June 14, 2012 8:02

Kings' Tournament postponed

Logo Kings' Tournament

The Kings' Tournament, which would be held 23 June - 4 July 2012 in Medias, Romania, has been postponed. The financial crisis combined with local politics have forced the organizers to cancel the Grand Slam event for now, but they hope to organize it later this year. Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand were among the participants in Medias. 

Eight days ago we received the first negative signals about the Kings' Tournament. As EU's second-poorest economy, Romania suffers heavily from the financial crisis and last Sunday's local elections led to an unprecedented political fight. Press chief GM Dorian Rogozenco told us that the tournament was under serious danger of being postponed.

At that point, there was still hope and everybody involved in the organization was still trying very hard to keep the initial dates of the tournament. However, last night we received a definite confirmation from Rogozenco that the tournament has been postponed.

The organizers will do everything they can in order to hold the tournament later this year. The reason for not holding the tournament now is the financial crisis and very unstable political situation in Romania.

The tournament, which would be held for the sixth time between 23 June and 4 July 2012, is sponsored by Romgaz. It is the largest natural gas producer in Romania, and owned by the state. The company saw a shift in leadershift in February this year, when Romgaz' General Director Adrian Piteiu was replaced. Only a few days ago, again a new head was announced.

Last Sunday the Romanians gave Prime Minister Victor Ponta's new leftist government strong backing in local elections. His Social Liberal Union (USL) alliance toppled the centre-right Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) after a no-confidence vote in parliament last month. Ponta promised to restore wages and cut some taxes, while sticking to an International Monetary Fund-led aid deal which involves the privatisation of state-owned power companies.

Last year the Kings' Tournament ended in a shared victory for Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin. The last two editions were held in Medias, while the Romgaz resort in Bazna had been the venue for the first three editions. The official website gives the participants for this year: Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Teimour Radjabov, Sergey Karjakin, Vassily Ivanchuk and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. 

The Kings' Tournament is the second Grand Slam tournament that got into trouble. Last year the tournament in Linares was cancelled for similar reasons, and this year the Spaniards haven't been able to restore their famous event. Other Grand Slam events, such as the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing and the M-Tel Masters in Sofia have also disappeared from the chess calendar.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


PeterV's picture

Too bad...

jmason's picture

The tournament will never be held again and it has nothing to do with no financial crisis, the tournament was taking place because some important people from Romgaz company were supporting it because they loved chess , after they have been replaced (politically,of course) ,the tournament will never be held again.

hakapika's picture

Hm... you are probably right. But too bad really.

DR's picture

Well, wrong. It's good to know instead of guess, before making such firm affirmations. The same people, who love chess, are still in Romgaz and the new General Director was the biggest supporter of the Kings Tournament in the past. With all his desire to hold the tournament, he can't do this EXACTLY because of financial and political crysis: Romgaz is going through very tough financial crysis these days and they simply don't have a budget for the tournament.

jmason's picture

Well, i hope you are right , i admit that i've made a guess based on how things are happening in Romania on a regular basis.

RuralRob's picture

Five years from now, there will be only two kinds of chess tournaments: online ones, and those run by Bill Goichberg.

noyb's picture

Nice observation, but probably only online tournaments will survive in future after world financial collapse.

Coco Loco's picture

Yay! Three cheers for Austerity! It's a shame those damned pensioners can't appreciate chess enough to forgo a couple of weeks' worth of cooking gas.

Al's picture

What a couple of depressing posts!

Don't worry guys, when Kasparov gets in for FIDE President 2014, we'll see more and more tournaments!! :-)

Anonymous's picture

Kasparov is not going to prevent a worldwide recession, depression and Europe falling apart, with the high probability of the euro going to collapse. So your hope is rather withful thinking....

RealityCheck's picture

@Al Yeah, more tournaments.

And, more Elo rating mania. And, well If Garry can duplicate his super successful world championship cycle from the 90's we might get to see a match played once every five years. The unemployment rate among pro chess tourists will sky rocket; remember there was never enough money going around when Garry was in charge. Yeah, this is something to look forward to....

Anonymous's picture

At least that will keep Anand in the top ten for another list or two, at the moment he's 7th, one point ahead of Karjakin who probably would have passed him in Bazna.

Bartleby's picture

IMF cuts chess tournament.

jmason's picture

...financial crisis and very unstable political situation in the country LOL , that's the most stupid excuse they could have ever come up with, there is no such thing as unstable political situation in the country, i mean, we are cooking a revolution here , or something similar ? LOL, how pathetic ...

virginmind's picture

well, it's not about a revolution, it's about the fact that the opposition got the power after the (former)government got disolved by the parliament - which also suspended the elected president and organised a referendum to maintain this until the next elections in november. problem is, the president returned to his office after the referendum results were nullified as less than 50% of the voters have actually bothered to express their vote. so now, until november, the president has to live with a hostile government, which already changed a lot of people in powerful (more or less political) positions.
probably the abrupt character of the political changes in june/july made some to call the situation as 'crisis'. what it's sure though is that the financial crisis did take its toll and most probably, as someone had mentioned here, the main sponsor of the event had to suffer.
all i can hope is that we won't have to wait long until, as the announcement on the official site puts it, "the tournament will be held later this year and the new schedule will be announced soon".

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