After reading this article, I could not help but feel sorry for Anand. Heís at the peak of his strength and heís being denied another shot to summit the Chess Mount Everest. If he were to defeat Kasparov and Kramnik in matches, he could summit the Chess Mount Everest. When Anand is asked about his happiest moments in chess, he never mentions winning the FIDE Knockout Championship. He talked about winning the Rapid Chess World Championship. He defeated the current World Champion and number two player in the world, Vladimir Kramnik. Now this event was not a man who beat man contest, however there is no rich tradition for rapid chess championships. Anand should still be proud to defeat Kramnik in a small rapid match.
Anand goes on to say he was quite happy to win the FIDE Knockout in Tehran. He wants to win the unified world championship. He does not like the state of confusion the title is in. He says his title looks funny. Heís right; winning the FIDE Knockout is nice but not great. I just could not help but feel that Anand is unfulfilled. Anand wants to unify the title and beat Kasparov along the way. Anand wants revenge for losing to Kasparov in the 1995 World Championship by a score of 10.5 Ė 7.5. FIDE should help him get the opportunity for revenge. Give Anand a chance to significantly add to his chess resume. Give Anand a shot at defeating Kasparov and Kramnik and a chance at being included with the all time greats.
FIDE has a quick solution to the Ponomariov debacle. In 1978 Bobby Fischer the ex World Champion was automatically seeded in the candidate process. Not surprisingly he refused to play in this event. Then FIDE President, Max Euwe got Boris Spassky, the ex ex World Champion, to replace Fischer. Euwe was not one to be encumbered by rules and regulations; he was guided by the principle of furthering chess. So FIDE has an easy solution here, since Anand is the ex FIDE Knockout Champion, Anand should take Ponomariovís place. Anand is the only winner of the FIDE Knockouts that is of championship strength. Anand at 34 years of age is coming into his peak now. An Anand vs. Kasparov match would be very interesting. Kasparov has shown some kinks in his armor. This might be the right time for Anand to take the World Championship.
FIDE needs to restore the Classical World Championship to its Mount Everest heights. Make it a process, a meaningful event, that the winner can feel proud about. The winner needs to know how he/she stacks up to the great players of the past. Itís been more than 1.5 years since the signing of the FIDE Prague agreement. An agreement that was to unify the World Championship in 2003. In a year and a half, not a single move was made in the name of reunification. Lets give Anand and the other top players something they can be proud of. Moreover, lets give the millions of chess fans an opportunity to see World Championship Chess at its highest level. There is pride in daring greatly and winning. There is also pride in daring greatly and losing. Lets make them proud.