Today: We may be for and we may be against the Kramnik-Topalov match,
but these are purely theoretical arguments, I am afraid. Right now
the only person who can have a real impact on this situation is the FIDE
President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. He recently announced that such a match
could take place in September 2006 in Elista. But there has not been any
confirmation since. Personally, since 2000 I considered Kramnik the
World Champion. Yes, he did not qualify for the match vs. Kasparov. Yes,
even after losing that match Kasparov's results were more impressive and
his rating was higher.
qualification system (Dortmund) was far from perfect (it was a closed
shop for the selected few). But Kramnik defeated Kasparov in match and
for me that outweighed everything else. Chess World Championships have a
long and glorious history and the match Kasparov-Kramnik clearly was a
part of it.
However, I am not
sure where we stand now. Obviously, Kramnik is not the world's strongest
player now. It is not possible to challenge him either. Botvinnik was
probably not the strongest player in the 1950s, but at least there was a
transparent system and the champion could be and was challenged.
Topalov was the
main hero of 2005 and had a great start in 2006. FIDE has a system,
however imperfect that might be. But Topalov cannot claim to be the
latest champion in the row, which began with Steinitz.
So, a match
between Kramnik and Topalov will be in the interests of all sides. If
Topalov, Kramnik and FIDE can agree on this and can find a sponsor,
that's fantastic – hopefully the chess public will get to see some great
But if they can't
come to an agreement, I won't lose any sleep over it either. Chess will
not disappear because this match did not take place. The only thing
which will be lost is the 120-years old tradition... But maybe
Morozevich is right and it is time to move on and stop putting so much
emphasis on the World Champion title? After all, they live without it in
golf and tennis – and live well!
Morozevich is wrong. Tennis would never get rid of Wimbledon;
Golf would never get rid of the Masters; the NFL would never get rid of
the playoffs (candidate matches) or the Super Bowl (world champ
matches). Sports don't kill their rich traditions. Fide stole our
playoffs and Super Bowl.