SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
As mentioned here last week, Silvio Danailov (Topalov’s personal manager and Vice President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation) caused quite an international stink with some provocative comments about Anand’s sporting ethics. Ofcourse, Danailov was probably just trying to generate extra-media interest in the much anticipated upcoming match (April),but his similar efforts in the recent past have been riddled with scandal and disaster, especially the Kramnik vs Topalov match of 2006 where Danailov went so far as to accuse the universally respected Kramnik of cheating during the games!
These comments naturally led to talk about Anand being justified in walking away from the match even before it begins! Now it appears that the Bulgarian government has put a muzzle on Danailov and is carefully controlling what he says to the media.
On the official match site (http://www.anand-topalov.com/
) there appears a short interview with a well behaved Danailov. If one considers his well publicized interview with Europe Echecs from last week, then this interview can be considered the more politically correct
Mr. Silvio Danailov, vice-president of the Bulgarian Chess Federation
Mr. Danailov, what you expect from the WCC match Anand-Topalov ? Will be very exiting match, no doubt. The two best players in the world are playing, so the chess lovers around the world will be very happy .Hope that after the match chess will become much more popular worldwide, especially in Europe and Asia.
You have organized five times in Sofia the super tournament MTel Masters with great success. What we can expect from the organization this time? Well, The Bulgarian Chess Federation have big experience organizing important events, for example Topalov-Kamsky match last year. The organization will be perfect, top level as usual.
During the first MTel Masters in Sofia 2005 was introduced for the first time the famous now days anti draw “Sofia Rules” They become very popular everywhere, even FIDE introduced them successfully in the Grand Prix series. Are we going to see the Sofia Rules during the match Anand-Topalov ? Yes, of course. The Sofia Rules are natural development of the professional chess, this is the future.
Recently you presented your candidacy for the President of ECU (European Chess Union). What was the reasons to do that? Now days the ECU is very respectful institution with 54 country members. Many delegates and friends of mine asked me to run for President. I think I can bring to ECU many new ideas and will try to develop new business model creating strong areas of PR and marketing. This is the only way to attract cooperative sponsors to ECU and to chess.
Thank you, Mr. Danailov!
(Interview by GM Ventzislav Inkiov )
With Anatoly Karpov having already announced his candidacy for the FIDE presidency several weeks ago, there was some doubt about whether the incumbent president , Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, would dare to run for re-election! Yesterday these doubts were put to rest when Kirsan officially announced his intention to seek re-election for the post that he has held for 15 years now.
His Royal Highness, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
One the FIDE website (http://www.fide.com/
) Kirsan posted a short letter of intentions, quickly followed by letters of support and undying loyalty from 4 Continental Presidents (Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas). Coupled with the colourful Turkish Chess Federation’s letter of support earlier in the week (Yazici), it seems that Kirsan is running neck to neck with Karpov. Karpov has so far the declared support of France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain.
However, things are never so simple as they might at first appear. The Continental Presidents do not necessarily translate into concrete votes (they do not have any direct vote in the elections) and Yazici has been known to turn and support the other candidate on the flip of a dime.
Anatoly Karpov: the Kremlin’s ace?
The real acid test will be to see who the Russian Chess Federation decides to support later this month when it meets. Speculation is that Karpov would not have entered the race against the charismatic billionaire from Kalmykia without a few aces up his sleave. So far the Russian Chess Federation has been tight lipped.
After the disasterous performance of Russia at the recently finished Vancouver Winter Games, the Kremlin has become very vocal about the urgency for reforming the infrastructure of sports in Russia before the Sochi 2014 games. The Russian President, Medvedev, has called for a complete housecleaning, for heads to roll, and for an audit into allegations of corruption followed by criminal charges being laid about those who have been responsible for the failure in Vancouver.
It is very possible that Karpov is counting on the Kremlin’s support in pressuring the Russian Chess Federation to pick Karpov as its candidate for the FIDE presidency. Should this happen–and we will soon find out–then it is likely that Kirsan’s support in the third world countries will begin to erode. (Kirsan powerbase has always been in the 3rd world).
Personally, I would prefer to see Karpov become president of FIDE. 99% of all GMs would concur! The 15 years of Kirsan’s reign have been a miserable failure for all of Kirsan’s objectives: getting TV interested in chess, bringing more sponsors to the game, having chess become part of the Olympics. Even though Kirsan remains very popular, the current FIDE executive is seen by most of the civilized world as corrupt and ineffective. It is as good a time for change as one could ever expect….
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS