Kok and Greengard Weigh In on the Championship Debacle

10.01.06 Former FIDE presidential candidate, Bessel Kok and chess journalist and webmaster of the popular chess site ChessNinja.com, Mig Greengard share their opinions of the current situation at the World Championship Match. The jury is still out on whether or not the match will resume and the big question remains: Will Topalov's team agree to restarting the match with Game 5 and a score of 3-1, or will Kramnik's team agree to restarting with Game 6 and a score of 3-2?

"Get on with it!" Bessel Kok

Bessel Kok's assesment of the crisis:

The Appeals Committee blundered in accepting a complaint which was nothing more than declaring a suspicion of possible fraud. This was simply wrong. The Committee should have rejected this complaint immediately, stating that no proof whatsoever had been supplied. Instead of this, they accepted the complaint of Topalov’Äôs manager Silvio Danailov, they disclosed private video images from Kramnik’Äôs rest room, and they changed the match conditions which had been agreed in advance by both Grandmasters and their delegations.

The arbiter subsequently started a game which should have never been played in the first place, because the playing conditions had been unilaterally modified. This was a second mistake, although Geurt Gijssen will probably defend his decision by stating that he based this on the verdict of the Appeals Committee.

So my conclusions are simple:

The Appeals Committee made a wrong judgment and its decision to modify the playing conditions must be declared null and void.

Game five was started under playing conditions that were not mutually agreed by both players (and in fact explicitly rejected by one of them), so the game should be considered null and void.

Game five should start tomorrow, Monday, October 2nd, and the match should continue under the same playing conditions as agreed before.

The Appeals Committee should be dismissed and replaced by a Committee agreed by both players.

In the absence of an agreed Committee, the FIDE President is responsible for the duties of the Committee.

Proceed as quickly as possible with the outsourcing of all top-level chess competitions to a separate company managed by professional organisers.

Get on with it! Enough damage has been done!!


"The world is watching." Mig Greengard

Mig Greengard's letter to Veselin Topalov:

October 1, 2006

Dear Mr. Topalov

Hello Veselin. Long time no see. We hope you are well. Things here in the chess fan world have been very busy lately. We were all enjoying your chess and your first world championship match in Elista. You and Vladimir have fought like champions. Many of us were expecting another of your famous comebacks. Now it appears the match may not continue because of the forfeit of Kramnik in game five.

We realize we may not understand everything that has gone on in Elista. Despite all that has happened, we believe you want to win this match and become the unified world chess champion and that you want to do this at the board. You have the respect of the fans of the chess world as a player, fighter, and sportsman. Accepting a point you did not win over the board is beneath your position and reputation.

We understand that the forfeit was not your fault. But you can still save the match by doing the right thing. We ask you to give back the point and show your abilities and character at the board. We want this match and we need this match to continue. The world is watching chess in Elista and you are the game's representative.

Saludos, Mig and those signed below

Images courtesy ChessNinja.com and therightmove06.com

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