03 December 2008

Troubled Matches

After the derailment and rescheduling of the Topalov - Kamsky match, I planned a post on other troubled matches of the recent past. Then I discovered I had been anticipated in a comment to a Daily Dirt piece titled Kamsky-Topalov to Sign for Sofia. Dirt fan Pradeep John compiled the following list of 'important matches which were agreed and did not take place'.
  • 1975 Fischer - Karpov
  • 1998 Kasparov - Shirov
  • 1999 Kasparov - Anand
  • 2003 Kasparov - Ponomariov
  • 2004 Kasparov - Kasimdzhanov
  • 2006 Topalov - Radjabov
  • 2008 Topalov - Kamsky

The comment also listed URLs, the majority from Chessbase.com, for further info on the different matches. I've corrected the year of Kasparov - Shirov from 1999 to 1998, and should point out that the name of the Kasparov / Rentero organization behind the match was not, as mentioned in the comment, the World Chess Association, but the World Chess Council. Other matches which narrowly missed inclusion on the list are

  • 1983 Kasparov - Korchnoi,
  • 1993 Karpov - Timman, and
  • 1996 Karpov - Kamsky

FIDE has taken much well-earned flack for the bungled Topalov - Kamsky match, which followed the change of venues for the 2008 Women's World Championship and the 2008 Doha Grand Prix, and which showed once again that FIDE's procurement policies are neither adequate nor adhered to. The other matches on the list are a mixture of FIDE internal failures (Kasparov - Kasimdzhanov), policy disputes (Fischer - Karpov), and non-FIDE failures (Kasparov - Shirov).

Earlier examples of failures in the Women's Championship were the cancelled Xie Jun - Galliamova and Xie Jun - Polgar matches of the late 1990s. Organizational failure also damaged the 1994 Olympiad, caused the cancellation of the 1996 Interzonal (eventually replaced by the 1997 Groningen Knockout), and torpedoed the 1996 Kasparov - Karpov reunification match.

In retrospect, FIDE's record in the 2000s has been no worse than in the 1990s, when the failure of high profile chess events became more common. I suppose this was partly because of the breakup of the Soviet Union, when former Soviet players were no longer manipulated by the heavy hand of the state.

1 comment:

Celso Renato said...

Very good! Parabens by post!