Reports | February 13, 2008 3:18

[lang_nl]Kamsky-Topalov: eind november[/lang_nl][lang_en]Kamsky-Topalov: end of November[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]De match Kamsky-Topalov zal eind dit jaar worden gehouden, na Anand-Kramnik. FIDE heeft de match tussen 26 november en 11 december gepland. Op dit moment maakt een Bulgaars bod om de match te organiseren een goede kans, en dus voorzien we problemen.[/lang_nl][lang_en]The Kamsky-Topalov match will be held at the end of 2008; after Anand-Kramnik. FIDE has scheduled the match between 26 November and 11 December. At the moment of writing, a Bulgarian bid to organize the match is well in the running, and so we foresee problems.[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Vandaag heeft FIDE laten weten dat er tot 11 april 2008 geboden kan worden op de organisatie van de match Kamsky-Topalov. In principe is een Bulgaars bod van 150.000 dollar al geaccepteerd in juni 2007, maar FIDE heeft besloten om nieuwe bieders toe te laten "na een recent overleg van de FIDE Presidential Board in Singapore en daaropvolgende discussies met alle betroken partijen, en ter verbetering van de financi?ɬ´le situatie en de condities van de spelers".

Dit is een mooie formulering waarmee FIDE de indruk wekt naar Gata Kamsky geluisterd te hebben. Die had via zijn advocaat laten weten dat hij zich oneerlijk bejegend voelde. Kamsky had een verlenging van de biedingstermijn aangevraagd, om ook andere landen een goede kans te geven de match te organiseren. Immers, een match in Bulgarije is in het voordeel van Topalov.

Het team van Topalov had daarop laten weten: mocht er vanuit de VS of Rusland een nieuw en beter bod komen dan de onze, dan eisen we dat we twee maanden de tijd krijgen om met een gelijkwaardig bod te komen. Een opmerkelijke strategie, waarmee de Bulgaren aangeven dat een match in een 'thuisland' van Kamsky onacceptabel is. Een match in het thuisland van Topalov daarentegen is geen probleem.

Natuurlijk heeft Kamsky's advocaat daarop gepoogd vast te leggen dat ook het team van Kamsky zonodig eenzelfde periode van twee maanden toegewezen zou krijgen om met een tegenbod te komen. Zoals vandaag is gebleken, waren de pogingen van de Amerikanen tevergeefs, getuige de condities van het biedingsproces:[/lang_nl][lang_en]Today, FIDE has communicated that bidding for the organization of the Kamsky-Topalov match is possible till April 11. Actually, a Bulgarian bid of 150,000 USD has already been accepted in June 2007, but "after the recent FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Singapore and following discussions with all parties involved", FIDE has decided to allow other bids too, "in order to try to improve the financial terms and conditions for both players".

This is a nice way of implying that FIDE has listened to Gata Kamsky. Through his lawyer, the winner of the 2007 World Cup had stated that he felt there was no equal treatment. Kamsky had asked for an extension of the bidding deadline, to give other nations a chance to organise the match. It's clear that a match in Bulgaria would mean an advantage for Topalov.

Topalov's team had responded that they would only agree under the condition that the Bulgarian side would receive a two-month term to match any improved offer if it comes from USA or Russia. A remarkable strategy, with which they were making clear that a match organized in either Kamsky's native country, or in his previous, is unacceptable. A match in Topalov's country, however, is no problem.

Naturally, Kamsky's lawyer has tried to get written on paper that FIDE takes an independent position and allows Kamsky the same two-month-period to present a counter-bid, if that need shall arise. But as became clear today, the attempts by the Americans have been in vain, if we look at FIDE's conditions for the bidding process:[/lang_en]



a) if by 11 April 2008, FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from any country other than USA, Bulgaria, Russia and Spain, then the match will be organised in that country with the highest bid.
b) if by 11 April 2008, FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from USA, Russia or Spain, the organisers in Bulgaria will be requested to match that bid by 30 May 2008. If Bulgaria matches the new bid, the event will be organised in Bulgaria. If Bulgaria refuses, then the match will be organised in the bidding country.
c) if by 11 April 2008 no such bids arrive, the match will be organised in Bulgaria with a net prize fund of 150,000 USD.


[lang_nl]Een mogelijk scenario is dat ergens in maart de stad Elista met een bod komt dat hoger is dan 150.000 USD. (Valery Bovaev, hoofd van de organisatie van de Kandidatenmatches in mei 2007, heeft inderdaad al interesse getoond in de Kamsky-Topalov-match.) Dit zal worden ge?ɬØnterpreteerd als 'een bod uit Rusland' en als de organisatoren in Bulgarije met een gelijkwaardig bod weten te komen, zal de match alsnog georganiseerd worden in Bulgarije. Als we de vandaag gepubliceerde condities van FIDE goed begrijpen, krijgt (bijvoorbeeld) de USCF in dit scenario dan niet de mogelijkheid om met een vergelijkbaar bod te komen.[/lang_nl][lang_en]A possible scenario would be that in mid-March, the city of Elista comes with a bid higher than 150,000 USD. (Valery Bovaev, who was the Organizing Committee chairman of the May 2007 Candidates Matches, has indeed shown interest in the Kamsky-Topalov match.) This will be interpreted as a "bid from Russia" and if the organisers in Bulgaria manage to match the Elista bid, the event will be organised in Bulgaria anyway. If we understand today's conditions as published by FIDE correctly, in this scenario the USCF (for example) wouldn't get a similar opportunity to match Elista's bid.[/lang_en]

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.


Lajos Arpad's picture

Agreed, a neutral country is the best host.

xtra's picture

all kamsky accomplished was to be able to throw in a huge bid, and then with 99% chance getting overbid anyway. the match will take place in bulgaria because kamsky obviously has no sources for a bid that the bulgarians would not be able to raise. but its not so bad if you look at the profits he can make, he just has to find a couple of sponsors who can throw in 500k (and know that they most likely wont have to actually pay them, just represent the sum), then get like 550k total into the prise fund. I take it the share is the usual 60-40 or something, so assuming he has the sponsors he just earned himself at least 100-200k dollars. not too bad.

then of course it is rediculous that such a match can take place in a non-neutral country, in other sports it would just not happen. but then chess is not like other sports, because it considers itself huge, but has basicly not got any income except for sponsors (or am I wrong?). sports like football has a huge market value and income from tickets, chess has much less market value and no ticket incomes and still demands these huge pots in the important games. then of course there is no other way than to let monetary matters come in first hand and the fasion in which the events take place be given little priority. and of course chess has an extremely arbitrary and weird system for competition at highest level, partly because of this but also because of a corrupt "regime". much like the olympic games, except no singel sport suffers from the corruption in that organisation.

eroica's picture

We all know that Bulgarian chess players are some of the most ungentlemen like players in the world. Look what Topalov did to Kramnik. He refuses to shakes hand with the world champion. also another Bulgarian player, I can't pronounce his name, also refuses to shake Nigel Short's hand. Now Bulgaria dare the chess world to host the match?

Lajos Arpad's picture

So you say Topalov doesn't have chance in the match?


The most talented chess player will win, no matter if they play in one or the other's bedroom, or on the stinking moon.

akirasan's picture

Neutral country not needed moron...

Topalov agree to play in Russia during Kramnik-Topalov match...

peter's picture

Thank you for keeping the discussion on such a high level, akirasan. Anyway, of course a neutral country is to be preferred, whatever happened in the past. In no way Topalov 'deserves' a match in Bulgaria because his last one was in Elista. One reason is that he's not playing Kramnik again but Kamsky, who has nothing to do with that past. For these situations you shouldn't base your policy on previous mistakes; Elista was definitely not the ideal place for Topalov-Kramnik either.

rasi's picture

How could the USCF make a better bid if they didn't submit a (lower) bid from the beginning? Your hypothetical scenario has no logical base.

I think FIDE is just trying to trigger a better financial deal (it will mean more money for FIDE too). They say in point (a) that if "FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from any country other than USA, Bulgaria, Russia and Spain, then the match will be organised in that country with the highest bid."

djpj's picture

stinky bulgarians.... i hope kamsky crushes you all!
ps - why not hold the match NOT in bulgaria and NOT in usa?

djpj's picture

pps - fide is such a lame ass organization. what a joke. if you build a chess city... they will come (the ufos that is)

rado's picture

I am a Bulgarian and as such my hopes are for Topalov of course. However, I think that the match should be held in a neutral country ... Spain, Iceland ... whatever. That will eliminate any controversies from the beginning and let the players think more about the game on the board than the game outside the board.
The weak side in this dispute is FIDE. It's natural that Topalov or Kamsky will try to make the conditions in their favour - the rules allow it !!

peter's picture

Yes, but even if the USCF manages to find a sponsor for the same amount, or let's say 400,000, the Bulgarian organizers will still have the last call in the deal, right? The only point that I want to make is that with this conditions, the chances for the manage to be organised in the USA or Russia are very small, and for Bulgaria very big. Or so it seems.

In this case FIDE is right to try to raise the prize fund, by the way. Compared to Anand-Kramnik (1.5 million), 250,00 is still a joke.

Rogier van Loon's picture

@rado: Fully agree with you. The expected outcome from this might be a higher bid, a side effect will be more frustrated relationships which take the focus away from the fight over the board.

xtra's picture

just come to think of it, I guess tennis and goldare sports that bear most resemblence to chess in the structures, with the single players and tournament-based play (well, tournament in tennis, but in golf they play the same court 4 times in a row so its a sort of a tournament). tennis abandomed their world championship, so maybe its simply the concept of a world championship that isnt so great in a sport based on individuals. tennis now simply has the ATP tour and the best player in the world is the one who wins most. its very simple and very accepted. golf does have a world championship but it is simply based on three AGP tournament, and I think that in fact the considered best player is anyway the one who wins most AGP tournaments (or just the grand slam tournaments).

so ok, chess players say that the many games one vs one is a better way to determine the best player in the world. but I see only downsides with such a system...first it ends up extremely theoretical (and thus less fun to watch for a large crowd). second, defenders say that it is lottery to play a knock-out tournament, which is true, but any system that isnt based on extremely many games has a lottery aspect, but the lottery aspect of this kind of closed system that chess has now assumed has the lottery aspect that if you are a bit unlucky in one or two tournaments you get completely left out of the cycle for 2 years (!). third, tournament play are more to benefit to some than others, that is true, but that might just be an argument to not have a single tournament decide the world any case, the qualification must still consist of tournament play in some ways, either knock out or standard round robin, and why is there the demand of a "fair" match only at the very last stage of the structure? clearly if every other system is unfair, all qualification games must be 12-game matches. of course that is not possible because it takes too long.

honestly, it is the concept of a single world championship that is probably flawed to begin with. if such a system must exist, I think a longer knock-out championship would be best because it has good parts from both sides. and it could be made into stages, and last for two years maybe (as the cycle does now). e.g. january - first 8 game match, then second 8 game match. april, third 8-game match. and so on. well it has downsides too but at least it would be more match like, and everyone would be able to participate at some level.

xtra's picture

correction in the beginning: "I guess tennis and golf are sports"

rasi's picture

What are you people talking about neutral countries?? Didn't Topalov play against Kramnik inside Russia in 2006? Very "short" memory for some...

Theo's picture

Neutral country is needed!
But who cares about this match anyway?!?
The REAL match is Anand-Kramnik and then the final Kamsky-Anand or Kamsky-Kramnik!

al's picture

Kramnik is shame of the chess world. He stold title from Kasparov, he made everything possible to avoid rematch,he barely draw with Leko,he cheated in Elista,he hired people to discredit Topalov somewhere in Dortmund (or so),sugesting Topalov uses Danailov+computer help.I hope Anand or Kamsky or Topalov willbe next champ.

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