Hangin take on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov comment

" Too Early to bury reunification"

3/1/2005 - 
    Kirsan did a recent interview in a Russian sports paper. The Prague reunification agreement was signed in May of 2002. Its job was to unify the chess world championship that split in 1993. It's  been three years and FIDE has yet to live up to its end of the unification. This process was not that hard. All FIDE had to do was find a match for Garry Kasparov, the greatest world champion and arguably the greatest player in chess history. Garry is still the number one rated player in the world. Without question, he is the greatest ambassador this game ever had. He is still at the top or near the top of his playing strength.  So why couldn't FIDE find a sponsor that would make the proper prematch financial preparations? FIDE failed on many fronts.  

   1) FIDE ass dragged. They didn't show the urgency that a unification required. FIDE allowed the Ponomariov debacle to linger much too long. When Ponomariov refused to sign a contract to play. FIDE should have acted swiftly. However, they didn't find his replacement until August of 2004. Bottom line, you can't jerk your top players and fans around.  Reunification should have completed a year ago. We should be a year and half into the next world championship cycle.

   2)  Reunification was just a state of mind. They should have unified first, then found a top challenger for Kasparov. FIDE never gave Vladimir Kramnik the respect he deserves for defeating Garry Kasparov in the 2000 Brain Games World Championship. During the recent Kramnik vs. Leko world championship match, FIDE never even mentioned this great match on its web site. FIDE did little if any thing to help find sponsorship or help promote this match.  Failure to properly acknowledge the 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and his match, did not ingratiate Kramnik to the reunification process.  Kramnik is unwilling to be flexible to the ever changing FIDE plans.  But, who can blame him, FIDE hasn't lived up to its obligation.

   3) FIDE never found a sexy match up for Kasparov, namely a top 5 opponent. Great matches require two top opponents. If you want great sponsorship you must have a sexy match up. The FIDE KO is a very exciting tournament, but it is too prone for unpredictable and wild outcomes. Anyone can win the FIDE KO. That's not a good method for finding a worthy challenger for Kasparov. The KO winner, Rustam Kasimdzhanov was the 27th seed in the tournament. He was top 52nd in the world.  He is not a sexy opponent for Kasparov. So this limited sponsorship. The other problem is that your top players won't dignify the KO  as a world championship process.  

 4) FIDE did a poor job managing the sponsorship process for the match.


 Interview excerpts:

 Kirsan: We sent an official letter to Kasparov, where we requested him to reply in writing to one question: what doesn’t he want – to play with Kasimdzhanov in this April, or to participate in the World Championship at all. So far Garry has not replied to this letter.
Vasiliev :As far as I know, you usually communicated with Kasparov by mobile phones. You could have asked this directly on the phone.

Kirsan :Yes, we did talk a lot, sometimes, several times a day on the phone. But this is a special case. It was Kasparov who wrote an open letter to FIDE. Let him reply in writing.

Hangin take : Well Kasparov was totally frustrated by the process taking over 3 years. The reunification plan had problem after problem. Garry wants to stay in touch with his fans. Garry has been very patient with FIDE and very patient with all the problems. You can only take so much. Due to all the aborted matches, Kasparov has lost a lot of opportunities  to play in other tournaments, like Corus 2005. You can't keep a great player like Kasparov on hold for 3 years. That's not right.

 Y. Vasiliev: What about the next FIDE World Championship? When and where will it take place?

Kirsan: As for the next World Cup (this is how it is now called), it is to take place in this year’s December. We have the consent of the Government of Vietnam to organize this tournament in Ho Chi Min. Besides, the leaders of another country (I am reluctant to name it so far) offered to host three knock-out tournaments and three Women’s World Championships. The representative of this country will present his official proposal during the PB meeting in Tbilisi. Then it will be up to the Board to agree or not.


  Hangin's take: Changing the name from world championship to world cup is a great decision. The KO was an exciting tournament. Too bad the true world champions don't play in it, namely Kramnik, Kasparov and Karpov.  The reason  is  the world champions don't want to dignify this event as a world championship process. Karpov and Kasparov went thru hell and back to become  world champions. They climbed the highest mountain. They showed that they were deserving of being a world champion by defeating the top players in the world and by defeating a world champion. This name change opens the door for Kasparov, Kramnik and Karpov to play in this exciting tournament. They don't have to worry about risking their titles or their places in the world championship history.

Kirsan's recent interview by Y. Vasiliev
Kirsan latest reunification process 
DR Ruth WesternHangin on the reunification
Hangindamous predicts the end of Prague
Kasparov says NO Mas, NO Mas to FIDE
Hangin's take on FIDE President's interview after FIDE KO in Libya - Democracy in the World Championship?
How Karpov won his title in 1975
How Kasparov won his title in 1985