27 January 2021

The Kamskys vs. Bob Rice

During the last 20+ years I've accumulated thousands of documents and document snippets related to the World Chess Championship. While sorting through them for another post, I rediscovered a series of early TWIC extracts related to the 1994-95 PCA Candidates Matches. As far as I can tell, these historically relevant documents exist only on TWIC.

1994-11-20: The Week in Chess 10 • '2) The Kamsky Letter and Bob Rice's response'

  • 'Eric Schiller posted an open letter to the chess world from Gata Kamsky. It purely represents Kamsky's point of view and was unedited by Eric; Dated: 07.11.94' • 'One and half months already passed since we started trying to get any answer from Bob Rice. So far, our lawyers received only telephone answers. We officially requested him in written form to allow PCA Candidates' finals match between Kamsky and Anand to be held in Linares, starting December 15-20th.'

  • 'PCA Response to Kamsky. November 19, 1994; Bob Rice's Reaction; We spoke to Bob Rice today over the phone about Gata Kamsky's Open Letter and he made these comments. The fragments are presented more or less in the order that I jotted them down. -- Larry Evans' • "The charges made by Gata Kamsky are patently absurd and have about the same degree of validity as his earlier charge that people were poisoning his food. [...]"

1994-11-27: The Week in Chess 11 • '2) FIDE, PCA and the Kamskys'

  • 'Interview with Gata Kamsky; By Larry Evans' • (On Sunday we received a phone call from Gata Kamsky and his father Rustam. These are their comments on my interview with Bob Rice.) "We had two lawyers but dismissed them because we feel they took the side of PCA commissioner Bob Rice against us. [...]"

  • 'Protest; From Roustam Kamsky; To Bob Rice; Dated 18-Nov-94' • 'On behalf of Gata Kamsky and myself I protest against the fact that the prize for the Candidates Final Match was cut in half. [...]'

1994-12-04: The Week in Chess 12 • '5) Further Bob Rice - Kamsky letters.'

  • 'Text of letter from Bob Rice to Rustam and Gata Kamsky, date November 23, 1994, on PCA letterhead, with the contact information listed as 345 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010' • 'This letter replies to your "Protest" of November 18 and confirms conversations I had with your lawyers, Mr. Joel Lutwin and Mr. Edwin Rubin, previously on the subjects you raise in your "Protest".'

  • 'Reply to Bob Rice; For immediate release; From Roustam Kamsky; Retyped and posted by Eric Schiller' • 'This is a reply to a fax I received 25-Nov-94 from Bob Rice. After almost two months Mr. Rice finally sent me a fax in reply to my repeated requests for information.'

TWIC 12 had an additional section about the recently concluded match, Kamsky - Short, Linares • '6) The PCA Candidates Semifinals - Linares 1994'

  • 'Report to the PCA by Technical Director Mauricio B. Perea' • 'My first experience as a chess Technical Director became an interesting episode, blending amusing bouts of curiosity with an almost paranoid human behaviour on the part of Mr Rustam Kamsky. [...] Technical meeting of September 20, 1994 • Mr Rustam Kamsky insisted on being present at the Technical Meeting of Sept. 20th, on the grounds that his son is still a minor (Gata is 20 years old).'

  • 'Chief Arbiter's Report; Regarding the incident of September 25, 1994, in the hotel restaurant of the Anibal Hotel; Chief Arbiter Andrzei Filipowicz; Linares, September 26, 1994 • 1. During the 4th round, in the opening (after Black's 5th move) Mr Short, on his own time, said a few words directly to Mr Gata Kamsky, asking him to stop his permanent coughing which was disturbing him. [...] 9. As I understand, a few hours later that same night the police took Mr Rustam Kamsky to the police station to clarify his version of the case and his behaviour in the restaurant.'

For more about the struggle between the rival chess organizations that damaged world chess at the highest level, see my page FIDE vs. PCA : World Chess Championship.

20 January 2021


On the sidebar of my main blog -- follow the sidebar on this blog to find it -- there's a link called 'My Scrapbook (Google Alerts)'. In fact, it's been years since the service was rebranded as 'Giga Alerts', but I've never taken the time to update the name of the link. The link's target page is a service that keeps track of results for the search term 'chess "mark weeks"'. It's a simple way to see who is referencing my material and what they are saying about it.

Those 'Giga Alerts' aren't updated very often, some of them don't make much sense, and many of them are for other folks who go through life bearing the name 'Mark Weeks', but all-in-all, the alerts are useful. Recently I discovered that turning the page search into an image search returns many more relevant pages than does the straightforward page search. Many of the images are from Wikipedia pages that reference my World Championship pages for crosstables.

Using the same technique as I used for the post Imagery of 1995 Kasparov - Anand (June 2018), the following image shows the first three lines of a search restricted to Wikipedia pages. It's a real who's who of world class players who are a tier below the familiar names of the World Champions and their main challengers.

Google image search on 'chess "mark weeks" site:wikipedia.org'

[Call the rows 'A' to 'C' (from top to bottom) and number the images in each row '1' to 'x' (from left to right).]

Images A1 and A10, for example, are from Wikipedia's page on Fenny Heemskerk, who, according to Wikipedia, competed in four women's tournaments at the highest level. My own page, Index of Women Players lists a fifth tournament, the 1967 Candidates Tournament in Subotica, then Yugoslavia, now Serbia.

Image B9 shows Lubomir Kavalek (wikipedia.org), who died this week. Wikipedia has links to two of my Interzonal pages, although my Index of Players (H-M), lists a third, the 1987 Subotica Interzonal Tournament (Subotica again), where I note, 'Kavalek withdrew after six rounds'.

Why do the Wikipedia pages link to my pages rather than to other Wikipedia pages on the same subject? Or to Chessgames.com crosstables? That is a question for which I have no answer. Perhaps the links were created before the other pages existed. (NB: I'm *not* complaining!)

13 January 2021

Whither the Women's World Championship?

My first question while Spectating the 91st FIDE Congress on my main blog was 'What about the Women's World Championship?' FIDE has been dithering on the subject for over two years, as a recent post on this current blog, Notes on the Women's Championship (November 2020), documented. The 'Spectating' post mentioned four FIDE announcements (see that post for links):-
  • 2020-12-05: '2020 FIDE Online General Assembly Agenda' • '5.2 Women's World Cup 2021 and World Cup 2021'
  • 2020-12-10: '91st FIDE Congress: decisions, documents, numbers' • 'Even though the Gibraltar Chess Open 2021 had to be canceled, ['founder and driving force behind the Gibraltar Chess Festival, Brian Callaghan'] managed to keep the tradition alive by hosting the fourth and final leg of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix, from January 17-29.'
  • 2020-12-16: 'Decisions of the 4th quarter FIDE Online Council Meeting' • 'fee reduction for women’s titles and ratings'; 'approve the 2021 Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss Regulations'; 'note EDU, WOM, [...] reports'
  • 2020-12-17: 'Decisions of the FIDE Online General Assembly 2020' • zilch

The first bullet (2020-12-05) is a change to allow federations to nominate participants. See FIDE World Cups 2021: Players nomination (fide.com) for details.

The second bullet (2020-12-10) has since been superseded by FIDE Women's Grand Prix Gibraltar rescheduled (fide.com). This is through no fault of the organizer, but is another casualty of the covid coronavirus.

The third bullet (2020-12-16) might have further info, but I could not find the WOM report. The Commission for Women’s Chess (wom.fide.com) is filled with old news. For details about the Grand Swiss, see Bidding procedure for FIDE Grand Swiss & FIDE Women's Grand Swiss 2021 (fide.com).

The fourth bullet (2020-12-17) sums up the rest: mostly zilch. Maybe the minutes of the Congress will be more informative.

06 January 2021

C14 1987 Interzonal Qualifiers

I ended last week's post, C01-C29 IZ/KO/QP Cosmetic Changes (December 2020), saying, 'More to follow...'. One of the pages that I updated during the previous weeks, (C14) 1987-1990 Zonal Cycle Qualifiers, starts,
The qualification rules for this cycle have been guessed for this page.

After that page was created, we had a new web-based resource in US Chess CL Archive (November 2019). I reviewed the Chess Life (CL) PDF for the year 1987, hoping to find more information about the zonals for that year. Although I didn't eliminate all of my guesses, I did find new material for the page (C14) 1987-1990 Zonal Cycle, specifically:-

  • Zone 6, the U.S Championship, where the number of players qualifying was changed after the tournament ended, and
  • IZ Qualifiers, confirming the three organizer choices.

The page for the '(C14) Qualifiers' changed from (note the obviously incorrect double entry for '2I'):-

Adorjan A (c?,, 2I)
Hulak K (c?,, 3I)
Velimirovic D (c?,, 2I)


Adorjan A (c,, 2I)
Hulak K (c,, 3I)
Marjanovic S (c,, 1I)
Velimirovic D (?,, 2I)

Did GM Velimirovic qualify by rating? I'll look into that as soon as I can.