Check to Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu for $138,065 has bounced

by Sam Sloan

Word has just arrived this morning from Romania that the check paid to Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu for $138,065 has bounced. This check was his prize for reaching the semi-finals of the FIDE World Chess Championship in Las Vegas.

This check was drawn on the Wells Fargo Bank in Las Vegas in August. However, Nisipeanu has not complained until now because he had been told that the check would be made good momentarily.
FIDE Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku promises to make good on the bounced checks

When reached in Lucerne, Switzerland, Emmanuel Omuku, the Executive Director of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, acknowledged that there was a problem with the last batch of checks. Omuku said that those players who had cashed their checks quickly got paid, but those players at the end are still waiting.

Omuku said that he has the money. He will try to make good by the first of October. The problem, said Omuku, was caused by the last batch of checks received from the sponsors.

Omuku said that all players and officials who are in receipt of bad checks should contact him and he will try to send the money to the players directly.

Omuku asked me for the contact number in Romania where he can reach Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. I am trying to get the number.

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu was the big surprise of the FIDE World Chess Championship. Virtually unknown prior to the event and qualifying only through an Interzonal, Nisipeanu won a string of matches against several of the strongest players in the world, defeating Shirov, Ivanchuk, Azmaiparashvili and Leitao, before finally losing to Khalifman, the eventual winner, in a play-off in the semi-finals.
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania, whose check for $138,065 has bounced.

Nisipeanu will probably never again have such a big payday in his life, which will make it especially disturbing if he does not get his money.

Equally disturbing is the likelihood that Khalifman might not have received his winners purse of $482,705 and that Akopian might not have received his second place prize of $396,000 minus 20% to FIDE.

A total of $3 million in prizes were awarded in the FIDE World Championship. First prize was $660,000, second prize was $396,000, the two third prizes were $172,800 each and the four next prizes were $172,800 each. From these amounts were deducted a 20% sanctioning fee payable to FIDE and an administrative fee of $175. A percentage was also added or subtracted if any matches required playoff games.

Sam Sloan


El Pais newspaper has just become the first major newspaper to report that checks from the FIDE World Championship in Las Vegas have bounced.

The report, by well known chess journalist Leontxo Garcia, is reported on the web site at

The report is entitled "La FIDE paga con cheques sin fondos", which means "FIDE paid with checks without funds".

It reports that all of the semi-finalists, with the exception of Michael Adams of England, have not received their money. This means that Khalifman, Akopian and Nisipeanu have not been paid.

The list of players who have not been paid also includes Shirov, Kramnik, Bauer and Leitao.

The article said that FIDE Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku was reached by mobile telephone "somewhere in Russia" and that Omuku admitted that 12 players have not yet been paid. The identities of the remaining five unpaid players are unknown.

Sam Sloan

This is one of several photographs which were taken by Sam Sloan during the 1999 FIDE World Chess Championship in Las Vegas. Here are some other photographs: Here are links:
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