Offener Brief von Boris Gelfand an die FIDE

von ChessBase
25.09.2006 – Mit dem WM-Turnier in San Luis im letzten Jahr hat sich die FIDE von ihrem Format der K.o-Turniere verabschiedet und außerdem einen WM-Zyklus installiert. Sechzehn Kandidaten qualifizierten sich über ihre Elozahl oder ihr Ergebnis beim FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk Ende 2005. Im Januar 2006 gab die FIDE die endgültigen Paarungen bekannt. Vier Spieler aus den Kandidaten-Wettkämpfen sollten beim kommenden WM-Turnier 2007 in Mexiko teilnehmen. Auf der Präsidiumssitzung der FIDE zum vergangenen Wochenende in Elista gab FIDE-Präsident Kirsan Ilymshinov nun jedoch bekannt, dass kein Ausrichter für die Wettkämpfe gefunden worden ist und schlug vor, stattdessen ein Kandidatenturnier, das in Elista stattfinden könne, durchzuführen. Boris Gelfand hat als erster Betroffener in einem Offenen Brief an den FIDE-Präsidenten gegen die kurzfristige Änderung des Modus protestiert. Er zeigt sich erschüttert über diesen Vorgang und die Art und Weise der Veröffentlichung und beschreibt, welchen Schaden er dadurch hinnehmen müsste. Offener Brief von Boris Gelfand (engl)...

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To FIDE president, Mr.Kirsan  Ilyumzhinov

Dear Mr. Ilyumzhinov,

Around a year ago FIDE adopted a new system of World Championship. In order to fight for the highest title in the Chess world, last  December  I went to the World cup tournament in Khanti-Mansiisk ,took 6th place and qualified  for the next stage – the Candidates matches. In December I signed a letter of intent with FIDE. In January 2006 FIDE made the pairings and announced that the matches would take place 20-30th of October with a minimal prize fund of 40000 US for each match. It meant   that for 2 rounds of Candidate matches(8 of 1st round and 4 of next round) prize find should be at least  480000 US. Taking this into account, I planned the timetable of my preparation.

In order to reach the peak of my form for the most prestigious event of the year, I accepted some invitations like a training match with Czech grandmaster David Navara to have an experience in matches. However I declined some other ones, for example, super tournament in Foros with big prize-fund. If I’d accepted this invitation, I would be rated 3rd in the tournament and would have good reasons to get at least 3rd prize-10000US. I also rejected an invitation for a rapid event in Cap d’Adge at the end of October. I would be rated 1st there and would have a good chance   to win 1st prize of 16000 Euro, as I did there already 2 times.

I also hired some players specially to analyze the games of my opponent Rustam Kasimdzhanov and my potential opponents - Gata Kamsky and Etienne Bacrot. In order to help me, my seconds also refused some invitations to the tournaments and I had to compensate financially their expected losses.

During this, I didn’t receive no e-mail or any news from FIDE (which is strange by itself) starting from new year, I was confident that matches would start on time. Last month you confirmed it and assured “that the issue will be finalized during the Presidential Board meeting in Elista, during the Topalov- Kramnik match” (I quote from the translation of your interview to Yuri Vasiliev from the site on 21st of August 2006).

However, yesterday evening in official  report of Presidential Board meeting I read the following:

“In order to resolve difficulties in the organization of the Candidate matches, the Board offered a round-robin tournament for the 16 players as an alternative to the original form of the competition. President Ilyumzhinov offered to hold all the matches or the tournament in Elista.”

Of course the chess players are grateful to you for your kind offer to hold such an important event. But unfortunately, dates announced back in January should not be changed, especially  not less than a month before the event. But especially harmful is the idea of replacing matches with a tournament. I never heard that   in any sport that the structure of the World championship may be changed   during the cycle.

I also never hear that in any sport dates of world championship in any stage were moved in such a short notice. It is especially dangerous to break all the rules of sport world when chess is trying so hard to become part of Olympic games  .

In case the dates of the matches would be moved from officially stated, or if the matches will be cancelled altogether I would expect FIDE to compensate me for my damaged, as detailed above.

I am kindly requesting you to reply to my concerns urgently, as announced dates of the matches are within less than 1 month.

I consider the questions raised in this letter are of importance to all chess community, and therefore I send a copy of it to some of the most popular sites.

Sincerely yours,

Boris Gelfand, candidate for the World Championship

Rishon le Zion, Israel


(Ende des Offenen Briefes von Boris Gelfand)


Anhang :

1. Veröffentlichung der FIDE vom 23.9. 2006

Presidential Board meeting

Concurrent with the World Chess Championship Match between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik, the FIDE Presidential Board held its quarterly meeting on September 22-23 in Elista, Russia.

The Board evaluated the process initiated two years ago and judged it a success. The key result is the stabilization of the chess world, and the Topalov-Kramnik Championship Match is the best sign of this process.

President Kursan Ilyumzhinov presented his visionary view and strategic plan for the next four years of FIDE. He strongly emphasized the task to elevate FIDE to new heights, to make it a financially stable and the powerful international sports organization that strengthens its relationship with and its role within IOC, the International Olympic Committee. In order to achieve these aims, he had decided to establish a company which can serve as a commercial arm of FIDE. A commercial license agreement between the Company and FIDE will be drafted and dealt with in the Presidential Board Meeting in December 2006, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Other FIDE activities are to be strengthened and utilized. The President called the attention to the Chess in School program, the Chess Trainers' Academy and the World Chess Championship cycle.

In a long session, the Presidential Board thoroughly debated key elements of the strategic vision and reviewed several practical schemes, versions, as well as proposals regarding future format of the World Chess Championship and commercial activities of FIDE. The Board discussed the FIDE budget for 2007 and accepted it. It established the FIDE Public Relations and Marketing program by unanimous decision and created the PR and Marketing Directorate headed by Mr. Peter Rajscanyi, Hungary.

The Board approved FIDE titles for players, arbiters and organizers. FIDE Calendar 2007/2008 has been accepted. The Board reviewed the structure of the organization and assigned functional responsibilities to each Board member to make FIDE more pro-active.

In order to resolve difficulties in the organization of the Candidate matches, the Board offered a round-robin tournament for the 16 players as an alternative to the original form of the competition. President Ilyumzhinov offered to hold all the matches or the tournament in Elista in April 2007.

(Hervorhebung durch die Redaktion)


2. Veröffentlichung der FIDE vom: 22.12.2005

The 16 Qualifiers of the Candidate Matches are:

01. Garry Kasparov (RUS) - average rating 7/2004 & 1/2005
02. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) - average rating 7/2004 & 1/2005
03. Peter Leko (HUN) - average rating 7/2004 & 1/2005
04. Michael Adams (ENG) - average rating 7/2004 & 1/2005
05. Judit Polgar (HUN) - average rating 7/2004 & 1/2005

The 5 above players qualify by rating and they are replaced, in order, by:
a) Alexey Shirov (ESP)
b) Ettiene Bacrot (FRA)
c) Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)

06. Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB) - World Champion 2004
07. Levon Aronian (ARM) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
08. Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
09. Ettiene Bacrot (FRA) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
10. Alexander Grischuk (RUS) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
11. Evgeny Bareev (RUS) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
12. Boris Gelfand (ISR) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
13. Sergey Rublevsky (RUS) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
14. Mikhail Gurevich (BEL) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
15. Gata Kamsky (USA) - World Cup 2005 qualifier
16. Magnus Carlsen (NOR) - World Cup 2005 qualifier

The World Cup qualifiers and R. Kasimdzhanov are replaced by the next players in the World Cup standings:
a) Vladimir Malakhov (RUS)
b) Frascisco Pons Vallejo (ESP), etc.

3. Veröffentlichung der FIDE vom 4.01.2006

FIDE is announcing the 16 participants of the Candidates Matches for the World Chess Championship 2007, together with their exact rating of January 2006:

01. Levon Aronian (ARM) 2751,70
02. Peter Leko (HUN) 2740,40
03. Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) 2723,10
04. Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2722,80
05. Etienne Bacrot (FRA) 2716,80
06. Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 2716,50
07. Judith Polgar (HUN) 2710,60
08. Alexei Shirov (ESP) 2709,40
09. Michael Adams (ENG) 2707,40
10. Evgeny Bareev (RUS) 2698,40
11. Vladimir Malakhov (RUS) 2694,20
12. Gata Kamsky (USA) 2686,00
13. Rustam Kasimjanov (UZB) 2670,00
14. Sergei Rublevsky (RUS) 2664,90
15. Mikhail Gurevich (TUR) 2632,60
16. Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 2624,90

Therefore, according to article 3.1.A of the official regulations of the Candidate Matches, and if there is no justified appeal against the January Rating List, the pairings are:

1. L. Aronian - M. Carlsen
2. P. Leko - M. Gurevich
3. R. Ponomariov - S. Rublevsky
4. B. Gelfand - R. Kasimjanov
5. E. Bacrot - G. Kamsky
6. A. Grischuk - V. Malakhov
7. J. Polgar - E. Bareev
8. A. Shirov - M. Adams

FIDE Secretariat
3 January 2006


4. Regularien der Kandidatenwettkämpfe:





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