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1998-99 Title Tournament
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Fédération Internationale des Echecs

Press Release

Lausanne, 18 May 1998

The FIDE Executive Council, at its meeting which ended over the weekend in Bled, Slovenia, unanimously approved the staging of the World Chess Championship finals in December 1998 in Las Vegas with a prize fund of US$3,000,000.

This unanimous resolution, which is coming ahead of the 1998 FIDE Congress in Elista, represents a further endorsement of the decision of the FIDE President, His Excellency Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, to change the two year cycle to an annual event. President Ilyumzhinov, who chaired the meeting, said that his action was motivated by the need to seize the initiative arising from the success of the last Championship, which was held under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.

The Council applauded the decision to increase the prize fund from US$5,000,000 to US$6,000,000 over two years and noted that the FIDE rules and regulations, which were subscribed to by all the players in the last World Championship, provided an adequate legal framework for the change.

The Executive Council directed the World Championship Cycle Committee to finalize the regulations and player's contract setting the deadline for the submission of the player's contract for the 1st of November 1998. It reemphasized the decision of the General Assembly last year in Kishinev not to grant any special privileges to the top players in order not to give them an unfair sporting advantage over other participants.

The Council also approved the increase in the number of zonal qualifiers noting that this would encourage the top players to participate in their respective national championships and zonal events. Grandmasters Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik would be invited to participate in the Las Vegas event.

On the current cycle of the Women's World Championship, the Executive Council directed that the candidates and finals of the Championships should be concluded in accordance with previously announced dates in 1998, as the next cycle under the knock-out format is scheduled to commence in 1999.

The Council formally conferred the title of Grandmaster on Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine who last year at the age of 14 became the youngest ever Grandmaster in the history of chess.

Fédération Internationale des Echecs

Message of the President

Dear Chess Friends,

On the 26th of September, I shall be on hand to welcome to Elista, members of delegation from the over 120 countries, who have honoured our invitation, to participate in the 33rd Chess Olympiad and 69th FIDE Congress. The recent brief from the Executive Council of the Olympiad, on on-going preparations, leave me in no doubt that we shall celebrate this Olympiad in the true spirit of FIDE's motto. Let me therefore, in my dual capacity as FIDE President and President of the Kalmyk Republic, take this early opportunity to thank all those who in many ways, have consistently reposed their confidence in us, despite the unfortunate events of the past few months. Time will surely vindicate us all.

The 69th FIDE Congress, also provides us with a unique opportunity to take some far-reaching decisions that will set the stage for FIDE's increasing relevance as an important sports organisation, well into the 21st Century. As you may probably be aware, I have decided to maintain the same electoral ticket with whom you gave me your mandate to pilot the affairs of our organisation at the 1996 FIDE Congress in Yerevan. Our experience in the past 2 years, has shown that FIDE is now in capable hands. Together, we have successfully charted a new course for our future growth, and I am certain that our ticket will continue to relentlessly pursue our program with renewed vigour.

Last week in Moscow, I signed with Messrs Fishman & Associates, the final protocol for the staging of the World Championships in Las Vegas from 29 November to 27 December 1998, at a ceremony attended by Ambassador Alexey Orlov, World Championship Cycle Chairman Willy Iclicki and Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku. In Elista, we shall seek the General Assembly's ratification, of the unanimous decision of the Executive Council to hold the World Championship on an annual basis. I am certain that the World Chess Foundation, FIDE and the US Chess Federation will collaborate successfully with our partners, Fishman & Associates in what promises to be an exciting event.


Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Moscow, 31 August 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      Contact:     Eric C. Johnson
September 14, 1998                            (914) 562-8350
Press Release #44 of 1998                    Local Contact: Frank Gardner
                                                        (702) 233-4138

NOV. 29 - DEC. 27

The World Chess Federation (FIDE), in conjunction with the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF), has officially announced that it will hold the 1998 World Chess Championship in Las Vegas, Nev. from Nov. 29 through Dec. 27 with a guaranteed prize fund of $3 million. The Bellagio Casino Hotel will serve as the host property for the event. FIDE also announced that it has hired Fishman & Associates to handle the advertising and marketing duties for the event.

"We are very excited at this opportunity to bring our championship to the United States," said FIDE Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku, "and Las Vegas provides a spectacular background for this duel of the finest minds in chess."

"The popularity of chess is at an all-time high," said USCF Executive Director Michael Cavallo. "What better way to celebrate than with a $3 million championship here in Las Vegas."

Bellagio, Mirage Resorts' newest property, is scheduled to open Oct. 15 and promises to be one of the world's most elegant and spectacular resorts. The Bellagio Gallery of fine art will display works spanning both the Impressionist and Abstract Expressionism movements. Represented will be works of every famous artist of these periods from Monet, van Gogh and Renoir to Matisse, de Kooning and Lichtenstein. Fine dining will be an experience at Bellagio with gourmet rooms from some of the most prominent restaurateurs in the country. The resort's grounds will surround a soothing lake that will feature an extraordinary dance of light, water and music. An indoor botanical conservatory will change color with the seasons and the resort's shopping arcade will be home to beautiful boutiques and shops including Hermes, Armani, Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Tiffany & Co. The world-renowned Cirque du Soleil will introduce a new production in a theater reminiscent of the Paris Opera House.

Fishman & Associates, a Las Vegas based marketing and management firm, collectively have over 50 years of advertising, marketing and casino gaming tournament experience. The company has devised a number of marketing strategies for the event including air and hotel packages and a new, state of the art website.

Along with the championship, there are plans to hold a number of side tournaments and special events. All details of these events, player lists, package information and other news highlights will be released in the coming weeks.

# # #

For more information about this and other chess events, contact Assistant Director Eric C. Johnson, U.S. Chess Federation, 3054 NYS Route 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553; phone: (914) 562-8350; FAX: (914) 561-2437; or see our weekly news column on the World Wide Web:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      Contact:     Eric C. Johnson
September 28, 1998                            (914) 562-8350
Press Release #46 of 1998                    Local Contact: Frank Gardner
                                                        (702) 233-4138


The World Chess Federation (FIDE) in conjunction with the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) has announced that the official U.S. press conference to kick-off the 1998 FIDE World Chess Championship will take place on Thursday, October 15 at 11:00 AM at the Mirage Resorts Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku are scheduled to attend the press conference, along with USCF President Donald Schultz and Executive Director Michael Cavallo, and other chess luminaries from around the world.

The 1998 FIDE World Chess Championship will feature a prize fund of $3 million and will be held in Las Vegas from November 29 through December 27, hosted by the Mirage Resorts Inc. properties.

"We are looking forward with great anticipation to our World Chess Championship later this year," said Mr. Omuku, "and this press conference is the first step in welcoming chess enthusiasts from the United States and around the world to our event, here in the beautiful city of Las Vegas, Nev."

"America's chessplayers should be very proud that their federation has been selected to host the World Championship," said Mr. Schultz.

International and domestic hotel/airfare packages are now available for the general public at all four Mirage Resorts Inc. casino resorts including the Bellagio (scheduled to open on October 15), which will host the Opening and Closing ceremonies and the Finals of the event, the Mirage, Treasure Island, and the Golden Nugget. Call toll-free at (888) 885-1234 for travel package information. Language assistance is provided.

Fishman & Associates in partnership with Las Vegas based R&M Companies has been retained by FIDE to handle the promotion and advertising for the Championship. Plans are in progress for special events and side tournaments, as well as the new state-of-the-art website that will feature up to the minute information throughout the event. All details and other news highlights will be released in the upcoming weeks.

# # #

For more information about this and other chess events, contact Assistant Director Eric C. Johnson, U.S. Chess Federation, 3054 NYS Route 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553; phone: (914) 562-8350; FAX: (914) 561-2437; or see our weekly news column on the World Wide Web:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   USCF Contact: Barbara DeMaro
October 12, 1998                                                (914) 562-8350
Release #9848                                           Local Contact: Frank Gardner
                                                        (702) 320-3685


The World Chess Federation (FIDE) announced today that the press conference for the 1998 World Chess Championship scheduled for October 15th at the Mirage Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, NV has been postponed.

At this time, FIDE has not confirmed a new date for the press conference. As soon as a new date is established, information will be made available.

# # #

For more information about this item, contact Barbara DeMaro. For information about other chess events, contact Assistant Director Eric C. Johnson, U.S. Chess Federation, 3054 NYS Route 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553; phone: (914) 562-8350; FAX: (914) 561-2437; or see our weekly news column on the World Wide Web:

FIDE World Championship Tournament Postponed

"The World Chess Federation (FIDE), in conjunction with the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF), has officially announced that it will hold the 1999 World Chess Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, in latebreaking news released October 10, FIDE had reportedly reached a compromise with current FIDE World Champion Anatoly Karpov, postponing the FIDE event until January, thus allowing Karpov to hold his title for a full year. In exchange, Karpov would agree to play with a seeding into the second round (rather than the semi-finals.) For additional details on that announcement, see IA Carol Jarecki's report from Elista in this week's Chess Buzz. However, since then GM Karpov has indicated that it is still not "100% certain" that he will play, and the timing is complex since the Wijk an Zee event would comflict with a January scheduling. The October 15 FIDE Press conference has also been postponed. At this point, all one can say for certain is that there has been an announcement that the event will be postponed at least one month.

"This event will bring together about 100 of the world's top players in a knock-out format to compete for the title. Last year GM Kasparov was invited, but declined the invitation because he did not like the knock-out format. He is not expected to participate in the 1999 event, either. The total prize fund will be about $3 million, with a minimum prize of $6,000 for those eliminated in the first round, and about $650,000 to the eventual first-place winner."

"This page was last updated October 16, 1998"

Links to Mark Crowther's The Week in Chess

2121998-11-30FIDE Championships look set for June
2131998-12-07Dates for FIDE knockout
2201999-01-25FIDE Championships NOT in Vegas
2211999-02-01FIDE Championships NOT in Vegas?
2221999-02-08FIDE Championships
2241999-02-22FIDE KO announcement this week?
2261999-03-08FIDE Championships to be in Caesar's Palace Casino
2271999-03-15FIDE Championships announcement awaited
2281999-03-22FIDE Championships announcement
2291999-03-29FIDE Press Release
2401999-06-14Letter from Yermolinsky
2421999-06-28FIDE Round 1 pairings
2431999-07-05Karpov not yet committed to playing Las Vegas

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