Kramnik speaks out on FIDE's new plan

4/28/2005 -
     I received this press release from Kramnik's manager Carsten Hensel. It's good to see the 14th World Champion honoring the spirit of Prague. Of course it makes no sense for Kramnik to play in this event. Since Kramnik has gone on record saying he will play the winner of the FIDE event, will this be enough to bring Kasparov out of retirement?  A lot of players were upset about Kasparov's seeding in the first reunification, I think now it is obvious that Kramnik was too. A few months back, Kramnik said he didn't understand why Kasparov and Kasimdzhanov should play for the world championship. Now Kramnik has gone on record saying he will play the winner of this event.

   If Anand wants to claim that he is the best in the world, he has to play in this event. You can't be the best in the world if you don't challenge for the true world championship. Anand has yet another opportunity to heal the chess world and play for a true world championship.

   I still don't understand the ways of FIDE. It makes no sense to announce tournaments or world championships, if you don't know who going to play in them. How can sponsors bid for such a tournament if they are not sure who is going to play in it? If you want top dollars from top sponsors, then the participants need to known first. It hurts the whole process if this is not done first. This just shows us how bad the relationship between FIDE and the top players is.

  I am still bothered by the fact that FIDE wants to get the world championship over and done with in a single tournament. This tournament should be an interzonal, with the top finishers playing in candidate matches for the right to play Kramnik. If you have good match ups, then the money will follow.

   FIDE should use this tournament to find an opponent for Kramnik. FIDE needs to start working with Kramnik now. FIDE needs to show the same flexibility that Kramnik is showing now. If 1.6 million dollars can be found for the Kramnik vs. Leko match, then a lot more will be found for a Kramnik vs. Kasparov or a Kramnik vs. Anand match.

 FIDE should start working with Kramnik.  FIDE needs to recognize that true world championship matches bring many new fans into the sport.

World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik Official Statement


After defending the title of Classical World Chess Champion a few months ago against Peter Leko, I consider it important now to state my position regarding the current discussion about the World Chess Championship.

 First of all, I would like to make it clear that I will not participate in the FIDE Championship, which is planned to take place this Fall in Argentina.

 In the agreement that was signed in Prague by, among others, FIDE and myself, it was clearly stated that the Classical World Champion, eventually determined by my final match with Peter Leko, was qualified to play a unification match against the winner of the final match for the FIDE World Championship. 

 I fail to see any reason why the cancellation of the final FIDE match should influence my position on the agreed unification process. It is therefore incomprehensible that FIDE included me in the list of possible participants a decision clearly in conflict with our existing agreement. Just for the record: FIDE did not even inform me before doing so.

 Nevertheless, I am still ready to complete the unification process in the spirit of the Prague agreement. Therefore, the organization of a match between the winner of the FIDE event in Argentina and myself could be a solution to break the deadlock. I want to make it clear that I would be ready to participate in such a unification match. 

 In the event that FIDE will not demonstrate any willingness to follow the agreed process of unification, I will start discussing proposals with interested partners, in order to defend my title in accordance with the classical line of the World Chess Championship.  


April 28th, 2005 

Vladimir Kramnik

World Chess Champion          


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