Reports | October 02, 2009 17:25

No financial guarantees yet for Anand-Topalov

"That the match between two retired champions causes more media frenzy than any other chess event tells you about the current state of affairs in the world of chess," Garry Kasparov said in Valencia last week. That the three current bids for the 2010 World Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov aren't backed by financial guarantees, is telling as well.

Yesterday a brief note on the FIDE website informed the chess world about something quite disturbing: although the World Chess Federation received three bids for the World Championship match between Anand and Topalov, scheduled for April 2010, the money isn't there yet:

When the deadline expired for bids for the World Championship Match between GM V Anand (current World Champion) and GM V Topalov, three bids had been received at the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece from Bulgaria, Singapore and Turkey.

These bids were opened in the presence of the FIDE Deputy President, Georgios Makropoulos and the FIDE Executive Director, David Jarrett.

Under the terms of the bidding procedure, the bids should have been accompanied by financial guarantees. As none of the bids provided such a guarantee, it has been decided that the bidders have until October 15th, the day before the opening of the FIDE Executive Board at Halkidiki, Greece, to meet this condition.

The fact that FIDE extends yet another deadline isn't that surprising, but do they really have faith in receiving such guarantees in the next two weeks? It should probably be interpreted as gaining some extra time to try and find money by other means, and we might have the FIDE President announcing a personal guarantee again, within the next few months, like it happened with the Kamsky-Topalov match and so many other events.

Anand-Topalov

Anand and Topalov facing each other in Bilbao in 2008

Mark Crowther at TWIC isn't optimistic:

"Perhaps it is a sign of world wide economic weakness that a potentially great match hasn't found a backer, it is especially surprising that it hasn't been possible to find a bid sourced from India. There are a lot of people with new money over there (just look at the Indian IPL where the teams are awash with money) but apparently none for chess in spite of Anand being famous. India probably wouldn't be a good venue for Topalov (just as Bulgaria is sure to be unacceptable to Anand) but they do have a lot of foreign interests. I actually don't see this ending well."

So what kind of money are we talking about? Well, at least a bit over 1.2 million Euros: a minimum of 1 million for the players, the FIDE contribution (20% over and above the prize fund) plus some other costs, as FIDE announced on April 24th. What's missing in the bids from Bulgaria, Singapore and Turkey is either an 8-month term bank guarantee or a 100,000 Euro deposit, the kind of money that both Kasparov and Karpov allegedly were paid for their exhibition match in Valencia...

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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

Gillian's picture

Does the lack of sponsorship for championship Chess signify that there is no money left over in the banks for such a worthy enterprise? "Curiouser and curiouser" as quoth Alice who knew a thing or two. In my opinion, Chess should be taught as a subject in all schools to boys and girls alike. Surely it is obvious to anyone who has kids that it is a much more worthwhile activity to promote and sponsor Chess than to promote anti-environmental,outdated, insane activities such as Formula One for example with the hard earned money of people who are too scared to hide their wages inside the mattress as in the "old days" when coins actually had an intrinsic value ..... believing that their cash will be safer in a ........Bank, for example, hoping that their money would be wisely employed! In spite of the "crisis, what crisis?" some things do not seem to change. And as usual, it is the people, formerly known as the plebe, that continue to bear the crunch, having to endure the "circo cum panem" but without much bread to help them suffer the circus.

Gillian's picture

Creemer: I really appreciate your kind reply and appraisal. However, if you have connected to the recent Kasparov/Karpov conmmemorative match from Valencia in September last which was a real treat, without any tricks, you might be reminded of the following seasonal verse:

Remember, remember the match in Valencia about cradle, queen and plot,
Remember, remember the Chess of September, lest it e'er be forgot!

Forgive me, if you find me floating off beam!

You must be aware that this emblematic match made a huge impact on the "media" worldwide on people who weren't racing around on motorbikes or car rallies and had time to ponder and even wonder at the ongoing skills of even retired Champions...... !!! I do hope young Carlsen will have the same future impact on chess as for example, Ballesteros had on golf, for example,in the recent past, another game/sport which is not only relatively slow requiring concentration and strategy (apart from the swing!) but also silent if it's played according to the rules i.e. somewhat like chess, if you know what I mean and the media love it as much as the sponsors as well as we, the people. Even part of the 50% of the world's population (females) can participate in this type of games/ sports without damaging their ear-drums.

Gillian's picture

Does the lack of sponsorship for championship Chess signify that there is no money left over in the banks for such a worthy enterprise? “Curiouser and curiouser” as quoth Alice who knew a thing or two. In my opinion, Chess should be taught as a subject in all schools to boys and girls alike. Surely it is obvious to anyone who has kids that it is a much more worthwhile activity to promote and sponsor Chess than to promote anti-environmental,outdated, insane activities such as Formula One for example with the hard earned money of people who are too scared to hide their wages inside the mattress as in the “old days” when coins actually had an intrinsic value ….. believing that their cash will be safer in a ……..Bank, for example, hoping that their money would be wisely employed! In spite of the “crisis, what crisis?” some things do not seem to change. And as usual, it is the people, formerly known as the plebe, that continue to bear the crunch, having to endure the "panem et circenses” but without much bread to help them suffer the circus.

Creemer's picture

@gillian: Although you were in danger of floating off topic, I enjoyed your commentary. You know, chess is just too slow for today's media. Forget about it. Just play. Why would you need so much unbacked currency anyway? In a few weeks, it' ll all be worthless. But having a chess set will still give pleasure.

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