Kamsky-Topalov: contracts signed
Today the teams of Topalov and Kamsky have signed the contracts for their match, and so Sofia as the venue, and 16th to 28th February, 2009 as the dates, are now official. We have the full press conferences with Danailov (manager of Topalov) and Sutovsky (manager of Kamsky) on video.
Hosted by Susan Polgar, this afternoon two separate press conferences were held: first with Silvio Danailov, manager of Veselin Topalov, and then with Emil Sutovsky, the new manager of Gata Kamsky. Both confirmed that the contracts have been signed, and they answered several questions about the not-so-neutral venue, the prize money, Topalov not playing in Linares, et cetera. You can watch it all in the video below:
More info also at ICC's Chess.FM blog.
Chronological list of events:
- June 25, 2007: at the Presidential Board meeting in Tallinn, FIDE accepts a 150,000 USD bid by the Bulgarian Chess Federation to organize a match between Veselin Topalov and the winner of the 2007 World Cup, to be held in Bulgaria in the second half of 2008.
- November 2007: FIDE confirms the accepted bid by the Bulgarians at the 78th FIDE congress in Antalya.
- December 2007: Gata Kamsky wins the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, and with it the right to play a match against Topalov.
- January 2008: Kamsky states that he isn't going to play the match in Bulgaria but prefers neutral grounds.
- February 12, 2008: despite the Bulgarian bid that already stands, FIDE extends the bidding period for the organization of the Kamsky-Topalov until April 11, 2008, "in order to try to improve the financial terms and conditions for both players".
- April 10, 2008: FIDE extends the deadline for receiving bids once more, until April 23, 2008, as was asked for by the Kamsky team. The Bulgarian Chess Federation publishes a protest, urging FIDE "to follow the decisions of its governing body - the Congress."
- April 11, 2008: Gata Kamsky's manager Alexander Chernenko tells Yuri Vasiliev, journalist for Sports Express, that "the match will be held in Lviv, Ukraine for a prize fund of US$ 750,000."
- May 15, 2008: Russian chess website Chesspro publishes an interview with Chernenko and chess media report the Lviv bid as "confirmed".
- May 18, 2008: Macauley Peterson, in a piece for Chess Life Online, makes clear that both Chernenko and FIDE rebut Vasiliev's account that "the financial guarantees have now been received by FIDE, at their Swiss bank account." Things remain highly unclear.
- May 29, 2008: Alexei Shirov, who lost the World Cup final in December 2007 to Kamsky, loses his patience and publishes an open letter, stating that by now he should be the one to play Topalov.
- May 30, 2008: The Kamsky team responds, also in an open letter, and obviously not amused.
- June 1, 2008: after discussing the Kamsky-Topalov match at a Presidential Board Meeting, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov personally guarantees the prize fund of US$ 750,000 for the match Topalov-Kamsky.
- September 26, 2008: Stefan Sergiev, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, protests once more against FIDE's actions - or non-actions, this time.
- November 3, 2008: Ilyumzhinov receives a letter by Chernenko that states that the payment of 935,000 USD will be effected on November 5, 2008. FIDE accepts this date as the last ultimatum.
- November 6, 2008: instead of keeping up to his promise of guaranteeing a US$ 750,000 prize fund, Ilyumzhinov gives the Bulgarian Chess Federation another chance, and a prize fund of 250,000 USD plus 50,000 USD as contribution to FIDE is enough.
- November 7, 2008: an open letter Roustam Kamsky, protesting.
- November 7, 2008: open letters by several USCF board members, quibbling over the best way to support Gata Kamsky, who himself asks the board members to unite.
- November 12, 2008: open letter by the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, accepting Ilyumzhinov's offer and promising the 250,000 USD prize fund.
- November 14, 2008: open letter by Chernenko, "explaining" why FIDE didn't receive the money yet: "The main reason is that FIDE did not present the necessary contracts beforehand." Chernenko still hopes to find a solution.
- November 18, 2008: in a meeting in Dresden during the Olympiad, all parties agree on the match to take place in Sofia in February 2009.
- November 19, 2008: FIDE publishes a press release confirming the agreement, but contracts are not signed yet.
- November 20, 2008: in two separate press conferences, the managers of the players confirm that the contracts have been signed. The match will be played in Sofia, 16-28 February 2009. Hopefully this ends an ongoing soap opera.
- "'Kamsky-Topalov in February in Sofia' (November 18, 2008; updated November 19 & 20, 2008)
- "New open letters, but no news" (November 15, 2008)
- "Kamsky asks USCF board to unite" (November 8, 2008)
- "Ilyumzhinov reconsiders, gives Chernenko one more day" (November 4, update November 6, 2008)
- "Bulgarian Chess Federation: ?¢‚Ç¨?ìMr Ilymzhinov, please inform us?¢‚Ç¨?" (September 26, 2008)
- "FIDE: Lviv it will be" (June 1, 2008)
- "Shirov speaks" (May 29, 2008)
- "Kamsky-Topalov bid still not confirmed" (May 18, 2008)
- ?¢‚Ç¨?ìKamsky-Topalov in Lviv, Ukraine?¢‚Ç¨? (April 11, 2008)
- "Kamsky-Topalov: End of November" (February 12, 2008)
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