Kasparov - Anand match for the World Chess Championship will not be held this year

AUGUST 14: Mr. Kuruvilla Abraham, manager of chess Grandmaster Anand, has just released the following statement:

The much awaited match between Viswanathan Anand and Garry Kasparov will not happen this year. The 16 game championship, which was to have taken place in October this year, has been canceled due to lack of sponsorship. The event was originally to have been sponsored by a Silicon Valley mega-corporation who pulled out in the last minute due to a conflict of interest caused by Kasparov's, Microsoft backed, Internet based chess match.
Grandmaster Anand Viswanathan in 1989 at the Asian Team Chess Championship in Genting Highlands, Malaysia
Photo by Sam Sloan

As a consequence, the promoter, Mr. Serge Grimaux, was unable to finalize an alternative sponsor within the deadline prescribed by the formal agreement signed by all parties involved.

Subsequently, Mr. Grimaux requested and was given 30 further business days (holidays and weekends not included) to make other sponsorship arrangements. However, despite his best efforts, adequate sponsorship commitments were not finalized during this extended period and therefore the championship now stands canceled.

Mr. Grimaux is yet to make an official statement about the status of this championship, which would have been a face off between the two strongest players of the world. A team of eminent people headed by Mr. Bessel Kok had informed the committee under whose authority the championship was supposed to have been organized. The committee may meet at a later date to decide on a future championship.

Viswanathan Anand, who had kept away from the FIDE Championship due to his contractual obligation to this event, stated, "It is sad that the championship will not happen this year. It would have meant a big boost for committed commercial sponsorship of chess."

It is also unfortunate that Garry Kasparov went ahead with a press conference in London to announce that the championship was canceled before the expiry of the extended organizing period given to Mr. Grimaux by all signatories to the agreement. All the signatories were bound by a clause of confidentiality, which Mr. Kasparov has not seen necessary to honor.

Arvind Aaron

Dear Sam:

There is a little mistake in the last paragraph of Mr. Kuruvilla's letter.

Kasparov didn't announce that the championship was canceled in a press conference in London. He told me about that after the press conference. At the press conference, he only spoke about the Microsoft game against the world. Perhaps he thought that our conversation was off the record but, as he didn't say "this is confidential" or something like that, I felt free to publish it in El Pais and in Radio Nacional de España.

Sorry for my bad English. Of course, feel free to correct it. Thanks and all the best.

Leontxo Garcia ( leontxo@email.com )

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