12/24/2003 - Hangin's take:

 1) FIDE is still not sure if it's one or two knockout tournaments. 

 2) 128 player knockout will not take place until 7 months from now. - 7/1/2004 - too long of a delay for the current cycle.

3) The winner of the knockout tournament will be the FIDE World Champion and will not have to play Garry Kasparov until one year later ( July 2005). When you become a World Champion you like to enjoy your title for a while. So I don't see the Kasparov match happening until July 2005. FIDE is in no rush to unify.  FIDE can't this be shortened ?  Maybe the FIDE Champ should play Kasparov within 3-6 months.

4) FIDE seems not to care about Kramnik vs. Leko match. You can't have a World Championship match without Kramnik. You can't have a wait and see attitude any longer.   

5) Why such a long delay in finally unifying this title ?. We are now talking about all most a 2.5- 3 year delay before we see the Brain Game Champ play the FIDE Champ. 

6) I know this is a long shot, because FIDE knockout process is a crap shoot, but what happens if Ruslan Ponomoriov wins again ? Will he play Garry Kasparov  ? Can we afford to waste this much time.  If the FIDE knockout process gets a player rated 45 th in the world, will it be worth the wait of 19 months?

7)  When things don't go according to plan, you need to come up with a quick solution. In 1975 when Bobby Fischer, the World Champion, decided not to play, he was forfeited. Karpov was declared the new champion. I accepted FIDE's decision. Why isn't  Ponomoriov forfeited and Kasparov declared the winner ?. I see no point in delaying the world championship at least another 2.5 years. It has been three years already since the last one. Why should we expect this to go according to plan ?

8) FIDE is being obtuse about the reunification process. They are in no rush to complete it or to make it a meaningful event. Should they expect the two best players in the world (Kasparov and Kramnik) to wait 2.5 - 3 more years before they play for the title ? Is FIDE concerned about the millions of fans who are waiting for a championship match ? Doesn't FIDE realize that a World Championship match gives chess a big boost and brings a lot of new fans into the game ?