Reports | January 20, 2009 1:11

Grand Prix loses Karlovy Vary as well

No Karlovy VaryAfter all the turmoil in November and December, it's been a bit quiet around the Grand Prix Series, but today there's more bad news for FIDE: in an official statement, Bessel Kok and Pavel Matocha are announcing the withdrawal of Karlovy Vary, where the 6th and last GP was to take place in December this year.

Statement Bessel Kok & Pavel Matocha:

We have been informed that the NWR coal corporation which intended to support the Grand Prix in Karlovy Vary in December 2009 will not enter into sponsorship. This information and the reasons behind this decision were already communicated to Geoffrey Borg and FIDE and also to grandmaster David Navara, who was nominated by the Czech organisers to Grand Prix tournaments.

There are multiple reasons for this decision:

1. the withdrawal of top players from the GrandPrix tournaments (mainly withdrawal of Magnus Carlsen, the number one player of the GP and the most media atractive player is problem)

2. the confusion on the role of the winner of the Grand Prix (will be there the match between the winner of GP and the winner of World Cup for the right to play the worldchampionship match? or there will be a candidates tournament?), it is unacceptable to change the rules during the game

3. the current financial crisis, which wiped out 80% of market value of NWR and sponsoring has been their first cut in operating expenditure.

In Prague on the 19th of January 2009

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.


Manu's picture

Thx for the data.
So there should be a law against eternal re elections , like in many countries.

Steven's picture

That stinks, i gess they'll close the grand prix series now. : (

Bartleby's picture

> BTW , anyone knows when there is going to be new elections in FIDE?

The FIDE president is elected for four years. The next elections will be held during the 2010 Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk. Since Ilyumzhinov won the last election 2006 in Turin against a serious contender, Bessel Kok, with a comfortable margin, there is little hope for the next one in the middle of Siberia.

test's picture

I can understand if they got into financial troubles because of the world wide financial crisis.
1) Don't blame it on the players &
2) The money should have been secured BEFORE they agreed to host the tournament.

Kirsan builds his castles with sand it seems.

CAL|Daniel's picture

guys I think you've all missed a key point... timing? Lets notify a GM in the middle of his major event. Honestly would it have hurt them to wait a week?

val's picture

On the current WCC system: the patient is as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Let´s hope it´s not a terminal case. Indeed, remedy is obvious to many, though allegedly not to the "doctors" in charge.

guitarspider's picture

I'm not saying Kirsan is great, but he has Elista and his money going for him. Look at this piece of news. The Karlovy Vary GP will not take place because the sponsor withdrew. I bet it's going to be a lot harder in general to get money from sponsors in the next year or two.

Bert de Bruut's picture

The first to lose his job at NWR apparently was the translator.

guitarspider's picture

I'm not even sure starving Kirsan would help chess. I mean he pumps a lot of money into tournaments and matches that just wouldn't be there without him. That's even more important in times like these.

Manu's picture

That is exactly FIDE´s argument , but it is wrong.
Chess can be a fully sponsored game , and having to beg for money from a dictator is not the way to attract decent sponsorship.
On the other hand Kirsans money cannot cover all the holes in his administration anymore, they cannot host EVERYTHING in Elista...
BTW , anyone knows when there is going to be new elections in FIDE?
Kirsan is not the pope you know , he cant be president for life.

Creemer's picture

It seems to me that the reasons are numbered in a political way. Any realistic assesment of the situation would have to include the reason now occupying the 3rd spot in the very first place. Carlsen withdrawing could have affected the deal, but not the sponsorship itself. Sane for the second reason.
Anyway, who cares anymore. Let's just forget about FIDE all together.

Manu's picture

This is good stuff , not bad.
And it is good that Carlsen´s withdrawal is listed first.
because this is FIDE´s weak point ,money.
They have no problem replacing first rated with 150 rated , but they start to care when noone put a dollar into they accounts.
Not that this will stop them , but this is showing that FIDE can be changed.
First we need to starve to death the current administration , then a new election should be scheduled.
And it should be a law that forbides more than one re- elections, the FIDE´s president should be changed every 3 or 4 years and no countrie should be alowed to have 2 presidents in a row.
¨Politicians are like diapers , and needs to be changed at the same rate and for the same reasons .¨

bernd's picture

@Manu: good final quote :), but to starve Kirsan Iliumshinov. I think you need a loooong time.

Ben's picture

Bad stuff, I guess they'd better quit the whole grand prix series now.

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