Kasparov wins 2004 Russian Championship

 Here is an interesting Kasparov interview I got from Chess Today issue CT-335(1484) CT-335(1484) Tuesday, 30th November 2004. Hangin got ChessToday today, and will get ChessToday tomorrow. Here are some excerpts

Kasparov : The last tournament I won was Linares-2002. So my result at this championship stands out during the tournament my opponents realized that perhaps they should fear me again!  


Hangin's take : 

   They should fear Kasparov, he's still a top player. I think he's still in the top 3. He has the number one rating spot in the world. It is true he has not played many classical time control tournaments in the last few years. He hasn't won Linares in 2003 or 2004. He finished behind both Leko and Kramnik in those years. Even though Kramnik and Karpov pulled out of this year's Russian championship, there were many top players competing, namely Svidler, Grischuk, Morozevich, Bareev, and Dreev. Kasparov finished with 7.5 out of 10. He won 5 games and drew 5 and lost none. He won against top players Dreev, Svidler and Bareev.     

    Recently Kramnik had implied that Kasparov did not deserve any special privilege in the reunification. Kramnik said that Kasparov is in crisis. I think that this Kasparov victory has put a cork in Kramnik mouth. This was an impressive Kasparov victory.



- If Kramnik played in the tournament, the focus would be on the competition between us. But I risk guessing that the final result would be the same Kramnik traditionally scores '+2' or '+3' in such tournaments Besides, he probably has not recovered from his match vs. Leko yet .In that match Kramnik played more interesting chess than Leko. But as it was hard for him to get through Leko's defense, the final score looks justified.

Hangin's take: I am sensing a thaw in the cold war between Kasparov and Kramnik. I sense that Kasparov has extended an olive branch to Kramnik here. Kasparov is not slamming Kramnik for pulling out of the Russian Championship. I wonder what Kasparov is really thinking about Kramnik's drawn, short 14-game world championship match. After all Kasparov played a 48 game match against Karpov in 1984. Kasparov played many tough 24 game world championship matches over the years. I sense a more conciliatory Kasparov here.
      Over the last few years, these two players have been exchanging barbs at each other. Kramnik has implied that Kasparov is no longer a top player, and that Kasparov rating is the result of not playing much. Kramnik has also implied that Kasparov doesn't deserves such special treatment in the reunification process. Kramnik recently said that he does not understand why Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov should be playing for the world championship. Kramnik has suggested that his next challenger come from a tournament consisting of Anand, Ponomariov, Kasparov and Kasimdzhanov.  I feel this is a serious breach of the Prague agreement.  
     Kasparov also implied that Kramnik has not shown to be a dominate player and that Kramnik also deserves no special treatment in the reunification match. Kasparov said that he would play in a 1948 style world championship tournament, if Kramnik is also a participant. We all know that will never happen. 

Kasparov - I have begun looking at all processes in the chess world philosophically: maybe there will be a match (with Kramnik), maybe there won't be any... Yes, it would be easier to come to an agreement with Leko. But it is good that Kramnik has kept his title - if I still want something it is to play another match vs. Kramnik and win it!


Hangin's take - 
    No doubt Kasparov wants to exact his revenge on Kramnik for his 2000 victory.  Kasparov does not want his legacy to say that Kramnik bested him.  Kasparov has unfinished business. He wants to rewrite history. He wants to dominate Kramnik the same way Kramnik dominated Kasparov in the 2000 world championship match. 

    The other thing of note is that Kasparov is acknowledging Kramnik's right to keep his title in a drawn short match. I wonder if Kasparov is hoping that Kramnik will respect Kasparov's rights as the ex world champion. Kasparov might be implying that if Kramnik does not agree to play the winner of Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov, then Leko could be a possible replacement. After all Kramnik's kept his title with a drawn result in a short match. This isn't exactly a mandate. Should Kramnik reject Prague, then Leko could be a viable replacement for Kramnik.

Kasparov - - Only 4 days ago I spoke with my manager and nothing was clear still about my match vs. .Kasimdzhanov. Maybe something has changed since then, I do not know... If the match will take play in Dubai in January, I need to arrange a training session in the country with a similar climate in December. But this is not easy on a short notice. Whether or not this match takes place, I hope that the working practices of FIDE will become history. You cannot ask people to stick to agreements when you do not keep your own schedule.


Hangin' take :
    Well I think Kasparov should  just has to stay the course here. If the match does not come off in January, then Kasparov should jump ship and join ranks with the ACP. He should endorse Kramnik's proposal  of a tournament between Anand, Ponomoriov, Kasmidzhanov, and Kasparov. The winner to face Kramnik. I would prefer a match play between Anand, Ponomariov, Kasmidzhanov and Kasparov. I think if Kasparov can't prepare for this match like he would like to, then he's just going to have to do what they do at BeniHana's. That's cooking at the table.

       I sensed a conciliatory tone from Kasparov. He wants to play Kramnik again.  I feel that with this interview Kasparov has intended an olive branch to Kramnik. Lets hope Kramnik accepts it. Lets hope a thaw in the cold war of words between Kasparov and Kramnik ends. I know millions of fans would love to see another Kasparov vs. Kramnik world championship match.
     Kramnik has not definitively said he would not play the winner of the Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov match. Kramnik has said he is concerned about the sponsorship that FIDE has gotten for chess. Kramnik wants more corporate sponsorship like Dannemann. If Kasparov wins the match with Kasimdzhanov, I don't either of them will need FIDE to get sponsorship.  Kramnik has said he can get a 2 million dollar match with Kasparov any time he wants.

Chess Base Russian Championship
Chess Base Kramnik's letter regarding reunification.
Chess Base Kramnik's comments on pulling of the Russian championship.
Hangin's give Prague a chance -
Kramnik getting cold feet -