plainly NOT a disincentive to hard work and top performance at chess. Heavens knows there is no shortage of young, fit Grandmasters from the West who can pose for fashion pictures. But, as the G-Star campaign underscored again and again, there can be only one "World #1." That is a distinction that Magnus very much needs in order to continue on the professional path he has charted.

Bert de Bruut's picture

Magnus unwilling to work OTB in Bilbao? Ah right, that 174 mover against Shirov is not "work"....

BSimmons's picture

Kasparov merits tremendous admiration. Yet he and other top chess players are partly to blame for the dearth of Corporate sponsorship in chess. His poor sportsmanship, for example, when he lost to Deep Blue, accusing IBM of cheating torpedoed any further sponsorship from that corporation. Ivanchuk blathering about computers ruining chess when Intel was a big sponsor didn't help much either. Finally, Kasparov's break away from FIDE for his Championship with Short distorted the WCC for over a decade. Despite my carping, I love Kasparov and what he's done for chess overall. Still, if people want corporate sponsorship, they need to understand what it takes to get it and keep it.

Suneet's picture

Personally, I enjoy whenever there is spotlight on chess players. Anand doing AMD ads and Magnus as a model is good for chess and its publicity in my opinion. Cool guys playing cool chess among doing other cool things :)

as of its impact on performance... I agree with Kasparov but it has a lot to do with how the player takes it. sometimes you do an ad, and then you work harder following week thinking,... oh now I must be having x-times more eyes on me, I need to prove my coolness on the board even more!

attitude and core character must be right, then all looks good.

Suneet's picture

BTW, I don't have an ELO rating... Anand was so kind to play with me :)

Garry! can I come?

code_word's picture

Na7 was a prep win for Carlsen against Shirov.

ChessGirl's picture

Re: Simul ELO limit - WOW.

Other +2700 players get up to 2300

Tanmay Chakrabarti's picture

Good presentation

Arne Moll's picture

@Steve Giddins: I think neither the Kremlin nor the RCF had in fact anything to do with the outcome of the elections. Your first question to Kasparov about the Turin fraud is spot on, and it actually proves that the issue has nothing to do with the fact that the elections where held somewhere in Russia. (After all, Turin is not in Russia either.) Likewise, I'm pretty sure the same would have happened in New York, Teheran or Shanghai.

RogerZ's picture

about 10 good points there, calvin

john's picture

these are some of the weakest simul games i have ever seen. Did these players win the chance to play Kasparov through chess or a lottery? lol

Stela's picture

If Garry had taken up modelling, (which he could have done), side by side with competition, instead of dedicating himself totally to the most honest and transparent game on earth, where aliens fear to tread whether illuminated or otherwise, there wouldn't be a 13th World Chess Champion, no contemporary standard to follow, never mind challenge.

Bob's picture

This thing about nobody over 2000 elo being able to take part in a simul with Kasparov... I don't get it. Okay, if everybody was rated 1950 then maybe they have a chance to win, but I would have thought even a "normal" grandmaster would have expected to score 100 percent here.

Mekhanik's picture

In Zurich, Kasparov played some opponents up to 2300 elo, as did Anand, Kramnik and Topalov.

ChessGirl's picture

AND Ponomariov, who was by the way the only one who beat all his opponents ;)

Steve Giddins's picture

@Arne: I agree that it would probably have happened wherever the congress had been held, but my point was simply that it would be even easier to fix the election in Russia and with Kremlin backing. My real question to Karpov et al was what were they planning to do to prevent a repetition of what happened in Turin. Evidently, the true answer was that there was nothing they could do. I think that on September 8, they were still relying on the CAS in Lausanne to win the election for them. Once that didn't happen, they knew they were going to be cheated on the ground in Khanty.

Brian Wall's picture

I don't always agree with Gary but I always respect his honesty.

CR's picture

@ Mekhanik & Chessgirl: To tell the truth, in Zurich some of the Champions were confronted with players clearly above 2300 ... e.g. Mohajerin (who beat Topalov) is for sure almost as strong as an IM. Board 1 was always the strongest opponent, board 2 always a young, promising, "hungry" player. Considering this, the Champions did an excellent job in the simuls.

Arne Moll's picture

@Steve: Perhaps with hindsight it was better to try and organize an anonymized voting process early on in the elections. I understood Kasparov made a plea for it the day before it all went so horribly wrong again, but that was obviously too late. If they had actually tried and collected eye-witness statements of the Turin scandal, they might have taken that to court and forced a blind voting. But I guess it wasn't to be.

chessrobot's picture

Failed unification of the World Chess Championship title as far back as 1996...

Failed recognition of chess as a sport by the International Olympic Committee since 1995...

I don't understand how the incumbent FIDE administration has been allowed to continue as the governing body for chess despite these two massive failures.

Ingvar Johannesson's picture

Can't believe Kasparov missed such a well known trick as 6.Ke2! in the 3rd simul game!

code_word's picture

Kasparov indeed did a lot of sponsorship, for chess computers, or software, there are some "modelling" type pics of him that were in the Europe Echecs issue on him about a year ago. If that Neolova thing had worked out..

For simuls, it largely depends on whether it is an "off-thing" done for publicity or something that the player gets psyched for. Itn the latter case they might allow higher ELOs.

Anonymous voting is always disastrous with fraud. Read John Stuart Mill on philosophical reasons why voting should be public, but the practical ones are clear too. It's not like Kirsan is any less likely to retaliate with the vote a secret.

Marfia's picture

"The young star's career had evidently hit a snag and rescue operations were soon under way. Botvinnik reportedly sat down and analyzed with Gary. ... [he] found several basic flaws in Gary's style: and overfondness for long opening variations without forethought, a tendency to solve problems by tactical means alone, and a lack of objectivity."

Zeblakov's picture

lol@ "and when he talks about unification, that he was responsible for reunifying the world of chess, he’s lying"


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