Reaction by IM Robert Ris

letter to the Hungarian Chess Federation and

Robert Ris

Robert Ris

After the publication about the decision of the Hungarian Chess Federation, IM Robert Ris sent a letter with his point of view on the issue.

Dear All,

Today I read at Susan’s blog and the news Mr. Pali got banned for 3 years from organizing chess events. If I understand well, the penalty was much lesser, for the following reasons: 1. He never had a prior record of such conduct in the past and 2. He has made arrangements to compensate all the participants.

Probably both true, (at least I witnessed the second point) but up to date I haven’t seen any of my money back. As people could read from my open letter one can see that Mr. Pali made various promises to compensate the players, but every time failed to do so.

Now, 3,5 months later, I still haven’t seen any of my money and therefore I’m very surprised by the soft decision of the disciplinary Committee of Budapest Chess Federation. False promises seem to lessen the penalty…

Kind regards,

Robert Ris

Details about the events at Aeroflot Open

letter by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Following the chess media, I noticed that there are a lot of things about the game with GM Kurnosov that are still unclear and I would like to bring some clarification. After the end, I once again carefully reviewed the games with GM Kurnosov played up to round 6 and afterwards as well. As a result there are facts. In the second round in the game Onischuk – Kurnosov, Onischuk applied a novelty on move 13 and after this move until the end of the game (27 moves total), Kurnosov makes moves strictly from hte first line of Rybka and wins in a beautiful style.

Two rounds after he again has black and again it is a Gruenfeld in the Moiseenko – Kurnosov game. Moiseenko makes a novelty on move 12 and again until move 25 Kurnosov plays the first line of Rybka. But in this game he could not win as Moiseenko had a very simple position without risks. But I also think that the latest position of the black could play to win…

In the 6 th round, against me Kurnosov plays again and wins playing on the first line of Rybka. In all the three games, very few moves were made on the second line of Rybka. In my game and Onischuk’s game we sacrificed pawns, and in such positions the computer needs several moves to build good defence and wins thanks to counterattack.

Thus, in the 8th round after Kurnosov was under close scrutiny of judges and chess fans, he played at a very low level and suffered a defeat. And it seems to me that this is clear indication that Kurnosov used a computer program, leaving the tournament hall practically after every move and having such confidence in himself declining a draw offer at move 14 against me in a practically equal position.

I hope that all of these details will be analyzed and understood by all chess fans I have no doubt that in the future, organizers of tournaments will take into account such nuances, that affect negatively the image of chess.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,

March 2009

Ed. note: The article is translation of the Russian version sent by GM Mamedyarov to Here is the chronology so far:

GM Mamedyarov quits Aeroflot, writes open letter

GM Kurnosov replies to Mamedyarov and chess fans

ECU President Boris Kutin Protests Over Calendar Clash

Letter to FIDE President Kirsan llyumzhinov

FIDE President

Mr Kirsan llyumzhinov

9 Siggrou Avenue

11743 Athens, Greece

27 February 2009

Dear Mr President,

First of all accept my apology being absent for the second time in my more than ten years
capacity of member of the Board (that time I was in the hospital). I cannot be with you due to
my obligations in Europe. Exactly at the same time is the opening ceremony of European
Women’s Championship in St. Petersburg

More important (and more painful) is the clash with the very first FIDE Grand Prix tournament
for women
. There are only a few woman/s strong tournaments per year and the two
strongest ones should be played at the same time?

I was told that at the closing ceremony of the very first Ataturk memorial last year it was
announced that the tournament would keep the day around 8 March. Is this correct to
Belgrade organizers who already organize the WGM tournament for almost 50 years and
many times that the tournament was absolutely the strongest in the world?

But this is not my main point. Even Belgrade’s traditional tournament is a private one, it is not
an official FIDE event. In our case we have two extremely important FIDE events (European
Championship is a qualification for the World Championship) at the same time. We have
announced our date at the Dresden Olympiad and FIDE decided to go with Women’s Grand
Prix without a single phone call to us.

Unfortunately this is not the end of the story. The Second Woman’s Grand Prix will be in
Nanjing, China, exactly at the same time of the European Club Cup. You know very well this
event is the second strongest team event, immediately after the Olympiad, with more than
200 GMs from all continents. For many clubs (especially top ones) this will cause big
damage. For sure for some players will be in breach of contract. Really I have no comment,
remembering the situation in last October, having a clash with World Mind Games and
European Club Cup.

Dear Mr. President, in such way we are loosing our credibility – both, FIDE and ECU.

And one, not so important story, but still important for me: in beginning of February I called
our office, asking if the date of PB is already known. I got the answer that Mr. Raycsanyi is
still hoping to organize the meeting in Budapest, but chances are not too good. In such
situation I offered my help and asked for FIDE demands. The answer in written form was
very shortly: 25 rooms with full board and 25.000 Euro for the tickets. In a very short time I
did not get any confirmation from Croatia (City of Rijeka). I was not surprised hearing a few
days after that Board will be in Istanbul, but I was very surprised that the host covers just
accommodation. How is this possible Mr. President?

With best wishes for good work and best regards,

Boris Kutin

Continental President for Europe

Letter From Grandmaster Igor Kurnosov

response to the letter published by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (sent to

Grandmaster Igor Kurnosov sent a letter to the popular chess portal as a response to the letter published by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov:

“Dear colleagues and chess fans! In response to the letter circulated in the press by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, I have to clarify the situation. I suggest you take a look at the game Mamedyarov-Kurnosov from round six of the Aeroflot Open, together with my brief comments. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 f5 10. h4 fxe4 11.h5 gxh5 – A well-known theoretical position, which I believe, favors black. Here my opponent made a move that was new to me – 12.d5 Ne5 13.Bh6 Nec4. I have also considered Rf7, but I did not like that, after taking Rh5, the Knight loses tempo [13 ... Rf7?! 14.Bxg7 Rxg7 15.Rxh5] 14.Qg5 Rf7. The only move 15.Bxc4. This seemed questionable to me, even though objectively it is not bad. 15 … Nxc4. After the 40-minute thought on the previous move, my opponent offered a draw. But I felt that I had serious advantage and didn’t see the grounds to accept the draw.

16.Rd4? – I thought that Qd6 would give me strong initiative. It turned out that Nb2 led to decisive advantage, but this move I had not considered. Imagine what would be the story had I previously analysed this variation at home!? 16 … Qd6?! 17.Bxg7 Rxg7 – The only move! 18.Qxh5 Qf4 + – Also unique, the checkmate was threatening and the Knight was in danger. Now I invite all qualified chess players to set this position and withing three minutes find the next three simple moves for Black! I believe most if will be forced! 19.Kb1 Bf5 20.fxe4 Bg4 21.Nge2? loses immediately! [21.Qh6 Qf2] 21 … Qd2! 0-1.

Black is in winning position. Here the opponent stopped the clock and, without shaking my hand or signing the formular, reached out to the arbiter’s table. The rest of the story you already know… I believe that all players, regardless of title or rating, should respect themselves and their colleagues, instead of blaming them on computer assistance without reason. At the same time playing relatively weak!

Mamedyarov’s claim that I took the coat and went to the toilet after each move, does not correspond to reality. On the first 12 moves, which we played relatively fast, I did get up from the table. When my opponent thought for 40 minutes on the move 15, I went twice to the smoking area which is only 2 meters from the hall entrance, and always full of players, arbiters, there was also a guard. And on few occasions I went to wash my face with cold water, but I never talked to anybody while doing so. The arbiters had no pretensions towards me, either before or after the protest.

Thereat, I simply did what I always do. While opponent thinks, it is much easier for me to contemplate about the position while walking and not looking at the board. As far as I know, most players do the same. Unfortunately, all this negativity affected my play later in the tournament … I would also like to thank all those who supported me on the Internet or in private conversation!

I would suggest:

1. Organizers of major tournaments to equip the entrance of the playing area with metal detectors and other means which would exclude the possibility of assistance, and would eliminate all baseless accusations and insults, which affect the image of the player.

2. International chess organizations to develop a set of rules that would execute serious sanctions for those who use assistance, as well as for those who unjustly accuse the others of receiving the aid!

GM Igor Kurnosov, 28.02.2009 “

Ed. note: Having published the statements of both players, we will stop discussing this matter until (if) the chess governing bodies take a stand on the issue. also brings links to the articles published in Azerbaijan media and we will direct your attention once again to the warning given by IM Alisa Maric.

Italian Magazine About the National Chess Championship

Press release by Torre, Cavallo – Scacco

Twelve players compete in the 68th Italian Chess Championship, which takes place in Martina Franca (Taranto) until December 14.

Among them all five members of Italian Olympic team are fighting for the title, but all eyes are on 16 years old GM Fabiano Caruana, 2007 Italian Champion, who is leading after six rounds with 4.5 points, which means four wins, one draw and one loss: the latter came with White against Alessio Valsecchi, a same age opponent.

Fabiano is a world-famous star, being the strongest U16 player, and since a few months in the top 100 world ranking.

Fabiano Caruana

GM Fabiano Caruana

That’s the reason why Caruana, who is a member of the ASD Torre and Cavallo Chess School of Brescia, has been invited to take part to some of the most important upcoming chess tournaments: soon after the Italian Chess Championship, Fabiano will be in Pamplona, Spain, from 22nd to 29th December. Then from 16th January to 1st February he will play the Corus B tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherland, where early this year he won the Corus C tournament.

Fabiano Caruana is a card-carrying member of the Torre and Cavallo Chess School of Brescia, where pubblishing house Messagerie Scacchistiche has been established in 1990. The pubblishing house Messaggerie Scacchistiche pubblishes the monthly magazine “Torre, Cavallo: Scacco!” – “Rook and Knight Mate!” in English – and is run by former Italian Chess Champion IM Roberto Messa.

Alessio Valsecchi

FM Alessio Valsecchi

If you wish to have daily reports on the Italian Championship you can check (Italian) or can contact us at or

News by FM Dario Mione

Related: Italian Championship round 5 report

Open Letters From Bill Goichberg, Susan Polgar and Gata Kamsky

Letters flying in over the last several hours

November 7, 2008

Open Letter From Bill Goichberg

Open letter to FIDE Office and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

The U.S. Chess Federation is astonished to hear the latest position of FIDE regarding the Kamsky vs. Topalov match.

On June 1, 2008, FIDE announced that this match would take place in Lvov, Ukraine, beginning November 28, with a prize fund of $750,000. Following is the FIDE press release of that date, as posted on the FIDE website:

President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has announced that the World Championship Challenger Match between Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Gata Kamsky (USA) will take place in Lvov, Ukraine in November 2008.

The organiser offered a prize fund of 750,000 USD and to hold the match on the “neutral” territory of Ukraine, as the players wanted to avoid Bulgaria or the USA. President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov guarantees the organiser’s offer by backing the event from his personal finances.

FIDE Presidential Board acknowledged the offer as well as the guarantee and assigned Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos to conclude the final contracts and to check the availability of the finances. The Match will be held in dates between November 26th and December 14th 2008.

Now we are being told that the “guarantee” that FIDE announced can be withdrawn because the organizer of the Lvov match has failed to make the necessary payment to FIDE? But this guarantee had significance only under precisely these circumstances!

If the organizer had made this payment, then for the FIDE President to “back the event from his personal finances” would not be necessary. Since the organizer has failed to make the payment, “backing the event from his personal finances” is now needed- and FIDE’s position appears to be that it was happy to promise backing with words only, but that backing with actual money was not what FIDE had in mind. Incredible!

Retail products are often sold with guarantees. Imagine if your product does not work, and you return it for repair or refund, and the seller says “Sorry, we have decided that the guarantee we offered is only valid if the product is working perfectly.” That is exactly what FIDE is trying to do to the players in this match.

The chess world and the media will not be so easily fooled. It is apparent that FIDE made a public commitment, and now is seeking to back out for no valid reason. A “guarantee” is not subject to being revoked at the whim of the guarantor. Please reconsider this very unwise and inappropriate action.

Sincerely Yours,

Bill Goichberg

President, US Chess Federation

Open Letter From Susan Polgar


Please kindly verify that this is only your personal opinion or the opinion of various individuals. As a board member of the US Chess Federation, I did not authorize this letter nor have I seen this open letter before it was published. You definitely do not have my permission to speak on my behalf. This is the first time I am seeing it.

This is a very serious matter as it will clearly affect the professional careers of two great players: Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov. I would like to see these two world-class players settle their differences on the chess board and not through war of words. I encourage all parties to engage in diplomatic and respectful negotiation sessions to come up with a sensible solution instead of adding more fuel to the fire with this type of open letters.

Our chess community has suffered enough already. If you would like to be personally involved in this negotiation, you are more than welcome to come to Dresden next week and speak to the FIDE officials. But let’s not go down this destructive path with no possible amicable ending.

Best wishes,

Susan Polgar

USCF Minority Board Member

Bill Goichberg Clarifying

Susan, I am speaking for the USCF, which means the majority of the Executive Board. I have not claimed that every member of the Executive Board agrees with my statement.

Bill Goichberg

Open Letter From Gata Kamsky

Dear President, gentelmen, Susan,

When I first seen Bill’s letter I was happy, because finally USCF has been showing strong support for their representative. Whether there could be a better solution or a more diplomatic one is a good question, but the reality is that there is no time to negotiate and given FIDE’s strong-arm history of negotiating, it is not likely to succeed. When I spoke with FIDE Vice President Mr. Makropoulos in Greece, it was decided that both my team and Mr. Topalov’s team would meet during the rest day at the Olympiad in Dresden to negotiate and discuss everything, including technical details. With their last public statement, Mr. Illumjinov not only attempted to revoke his personal guarantee of the match, but he also imposed the time limit of 1 week for the players to acceed to his demands and at the same time re-awarded the bid to the Bulgarian Federation, which was the original FIDE’s intention in the first place. You all are aware of the clause in the FIDE regulation for this “special” match that gave the Bulgarian Chess Federation a privilege of matching any bid that is coming from my side, which effectively ruined any attempt to find and submit a bid from the United States.

Throughout the negotiations with my managers, FIDE did nothing to find a sponsor on their own, despite the fact that it was sole FIDE’s decision to create this match and thus, to allow Mr. Topalov a backdoor into the final steps of the qualification proceedings for the world championship title, quite unfairly, I might add.

FIDE’s entire purpose, for the chessplayers, for fairness has been changed into a special interest group organization and I personally believe that any negotiations with FIDE rulers or tsars, or whatever you like to call them, will be unsuccessful.

The time for the negotiation is over and the only way to fight FIDE is to expose their mistakes, and perhaps fight them in a court of law if and when FIDE broke the law. Therefore, I would respectfully request all USCF Board members to unite and find ways to make sure that justice and fairness will prevail.


Gata Kamsky

Vesela Lecheva with letter about Kamsky – Topalov

open letter by the Bulgarian sports minister

The Bulgarian sports minister Vesela Lecheva sent early Tuesday morning a letter to the FIDE office and to the FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov. The letter is about the Kamsky – Topalov match and is a follow up on the letter by the Bulgarian Chess Federation a few weeks ago.

letter lecheva

In a short telephone call Veselin Topalov’s manager Silvio Danailov commented for, “We still have not received an answer to the previous letter. If there is no action in the next 10 days the Bulgarian Olympic Committee (chess is Olympic sport in Bulgaria) will have to inform directly the IOC and its President Jacques Rogge.”

On the 16th of October the European Club Cup 2008 is starting in Kallithea. Gata Kamsky and Ivan Cheparinov will participate as well and Chessdom team will be able to get their opinion.

Topalov – Kamsky lost in translation

Bulgarian news agencies mess up a translation

The match Kamsky – Topalov entered in a very dramatic momentum last evening when the Bulgarian news agencies published the text of the letter of Stefan Sergiev (President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation) to the FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov. The text was full of factual mistakes and finished in a strange way for an official letter.

Early Saturday morning there was a quick reaction by the Bulgarian Chess Federation members. They said, “The text of the letter in the Bulgarian news agencies is a wrong translation of the original that we have sent them.” After a while, the original of the letter of the Kamsky – Topalov match arrived by email to the Chessdom editors.

The wrong text (translation of which you can find here) continues to be spread through the Bgnes news agency.

The Bulgarian Chess Federation members specified, “Of course we did not call the match between Kramnik and Anand semi final, as it was published in Bulgarian media. This would be total disrespect to the match itself.”

letter to kirsan ilymzhinov

Letter to Mikhail Nikolozovich Saakashvili

from the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Elista, 21 August 2008

to Mr. M. Saakashvili

President Republic of Georgia

Dear Mikhail Nikolozovich!

I am addressing my letter to you on behalf of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and millions of aficionados of the wisest game on the planet in respect of the statement of the Georgian Chess Federation regarding participation of Georgia’s representatives in the Women’s World Chess Championship.
Following the decision of the FIDE Presidential Board regarding the said tournament, it is scheduled to be held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation, from 28 August to 18 September 2008.
Six Georgian sportswomen- Maia Chiburdanidze, Leila Dzhavahishvili, Sopio Gvetadze, Maia Lomineishvili, Sopiko Khukhashvili, Nino Khurtsidze – received the right of participation, having gone through a most difficult process of selection, or, by a personal invitation, due to personal high rating. Highly esteemed Nona Terentievna Gaprindashvili has been appointed a member of the appeals committee of the tournament. Mr. Evgeni Melikset-Begi – is a member of a arbiters’ board. Thus, it was supposed that the Georgian representation be one of the largest at this most prestigious event in women’s chess. I think that one should not mention the level of authority and respect which is being enjoyed in the world by the Georgian chess school and its representatives, who personify intellect and beauty of Georgia.
Several days ago we all have become witnesses of a horrible humanitarian catastrophe. In my previous statements I have expressed my most sincere condolences to families of the catastrophe’s victims and FIDE’s position on this issue. Unfortunately, we are unable to change the dates and venues of the Championship.
Fully realizing all complexity of the present situation for the Georgian chess players and understanding their dear wish to defend honour of their country at the chess board, I am appealing to you for your kind assistance in providing the sportsmen with conditions for smooth participation in the World Championship. This is especially valuable and urgent during the days of the Olympic Games.

Looking forward to your understanding.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

President of FIDE

chessdom logo

More about the World Women Chess Championship

Statements by: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov / Boris Kutin / Arsen Kanokov

General information

Rules of the WWCC (part 1)

Rules of the WWCC (part 2)

Round 1 pairings

Logo and mascot

Statement of Arsen Kanokov

Chairman of Organizing committee of the World women’s championship 2008

The Organizing Committee of the Women’s World Chess Championship 2008 is deeply disappointed and bewildered by the attempts of some circles by no means spots ones to break up the competition of the strongest women chess players of the world scheduled to be held in Nalchik.

Sharing entirely and fully attitude of FIDE and European Chess Union toward an open letter of Georgian women chess players, we believe that representatives of a famous chess school shouldn’t be pawns in somebody’s unworthy game.

The preparation for the Championship has entered its final stages and the Organizing Committee claims that high requirements of FIDE to all aspects of preparation and holding the most significant chess event of the year will be met and nothing will prevent chess players of the participating countries from showing their game potential.

See you in peaceful and hospitable capital of Kabardino-Balkaria!

We are one family!

Arsen Kanokov,

Chairman of Organizing committee of the World women’s championship 2008.


14 august 2008