Kasparov to play Kramnik?
Mark Crowther reports There will be a news conference in London on Wednesday 5th April 2000 at Home House in London. Raymond Keene who is fronting a consortium to bring about a match between Garry Kasparov and a challenger for the "World Chess Championship" as claimed by Kasparov. The match will be over 16 games and according to GM Keene it will the first in a series of annual challenges for the world champion some of which may be against computers. All matches will be broadcast live on the internet. The venue is not fixed but I understand the favourite is London. The winner of the title match, to be played in October will receive 1,333,000 dollars and the loser half that much. Malcolm Pein and John Henderson will be there and photos and recordings should be available afterwards. If you have any questions you'd like asked at the press conference with Kasparov, Keene and possibly the challenger then send them to me and I'll forward them on to Malcolm and John. Kramnik has been offered a chance to play Kasparov but the latest reports suggest he hasn't yet signed. Alexei Shirov has said in an interview with El Pais that "I believe that Kramnik must reject the offer because I gained the right to challenge Kasparov over the board". Judging from letters to TWIC there is a great deal of support for that point of view from the general public. The organisers are a new site called braingames.net. A site covering Chess, Chinese Chess, Japanese Chess, Draughts and Go. Braingames has signed exclusive five year deals with Garry Kasparov, the World Chess Champion and Ron King, the World Draughts Champion, and will be hosting the World Championships in everyone of the Braingames. Ian Rogers reports: Anand has been talking on the record about the reasons why he declined the world championship contract. (In addition there are further comments by Aruna Anand in the Hindu at http://www.the-hindu.com/2000/03/29/stories/0729020b.htm Anand was unhappy with many clauses of the contract, including: (i) Anand would be required not to compete in any other World Championship for the next five years. (ii) Kasparov is guaranteed $US1m if the match does not take place. Anand was not sure of receiving anything unless he relied on Kasparov's goodwill, which is why he asked for $300,000 up front. (iii) He was given until April 21 to consider the contract. On March 21 the organisers claimed that this was a typing error and that he must make a decision immediately! (iv) At one point in the negotiations Anand offered a list of changes to the contract which were accepted by the negotiator. Then that same evening he was told that all these conditions were not acceptable. He was later told that his changes would be considered only after he had signed the contract! (v) The contract was to be signed with a new organisation which did not yet exist, but this would be the party Anand would have to sue if things went wrong. (vi) Anand was told to keep the plans for the match completely confdential but then in Linares he discovered that information about the match had been leaked to 'The Times' of London. (vii) The source of the funding was never named. Anand and Aruna were also very unhappy at the way they were harrassed in Monaco, the match organisers hassling the Anands early in the morning and late at night. Eventually Aruna was forced to disconnect all the phones in their room, but the match organisers still kept trying, with 'urgent' messages delivered by the concierge at 7am. Anand is quite upset that he was given such an unfair contract and that all his suggested changes were rejected. He said he would happily have accepted a fair contract for a match against Kasparov but was unwilling to invest time and money for seconds and training without any guarantees that he would have compensation if the match collapsed. Raymond Keene's response. 1 My understanding was that if he lost he would be obliged to compete in our next qualifier but if he was not challenger or champion then he could play anywhere else he liked. 2 Nonsense! the prize money of 2 million dollars was in escrow and if the match was cancelled then he and gazza would simply have shared the pot equally-though quite why we should cancel with 2 million bucks in escrow is unclear to me! 3 Asking for 300k upfront when the money is secure is odd-if the money was not secure -which it was-then i could understand his demand-perhaps he does not understand the word escrow! 4 April 21 was a genuine misprint-however earlier communications had made it clear that March 21 was the deadline. 5 I know nothing of these changes 6 The organisation exists braingames plc-check it out if you like. 7 We did not authorise the leak-in fact we did not have the money at the time the leak occurred and it annoyed me greatly. 8 Of course the source was named-brain games plc. 9 They were not harassed-that was ridiculous. 10 The contract was exactly the same as gazzas-that was the point. 11 The guarantee was that if the match did not take place Anand got a Million bucks - I cant say fairer than that!!