Index FIDE 1948-1990 Pre-FIDE Highlights Best games News/Feedback Gifts Site map
World Chess Championship
(Continued from)I have to confess that I have always disliked the fierce competitive spirit embodied in that highly intellectual game [of chess]. - Albert Einstein, foreword to Hannak's biography of Em. Lasker
The three K's
On the first FIDE rating list of the new millennium, ex-world champion Garry Kasparov was no.1 with a 2849 Elo. He was followed by Viswanathan Anand (2790), Vladimir Kramnik (2772), and Michael Adams (2746); Peter Leko and Alexander Morozevich tied for 5th/6th a point behind Adams. The 16 games used to calculate Anand's new rating were all played during the 2000 FIDE title tournament. The 15 games played by Kasparov and Kramnik for the Braingames title match were not counted by FIDE, so the ratings of the two players were unchanged from the previous list.
Ex-world champion Anatoly Karpov was in the news when the Olympic Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne settled a dispute with FIDE stemming from the 1999 FIDE title tournament at Las Vegas. The key points of the arbitral award were
- In the interest of chess, the parties unreservedly agree to withdraw all claims and counterclaims made in this arbitration with prejudice.
- Both parties acknowledge the effectiveness of the decision of FIDE to change the World Championship cycle from a two-year to a single year.
- Mr. Anatoly Karpov has no objection, and undertakes not to object, to FIDE's conferring of its World Championship title to Alexander Khalifman in 1999 and Viswanathan Anand in 2000.
- Both FIDE and its officials and Mr. Anatoly Karpov undertake to cease all forms of criticism against each other through any medium, including but not limited to print and electronic media, in respect of any of the allegations or claims made in this arbitration.
- In the interest of goodwill and in order to correct the misunderstanding arising out of the agreement which led to this dispute, FIDE shall make a single payment to Mr. Anatoly Karpov of US$ 50, 000 within 14 days of the date of this Consent Award.
- Each party shall bear its own expenses, and will share equally the costs of CAS.
Both sides declared victory in the settlement.
Kasparov won the first super grandmaster event of 2001, the Corus tournament at Wijk aan Zee. His score of 9.0 in the 14 player, category 19 round robin was ahead of Anand at 8.5. Kramnik and Vassily Ivanchuk tied for 3rd/4th with 8.0. During a press conference after the tournament, Kasparov said of Kramnik, 'Winning the world title comes with certain responsibilities. The longer he waits, the less value his title will have. Kramnik may have some dreams of his own, but he has to take account of economic realities. Money does not grow on trees, or fall from the sky; he must take account of what people are willing to pay money for, and I believe that they are most willing to pay for a rematch between Kramnik and myself. Kramnik also has a moral obligation to play me, but it seems as if the new generation has little respect for moral obligations.'
A month later, Kasparov also won the 6 player, category 19 double round robin tournament at Linares. His score of 7.5 (+5-0=5,'plus five') was three points ahead of the other five players, who all finished at 'minus one'. Neither Anand nor Kramnik participated. Only Judit Polgar was able to hold Kasparov to two draws.
In March, Kramnik and Veselin Topalov tied for 1st-2nd in the 10th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament at Monaco. Anand was 3rd with 13.5. Kramnik and Boris Gelfand won the rapidplay event, while Topalov won the blindfold competition.
At the same time in nearby Cannes, Kasparov won the 16 player FIDE World Cup of Rapid Chess organized by the French Chess Federation. The time control of 50 moves in 25 minutes followed by 10 seconds a move was used in the eight player preliminary round robins as well as in the knockout matches. Kasparov beat Bareev in the final match.
In April, Kramnik won a tournament in Zurich, Switzerland, to celebrate Korchnoi's 70th birthday. The rapid tournament (25 minutes per player, with no time bonus) started with 12 players in two groups, from which 8 players were seeded into knockout matches. Kasparov eliminated Korchnoi in a quarterfinal match, but lost to Kramnik in the final round.
FIDE takes control
In an 'Open Letter to the Global Chess Community', Karpov, Kasparov, and Kramnik joined in an anti-FIDE statement. 'As the 12th, 13th, and 14th World Chess Champions, we are writing jointly to voice our disagreement with recent statements and unilateral decisions made by FIDE, the international chess federation. In particular, we are very concerned about FIDE's policy changes regarding the official time controls, their treatment of the history of the World Championship, and their open hostility toward the organizers of traditional events.'
You might be wondering what the 3 K's are talking about here -- unilateral decisions, concerned about policy changes, hostility toward organizers -- so let's look at FIDE actions in 2001. On 26 December 2000, just after the Anand - Shirov title match ended in an overwhelming victory for Anand, FIDE announced a new time control for FIDE events.
In line with the decision of the FIDE General Assembly in Istanbul and based on the consensus of opinion of the overwhelming majority of top players at the World Chess Championship in New Delhi, the [Presidential] Board unanimously approved the new time control, with effect from 1 January 2001. Instead of the existing format (40 moves in 100 minutes, 20 moves in 50 minutes, 10 minutes for the remainder of the game with an increment of 30 seconds), the new time control to be used in all FIDE events and international title tournaments will be 40 moves in 75 minutes, 15 minutes for the remainder of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.
This was followed on 4 January 2001 by a clarification.
As a follow up to our last press release dated 26 December 2000, in relation to the meeting of the Presidential Board of FIDE in Tehran, it has become necessary for FIDE to clarify the basis for the decision of the Presidential Board to introduce the new time control to be used in all FIDE events and where applicable, in all title tournaments.
As was clearly stated in the press release of 26th December 2000, the Board acted in full compliance with the directive of the General Assembly in Istanbul requiring it to examine the opinion of a cross section of the players and to finalise on the new time control for FIDE events. [...]
As to the technical questions regarding the World Championship, a Committee chaired by Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos will meet in Lausanne within the next week to clarify all technical issues related to the questions of the zones and continental competitions, as well as other issues of interest to players and National Federations. [...]
It took a few weeks, but a storm of official protest arose. Some typical reactions were:-
Koninklijke Nederlandse Schaakbond
[...] This decision was taken in line with the decision of the FIDE General Assembly in Istanbul and based on the consensus of opinions of the overwhelming majority of top players at the Worlds Championship in New Delhi, the Board writes in its statement.
This subject however was not discussed in Istanbul by the General Assembly. There was a suggestion made by GM A. Shirov to use a time control of 40 minutes per player in one game plus 30 seconds per move. This was supported by GM E. Torre. Accepting this suggestion would mean that rapid chess would become the official form of chess. [...]
By accepting the time control decided upon in Tehran it is not possible to gain titles in FIDE events or in international title tournaments. In the FIDE Rating regulations (art. 1.3) it is stated: For games to count for title applications a six hours session is required at least. This can only be altered by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Qualification Commission. Such a change will come into effect on 1st July of the year following the decision by General Assembly.
According to the FIDE Statutes nor the Executive Board (art. 4.1), nor the Presidential Board (art. 7.1) may take this decision.
Press release of the German Chess Federation
The Board of FIDE in it's meeting 26.12.2000 in Teheran has, without consulting the commissions or the federations, decided on a new time control that will be applied for all FIDE events starting 1.1.2001 [...]
It is the position of the German Chess Federation that the decision of the FIDE Board is not valid, because the Statutes of FIDE do not cover it. So the time control as defined in the FIDE handbook still has to be applied. [...]
"We shall not tolerate the violation of the statutes", [said] Egon Ditt, "We have to remind the FIDE Board that only General Assembly, the body composed of delegates of the national federations, has unlimited authority to decide, and the Board has to stay within the framework of the decisions of General Assembly".
Press Release by the French Chess Federation
[...] It is scandalous that such important decisions for the future of Chess should be taken hastily, without the slightest consultation with the National Federations. Furthermore, as was already signalled by the Dutch and German Federations, the Presidential Board doesn't have the authority to take such decisions according to the by-laws of the FIDE.
FIDE responded with its own press release on 31 January 2001.
It has become necessary for me to issue this statement in the face of the misunderstanding, which has arisen following the Presidential Board's decisions in respect of the use of the Continental Championship as basis for qualification for the World Chess Championship as well as the new time control for FIDE events. [...]
I would like to begin by stating that there has clearly been a misunderstanding. I have taken time to go through the tapes of the General Assembly meeting in Istanbul as well as the resolutions of the Presidential Board, the initial Press release after the Tehran Board meeting as well as the clarification of some of the issues raised in the Press release, which was contained in our circular letter of 4 January 2001.
The extract of the tape recording of the Minutes clearly shows that it was the true intention of the General Assembly that the final decision regarding the matter of the new time control and the World Championship be dealt with at the Presidential Board. [...]
I am in a position to say that all the issues were thoroughly debated at the two sessions of the Board in New Delhi and Tehran before the Board reached its decision. This was apart from various meetings at Committee levels chaired at different times, by the President and Deputy President. In keeping with our Statutes, and where communication allowed, contact was established with some of the Board members by fax or telephone for their input, when the matter was being debated especially at the Tehran stage.
Let me now address the issue of the Status of the Zones. As I stated in my earlier note, the Zonal structure shall continue to be maintained as the bedrock of our chess development effort. They shall continue to be used for purposes of titles and ratings as contained in the Handbook. But as was clear from our discussions in Istanbul, the Continental Championships for commercial reasons will now be used for purposes of qualification to the World Championship. At the same time, the Continental Championships are now going to be administered by the Continents and they are expected to select the winners for qualification for the World Championship from this event, along Zonal lines. It should also be noted that the Presidential Board had granted substantial increases to the number of qualifiers from the Continents thus allowing for all possible variations to satisfy the needs of the Continents as well as the Zones from within this Continental structure. [...]
What's the fuss about zones and continental competitions/championships? At the same time that FIDE announced the new time controls, it ignited another controversy
Tehran, 26 December 2000
NEW FORMAT OF WORLD CHESS COMPETITION [...]
8. It is proposed that during every year FIDE will help to organize National Championships and 4 Continental Championships which will determine 117 candidatures for World Chess Championship to whom will be added 3 President nominees and 8 best chess players selected from worldwide Internet. [...]
This decision cast aside the tradition of zonal tournaments which had been in place since 1948 as the first step in determining the players eligible to fight for the world championship. On 27 February, Ilyumzhinov issued a personal statement.
Statement from the FIDE President regarding the new time control and use of Continental Championships for qualification to the World Chess Championships
It has become necessary to address you in the face of the controversy generated by the Presidential Board's decision to introduce the new time control for all FIDE events and title tournaments from an average of six hours to four hours for the playing session.
After reflection and consultations, I shall recommend to the next meeting of the Board in Cannes next month, to review its decision after hearing from all interested parties.
I can see that some Federations are not yet prepared to accept the inevitable changes that our sport must undergo, if it is to move with the other sports of the modern era. Some Federations have stated that the Presidential Board's action in respect of the time control should have been limited to the World Championships, and not all FIDE events and title tournaments. Therefore, I shall in the FIDE spirit, propose a further compromise solution. I shall recommend to the Presidential Board to accept the new time control as currently approved for the World Championships and to make it recommendatory for other FIDE events and title tournaments, subject to further review at our next Congress in September.
Regarding the use of the Continental Championships as basis for qualification for the World Championship, I have requested Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos to meet with the Continental Presidents, one day before the Board's meeting in Cannes to put in place the right strategic plan to realise our commercial objectives.
On 14 May, FIDE issued another press release mandating the new time control for the forthcoming junior championships...
In line with the spirit of compromise as proposed by the FIDE President at the Presidential Board meeting in Cannes, this year's World Juniors and Girls Championships in Athens will be played using the new time control as approved by the Board.
In order to enable the Executive Board arrive at a fair decision in the overall interest of Chess at our next Congress in Halkidiki, series of polls are expected to be carried out among the players by experts in the World Juniors as well as other FIDE events.
...and later, on 5 October, offered a variant on the time control, which was almost the same as the original proposal. It was clear that, as far as FIDE was concerned, the matter was closed.
During this year's FIDE Congress in Halkidiki, the Executive Board resolved to introduce two forms of the new time control to organizers of FIDE events and indeed, recommended same to all tournament organizers for consideration. The approved variants, which are basically the same in terms of the total time used for the game are as follows:
1 hour 15 minutes for 40 moves plus 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an incremental time of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.
1 hour 30 minutes for the whole game with an incremental time of 30 seconds per move from move 1.
On the basis of this decision, and upon the request of many players, the FIDE President has approved the request of the Organising Committee for the 2001/2002 World Chess Championships on the introduction of the variant of the new time control of all the moves in 1 hour 30 minutes with an incremental time of 30 seconds per move from move one.
Accordingly, I write at this early stage to inform all participants of this slight amendment to the time control that will be used in the 2001/2002 World Chess Championships and the 2001 Women's World Chess Championships.
War on the traditional organizers
The first mention of a FIDE Grand Prix was on 22 February 2000, in the famous, 'Memorandum on the Commercialisation of FIDE', which had attracted a great deal of attention from the world chess community. The memorandum requested, 'That a Committee be set up immediately to consider applications from Organisers of existing tournaments with a good history, for purposes of upgrading them to be known as Big Helmet Tournaments that will form part of our Grand Prix. The number of such tournaments should be no more than 10 each year at the level of FIDE, Continental and regional bodies'.
A few weeks later, 'Decisions on commercialisation FIDE' used exactly the same wording, except 'Big Helmet Tournaments' became 'White Castle Tournaments'. The action lay on the back burner until 26 December 2000. The same announcement that changed the time control carried the following:-
The Board also approved in principle the establishment of a parallel system of an elite section of the top 32 players, to play in a series of events, including the Grand Prix qualifying tournaments, the World Chess Cup and the Grand Prix final, as part of FIDE's commercialisation programme. A special Committee to be chaired by the Deputy President G. Makropoulos, has been mandated by the Board to coordinate all aspects of the planning and the preparation of the World Chess Championship, World Internet Championship and the series of elite tournaments on behalf of FIDE in collaboration with Mr. A. Tarasov of FIDE Commerce.
FIDE's plans for the Grand Prix were further clarified in three FIDE announcements dated 19 January 2001.
- The Description of FIDE World Chess Grand Prix
- Champions League : For the members of the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, FIDE will promote annually various commercial competitions, for example, a series of qualifying tournaments World Chess Grand Prix culminating in the Grand Prix final.
- CHESS ranking system : Annually, in addition to their rating points, the 32 chess players of the Champions League will receive a number of "ranking" points based on their performance in the World Chess Championship expressed as a number. This ranking is valid for the calendar year up to the World Chess Championship of that year. This ranking position is also their starting position within the World Chess Grand Prix series
This seemed innocent enough until FIDE published an 'Interview with Artiom Tarasov and Aidan Day [of Octagon]' in March. Octagon Sponsorship Consulting Ltd Corporation, 'one of the world's largest sports marketing corporations', had been hired by FIDE Commerce in January, 'to commercialise chess and attract millions to the sport of chess'.In another interview, Tarasov was asked 'What can you say about the declaration of organizers of traditional tournaments in Linares, Wijk aan Zee and Dortmund who rejected your idea to include their tournaments in the Grand Prix series? Others can reject it as well.' He replied, 'I believe we can settle this question gradually. Though their train of thought is clear: you have a good tournament, a good sponsor, and you earn your money from this, so why should you join somebody or something? Yet, if you don't join us, we shall have only one way out: to hold our Grand Prix tournaments at the same time with your events. War is war.'
Q: What is the strategy behind the creation of the new Grand Prix tournaments?
AT: To select current prestigious tournaments and create new tournaments to become very prestigious, allowing the world's top chess players to compete on a regular basis. Such events may in time take place monthly thus ensuring the strongest players climb to the top, climaxing with a Grand Prix final and the chance to win major honours.
Q: Why do you need this series of Grand Prix tournaments?
AT: Many current tournaments have difficulty raising necessary funds and face extinction in the very close future. The Grand Prix Series will provide the necessary level of funding to keep these great tournaments in existence.
AD: Beyond crucial financial requirements raising the appeal of chess to an ever-increasing audience as well as developing the commercial attraction to sponsors and partners alike is essential to the evolution of chess on a global platform.
Q: What will you do if the existing tournaments reject your proposal to join the Grand Prix Series?
AT: In certain cases, for the progressive good of chess, we will organize new tournaments in the capital cities of some of these countries. This would be a slightly unfortunate situation for some events as the new Grand Prix events will be likely to take place at the same time as those events rejecting our proposal.
The 'Rules of Grand Prix', issued on 11 April, listed eight tournaments on its proposed calendar. An event in January in Amsterdam would conflict with the Corus Wijk aan Zee tournament, while another event was proposed in February in Madrid, to conflict with the Linares tournament. The time control would be the controversial proposal from December 2000. The rules also explained the system of awarding Grand Prix points. In case there was any doubt as to FIDE Commerce's intentions, the recent Linares 2001 tournament was used as a practical example. Was Dortmund spared? No, a new list, proposed a month later, added a tournament in Berlin to compete directly with Dortmund.
At some time during the year, FIDE Commerce's avowed intention to usurp or destroy the property of the supertournament organizers was replaced with common sense. An announcement in November listed five tournament sites for 2002 -- Delhi, Abu Dhabi, Dubrovnik, Moscow, and Rio de Janeiro -- none of which competed with existing supertournaments. The time control would be 25 minutes for each player plus 10 additional seconds for each move. This meant that the Grand Prix tournaments would be rapidplay tournaments with little more than exhibition status.
Braingames.net loses control
FIDE was not the only chess organization with an image problem. At the time of the announcement of the Kasparov - Kramnik match, there had been some confusion about who the official organizer would be. Mind Sports Organisation (MSO), a company founded by, among others, Raymond Keene and David Levy first announced the match in March 2000. The press conference, was conducted by Braingames Network (BGN), where Keene was also a director, but Levy was not. At the time of the press conference, Levy also accused Keene of misappropriating 50.000 GBP from MSO corporate accounts, but the connection with the match was not clear.
Long after the Kasparov - Kramnik match ended in a victory for Kramnik, BGN continued to be hounded by unflattering stories. In April 2001, the British tabloid 'News of the World' published allegations from Suzanne Martin, former BGN CEO, that the match had been used to launder Russian mafia money.
A month later, MSO declared bankruptcy with debts of 2.500.000 GBP and assets of less than 10.000 GBP. In August, Levy provided details how Keene had misled other MSO directors in using the 50.000 GBP to establish rival BGN. At the beginning of 2002, Levy expanded his accusations by accusing BGN insiders of siphoning more than 500.000 GBP of BGN funds through a purchase of nearly worthless Internet companies.
The news from Braingames.net was not all negative. In April, the company announced that Kramnik would play an eight game match against a computer in Bahrain in October.
KasparovChess.com reported that Fritz and Junior would play a match in Spain, to determine Kramnik's silicon challenger. Shredder, the reigning computer chess champion, and Deep Blue, which had vanquished Kasparov in 1997, were also invited, but declined to play. Even this simple match generated some controversy. Wired.com reported that, 'The Shredder team declined the invitation to come to Spain. It felt that the rules of the competition in Bahrain tilted too much toward man, rather than machine. For example, Kramnik will be given a copy of the program to evaluate on his own.' The developers of other top computer chess programs complained that they had not been invited.
Although Deep Junior won the first five games, Deep Fritz won the right to play Kramnik by drawing the 24 game match and then winning two playoff games. Mark Crowther reported that, 'The final critical moment came in game 22. With three games remaining Fritz needed two wins and a draw to force a play-off. Having no "knowledge" of the match situation, Fritz made the terrible blunder of offering a draw. However Junior, also lacking a wider perspective, turned this offer down and went on to lose the game'. Crowther also reported that, a day after the match was completed 'Brain Games announced the signing of a contract with the state of Bahrain for a million dollar prize fund plus a further million dollars in back-up for the Man v Machine Challenge to be held in October.'
A few months later, Deep Junior won the 18th World Microcomputer Chess Championship at Maastricht with a score of 8.0 in the nine round Swiss system. Deep Fritz and Shredder tied for second with 6.0.
In July, Braingames held a press conference to announce formally the Man-Machine match. The sponsor offered 1.000.000 US$ to Kramnik for winning the match, 800.000 US$ for a draw, and 600.000 US$ if lost. Kramnik said, 'After the Kasparov Deep Blue Match in 1997 the computer is already stronger than the best human chessplayer in the mind of the public. I want to prove that this is not the case.' In September, after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and with the threat of imminent military intervention in the Mid-East, the match was postponed until early 2002.
Kramnik won the Chess Oscar for the year 2000, presented in May by the Russian chess magazine '64'. He had 3796 points and 179 first places. Anand was runnerup with 3410 points and 78 firsts, while Kasparov was voted third with 3372 points and 60 firsts.
At the end of May, Kasparov won a six player, category 20, double round robin tournament held at Astana, Kazakhstan. He finished 1/2 point ahead of Kramnik by beating him in the last round on the White side of a Berlin Defence, an opening that Kasparov had been unable to dent during the Braingames title match.
In June, Anand won the four player Advanced Chess (computer assisted) knockout tournament at Leon, Spain. He beat Leko in the semifinal round and Shirov in the final round.
Later in June, Anand beat Kramnik in the Mainz Chess Classic (previously the Frankfurt Chess Classic) rapid tournament. After the ten rapid games (25 minutes per game plus 10 extra seconds for each move) were tied at 5 points each, Anand won the blitz playoff (5 minutes per game plus 5 seconds per move) with 1.5-0.5.
For the July edition of Fide's rating list, Kasparov was again the highest rated player in the world with 2838. Kramnik also broke the 2800 barrier with 2802. He was followed by Anand (2794), Morozevich (2749, and Adams (2744).
Kramnik and Topalov tied for 1st-2nd with 6.5 points at the six player, category 21, double round robin tournament held at Dortmund in July. Anand failed to win a single game and was last with 3.0.
United we stand...
Braingames announced that the 2002 Dortmund event would double as a Braingames candidates tournament. 'Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand as well as four top players from the FIDE rating list (at the moment the event is held) will receive invitations. Another two slots will be contested in an Internet tournament. [...] The participants of the main event will be divided into two groups, in which two double-round robins will be held. Two winners from each group are to play in the semifinals (2 games) and then the final (4 games). The winner of the final will challenge Kramnik in a 16-game match. Prize money will amount to at least $2,000,000. This World Championship match will probably take place in Bahrain in October 2002. The next World Championship match will be played in Dortmund in the year 2004.'
July : Kasparov gave a press conference following an exhibition and lecture at the University of Patras. When asked, 'who is the top player now', he answered, 'You have to look at the results that speak for the themselves. [...] I won nine out of the ten last classical chess events but I lost one which is still an important game. It is still its one out of ten. [...] I am number one. With Kramnik number two very close behind, Anand number three and his negative results recently showed that in Dortmund.'.
August : the three K's -- Kasparov, Karpov, and Kramnik -- announced that they would compete in the Botvinnik Memorial in Moscow at the beginning of December. The triangular match would commemorate the 90th birthday of Botvinnik, would have a prize fund of 600.000 US$, and would be held at the same time and in the same place as the FIDE World Championship Knockout Matches.
September : Owen Williams, Kasparov's manager, issued a press release to say that 'Garry Kasparov has little difficulty in turning down the BGN/Dortmund invitation. [...] BGN had an opportunity to offer him conditions in Nov. 2000 and did not bother to meet the deadline. [...] In 1995 the Dortmund Tournament organizers caused a great deal of harm to Kasparov when he was busy organizing his title defense against Anand. [...] The offer from BGN paid absolutely no attention to the financial terms discussed in 2000 between BGN and Kasparov. [...] Now, the reality of this year is that Kasparov has won Wijk aan Zee 2001, won Linares 2001, won Astana 2001 with a last round classical chess victory over Kramnik. In the process he has increased his margin over Kramnik for the world's number one ranking. In light of the foregoing for BGN and Kramnik not to voluntarily offer Kasparov a rematch is reprehensible and makes a mockery of a true World Championship, whose aim, after all is to find the World Champion.'
October : Karpov declared that he would not be playing with Kasparov and Kramnik in the Botvinnik Memorial, but would instead take part in the FIDE event. A FIDE press release quoted Karpov saying 'The time is right for me to make a comeback. I celebrated my 50th birthday this year with close to 2000 guests at the Bolshoi Theatre and many of my friends encouraged me to make this move. My recent victory at the Najdorf Memorial Cup in Buenos Aires has inspired me to seek the title again'. What about the Botvinnik Memorial? 'I approached Organizing Committee to coordinate another date at the beginning of next year. I strongly support the idea of that tournament in honour of great M. Botvinnik.'
Also in October, the World Chess Hall of Fame moved from Washington to Miami. The Hall of Fame, also known as the Sidney Samole Chess Museum, is named after the founder of Fidelity Electronics, a precursor of Excalibur Electronics, which maintains corporate headquarters in the same building as the museum.
December : Kasparov won the Botvinnik Memorial match by beating Kramnik 6.5-3.5 in the final blitz segment of the match. The normal game segment saw four drawn games and the rapid game segment was also tied with one win for each player and four draws. In an interview on his KasparovChess.com site, Kasparov said, 'the Botvinnik Memorial should be considered in the context of my overall duel with Kramnik. After all, this match summarized the year 2001, the first year in which Kramnik played as World Champion. I had to prove that my defeat was just a breakdown, but not the end of my chess career. I had to demonstrate that my chess strength is sufficient to fight for the champion title and keep the highest rating.' As for the 'K' who had defected to the FIDE camp, Karpov was eliminated in the first round of the knockout championship.
The January 2002 edition of Fide's rating list saw little change from the July list. Kasparov's rating was unchanged with 2838 making him again the highest rated player in the world. He was followed by Kramnik (2802) and Anand (2757), with Morozevich and Adams tied at 2742.
Ruslan Ponomariov became the first teenage world champion in chess history by beating Vassily Ivanchuk in the final round of the FIDE Knockout Tournament in Moscow. Ivanchuk had eliminated reigning world champion Anand in the semifinal round, while Ponomariov, seeded 19th going into the tournament, beat Li Wenliang, Tiviakov, Georgiev, Morozevich, Bareev, and Svidler before meeting Ivanchuk.
At the end of January, the Einstein Group issued a press release announced that it had 'purchased Intellectual Leisure Ltd, which owns some of the assets previously held by BGN plc', meaning Braingames, of course. Intellectual Leisure Ltd seems to have no previous existence. The statement confirmed the Einstein Group's commitment to activities undertaken by Braingames.
World Chess Championships: The next World Chess Championship will be held in 2003. The venue has yet to be confirmed. Eight of the world's best players have been invited to participate in the Candidates' Tournament in Dortmund (Germany), in July 2002. The winner of this tournament will be the Challenger in the World Chess Championship final in 2003, playing Vladimir Kramnik. Some $500,000 of sponsorship has already been secured for this event.
Man vs Machine Competition: For the first time since Garry Kasparov spectacularly lost to IBM's Deep Blue in 1997 the World Champion Vladimir Kramnik will play the world's best chess program Deep Fritz, for a $1m prize fund. The 'Brains in Bahrain' tournament will take place in October 2002, in the Meridien Hotel, Bahrain, under the patronage of the Emir of Bahrain and Bahrain Government Youth and Sports Organisation.
www.brainsinbahrain.com (Internet Archive)