Ruslan Ponomariov is a talented young player. When his playing
career is over, if his only big accomplishment is the 2002 FIDE Knockout
win, then he will have wasted his chess talent.
Here is an interview with Ruslan Ponomariov by Alexei Ljakhovetsky and
published in Ukrainian sports news paper "kromanda" on April
17th. I have taken experts from Chess Today Issue ct123(1272)
you believe that Kasparov definitely played a role in this boycott? There
is another theory - that organisers of big tournaments have started to
pass you by, because they consider you undependable
would put it differently. Kasparov is a man who holds grudges, a man who
sometimes will simply say, "If I'm going to be playing in this
tournament, then I'll let these people play, but those people can't."
He has great influence upon organizers, and uses his authority to pressure
them. And Ilyumzhinov
has his channels, also.
Hangin's take :
Garry Kasparov signed his contract to play Ruslan Ponomariov.
To be fair Ruslan has not had great results since winning the FIDE
Knockout Championship in 2002.
Ruslan finished in 5th place in Linares
2003 with a 5.5/12 points. Ruslan finished behind Leko, Kramnik,
Kasparov, and Anand. Ponomariov finished 5th of 7 place.
Ruslan was very unimpressive at Corus
2003. He finished in 12 out of 14 place with a score of 6/13.
So after his nice Victory in the FIDE Knockout in 2002, Ruslan has not
How do you explain Kasparov getting more than a Champion's privileges in
the current cycle?
is not honourable: How does a Challenger get such fairytale privileges?
Such a precedent is perhaps unknown, not only in the history of chess, but
of any sport. And the agreement between Kasparov and Ilyumzhinov took
place two years ago, when I became the World Champion. At that time,
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov promised me a computer match. Sometime later, Deep Junior's representatives called me, and offered to negotiate the details of
the match. As a man of honour, I explained to them that Ilyumzhinov had
promised me that he would set up the match, and so I could not engage in
side discussions; I advised them to approach
FIDE. They did, and soon Ilyumzhinov announced that this match would be
against ... Kasparov. And the President of FIDE didn't even offer me so
much as an apology. Then came the Prague Agreement, which I wasn't even
invited to. At that point, I was in training in Sevastopol, when suddenly
there came a telephone call from Ilyumzhinov's assistant, Berik Balgabaev.
He told me about the Prague meeting, and about how I was going to play
Kasparov. I didn't even know what to say to him. Now, imagine if somebody
had gotten hold of Kasparov, called him, let's say, and said, Look, we had
a meeting, thought it over, and decided that you're going to play
Ponomariov. No one would even think of such a thing.
Kasparov didn't get fairy tale privileges. It was Ruslan
Ponomariov that got fairly tale privileges. How did He get the right to
play Kasparov for a world title. Here are the reasons Garry Kasparov
serves selection into the current world championship process:
1) He's been the number one player rated player going on 20 years
2) He has an incredible 20 year tournament win record
3) He defended his title on numerous times, against the best
in the world. (86,87,90,93,95,2000)
4) He is only one match removed from the REAL TITLE.
5) He is the best ambassador to the chess world. He makes visits to
most all the continents in the world.
6) Due to the shortened version of the current reunification
process, Kasparov can bring real value to the reunification, provided that
he factors in significantly. Had Ponomariov beaten Kasparov, that would
have brought legitimacy to the FIDE Knockout Champion.
Ruslan is a very talented young player. He is currently rated number
10 in the world. He was within striking distance of the being the best
player in the world I am afraid this current opportunity has passed him
Great players like Kasparov, Fischer, and Karpov
get special treatment because they earned it thru great results. This is
not unique to the chess world. Baseball great, Ted Williams didn't get
called on strikes often, the umpires respected his hitting ability and
great eye for the batters box. Great athletes get special treatment when
they produce great results over a long period of time.
road to his title was much tougher than Ponomariov's
is an opinion out there that it
wasn't Ruslan Ponomariov who caused
the breakup of the match in Yalta, but his advisers...
consider this opinion to be the result of FIDE's propaganda. Ilyumzhinov
needed to find a scapegoat. Apparently, he feared to name either the Match
Organising Committee or myself, so he decided to stick it to my people -
something like: Well, this Ponomariov doesn't understand anything, he's
come under bad influence, etc. Whereas it was Ilyumzhinov himself, without
consulting with anybody, who took and cancelled the match. Neither I nor
the Organising Committee had the final power to cancel the match. They say
that I had to agree to all FIDE's conditions. I don't believe that
Ilyumzhinov would have stopped there. Kasparov and Ilyumzhinov are both
Eastern people, unaccustomed to giving an inch. You meet them
halfway, they take that as a starting
point, and ask for more. And FIDE's regulations are set up so as to
allow anything. For example, let's take the European Team Championship in
Plovdiv, where my mobile phone rang, and they forfeited me. At the Linares
tournament, Kasparov went to his room during the game, and got no punishment
for that at all.
Hangin's take :
I think this is a case of "too little success" to soon. I
think Ruslan is surrounded by Yes men.
I wrote to
Ruslan and warned him about over pressing his case. Ruslan is still
very young, and I believe he lost his coach back in early 2003.
Ruslan is certainly in need of fatherly advice.
Yasser Seirawan called the FIDE Knockout the worse system for choosing a
world champion. He calls it a lottery. Ponomariov's problem was that he
thought he was the real champion. He's not the champion.
the above-cited open letter to the ACP, you insist that you want to defend
your title under the same
conditions you won it.
I don't want any special favours -
I'm willing to play starting with Round
One - the whole problem is this "superfinal" against Kasparov.
Hangin's take :
This is just a case of sour
grapes. This is the only way for Ruslan Ponomariov to get another shot at the title.
Ruslan Ponomariov original stance was the he wanted to play using the same
time controls he used to win the last FIDE Knockout, which is 90 minutes
and 30 second increment per move. When he dropped that demand, he came up
with others. He wanted to keep his title until the final reunification