Sunday, May 01, 2005

I Told You So

Kramnik to shun FIDE championship

Vladimir Kramnik has nothing to gain by participating in FIDE's charade, and for once he actually has a case for ducking a strong tournament (that's not to say he's not motivated by fear...). The FIDE championship will be played with a bad format for comparatively little money, so no one has a great motivation in playing - if you win, you have a title that most people don't consider a worthwhile world champion title anyway. Players would risk a loss of rating points and a substantial interruption to their schedules for a title manifestly not worth the effort...and the money's pathetic to boot. FIDE doesn't even know where it's having the tournament, and the whole thing sounds profoundly amateur.

But besides that, Kramnik has a world champion title. It's not FIDE's, but it's a title, and he agreed to play for the unified world championship under very specific terms. FIDE's newest debacle of a world championship wasn't in the deal, and Kramnik rightly refuses to play.

In other words, Kasparov retired and Kramnik won't play for FIDE's title. The top rated player and one of the two players with a world champion title (Kasimdzhanov has the FIDE title for now) aren't playing. If you don't mind, I'll avoid watching the FIDE championship this year - there's probably better chess on Yahoo.


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