Precedent in chess history, chess moves copyright violation goes in court

Danailov shares details about the case

danailov

The slogan of Danailov’s campaign

During the Anand – Topalov WCC 2010, a message appeared on the official site stating, “Warning! It is absolutely prohibited the live broadcast of the moves or video during the game on other websites, media or software without the explicit permission of the organizers of the match. This prohibition is being violated by ChessBase”

A few weeks after the end of the championship Chessdom.com received news directly from a German source that the case is already presented in court. Regarding the moves copyright case and the recent exchange of media releases between teams Topalov and Anand, we contacted the manager of Veselin Topalov and one of the central figures behind the organization of the WCC – Silvio Danailov. He was disturbed by the fact that millions of euros were invested in the most watched online World chess championship in history, while Chessbase is putting themselves above the law and taking the moves without permission. Read on for full details:


Q: Mr. Danailov, we understood that the case against a German company that has presumably violated copyright rules has been presented in court. Can you share with us details on the issue?

A: Good afternoon, yes, this is true. Before the start of the World Chess Championship we explicitly stated that no company can use the moves without the official site’s staff permission. And this was violated by Chessbase, they put themselves above the law in Europe, above the general FIDE ethical rules.


Q: Until now there is no such similar case in chess history. Do you believe it will be successful?

A: I believe in European law and in our Attorney who is presenting the case – Mr. Rainer Polzin. What’s more, I am candidate for President of the ECU and as such I have to stand behind the rights of professional chess. Such actions, as the one by the German company Chessbase, affect the sponsors of events negatively, which damages sponsorship, from there future organization and level of events. In the long run the biggest damage is made on the chess fans, who are the most important part of the game – they certainly deserve to enjoy high level events and have chess sponsorship on all levels.

Thus, by defending our rights through European law, we will be defending all fans and the future of chess.


Q: Our information states that the case entered court on May 27th, that is way after the end of the event. Why was it not presented after the first rounds?

A: In such proceedings there are steps to follow. We tried to reach an agreement with Chessbase and offered them to follow the rules all other sites were following – a commercial contract. They refused and started transmitting the games. A warning letter was sent to them after the first games, requesting immediate stop of broadcast. But such action was not taken from their side, so the case is now in court.

Everything is very technical and there are many details. In the modern age of communications this process is easy to trace, the amount of work is big though.

This was the most watched chess championship online in Internet in the history of all championships. For all this to happen the sponsors paid, but Chessbase can take the moves for free, and resell to their clients ? This is not normal, by law and by human norms. In simple language this is robbery. And for such actions there will be consequences.


Q: As we mention the World Chess Championship, the last interview that we had a few days ago reached mainstream media in many countries including India. The manager of Anand, Mrs. Aruna Anand, answered in TOI before we had the chance to talk to her.

A: First of all let me clarify one thing: with all my respect Mrs. Anand is not a manager, she is a secretary. Manager is a very serious profession, the manager promotes and popularises chess , looking for sponsorship money and organizing world class events. Basically what she is doing is pick up the phone, send emails, faxes, booking tickets, etc.

About her reaction, it looks to me a little bit nervous, but what to do, the truth hurts sometimes.

Note: Click here for history of copyrith of moves Danailov – Chessbase conflict

The unpublished interview of Veselin Topalov

Aruna answers before knowing the full text

Topalov Anand 1

A few days ago Times of India published exclusive interview with Topalov about the World Championship match in Sofia. At the same time Anand’s reply was published by Indian media, Veselin Topalov contacted Chessdom.com sending the full text of the interview, large parts of which have not been published by TOI.

1. How tough was the World Championship match against Anand?

Physically the match was not so difficult. 12 games are not so many and there were many rest days. KO format is much tougher in this sense.Mentally of course, the tension was very high,but it is also true that top chess players are used to pressure.

2. What are your afterthoughts on game 12 and your misadventure?

Well, I was not happy for a 6-6 tie against the World Champion things are not so bad. Of course, in the rapid games Anand would have been the favorite, but mainly I missed my chances in games 3, 5 and 10, where I was close to the win.

3. According to some reports, it seems Anand was helped by Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen for the match. Your comments please.

I do not think Anand should be very proud of this. Especially by the fact he accepted help from the first two. I am between the chess elite already for 15 years and perfectly remember how Kasparov treated Anand for years. And not long before World Championship match in Bonn 2008 Anand had to stand the arrogant statements of his opponent in the press. I would never accept help from persons who humiliated me during years even for free. But it seems Anand is different.

4. Does the above-mentioned help indicate that the players respect Anand and want him to do well. Or is this the case of they ganging against you because of unproved Toiletgate allegations thrown at Kramnik?

Actually I also received help during the match by grandmasters whose names I will not mention, as I plan to work with them in the future in secret. Clearly, they wanted me to win, so I do not complain about luck of supporters. As for the allegations during the Toiletgate, in fact they were quite founded. Simply the Organizers do not publish the dozens of hours of video-recordings from the match. Even FIDE does not have access to them and my delegation was not allowed to make copies. Only this says enough about the Organizers there. And the behavior of my opponent is similar to of an sportsman who had destroyed his doping test, but claims it is not relevant, because it was negative anyway.

5. Do you fear that during the Challenger tournament remaining seven players could gang-up against you and make your task of winning the event that much difficult?

As far as I know, the 8 players will decide the next Challenger in direct matches not a tournament. Also, believe me, nobody from us is friend with all the others.

6. Do you think you have got enough recognition for your stance of not accepting draws and making the game uncompromising and far more entertaining?

Yes, I think so. Since the Sofia rules were invented by my manager Silvio Danailov back in 2005 the results are very positive. Sponsors liked them and new tournaments appeared. Media interest to chess has grown and prizes increased. For winning the World Title in 2005 I received 300 000 USD and five years later Anand got 1.2M euro for winning the match in Sofia. This speaks for itself.

7. Do you think Anand is the most complete player because ha has won the World title in all formats: tournament in your absence, KO in 2000 and matchplay against Kramnik and you?

Yes, that is something no one can deny. Also, he has been a Rapid World Champion, very strong in a blitz play and one of the best blindfold players in the world.

8. What are your thoughts on Anand who has retained his World title twice?

I think the World Champion in chess has a great responsibility. He has to collaborate with FIDE and attract new sponsors to chess. But Anand does not have a professional team behind him and he fails to find sponsorship. India could be a paradise for chess, but the fact he has not played a single tournament game in his own country since 2002 can only mean two things: either Anand does not like to play in India, or his team is not capable to stage a top level event. In both cases this is very bad for the chess as a professional sport.

Topalov

The text above is the full interview that Veselin Topalov has sent to Times of India, without any changes. To the part published in TOI, Aruna and Anand already replied, as reported by Times Now. The full text follows.

Anand

World Chess Champion Vishwanathan Anand’s camp has hit back at Veselin Topolov for his comments slamming Anand for taking help from Gary Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. Speaking exclusively to TIMES NOW, Anand’s wife Aruna Anand on Wednesday (May 26) said that Topalov is trying to intimidate them and that they are not bothered by such allegations.

She said, “We never really gave attention to what he said before I don’t think we are going to give attention to him now. I don’t know what his reasons are but till now we have just kept silent to whatever has been the provocation from his side. They think they are trying to intimidate us, but I think by making these allegations his is also showing his weakness quite openly.”

“I don’t know what is in their mind, but why make these allegations and what these allegations are we are really not going to be bothered. I think especially after winning the match in their own country, I don’t think we should be bothered by what they say and why they are saying it,” she added.

Earlier, in an exclusive interview to Times of India, Topalov had snubbed Anand saying that he doesn’t think Anand should be very proud of taking help from Kramnik and Kasparov. Topalov said that he doesn’t think Anand should be very proud of this and has remembered how Kasparov treated the Indian for years.

The Bulgarian also mentioned that he would never accept help from people who humiliated him for years but said Anand may be different.

He said, “I do not think Anand should be very proud of this. I remember how Kasparov treated Anand for years. And not long before the World Championship match in Bonn 2008, Anand had to stand the arrogant statements of his opponent in the press. I would never accept help from people who humiliated me for years even for free. But it seems Anand is different.”

Viswanathan Anand – The second half was difficult for me

Interview with Rakesh Rao for Sportstar newspaper

Anand champion

In the words of Viswanathan Anand, the world title-match and the eventual victory against Bulgarian challenger Veselin Topalov, is the most intense battle of his career. Anand took off on the wrong foot but landed safely with the world title, which he holds since 2007.

The 12-game match was a thrilling contest. Anand came back strongly after losing the opening game and then took the lead in the fourth. A late error cost Anand the eighth game and Topalov levelled the match-score.

After some long and tense moments, Anand finally landed the knockout punch in the final game for a 6.5-5.5 triumph. The following morning, at Sofia, Anand took time off to speak to Sportstar.

Rakesh Rao: How did you deal with the loss in the opening game?

Anand: It was one of those ridiculous moments that you are not supposed to have but it happens. The only thing I told myself was if it had to happen, it is best to happen in the first round. You still have time to recover. I knew it would be a long match. I was not worried at that point. But it was the worst possible start to the match.

Rakesh Rao: Pleasantly, the finish was a dream one – winning the decisive 12th game with black pieces!

Anand: It was nice to clinch it with a win and that too, with black. You know, in the last eight decisive games that we played, Topalov won four times with white, and I won three. So after many years in the matches between us, this was the first victory for black. It felt nice.

Rakesh Rao: How will you reflect on your victories in game two and game four?

Anand: In game two, Topalov was doing fine out of the opening but made a mistake. I pounced and made some very accurate moves. I mean, technically, it is still difficult but I managed to wrap it up in some six or seven moves from this point. I thought it was efficient. Game two was important because it helped me to equalise. Game four was nice. It was just a beautiful game… some lovely tactics there.

Topalov Anand g12

Rakesh Rao: Since the result in a chess match depends a lot on the opening preparations and the strategies of the players, how satisfied were you with the way things turned out?

Anand: In one sense, I think, I misjudged him. He made certain changes during the match. One of the things we assumed was, he always likes moving around in matches. This means, he’ll play an opening for a couple of games and then move on to the next one. His match strategy in the past was never to stand his ground. Kind of hit-and-run strategy. So, whether consciously or sub-consciously, we had made this assumption the basis of our preparation. But he stood his ground. He did not switch his openings. We started having problem in the second half because we were thin in the areas he had concentrated on. And we ourselves were doing the hitting and running. So there was some coping there.

In terms of the opening preparation, we made some bad calls. The team did some excellent work but in a match, it is not about excellent work but making the right judgement call. If you prepare something and it does not get played, it is not much use. So in that sense, he did surprise me.

Rakesh Rao: So, for you which was the most difficult phase of the match?

Anand: The second half was difficult for me, from game 7 to 10. He started taking initiative during this phase. In game eight, he did press me, he had a good idea and all, but having escaped, and then to blunder and lose was bad. And in game 10, when I was losing, I thought after the last three games, if I were to lose and fall behind, it will be very difficult (to bounce back). Once I had saved games 10 and 11 by hanging in there, I was okay.

Rakesh Rao: Did you imagine the final game to go the way it went?

Anand: I think Topalov took a big gamble. Now it seems obvious to me that this gamble was wrong. I realised he missed my queen move but still, when my bishop is on the big diagonal like that, and to allow me to open it, he took the decision very late. Later, he did say he missed my queen-move and if he did, then I don’t think it was such an unreasonable gamble. Towards the later part, the position became incredibly complex, though.

Final handshake

The final handshake as Topalov resignes in 12th game

Rakesh Rao: How do you compare the titles in 2007 and 2008 with the latest one?

Anand: The match against (Vladimir) Kramnik went so well (in 2008). Vlady was a bit unlucky that match started so badly. As though he was hit by a perfect storm. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. A three-point advantage and from there on something had to go horribly wrong for you to lose it. Against Topalov, it was like waking up each morning with a sword hanging over your head. For me, that was an unusual experience because against (Garry) Kasparov (in the 1995 World title match) I had the opposite problem. I was hit by a perfect storm for a week and there was a three-point deficit.

In Mexico (in 2007), I took a strong lead in the beginning and basically, I had to maintain it. You knew everything is in your hands. Here (in Sofia), at least I knew, if I had drawn (after 12 games), I had the tiebreaker.

Rakesh Rao: Many experts believed that your best chance of winning was to ‘do a Kramnik’ on Topalov. How correct was this assessment?

Anand: We did copy a bit of Kramnik’s openings. He did a good job against Topalov. Topalov’s score against the Catalan (opening) isn’t that great. We had other openings but because of Topalov’s preparations, the world did not get to see this. My preparation was heavily based on Kramnik, but not entirely.

Rakesh Rao: Several commentators spoke of your ploy to exchange the queens early, particularly when playing black, in order to minimise Topalov’s tactical option. Was it really part of your ploy?

Anand: Well, the point is that you have to think in terms of opening complexities. I always find it quite simplistic that everybody said I was so defensive. I was not playing defensive at all. In the opening complexities, white has several moves and black has several responses. And we had fantastically sharp lines, as well. We thought this blocks white and he probably has to move on. But it was more of an assumption that it would block and he would move on. It did neither. It did not block him completely and we had a problem. And he did not move on. He stayed there and kept pounding. So we did not get to see the lines where I did not exchange queens. My strategy was not so limited, as simplistic that I was going to exchange the queens. We had a bad call. We simply misjudged his approach.

Anand world champion

Rakesh Rao: Since Topalov had announced that he would neither offer nor accept draws and communicate only through the chief arbiter, were you prepared for long battles?

Anand: I always knew playing every game till the end would show the strain on both players. Indeed, there was a question of hanging in there. I was prepared.

Rakesh Rao: Finally, was it intimidating for you and your team to play in Topalov’s backyard?

Anand: Since we (the players) stayed in different hotel, we had this feeling of returning to our den or zone everyday. In that sense, it was fine. The audience was very fair. Obviously the audience wanted Topalov to win but they never made me feel bad.

Interview with Silvio Danailov

by Chessdom.com

Danailov

Q: Mr.Danailov, in a recent interview Viswanathan Anand commented that besides the known seconds (Nielsen, Kasimdzhanov, Wojtaszek, and Ganguly) he had additional helpers for the match in Sofia (Kasparov, Kramnik, and Carlsen ). Did this surprise you?

A: Well, not very much. I know quite well Kasparov and our WC hero from Elista, they are both old fashioned. What really surprised me was that despite their so called super team, we were still much superior in the openings. Only in two games they showed some decent ideas. This was game 4 with white and game 12 with black when they succeeds to equalize the position quickly. The rest of the games our team totally dominated in the openings. Anand was suffering with black in all games (except the last one) and no advantage at all with white (except game 4). And I can tell you more: I will never exchange Cheparinov for all of these guys together. Cheparinov is much better and much more creative than Kasparov, Carlsen, etc.

Q: Viewing this, are you upset by the final result?

A: Not at all, I am very proud of Veselin and our team. Topalov played great, fighting and creative chess, under tremendous pressure, due to the fact everybody in Bulgaria was expecting his victory. I am proud as well from our trainers, Ivan Cheparinov , Erwin L’Ami, Jan Smeets and Jiri Dufek, they did wonderful job. I am also very proud from the Organization, our Federation gave clear example how to organize perfect WCC.

Topalov lost, this is sport, everything can happen. At least this match was one of the more exciting, chess wise, in the last 20 years. This was not Bonn, when after game 6 the match was over. Topalov lost, but he was attacking and was creative during the whole match. Anand was only defending, nothing more. Brilliant defence, by the way! But maybe the fans expect different way of play from the Champion, a more inspiring one…

Q: What about the Blue Gene with 8192 cores that you used?

A: About Blue Gene, what I can say is that everything is question of money. We invested huge amount of money on preparation, I do not want to mention the figure because someone can get heart attack. In any case Anand’s team could do the same, some money always brings strong preparation.

Q: Are you going to continue working with Blue Gene?

A: Of course, we are very happy with the collaboration with IBM Bulgaria and I hope this collaboration will be long and successful.

Q: Let’s speak about the rumors: according to local sources there is a rumor that Anand received extra 300 000 just to agree to play in Sofia. Is that true?

A: The rumor is not exactly true. It is true that their team has asked for this fee, but after negotiations they got only 100 000 eur extra money apart from the prize fund, all according to regulations. And still some people are trying to present Anand like a poor victim. I agree, maybe he is the victim, but not so poor after all….

Q: Ok, lets’ switch the topic. ECU elections are getting hot. There are already four candidates, and you are one of them. Can you comment the most recent candidate
Robert von Weizsäcker
, who is supported by Kasparov and Karpov?

A: The fact that there are four candidates means that the ECU position is important for many people. I do not want to comment my opponents, I would like to speak with the facts. Only in the last 5 years I brought to chess more than 10 million eur in sponsorship – Mtel Masters tournaments, Grand Slam events, the FIDE World Chess Championship Mexico 2007, the Challengers match Kamsky – Topalov and FIDE World Championship Anand – Topalov. This is the reality, like it or not.

Q: Can you share some news, your program, names from the ticket?

A: Very soon I will announce interesting news, be patient. Stay tuned and follow my campaign at www.danailov-for-president.com

chessdom logo

Editors note

According to the initial match regulations, the prize fund minimums were as follows:

13. Prize Fund

13.1 The prize fund of the match, provided by the organizer, should be a minimum of
1,000,000 (one million) euros, net of any applicable taxes. The prize fund will be divided .
60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the FWCM ends within the 12 regular games. In
case the winner is decided by tie-break games, the winner shall receive 55% and the loser
45%

13.2 The organizer shall pay to FIDE an amount of 20% over and above the total prize fund,
net of any applicable taxes.

13.3 If the match is played in the country of one of the players, then the opponent shall
receive 100,000 (one hundred thousand) euros from the Prize Fund. The balance of the Prize
Fund shall then be shared in accordance to Article 13.1 above.

13.4 Before the start of the WCM, the players shall each receive 200,000 (two hundred
thousand) euros in accordance to the terms of the Contract to be signed with FIDE. This
amount shall be deducted from the Prize Fund. The balance of their share of the Prize Fund
shall be remitted to the players within ten days after the completion of the WCM.

Full text of regulations here

I will never work with Karpov

Interview with Dvorkovich for Chesspro

Arkady Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich

In a new interview for Russian media and Chesspro.ru, Arkady Dvorkovich provides more details on the RCF situation. Dvorkovich says he will never work with Karpov who has an unethical behaviour, that Alexander Bakh can no longer work for the Russian Federation and that he should resign, and that he has the support of Vladimir Kramnik as well.

The press release by RCF brought out in some blogs is also a fraud.


Mr. Dvorkovich, I returned from Sofia Friday evening, from Anand-Topalov match and got mixed up in an avalanche of contradictory information. Some press-releases from the Russian CF.. They claim that there was a meeting of the Supervisory Board of the RCF in the Central Chess Club in Gogolevsky boulevard, which officially nominated A. Karpov as a candidate for the FIDE President from the RCF. From other sources I learn that you in your capacity as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RCF, are saying that there has been no such a meeting. Please tell our readers, what is going on in the RCF.

- – A considerable restructuring has been taking place in the RCF during several months. It started with a letter of resignation of Mr. A. Zhukov and myself from the positions of the President and Vice-President. After that new Statutes of the Federation were prepared and approved at the Congress. The new Statutes stipulate considerable changes in the management of the Federation. This has not been registered yet. Accordingly, new governing bodies have not been operating in full swing. We thought to finalise the registration of the Statutes by the previous week, to enable the Federation start working fully. This did not happen, because of two reasons, in my opinion. First – the people who are carrying out immediate management, did not like the planned changes. With such, these people lose their ultimate control over finances, and over day-by-day management. They had to agree to the common principles of corporate management, which exist in the world. So, these people in fact were staging sabotage of the activities in this direction, in all ways contradicting these changes.

This is the first reason. Second reason – contradictions on the RCF candidate for the forthcoming FIDE Presidential elections. In fact we have a situation with irreconcilable contradictions in respect of the candidate. The Chairman of the RCF Board, elected at the Congress, was continuing to support a potential candidate, despite the opinion of the leadership of the Supervisory Board of the RCF. I mean myself and at least two of my Deputies – A. Zhukov and I. Kogan.

On Friday, 14th May, I called for a meeting of the Supervisory Board – in all accordance with the statutes. According to the Statutes, the Supervisory Board is called and chaired by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. There are no other variations of holding and organising the Supervisory Board.

On the announced address, at the said time eight members of the Supervisory Board have arrived. At the same time the Chairman of the Federation’s Board A. Bakh by misinforming a number of the Supervisory Board members, has gathered 17 or 18 members of the supervisory Board in the Central Chess Club in Gogolevsky blvd, where two great Champions G. Kasparov and A. Karpov. So they tried to have the meeting of the Supervisory Board there.

I would like to underline that due to the statutory provisions either of the meetings cannot be considered as the supervisory Board meeting. It did not take place. In one case – there was a quorum, in the other case – there was no Chairman of the Supervisory Board, who according to the Statutes, has an exclusive right to hold the meeting.

Therefore, any information, declarations regarding the decisions taken by the Supervisory Board and the Russian Chess Federation as a whole, is false, fraudulent and out of reality.

I expect that the persons who in fact violated the acting norms, first of all – internal norms of the Federation – shall incur responsibility. I also expect that they shall resign.

Moreover, if the Supervisory Board had taken place on Friday, if there had been a quorum and all the persons who must be present, had been present, then – due to the fact that the Statutes have not been registered (it is not registered also because of the Chairman of the Federation ‘s procrastination), the decisions in respect of relations with third parties – including the nomination of the candidate for the FIDE Presidential position – could not have been taken.

Therefore on Friday such a decision could not have been taken in any case, even, if the meeting did take place, I repeat.

Also according to the evaluation of the lawyers, the key document (budget) for the Federation’s activities cannot be approved. In fact the activity of the Federation due to the sabotage from the former Executive Direction of the Federation, now Board of the Federation – turned out to be blocked.


- How shall the events be developing ?

- Further I shall undertake all necessary steps in order to register the Statutes of the Russian Chess Federation, approved at the Congress. This shall enable the Supervisory Board meet to undertake all legitimate decisions. I think this can happen in the next few days. At least not later than 5th June. In this case if all goes well, we shall be able to decide on all issues, necessary for normal work of the RCF.

At the same time, I think that the further work of the current management of the Board in the person of A. Bakh is not possible. I do not trust him as head of the RCF. I think that he should resign.

In order to elect a new Board, another Congress is necessary. I am ready for this, in case it is necessary. The Congress can be called on either by a decision of the Supervisory Board, or Verification Commission, or as far as I remember, on a demand of half of the leaders of regional chess Federations. This will find a solution to an existing conflict and guarantee normal work of the Federation.


- Who shall be the RCF Candidate for the position of the FIDE President?

- According to the preliminary conclusion of the lawyers, the nomination of K. Ilyumzhinov by a letter, the way I did it, was possible. Now we are checking it for any legal basis for other actions. If the Supervisory Board takes another decision, then this decision shall also be legitimate. From my point of view (I hope, the Supervisory Board shall support me), in case if any other candidate, including A. Karpov, could provide the nomination of his candidacy from any other Federation, then the RCF should not use the “veto right” stipulated by the FIDE Statutes and block this candidacy. So at least two candidates could run. According to the FIDE Statutes, the same Federation cannot nominate two candidates.


It means that the press-releases which are sent to many address from the RCF…

- … This is fraud, this is deliberate lie.


- Does Mr. A. Zhukov, the Vice-Premier, a candidate for the Russian NOC President support you?

- I have had several consultations with A. Zhukov before the Friday meeting which did not take place. Mr. A. Bakh was also present at these consultations, who there promised to undertake all necessary actions, so that the Supervisory Board took place. But on Friday he deceived us.

Mr. Zhukov supports the letter sent to FIDE on the nomination of K. Ilyumzhinov, and he also, as myself, thinks that we should not prevent Mr. Karpov’s running as a candidate. Their competition with K. Ilyumzhinov is a positive fact.

Our main concern and we are united with Mr. Zhukov on this – is to prevent schism in the RCF.

We need consultations with the Supervisory Board members to reach consent on the way to move forward.

But without prejudice to the fact that me personally or my colleages, hopefully shall not be against the candidacy of Mr. Karpov and his running for the position of the FIDE President from any other chess Federation, I personally consider his behaviour non-ethical and unscrupulous. And I shall not be working with him under any circumstances.


- When I attended a briefing with you, you said that in the World Championship match you shall be for Anand. This was a fantastic match in its pressure and interest, its fate was decided in the last game. Were you following the game? Watching the games?

-I used all chances to learn how the matches are going. Although in the match in Elista Topalov-Kramnik the pressure and interest were not less, but there there had been some events out of chess, and here everything was decided over the board, and the pressure over the board was really unlimited! I am very glad that Anand Viswanathan retained his world champion title, and I am expecting in the future the competition between him and the Russian representative.

I shall be for Kramnik in candidates matches, to go to final and to play a match in Vishy.

By the way my discussion with Vladimir showed that he is fully supporting my position in the existing conflict.

Original interview by Chesspro.ru

More on the topic

Russian Chess Federation names Ilyumzhinov FIDE candidate

RCF May 14 events

Interview with Arkady Dvorkovich

Statement by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Open letter by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Arkady Dvorkovich interview regarding RCF candidate for FIDE President

Who is Arkady Dvorkovich plus interview by Gazeta.ru

Arkady Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich

Was there a possibility to have the meeting of the Board in one place?

In accordance with the Federation’s statutes, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board collects its members and organizes a meeting in one place. We informed the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Federation A. Bakh where the meeting should be taking place. Unfortunately, the information was not delivered to all Board members by him. My assistants in the same day were on the phone with the members of the Supervisory Board a few hours before the start of the meeting. Unfortunately, the position of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board on the issue of the FIDE Presidential candidate led to the fact that it was impossible to organize the meeting.

I am sure that there is a chance for consolidation, but it needs caring for chess and not following personal interests.

Can we speak about a split in the leadership in the Russian chess under the circumstances?

First, the colleagues do have contradictions on a number of issues. Second, they have dual information, which is explained by non-fulfillment of my decisions. This situation is for the first and last time. We shall reach consolidation, otherwise the Federation will not be able to perform its functions, thus damaging chess development. We should forget our hurt feelings, we want to work constructively.

Are you ready to respond to the reasoning of A. Karpov in respect of the today’s state of chess in Russia and the world?

Yes, I am. In the last years, we have done the minimum of what is necessary, and chess is not now in order. There will be serious changes in politics, and the decision on the candidacy of K. Ilyumzhinov was taken based on the discussions with him and his team of necessary changes. And he is ready for them. There is a draft programme which shall be announced in the nearest future and will find support in chess society. The system of administration, including on a personal level, needs changes. Professional chess does not have enough sponsors, but our work during the last month showed what can be changed under the conditions mentioned by me.

Karpov also accused RCF that it does not pay attention that his candidacy is supported by large national federations.

– Everything will be decided at the GA of FIDE in September in Khanty-Mansiysk and we shall know who voted for who. I am ready to believe that many Federations will support Anatoly for his authority in the world. But Kirsan is a more authoritative figure in the chess world, if you take all FIDE membership as a whole. It is not acceptable for any chess functionary to say that any specific country is more important than the other. All countries should be equal for him.

Will it be strange for you if Karpov shall run from another country?

Yes, it will be strange for me. I personally shall not be against, and shall call on my colleagues not to object, if Mr. Karpov shall run from another Federation. This is my opinion. Although according to the FIDE Statutes, a Federation can do it. And this case there will be minimum 2 candidates. Besides them, we do not see anybody else so far.

My position is to have several candidates not one..

There is not much time for the solution of the Russian CF situation and consolidation of its members, as the deadline for the FIDE Presidential candidates is 20 June. Dvorkovich said that “in the next couple of days we think we shall register the Federation’s statutes, which shall make our meetings legitimate. After that the Supervisory Board shall meet. We look forward to the understanding of our colleagues, that they will put common interests higher than their personal hurt feelings. We calculate that the Statutes can be registered by the end of next week. I think we will need two more weeks to organize another meeting. As we publish the materials of the Agenda of the Board to media, they will demand the discussions in these two weeks. I.e. we we will be on time with our decisions. The official candidate has been named – it is Kirsan, although colleagues think it is not legitimate.

(Text of the interview in Russian)

More on the topic

Russian Chess Federation names Ilyumzhinov FIDE candidate

RCF May 14 events

Interview with Arkady Dvorkovich

Statement by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Arkady Dvorkovich

Who is Arkady Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich is a Russian economist, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation since 13 May 2008. His father, Vladimir Dvorkovich, was an international chess arbiter.

Since 1994 Dvorkovich is consultant, senior expert, CEO, scientific director of the Economic Expert Group of the Ministry of Finance of Russia. Since 2000 works in the “Center for Strategic Research” and is adviser to the Minister for Economic Development of the Russian Federation. In 2001 he becomes Deputy Minister for Economic Development of the Russian Federation and in 2004 he is appointed Head of Expert Group of President of the Russian Federation.

Since May 13, 2008, Dvorkovich is Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation.

Business Week on Dvorkovich

(Original article)

Savvy international investors know that in the past two years the government of Vladimir V. Putin has been pushing a sweeping package of measures that aims to kick-start Russia’s economy — by cutting taxes, slashing bureaucracy, and injecting competition into moribund industries. And they know about Russia’s new 13% flat tax, which has proved surprisingly effective in raising revenue for the government.

But investors may not know the man most responsible for Russia’s fiscal overhaul. That honor goes to Arkady V. Dvorkovich, 31, a deputy minister in Russia’s Ministry for Economic Development & Trade (known as the economy ministry). An economist with a master’s degree from Duke University as well as Moscow’s New Economic School, Dvorkovich earned his stripes by serving as personal adviser to German O. Gref, the Economy Minister, in 2000-01, helping him to craft President Putin’s reform program. An expert in public finance, he still oversees tax issues as deputy minister under Gref. In that role, Dvorkovich wants to trim payroll taxes to 30% from the current 35.6%, abolish the 5% sales tax, and slash the value-added tax to 16% from 20%.

But his brief extends well beyond taxes. Fluent in English, Dvorkovich has become one of Russia’s most prominent international voices on economic policy. Thanks in large part to his influence, the economy ministry has replaced the finance ministry as the driver of economic reform. Dvorkovich is sure to play a big role as Russia tackles the next batch of reforms, including overhauls of the banking and pension systems. “He’s one of the best young technocrats in Russia,” says Roland Nash, head of research at Moscow investment bank Renaissance Capital.

Dvorkovich has been serving the Russian government since 1994, when he landed a job at Moscow’s Economic Expert Group, a think tank that advises the finance ministry. There, he so impressed Russia’s economic policymaking Establishment that he was promoted to director in 1997.

Of course, the Moscow native could have made a lot more money in investment banking — and friends predict he’ll eventually join the private sector. But for now, he’s having too much fun in government. He recently slammed his superiors in the Cabinet for watering down a plan to cut the bureaucracy. President Putin then echoed the same criticisms in a state-of-the-nation address. Dvorkovich’s reformist ideas are clearly getting through to the Kremlin.

Dvorkovich talks Russian economics

(Original article by The Stanford daily)

Arkady Dvorkovich, the chief economic advisor to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, spoke Wednesday at Arrillaga Alumni Center about the need for economic modernization in the Russian Federation in the post-Cold War era.

Until the global financial crisis hit, “we were sleeping too much on our natural resources, oil and gas, without thinking too much about the future,” Dvorkovich said.

“Russia has potential to grow,” he said, “and the crisis came at the right time to the right place. The gap between Russia and the rest of the world will increase if we do not succeed right now.”

The address served as the keynote speech for the first annual conference of the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF), an event aimed at improving U.S.-Russia relations by focusing on youth.

“SURF is an initiative to bring together students from across the U.S. and Russia to explore the most pressing global challenges facing our respective countries,” said co-founder Sam Stone ’10.

Dvorkovich, who got a master’s degree at Duke University, now designs policies intended to instigate innovation and modernization in the Russian economy. He said the government has been successful in fostering a new mood in Russia that is conducive to innovation.

“What we are trying to do now is to gather as many partners as possible in our endeavors,” he added.

He highlighted efforts at creating innovation in the energy sector as a crucial aspect of his work. Oil and gas companies, including Gazprom, and steel-making corporations serve as some of the hotspots for collaboration in these endeavors.

“Russia is not the Soviet Union,” Dvorkovich proclaimed in an effort to debunk claims that Russia is reverting to authoritarian leadership.

“The president is focusing on feedback consistently coming from the people. He has his own blog and looks for feedback on the Internet everyday,” he said.

Though he did not dwell on the criticisms against the Russian government, he did highlight his belief that Russia is staying away from an authoritarian leadership.

“We are not going to create a closed society,” he said. “My hope is that any Russian can go abroad if he wants to go abroad.”

Discussing the corruption that often plagues public works funding, he said former President Vladimir Putin’s early efforts at minimizing the role of bureaucracy to combat corruption largely failed, and hopes that this new set of priorities will serve to further eradicate corruption.

“I was impressed with how candid he was with respect to the problems Russia is facing, particularly corruption,” said Mikael Bernstein ’12, who works as a deputy director for SURF.

“I expected him to be much more diplomatic and appreciated his honesty,” added co-founder Anda Gansca ’11. “He also came off as pretty optimistic with respect to Russia’s future.”

Dvorkovich said the increase in educational exchanges between the United States and Russia serves as a crucial factor in improving the two countries’ relationship. He is working with Stanford and M.I.T. to organize educational exchanges for post-doctoral students to further cultural dialogue.

“The future depends on young people, which is why education and this SURF project in particular is crucial,” he said.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov statement on RCF May events

Published by Gazeta.ru

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov square

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: The situation reminds me of the one in the early 90s, where Kasparov and Karpov were involved and then, as you know the chess world became divided into two parallel organizations, with two champions. And now unfortunately, they start to split the chess world again. One of them wants to become President of Russia, and the other one – President of FIDE. But we live in democracy. It is a pity that they are splitting the RCF. FIDE has reacted to Karpov’s words about corruption in our organization. 20th April we had the Presidential Board of FIDE and our Ethics Commission led by R. Rivello invited Karpov to tell exactly where he sees corruption. But if there is no such a thing, he should apologise. In 15 years we have not had any single scandal. Then Karpov realized that he has not made a mistake. Our budget is transparent, and once a year we have an external audit, and our Treasurer makes a report. It is difficult for me to respond to Karpov’s statements, as he is out of reality, although he is a member of the Presidential Board and three years ago he officially was nominated a FIDE representative to the IOC. He is speaking about things which are not taking place. Such crisis in the RCF cannot influence FIDE.

Will you be against if Karpov runs for FIDE Presidency not from Russia, but from other countries?

No, I will not. We have democracy. Let him run from France, Japan, Zimbabwe or any other country.

More on the topic

Russian Chess Federation names Ilyumzhinov FIDE candidate

RCF May 14 events

Interview with Arkady Dvorkovich

Statement by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Interview with Sevan Muradian

Sevan Muradian is Founder of the North American Chess Association, IO, and IA

north ameracan chess

More info: Visit the official site of the NACA

Chessdom: The largest chess rating population segment are those rated
below ELO 2000 and are sometimes referred to as amateurs. This year
you brought the World Amateur Championship to the United States for
the first time in its history. As an organizer, what is your opinion
of the amateur chess world?

Sevan: No doubt those rated under 2000 comprise the majority of all
chess players. As an organizer you have to be aware of this group and
their importance. In open tournaments, they contribute the most amount
of money in terms of entry fees, sleeping at hotels, and dining at
restaurants. An organizer has to ensure that the conditions for these
players reflect their contribution.

As part of the World Amateur, I provided all of the equipment, which
is extremely uncommon (most events in the US require you to bring your
own equipment and some will provide only boards/pieces, but no
clocks). This was one of the most consistently heard compliments of
the event (aside from bringing US players a World Championship). One
participant, local Chicago chess enthusiast Tony G recently stated
‘After playing in over the board tournaments since 1994, this was the
first tournament (World Amateur), where I actually felt the players
were treated professionally, not just providing entry fees to an
organizer’. Going forward I will be providing all equipment and the
selection of clock for my organization is the DGT North American to
continue with this positive trait that players seek and deserve.
Master level players are not the only ones that deserve to be treated
as professionals.

Chessdom: Parallel to the World Amateur, you also had the 25th North
American Masters. Why did you place this event alongside the World
Amateur? Weren’t you concerned that one event would draw attention
away from the other?

Sevan: Well there are many reasons, some organizational in nature such
as having the playing venue and staff, and others are the overall
event experience. The amateur players could get up and look at the
masters games and vice versa. We also had a few instances where the
masters had come along with their amateur students which made a
heightened experience. I wasn’t concerned that one event would draw
attention away from each other as they are each unique. Some
spectators only care to watch the masters, while some the amateurs. I
found that they complimented each other nicely.

Chessdom: When is the next event for titles and norms that you will organize?

Sevan: The 26th North American Masters will begin this Friday evening
at 6:30pm Chicago time. The event is a double round robin with 6
players. Half of the games will be played in May and the other half in
June. The event will feature: IM Florin Felecan (USA), IM Angelo Young
(PHI), IM Arjun Vishnuvardhan (IND), FM Gauri Shankar (IND), Jon L.
Burgess (ENG), and Trevor Magness (USA). So far each tournament this
year has provided norms – FM Robby Adamson (USA) with his second IM
norm during the 24th North American Masters, and then during the 25th
North American Masters the final IM norm for Mac Molner (USA) along
with his first GM norm, and the final IM norm for Siddarth
Ravichandran (IND). Let’s see what happens in this installment!

Chessdom: Chess in North America is developing. We are seeing more
FIDE tournaments (when there were few) and also more focus on children
in chess. What are your predictions for the next several years?

Sevan: Well scholastic chess (kids) has been strong in the US for many
years thanks to countless organizers and school groups around the
country but what we are seeing more of today is the rapidly improving
scholastic players in larger numbers. This bodes well also, in my
opinion, for getting these kids involved in international chess events
to achieve FIDE ratings and FIDE titles.

In terms of more FIDE tournaments, yes we are seeing more. Again this
is due to multiple organizers around the continent wishing to advance
FIDE here. It’s no doubt that FIDE title norm events have exploded in
the past 3-4 years which is great for the local players here who
didn’t have many alternatives.

Chessdom: The World Chess Championship is tied after 8 rounds. Do you
have any predictions on the outcome?

Sevan: Not really. I like both players and believe they both add their
unique flavor to the event experience. What I do like so far is that
it hasn’t been boring. Both players have a great deal riding on this
aside from the title and the prize. If the event continues to proceed
as it has so far with no incidents or scandals as the Kramnik-Topalov
match, then this would be a very positive example for future events.

Chessdom: What are the possibilities that a WCC will be organized in the US?

Sevan: We just had one! Oh you mean the top level WCC, well anything
is possible. The US Chess Federation has to bring its house into order
first before attempting to bid on an event such as the WCC. A major
event like WCC, Women’s WCC, or Olympiad is a massive undertaking and
none of the current guard in the federation has the experience to
organize something of this nature. They can all talk that they do, but
they really don’t. We’ll also have to wait and see what happens in the
next FIDE presidential election. If the US backed candidate doesn’t
get elected, well readers should be able to figure it out for
themselves.

Chessdom: Speaking of the next FIDE presidential election. Any
predictions and which camp are you favoring?

Sevan: Well my prediction is that the sitting president will retain
his office. I do not believe that Karpov can provide any significant
or true challenge but anything is possible. As far as which camp I am
favoring, ask me again in the middle of June.

Interview with Morten Sand

Tromsø delivers Norwegian bid for 41st Olympiad

Morten Sand

On the last day of April, Morten Sand, the international advisor for the bid organizing committee, submitted an application to host the 41st Chess Olympiad on behalf of the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø. This act marked over three years of preparation by the group, which has combined chess and Olympic Winter Games organizers with experts from Norwegian business in an effort to bring the event to the city.

During this time Tromsø has gathered experience and goodwill through their Arctic Chess Challenge, and gathered political backing thanks to the national pride generated by the stunning results of teenager Magnus Carlsen. Norway’s bid has already secured the financial support of the country’s government, which also hopes that staging the event will spotlight the far north that they claim is a priority region for the future.

Sand, a former FIDE Vice President and legal advisor to FIDE, talked about the methodical campaign to try to land this prestigious event in northern Norway.

“I have to say that I am pleased to have just submitted the Tromsø bid in Athens. We are proud of the work we have done, and after three years of effort we believe we have a very strong bid for the chess Olympiad. A great deal of care has gone into the preparation, and we have all the necessary ingredients for a successful Olympiad.”

The Arctic Chess Challenge certainly seems to have charmed those who have made the trip to play there, but can a city like Tromsø really stage an event of Olympic scope?

“Absolutely! One of our arguments is that Tromsø is a ‘small large city’ – and a metropolis is not a necessity for a memorable Olympiad. Tromsø has everything a big city can offer – if on a smaller scale – and with 10,000 university students out of a population of 75,000, it also has a lively pulse.”

“In August, which is the optimal time slot for the Tromsø bid, the weather is mild, and the city has typically ‘exotic’ Norwegian features – beautiful unspoiled natural scenery, and a diverse cultural setting, with a major hosting role to be played by the indigenous Sami. The region is also noted in Norway for its good-natured hospitality, so the public will be as welcoming as the organizers.”

“And the organization has full backing at every level – the City of Tromsø, the northern region and the national government. The Ministry of Sport and Culture has approved a grant of NOK 70 million – about EUR 8.8 million at the current exchange rate – which is an extremely reassuring vote of confidence. And since Norway has a majority government, this support is rock solid. A lot of people have done a lot of work to make this happen – we are ready!”

While the Norwegian application process has clearly been thorough and patient, the organizing team still faces a tough struggle to land the event, with a demanding political and diplomatic fight still ahead to secure enough support from FIDE nation members. Arguably, navigating FIDE politics may be the hardest part of the process, with this congress being a presidential election year as well?

“The FIDE election process and the bidding for the Olympiad are two completely different issues and should not be mixed. It is extremely important for Tromsø’s candidacy – and for me personally – to remain absolutely neutral when it comes to the presidential elections. This is only logical.”

“We want to host the Olympiad in 2014 regardless of the outcome of this year’s elections, and this requires a good, equal and untroubled relationship with all possible candidates. Taking sides would obviously be counter-productive for anyone involved with the Tromsø bid, and we are a closely knit team.”

Finally – coming this far is a real accomplishment for the Tromsø organization, but what kind of chance do you think the bid has for ultimate success?

“I think our chances are good. Only two bids were received within the deadline set by FIDE – Tromsø and Varna, Bulgaria. Since Varna has staged the Chess Olympiad before, in 1962, we think Tromsø should have excellent chances.”

Interview by Jonathan Tisdall, for the Norwegian Chess Federation/Norsk Sjakkblad.