12 November 2008

Topalov - Kamsky Match on eBay

Since the reporting by the main chess news services on the Topalov - Kamsky match has been only a little short of hysterical, I have to agree with the sentiment expressed in the most recent issue of TWIC:
20) Topalov - Kamsky match awarded to Bulgaria • I have a general rule of not covering these kind of negotiations these days. So much of what is said and announced is just wrong. No doubt this will drag on and on too and its all just embarrassing. (TWIC 731; 10 November 2008)

While waiting to see how the situation plays out, I reviewed my notes on this match and found a twist that I don't remember reported elsewhere. The following is a screen capture from an eBay auction list.

Apologies for the poor quality. I saved the original image as a GIF, and it's resisted efforts to resample gracefully. Anyway, the image was made on 7 April 2008 to document several eBay auctions for the Topalov - Kamsky match. At that time the auctions still had about 2 1/2 days to run. The descriptions read like this:

You have the last chance to participate and win an option to make an official bid to International Chess Federation (FIDE) on behalf of grandmaster Gata Kamsky who is the only American to compete at the World Chess Championship since Bobby Fisher won the Championship title in 1972.

This is an offer to make a bid to sponsor and organize the 2008 World Championship semi-final Kamsky-Topalov Match where the best American player Gata Kamsky will compete against the former world champion Vaselin Topalov of Bulgaria. See United States Chess Federation site http://main.uschess.org/content/view/8206/1/

The match must be organized in France, Switzerland or other European country other than Bulgaria. As a sponsor you will receive about 2 weeks of worldwide publicity and internet, TV, Press coverage togeter with commercial advertizing for the sponsor's company and products.

The deadline for official submission to FIDE is April 11, 2008. The starting bid amount is about $200,000 Euro.

For Bidding Rules and Procedures you must visit FIDE website: http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=1594

If You have any questios please contact GM Kamsky's attorney directly at bk...@optonline.net , attention B.. K.., Esq.

Visit the Gata Gamsky International Chess & Sports Foundation website to learn more at www.01chess.com

Help to find a sponsor for this World Chess Championship match and claim your 5%

The last line is particularly mysterious; it's offering 5% of what? I never followed up the auctions, but I'm fairly certain there were no bidders.

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