Sunday, May 18, 2008

Confusion Over Kamsky - Topalov Match

Last Thursday, Germany-based website reported that the match between Gata Kamsky (US) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) has been "confirmed" to take place later this year in Lvov, Ukraine. The confirmation was on account of financial guarantees, amounting to nearly US$1 million, allegedly received by FIDE's Swiss bank account and originating from Kamsky's manager, Alexander Chernenko.

Chernenko reportedly gave an interview, quoted by Chessbase, in which he allegedly said, "The sum of $935,000 has appeared on the bank’s computer screen in Lausanne".

Yet just 24 hours later, US magazine Chess Life has poured cold water over these developments.

Chess journalist (reporting as foreign correspondent for the Internet Chess Club) Macauley Peterson, in his post on the US Chess Federation website states quite bluntly: "Both Chernenko himself and FIDE's Athens headquarters rebut that account [that the financial guarantees have been received]".

George Mastrokoukos, a FIDE official reached by phone in Athens, said that FIDE had received no information to confirm the details of the bid. "The only person we have been speaking to is Mr. Chernenko -- I mean not myself personally, but the President [Kirsan Ilyumzhinov]," he said, adding, "These companies that are listed in their bid, we have not reached a point to check this because first of all we are waiting for the original documents and the bank transfer." FIDE also does not know the name of the bank originating the funds transfer. According to Mastrokoukos, "the only information we have is that in two business days, the money will appear in our bank account."

Read more in Questions Surround Kamsky Match.

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