Reports | August 15, 2010 20:58

Ukrainian Chess Federation proposes to organize the 2011 Candidates matches

Ukrainian Chess Federation officially proposes to organize the 2011 CandidatesAs a follow-up to Anatoly Karpov's proposal to organize the 2011 Candidates matches in Kiev, the Ukrainian Chess Federation has announced a guaranteed prize fund of EUR 500,000. "The UCF is also ready to review other formats for the Candidates matches, including an increase in the number of games in the matches, and an increase of the time period between the main matches and the final match."

In our latest update on the FIDE elections battle between Anatoly Karpov and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, on August 9, we mentioned that Karpov has proposed to hold the 2011 Candidates matches in Kiev, Ukraine. Now the Ukrainian Chess Federation has made this proposal official, by expressing their willingness to organize:


Kiev, Ukraine

Press release

Concerning the proposal to organize the Candidates Matches in Kiev

Recently there was an animated discussion in the media of the proposal by the FIDE presidential candidate Anatoly Karpov to move the Candidates matches to Kiev (e.g. “Karpov proposes Kiev for Candidates matches”, 13.08.2010, at

In response to the proposal by Anatoly Karpov the Ukrainian Chess Federation (UCF) would like to note the following:

1) It is possible to organize the Candidates matches that are a consistent part of the World Chess Championship cycle in Kiev in 2011. The UCF is ready to guarantee a prize fund of EUR 500 000 for the event, as well as organizational facilities at the highest level, taking into account all necessary financial and other conditions. The UCF is also ready to review other formats for the Candidates matches, including an increase in the number of games in the matches, and an increase of the time period between the main matches and the final match.

2) The UCF would like to draw attention to the fact that after the contract with the organizers from Azerbaijan was signed there was no official announcement from FIDE that due to organizational problems a new tender or selection procedure for organizing the Candidates matches was opened. Without the announcement of a new tender the sudden news that the matches are to be moved to Kazan, only because the Russian Chess Federation made such a proposition, causes concern about whether FIDE is paying attention to the principles of “One Federation – One Vote” and “Gens Una Sumus”.

In case FIDE has decided that the contract with the organizers from Azerbaijan for the Candidates matches should be cancelled, then it is necessary to announce a new selection procedure, whereby all potential organizers, including the RCF and the UCF, would have the right to participate.

3) After an analysis of the current situation and the general development in the past years, the UCF express disquiet that many important changes within the chess world are conducted without a proper public discussion of possible variants. International experts have no chance to meet regularly in order to discuss the topical questions, and the possibility for informal discussion during Chess Olympiads once in two years is limited, due to political and sporting pressure during the event.

There is a need to organize a so-called “Chess Davos” – an informal annual gathering. Such a forum should be apolitical, and its main goal should be to involve into the chess development process representatives of the chess community from different countries, such as representatives of federations, delegates, chess players, journalists, activists, trainers, arbiters, as well as other professionals who are fond of the game of chess.

The Ukrainian Chess Federation expresses confidence that arranging a “Chess Davos” will help to minimize the number of contentious events in the chess world. The UCF is ready to take upon itself the organization and the essential financial part for such regular discussions.

In order for such discussions to be successful one needs to understand the opinion of chess community. For this purpose the UCF will conduct an opinion poll and address all parties interested in chess development to take part. The questionnaire will be send out to the key persons of the chess community via email and fax.

Viktor Kapustin


Annex: Questionnaire (1 page)

In the questionnaire, questions like the following appear: Do you think that it is necessary and useful to conduct an annual informal chess forum (“Chess Davos”)? What are the main subjects that should be discussed at the chess forum besides an informal program? Would you like to take part at the informal chess forum in Kiev (Ukraine)?
You can download the questionnaire here in PDF.


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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.


ebutaljib's picture

Will they stop messing around with this cycle already? Every week someone comes with a new proposal.

When will they all realise that already existing cycle should be left alone? If you see some improvements, fine - discuss them and make changes BUT for the NEXT cycle, not the ongoing one!!!

And that goes for all of them : FIDE, Karpov, Sutovsky, etc.

Zeblakov's picture

On the behalf of FIDE I switch the candidates to Sofia, Bulgaria withh Chepa as Nomine'.

Without Bulgarian organization, everything would collapse.

CAL|Daniel's picture

Oh lord if the Candidates ends up in Sofia there might be a chess revolt.

Mauricio Valdes's picture

I hope Chucky is the Ukranian player in the tournament!

CAL|Daniel's picture

Does anyone actually understand why in this mess of moving the Candidates matches around from Aze to Russia/Ukraine that AZE retains its right to nominate the a-hole Mamedarov? I mean are they still paying 51% for his spot and just not hosting? There doesn't seem to be much of any conversation on this rather LARGE point - given it determines both the pairings and preparation for alot of players (especially Kramnik who is currently paired with the a-hole).

It would be nice to see Chucky but indeed he has battlers for his nomination spot in Pono and Eljanov.

ChessGirl's picture

I don´t think Eljanov would be chosen if the CMs were held in Kiev. Ponomariov might be chosen on the basis that he was World Champion and has been playing well recently (and he was suggested by Karpov). On the other hand, of course, there is Ivanchuk, who is board 1 of the Ukrainian team and precisely because he never got to be World Champion so far and clearly deserves a chance, and this would mean already two Ukrainian World Champions, he could be chosen.

Thomas's picture

Actually the Ukrainian federation doesn't even mention a wildcard, let alone insist on it - only Karpov suggested to create a spot for Ponomariov but he cannot speak on behalf of the (potential) organizers. Neither did the Russian federation propose a wildcard for Grischuk (or Karjakin). Grischuk, third in the overall Grand Prix standings, might end up replacing Topalov in Kazan ... or he could have replaced Aronian in Baku.

As to Mamedyarov keeping his spot: Azerbaijan might actually threaten with legal action if they lose BOTH the event and their wildcard. So for me it's understandable, which doesn't imply agreement or endorsement.

So while the discussion about an Ukrainian wildcard seems hypothetical, to me it would make sense to nominate Ponomariov. He came very close to qualifying in the World Cup (losing the final against Gelfand only after many blitz games) and also did well in the only GP event he played (replacing Aronian who didn't need his fourth tournament). Ivanchuk had his chances in World Cup and Grand Prix but didn't come close to qualifying. Neither did Eljanov, his improvement occurred _during_ the qualification cycle and thus came a bit too late.

@ChessGirl: Maybe you want to avoid looking biased, but your argument that it should be Ivanchuk's turn because he "never got to be World Champion so far" sounds rather absurd to me as a neutral observer. Ivanchuk lost a WCh final against the very Ponomariov, so giving preference to him would come down to punishing Pono for winning a match about a decade ago ... .

ChessGirl's picture

Well, Thomas, I´m not trying to sound unbiased. I could not be more biased and I have never tried to hide that fact, I want Ponomariov to go to the CMs, of course.

But I was just trying to put myself in the shoes of the UFC to think who THEY might choose. In my consideration, I was thinking that the country who chooses a wildcard player does not necessarily think about the established ways for qualifying (i.e. Grand Prix, World Cup), but maybe about a whole career. I think there are many objective arguments in favor of both players, I was just trying to mention some. Maybe my point about "having a chance" was a bit misunderstood. Of course Ivanchuk has had many chances of entering the WC cycle, but the UCF might consider that, given his age, this might be one of his last, and that Ponomariov can have more chances in years to come.

About whether there should be a wildcard for whichever country is eventually hosting the CMs, what can I say, I am just not in favor of wildcards as a whole. I doubt the CMs will be held in Ukraine unless Karpov wins, and if he does, I suppose he could claim mishandling of the whole thing by his predecessor and have it his way? Is that not what presidents do?

Thomas's picture

Whatever decision the Ukrainian federation takes (IF they have to make a decision) has to be explained to the chess world and to the "losing candidate for the candidates". Arguments in favor of Ivanchuk might be

- his age because it would probably his last chance. But for Ponomariov it might also be his last chance if Carlsen further improves and other youngsters also make progress. It depends on how his career continues - the future will tell if Dortmund 2010 was an outlier or the start of a long-term upward trend.

- the fact that he is more popular with chess fans worldwide. Whatever the reasons are, that's the impression I get from following various chess forums.

In any case, the decision would be a tricky one - even trickier if Karjakin hadn't changed federations. Maybe it would be best to have a qualifying match between Ivanchuk and Ponomariov, or even a triangular one including Eljanov?

CAL|Daniel's picture

Frankly I think AZE knows they don't have a legal leg to stand on the way FIDE operates. In particular there never was an original bidding process at all. So the real question is why Mamedarov is still getting a nominee wildcard spot when no money or hosting is occurring from said nominee.

NoClue's picture

Let me get this straight. Davos, which I perceive as an annual elitist confab inclined toward political networking, is held out as an apolitical event to emulate? For that matter, does anyone really want to hang out with Kirsan and the like (and a Karpov in politics mode is probably not much better, unless he gives simuls on the side) for a week every year? I guess if you're paid enough to jetset, you'll grin and bear it.

John Griffiths's picture

Hello there:

Please help me.

I was in Kiev 10 years ago. In a street market I saw a set of hand-painted ornamental chessmen for sale. They were in the style of Turks versus Bulgars.

Where can I buy this set please?


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