1) Kramnik vs. Leko match is stalled, apparently by lacks of funds. I believe that they want a million dollar prize fund. This is The Chess World Championship Match. Kramnik is the current man who beat the man who beat the man. He defeated Garry Kasparov in the Brain Game's match, in 2000. Kramnik won 2 and drew 13 games. I believe this is a marketing problem; this match is having trouble getting the funds it deserves. I think it stems from the fact that there was no difficult selection process to find a candidate. Leko is a worthy challenger. He qualified by winning Dortmund in 2002. I think that it is important for the challenger selection process or candidate process to be rigorous. Chess World Championships need build up. You want to eliminate as much luck as possible from the process. If this match ever occurs and Leko wins, what is Leko’s motivation for playing Kasparov or the Fide Champion? If Leko beats Kramnik, he is the Chess World Champion. He will be the man who beat the man who beat the man. He may want to enjoy the title for a while. However the money they deserve is not coming forth. We have marketability issues.
2) Kasparov vs. Ponomoriov – broke down because Ponomoriov mistakenly thinks he is the World Champion and would not agree to play. He made draw odd demands and then just flatly refused to sign the contract to play Garry Kasparov. A child of the FIDE Knockout Tournament. Ponomoriov does not have a true appreciation of the true Chess World Champions. The Fide Knockout is a great tournament for chess player of the year, however it is not worthy for determining the Chess World Champion or the challenger for the championship. There is too much luck in this short event, where players play a series of 2-4 game elimination matches. One bad day and you are out of running. Ponomoriov will not even play in this year’s knockout tournament, probably because he does not get to defend his title properly. There is just too much luck involved in the final result. Why roll the dice again, according to Fide he is the World Champion. Every year, there is a new knockout winner, Khalifman , Anand, and Ponomoriov. The bottom line, Ponomoriov got bad advice, I wrote him an open letter on a Ukrainian web site, asking him to play. My attempt failed, the damage is done. Fide is confused as to what to do about finding Ponomoriov replacement. At first there was going to be one knockout tournament. Now there is going to be two, and the two winners will play a match. When will this occur? How much longer do chess fans need to wait for Chess’ “Crown Jewel” to occur?
Chess fans need to see a Chess World Championship match every 3 years. I got involved in chess during the 1972 Spassky vs. Fischer match. I followed every one since. These matches bring a lot of new fans into the game. Those matches also teach us about the history of this great game and about the game's great champions. I developed a respect for the World Champions and their worthy opponents. I became familiar with the difficult process. The Chess World Championship needs build up. Fans need time to get to know the potential challengers. One of the reasons Fide was created was to help organize these world championships.
The most marketable player today is Garry Kasparov. The best player in the world for over 18 years and a World Champion for 15 years. Chess needs to put a championship match together quickly. It’s been 3 years already. I have given this a lot of thought and I simplified the process for 2003-2004. To give us chess fans, what we deserve.