'Looks like anyone can buy his way into a rematch'

Updated on Aug 18, 2007 10:29 PM IST

Anand blasts FIDE for preferential treatment to Kramnik, Topalov in World Championship cycle, reports B Shrikant.

HT Image
HT Image
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

There is a limit to how much discrimination one can take. Viswanathan Anand, just like a number of people associated with chess, has been unhappy with the world chess federation (FIDE) granting special privileges to Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov in the World Championship cycle.

The wizard from Chennai blasted FIDE for breaking its own rules and giving the two players from powerful associations two shots at the title. In an interview with HT, Anand said the way things were going it looks like anyone can buy his way into a rematch. Kramnik, who will be playing in the World Championship next month in Mexico City, will get another chance if he does not win there while the others, including Anand (if he doesn’t win at Mexico) will have to win the qualifiers in 2008 for another shot at the title in 2009.

Topalov, who was left out of the Mexico competition after losing the unification match to Kramnik, was included at the last minute. He gets to play a super match against the winner of the World Cup and take on the winner of the match between Kramnik and the world champion.

“It looks like anyone can buy into a rematch and keep the title race going forever. This time, FIDE has managed to start with a solution and finish with problems. It is difficult to evaluate who got a better deal, Kramnik or Topalov — both get a match. Both matches are unnecessary in my view .If we have a format it amounts to something.”

The world No. 1 said he was sick of the way FIDE messed up the World Championship cycle, but said: “It is pointless fighting against the impossible.” Anand though played down chances of a boycott in Mexico, saying that all players were looking forward to the event.

Though he maintained he wants to shut everyone up by winning the title, in an interview to two German newspapers on Tuesday, Anand was vitriolic about the way FIDE has handled the World Championship issue.

“You cannot make special rules for every individual. Kramnik and Topalov both get two chances at the title, which means that the current rules are definitely not detrimental to them.

“Of course it is unfair. But I have stopped fretting over FIDE. They always do the same. It would be so nice if they did not keep discarding their own rules. At some stage, you become sick of all this and decide to just play chess. That is exactly what has happened to me now,” Anand said.

Asked whether the way FIDE succumbed to pressure from the Topalov camp irritated him, Anand said: “I have learnt to accept that FIDE will keep changing it rules and breaking them. So, Kramnik will get his match, and then Topalov his. It is pointless fighting against the impossible. The world chess federation will do anything it likes."

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    B Shrikant anchors the Mumbai sports desk. A journalist for more than two decades, he covers hockey, chess, athletics, basketball and volleyball.

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