Chronology of the Kamsky Topalov match
Kamsky wins the World Cup, to play Topalov in November
The American top player, GM Gata Kamsky, won convincingly the World Chess Cup 2007. Kamsky defeated in the final match GM Alexei Shirov (Spain) with a total score 2,5 – 1,5. Only three years after returning to competitive chess Gata Kamsky has claimed a major chess title. With it he secured a spot in the challengers match with Topalov, a semi final for the World Chess Championship.
As decided earlier by FIDE, the match was going to take place in Bulgaria.
Kamsky does not want to play the match with Topalov in Bulgaria
Immediately after winning the Chess World Cup, Kamsky stated in the press room that he will not play in Sofia and prefers a neutral field. However, FIDE has planned the match to be in Sofia and there have been frequent articles and speculations in Bulgarian newspapers that preparations are taking place.
On January 11, following the suggestion of Mr. Valeri Bovavev, has been raised the question about the organizing the match. Bovaev is quoted, “Immediately after we learned that Kamsky refuses to play the semi final in Sofia, we decided the best place for this match would be Elista.” He continues, “Elista has historically been a leading chess center, where several matches have taken place: Karpov – Kamsky, the unifying match Topalov – Kramnik, the 33rd chess Olympiad, and many other tournaments.”
Asked about if he doesn’t worry about a new “toilet scandal”, similar to the one in Topalov – Kramnik, the vice president of the Russian Chess Federation answers that he knows very well the two grandmasters and that they are “gentlemen” and “intelligent young people”.
USA emerges as a possibility
The US Chess Federation wants to organize the semi final match of the World Chess Championship 2008 between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov, reported Zhivko Ginchev for Focus news agency. He continues, “There has been a decision the match to take place in Sofia. But FIDE position is that USA has until March 31 to make a bid. If it is bigger than that of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian side has the chance to equalize it and keep the match in Sofia.”
Susan Polgar commented, “I am aware that some private organizers / sponsors expressed interests in bringing the Topalov – Kamsky match to the United States. However, as far as I know, there is no current plan for the USCF to bid for this match.”
Kamsky – Topalov update from the FIDE office in Athens
On February 11 Chessdom has received a letter from the FIDE office in Athens stating:
FIDE has accepted an offer for the WCC Challengers Match Kamsky – Topalov 2008 by the Bulgarian Chess Federation. This offer included a net prize fund of 150,000 USD and has been approved by the FIDE Presidential Board since June 2007.
However, after the recent FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Singapore and following discussions with all parties involved, FIDE has decided the following in order to try to improve the financial terms and conditions for both players:
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.
In order for a proposed bid to be considered, it should be accompanied by a 2-month term recognised bank guarantee covering the amount of prize fund (minimum 250,000 USD), the FIDE contribution (20% over and above the prize fund), and 35,000 USD covering expenses of FIDE as described in articles 3.17.4 and 3.17.5 of the match regulations. Within 30 days of a bidder being awarded the event, the amount of the bank guarantee should be transferred to the bank account of FIDE.
Kamsky – Topalov in Lviv
Alexander Chernenko, Gata Kamsky’s manager, claims in an interview with Russian “Sport Express” that match Kamsky-Topalov will take place in Lviv, Ukraine, for a prize fund “several times bigger” than 250.000 USD offered from Bulgarian sponsors.
As Chernenko told Yuri Vasiliev, the deal is “99.9% certain”, but he will publicly announce the details upon the bank guarantees arrival. Ukranian Chess Federation and Lviv City administration will coordinate the event.
Boris Kutin, president of the ECU, on Kamsky – Topalov
“My personal opinion is that the match should be in Bulgaria,” says Kutin cited by Chess Today. “FIDE tried to find another country to organize the event and raised the requirements about the prize fund, but I am not optimistic that candidates will be found.”
Speculations start emerging on the possible refusal of Kamsky to play the match if it takes place in Bulgaria. In that case, he will be substituted by the second the the World Cup, Alexei Shirov. However, these are all speculations, stay tuned for updates.
Danailov: I hope the offer is real
Following the news about Lviv’s 750.000 USD offer for Kamsky-Topalov match, Bulgarian website sportni.bg asked Silvio Danailov to comment on the situation. “We are ready to play in Lviv”, Danailov said, “It would be a pleasure, but first I want to make sure that money is on the table. It is still somewhat of mystery to me, because I know how hard is to secure bank guarantees”.
Earlier FIDE extended the deadline until April 23rd which was followed by stern protest from Bulgarian Chess Federation.
Another deadline has expired
The new deadline suggested by FIDE President has expired today. It is already sleeping hour in Europe and there are no indications as to what happened with bidding process. Last week our sources from FIDE expressed doubts that Lviv offer will ever see the daylight, but with proviso “let’s wait and see”.
“The last” 3-day extension to the deadline
After the request and the letter below of Mr Alexander Chernenko, manager of GM Gata Kamsky, the FIDE President has agreed to give an extension of three more days as deadline for receiving alternative bids on the Kamsky – Topalov WCC semi-final match.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov considers this decision as a last resource to achieve improved financial conditions for both players.
Below is the letter of Mr Alexander Chernenko, manager of GM Gata Kamsky:
Date: 12 May, 2008.
To: FIDE President, Mr. Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV
Re: BID to hold match Kamsky-Topalov
Dear Mr. ILYUMZHINOV,
I would like to inform you because of bank technical reasons BID amount USD 935,000.00 will be designated on FIDE bank account May 15, 2008.
Kindly ask you for understanding.
With Kindest Regards,
Oleksandr Chernenko, Manager of GM Gata Kamsky
Silvio Danailov for Chessdom on the phone, “The first deadline was April 11, since then it changed 4 times. This seriously damages the FIDE image and shows that they cannot cope with the situation. I am sure in 3 days nothing will have changed. This is not funny, it is sad.”