Hangin responds to a reader

 I received this email and have responded to  the questions below.


I just got done reading your page called Hangin's take on Ponomariov's Open
letter to ACP
4/8/2004. I don't know if you were trying to give facts or options. I thought
some time's you were right, and other times just wrong. while reading I will
tell you what I think is options.

1. In 2000, Kramnik defeated then World Champion Garry Kasparov, greatest
World Champion ever
what the problem is that you cant justify that he is the greatest
world champion ever.

 Hangin's response : I certainly can claim that Garry Kasparov is the greatest chess world champion ever.  Kasparov has dominated the chess scene from the early 1980's on. He's been the number one player in the world for 20 years. He was world champion for 15 (1985- 2000). Kasparov defended his title in long matches against the best players in the world (Karpov, Short, Anand). Kasparov as a world champion has an incredible tournament record. Now I am not saying Kasparov is the greatest chess player ever, though you could make a very strong case for that as well. Phil you will have to do your own research.

2.Ponomariovís title in the last FIDE Knockout tournament, which is a grab
bag, blitz-crazed process..
a grab bag?? it takes skills to beat any of the others in that

Hangin's response : NO doubt Ponomariov is a talented player. Of course it takes skill to win the knockout tournament. However, the FIDE Knockout tournament is not a good process to determine the world champion. Alexander Khalifman won the 1999 FIDE Knockout and he was a top 30 player. Khalifman is a very fine player but not considered to be a top world class player.    The world championship has always been played using standard time controls.  However with the FIDE Knockout, a lot of the knockouts occur during blitz play.  With blitz games too much luck comes into play. A world championship should be decided by strength of play and not luck. I don't think that merely winning a tournament is good enough to determine a world champion. A good world championship process is like the forging of iron into steel.

3. your list for young players was missing one I truly believe in, which is
Do what you believe in.

Hangin's Response:

 Well Ponomariov did what he believed was right. Unfortunately he was wrong. He missed a great opportunity for chess immortality and to become wealthy.  All Ponomariov had to do was to agree to play a decisive standard time control match against a player who has dominated the chess world for 20 years. It doesn't get any fairer than that. Regardless of the result of the match, Ponomariov would have been seeded into the next few world championship processes.  Ponomariov could have helped reunify the chess world. Millions of chess fans missed out on a great chess match.  I know that Ponomariov lost his coach a few years ago. Maybe he should reconsider who his advisers are.  Phil read Migs article on chess base.

4. I rather see a match where is wants to play than a match where he plays
just for money.

Hangin's response: All Ponomariov had to do was to agree to play a decisive standard time control match against a player who has dominated the chess world for 20 years. The chess world does not have to wait around for Ponomariov to decide to play.  When World Champion Bobby Fischer decided not to defend is title in 1975. The chess world moved on. I know about Bobby Fischer's career and Ruslan Ponomariov is no Bobby Fischer. Chess fans need and deserve to see a world championship match.

5. it felt like you were trying to make your options make you seem right and
him wrong rather than just the facts.

 Hangin's response: I try to base all  my opinions on facts.  The purpose of this web site is for me to give my views on chess events. The facts  don't support Ponomariov's position.

if you could please post this on your web site, I would like to know
what you feel and other readers feel about my opinions. I am sure I'm wrong
somewhere but we're all human. I am not trying to make me right you wrong, I
just can't see the other side as it is hard for both of us. bye