Reports | November 21, 2008 4:28

Kamsky-Topalov: contracts signed

Kamsky-Topalov related Press ConferencesToday 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.

Relevant posts:

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

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Comments

hektor's picture

very good news for the chess world. i wish godd luck to both players. they deserve to play for the world chess champion title. for me - will be great pleasure to see match between topalov and anand. will be fantastic fight chess.

Lajos Arpad's picture

Hektor:

"in contract with fide before the match with kramnik there was that the player which loose the match have a right of rematch."
I've never heard of this part. Could you give me a reference, please?

"After that fide says - topalov can not play in world chess championship 2007?¢‚Ǩ¬¶
So whats hapen? Fide don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t give a chance to play to the last world champion and rating number 1 in rematch with kramnik, after that they don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t give him to play in championship?¢‚Ǩ¬¶"
Yes, this is the idea. Topalov is a great player, but there are other great players too. Topalov doesn't deserve to be in the World chess championship match or the candidates match, because he didn't play in qualifications. By being an ex FIDE world champion and ratings leader nobody qualified to such matches yet except Topalov. If i remember right Topalov became FIDE world champion by winning the San Luis world championship. He didn't play to get there, his ELO was simply high enough. So:
2005: World chess championship contender in San Luis and eventually the winner. He has got there because his ELO points were high. This is true to the other participants as well.
2006: He played the unification match with Kramnik and lost eventually.
2008: After he lost the 2006 match in Elista, without a participation in the World Cup he was waiting for his challenger, the World Cup winner. You justify this by saying that he is a former world champion and a world number one in the rating list?
Rating list: It's so dynamic that if the rating list leader has to play a match with the world campion, he might lose his position as world number one by the time the match will start.

"in these reason fide says: ok - the winner of the world cup 2007 (Kamski) and the last world champion and rating number 1 (Topalov) will play match and the winner will play with anad."
I don't see any reason in this. Topalov plays in the place of the nonexistent Grand Prix winner. The difference between a Grand Prix winner and Topalov is: the Grand Prix winner has won the Grand Prix, so he won some sort of qualification. Topalov never qualified to a World Championship final by playing: only with rating points and crying.

Jussu: I'm not against the match, but my opinion is that Topalov didn't get there because he deserved, he got there because had had been given a gift.

hektor's picture

Dear Lajos, from your messages I understand that you don't know a history of the chess and the FIDE rules and contracts from the last few years. OK I will try to explain some of them:
First - you say that Topalov don't deserve his place on San Luis chanpionship, because he not play qualifications. This is stupid! FIDE invite te most strong chess playes of the world to play without any qualifications. If I remember right more players there was invite with the reason of their ELO FIDE Rating, so I not understand why you think that Topalov don' deserve his place there??? You saw that in this period Topalov was the best player - he destroy every player there and win with 10 of 12 points, whitch was remarkable.
After that when Topalov win his World chess title FIDE make a rule: every chess player with ELO more than 2650 (or 2700 I not remember now) have a right to invite the champion in match if can guarantee the prize pool (I think it was about 1.000.000 USD). Follow to this rule after lost his title agains Kramnik, Topalov's team make almost immediately ofer to organize rematch with quarantee prize pool. FIDE break his own rule and say NO!? The reason was that the bank whitch guarantee the prize pool was not from FIDE list (whitch was stupid because before that FIDE do not speak for the list of bank when they make the rule). OK, the bulgarian team make a new bank guarantee from the FIDE list bank. FIDE BREAK HIS OWN RULE and agan say NO!???? Lajos what you think about that? Do you feel some discrimination or fear in FIDE that Topalov will beat Kramnik and take back the crown? You have to know that in Russia the chess is almost religion, so it's very important Kramnik (which is Russian) to be champion more as possible. In this reason the fear is correct. Kramnik have a very little chance to keep the title against Topalov or Anand.
Nevertheless - FIDE organize new world champion cycle and invite again more op chess players (acording the ELO Rating etc.) and don't invite Topalov (which was Rating number one and he last world champion)... Do you feel again fear and discrimination?? Not only that - FIDE say: if Kramnik lost his tile he have a right of match with the winner for th title again (do you feel again the fear that everybody know that Kramnik will lost the title and give him another and another chance to be a champion? Think about this) !? And whats happen - FIDE say everytime to Topalov - you can not play for title (even that they break the own rules), but Kramnik have right to play with the next world champion (Anand). This was very dangerous discrimination and in this reason FIDE decide after the match between Anand and Kramnik, the next match for the crown to be between the next world champion (Anand) and the winner of the match between the last champion (Topalov) and the winner of the chess cup (Kamski).
So Lajos - why you think that Kramnik deserve a match for the champion title against Anand after he loose the title, but Topalov 2 years don't deserve match for the title which was his too??? Any another answer will be a great discrimination. Look the facts please!
And in the final: somebody can say that Kamsky don't deserve his place in the match, because The FIDE world cup was a tournament with very low interest of the top players before that and FIDE take decision to give to the winner some privileges to increase interest. But doesn't matter - Kamsky is excellent player and deserve his chance to play for the title. I wish to jim and to Topalov succes and let we see a attractive match.

David Korn, Seattle's picture

Several things: first, this is a great joy for chess. politics aside, to be able to see Topalov play Kamsky cannot be dull or uninteresting.

While Kramnik was justly the challenger to Anand, who is now undisputed champion, who can begrudge the possibility of Topalov playing the WCC, hopefully next year? Yes, Kamsky has a chance; a big chance, probably no, but a real chance.

Topalov, as evidenced by his recent chess, is in terrific form, and who can discount him. He plays fighting chess for the initiative. Kamsky earned the right, like it or not, to play him, and has a valid claim to fight. This is also good for chess, and FIDE mismanagment aside if not on all fronts, then a great many, this still is the fruition of a long, extended, multidimensional, multiyear, multiplayer, multi-venue event.

Almostly lastly, this is not as much money as was once promised, but it still is great money for all but the very best of chess who have ever been.

Kamsky, who is reticent not to complain much if ever, must have been through hell in the last 15 years. I do not know the details, but it must be so.

Lastly, lets all admit it, we all want to see Topalov contest with Anand, which is why this, despite great obstacles, managed to occur--the great motivation on the part of Topalov, Danailov, and Bulgarian chess to see this happen.

This is great for chess, and we will see chess art and more chess beauty, I greatly suspect. dk

Lajos Arpad's picture

Topalov didn't do anything to play the candidates match. He is a world class player, but he didn't earn the right to play this match. This is another gift by FIDE to him.

hektor's picture

Lajos, you are not right! in contract with fide before the match with kramnik there was that the player which loose the match have a right of rematch. when topalov loose his team ask for rematch and they make bank guarantee for the prize pool. fide says no!!! why??? first fide says that bank was not good. after that the topalov team make another guarantee from bank from fide list. fide again say NO!!!???
After that fide says - topalov can not play in world chess championship 2007...
So whats hapen? Fide don't give a chance to play to the last world champion and rating number 1 in rematch with kramnik, after that they don't give him to play in championship... it's stupid... in these reason fide says: ok - the winner of the world cup 2007 (Kamski) and the last world champion and rating number 1 (Topalov) will play match and the winner will play with anad.
So why you think that topalov don't deserve this chance?

jussu's picture

Lajos, let them play if it was decided so. I am not one who would want to see Danailov contest with anyone (a purely over-the-board Anand-Topalov would be rather interesting, though) but even this would be better than FIDE breaking yet another one of its promises.

Lajos Arpad's picture

Hektor: Let's remain cultured, civilized people and don't start to get personal. I would strongly advise you to avoid this kind of tone:

"Dear Lajos, from your messages I understand that you don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know a history of the chess and the FIDE rules and contracts from the last few years. OK I will try to explain some of them:"

This is destructive. I consider you and the other people here partners as chess players and i would like to have a friendly relationship with all of you, even if we disagree at some points.

"First - you say that Topalov don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t deserve his place on San Luis chanpionship, because he not play qualifications."

Well, this is not true. I said Topalov didn't play any event to qualify for the San Luis event, 2005. The "don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t deserve his place on San Luis chanpionship, because he" part is invented by you. In my opinion he played deservedly in 2005 in San Luis, but the 2008 candidates final is a gift for him.

"FIDE invite te most strong chess playes of the world to play without any qualifications."

FIDE invited them (in the past). Now, at last we have a qualification. Everybody has to win the qualification to get to the candidates, Topalov is the only exception.

"If I remember right more players there was invite with the reason of their ELO FIDE Rating, so I not understand why you think that Topalov don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ deserve his place there???"
Well, let's see:
1.) He got money from th 2006 match, where he lost, now he will get money again. What did he do to get payed like this?
2.) He lost his title, like Karpov, or Kramnik, or Smyslow. Only Topalov is begging to get to the candidates without a fight. The other players are fighting for this privilege. Topalov didn't win a World Cup or a similar format forld championship match in his life, even though he tried several times. He was always kicked out by somebody. Why should i recognise him as a worthy contender, if he didn't win any world chess championship qualification after his pathetic toiletgate?

"After that when Topalov win his World chess title FIDE make a rule: every chess player with ELO more than 2650 (or 2700 I not remember now) have a right to invite the champion in match if can guarantee the prize pool (I think it was about 1.000.000 USD)."

You were talking about this when tou said that ?¢‚Ǩ?ìin contract with fide before the match with kramnik there was that the player which loose the match have a right of rematch.?¢‚Ǩ?, weren't you? Well, this was not the match contract, if i'm not mistaken, this was a separate issue. Yes, if you ask me, FIDE had broken its word then, here i agree with you. I also consider this "rule" to be wrong.

"Do you feel some discrimination or fear in FIDE that Topalov will beat Kramnik and take back the crown?"

I don't see this. I'm not a politician. I'm merely a chess player and i've only seen a fighting world chess championship, where Kramnik won 2 more games like Topalov. It was like the Anand-Kramnik match in 2008, with the difference that Kramnik faced defeat as a man. Topalov didn't. He "tied" the match with Kramnik 6-6 (6-5 for Kramnik, if you ask me. I'm only interested in the over the board games), and after this "tied" match he lost in the rapid too. I don't see why should anybody fear for a domniating player.

"Kramnik have a very little chance to keep the title against Topalov or Anand."
Kramnik-Topalov:
2006: Over the board classic games: 6-5, Toilet games: 0-1. Rapid games: 2,5-1,5

Kramnik-Anand:
2008: 6,5-4,5

If you ask me, Kramnik has little chances against Anand in a match in this moment, but has very good chances against Topalov.

"Not only that - FIDE say: if Kramnik lost his tile he have a right of match with the winner for th title again (do you feel again the fear that everybody know that Kramnik will lost the title and give him another and another chance to be a champion?"

FIDE said this to get Kramnik to Mexxico. We both know that Kramnik didn't want to risk his title in a round robin. So, he agreed to play in Mexico and make it a world championship and not just a qualification only if he had a chance to a rematch. Topalov is not in the position to make such gestures, - he is the loser of the 2006 match, he should stop crying be grateful not to be banned after degrading the World Chess Championship with toilet wars and play the qualifications. If he manage to win them, he will become a worthy challenger. Without a qualification he will never be a credible champion or a challenger. Remember the Kramnik-Shirov match in 1998? Since then Kramnik has to demonstrate again and again that he is great. There will always be rumours about his title because of that match. Topalov didn't even play a match or a tournament. Do you think that we, chess players will ever forget that?

"Kamsky is excellent player and deserve his chance to play for the title. I wish to jim and to Topalov succes and let we see a attractive match."
With this i agree.

hektor's picture

Lajos, I agree with you that the chess have to make the people friends not an enemy, so will stop to reply. Everybody know that the players like Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Karlsen, Kamsky, Shirov etc. are almost equal. There are great and all of them have a fans. I want to see more interesting games, tourneys and matches. Let the best win!
I wrote replies to you because I like players which are not fear to play every time, everywhere and against everybody. Topalov is of this kind and I like him to this reason. He everytime play for victory. Even in draw positions, which cost him a lot of loses (even in the first game in Elista match agains Kramnik), but we only can admirate this. WE ARE FANS AND DESERVE TO SEE CLEAR AND FIGHT CHESS, NOT A SHAME DRAWS IN 15 MOVES!!! So in this way I dont like world champion like Kramnik who, as you say: " We both know that Kramnik didn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t want to risk his title in a round robin. So, he agreed to play in Mexico and make it a world championship and not just a qualification only if he had a chance to a rematch. " HOW IS POSSIBLE THAT??? THE CHAMPION WHO - DIDN'T WANT TO RISK HIS TITLE???? WHO NEED CHAMPION LIKE THAT??? THE CHAMPION MUST PLAY AND SHOW THAT HE IS THE BEST IN THE MOMENT AND NOT TO FEEL FEAR TO PLAY....
Nevertheless - I will say again - Kramnik is great player. He just fear to play (he refused to play in San Luis in 2005, after that don't want to give match against Topalov, after that don't want to play for world champion championship if FIDE don't guarantee him re-match if he lost the title....). In this reason am happy that Anand win.
I hope in the future we will see more spectacular world chess matches and tournaments. Everybody of the top 10 or 20 in the ELO FIDE Rating deserve the chance to play for the crown. We just can wait and hope that FIDE will give them this.

Manu's picture

I like what you say Hector , kudos to u.

Lajos Arpad's picture

I like your last comment too, Hektor. I agree with you: we need a brave champion. Topalov is brave, but i don't like him after his actions in Elista. These are my feelings, this shouldn't affect you. Irespect your feelings, and let the best win!

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