♡ 131 ( +1 | -1 ) Garry backs out!According to a statement published on ChessBase, Garry Kasparov has decided to no longer participate in the FIDE's interminable "unification" process. Of all his pronouncements through this process, this statement of Garry's is the only one where I feel complete sympathy for the man. Whether or not he is entitled to a seat at the reunification table, you have to agree that the FIDE has jerked him around enough.
It is interesting the degree to which this de-legitimizes Kasimzhdanov, whose high standing in my view is due only to the *prospective* match with Kasparov (though winning the Libya tourney was no small feat). Perhaps all this means that Garry will get back to doing what he does best--play chess (though his Wall Street Journal editorials are always well composed)--and approach Kramnik by a more conventional route. I think this must also open the door somewhat for Anand, who is at least no longer definitively locked out of the championship process; but it is hard to see where the process will go from here, unless we go back to the days of rival organizations.
The ChessBase article: www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2145
Interestingly (unsurprisingly?), there is as yet no statement on FIDE's site
♡ 102 ( +1 | -1 ) IMO…they should hold a world championship match once every three years, regardless of how much or how little prize money is available. Invite the reigning champion and develop some system (like golf's world ranking points system) to determine the challenger. If either or both of these players decline the invitation (for whatever reason) invite the next two on the list, etc, but hold the event and crown a champion—come hell or high water.
It seems to me that the prestige associated with this title would be well worth the three–four months time commitment (including preparation) once every three years, regardless of the prize offered. Sure, people will argue that GM so-and-so is not truly deserving because GM whats-his- name refused to participate. But I think it would still be better and more respectable than the current state of affairs, which is so bad that it makes boxing's system look good.
♡ 52 ( +1 | -1 ) Prestige with the title...I'm not sure how much prestige there is with the title when the best player will not be participating in the championship. If Kasparov was retiring, then it would be easier to forget about him. But, he will continue to compete. And because Kasparov is number 1 in the world Kasparov, he will continue to get headlines. Maybe (or maybe not) someday FIDE will declare a champion. And at that point we will have not made much progress as we have today. Well...not unless Gary drops in the ranking list.
♡ 55 ( +1 | -1 ) Sounds Great ... !honolulu , I like your idea for the Championship a lot! Not that anyone will ever ask Me :-) It would be nice for the host organization to guarantee at least some minimum prizefund for the event .... plus whatever else demand can produce. But if it is going to be FIDE I'd think it simple enough that some portion of EF to all FIDE tournaments be put toward that purpose. Just as a for-instance, I wonder what a dollar or two per player, per event would add up to over 3 years ?! (Or a Euro or two ?!)
♡ 30 ( +1 | -1 ) Now we haveTwo champs (Kram & Kazim) and one legitimate challenger (Leko). Find second legitimate challenger by organizing a tournament between top players left out from first tournament. Kasparov is free to participate if he wants to. No more "I don't have to play because everyone knows I'm the best anyway" :-)
♡ 144 ( +1 | -1 ) Too thorny a problemI read something not long ago, probably after the Libya match, which sturck me--a rough paraphase is "The Steinitz bloodline is getting pretty thin." There is a fairly direct connection between Kramnik and Steinitz, after all, with the only hiccup being the aborted 1975 Fischer-Karpov match. But if we assume (as I think is sensible) that RJF is no longer the WC, then you have to admit that Kramnik won his title fair and square (and that Garry was an idiot for omitting a mandatory rematch clause from the Braingames contract), that Leko's qualifying win at Dortmund 2002 made him a legitimate WC challenger (and remember that Kasparov and Anand were invited, but refused), and that the recent Kramnik-Leko was a rousing championship defense.
While his Libya performance was impressive, I don't think Kasimzhdanov can be considered as a genuine WC challenger. Let him, and Garry, and Anand, come to another Dortmund and grind it out the old-fashioned way. I don't see FIDE involvement in that matter as important or even necessary: there is a "bloodline" here, and a fairly obvious one; but this has apparently been obscured by politics and the need to coddle a chess "superstar" (though I'd wager that there are at least a billion people out there cheering for Vishy). Kudos to Garry for recognizing that the FIDE stringing him along (duh), but I don't want to hear any more of this "but my rating is bigger than yours!" nonsense. Play. Just play.