At 10:00 AM this morning, a closed door meeting was convened in Seminar Room 5, adjacent to the FIDE office in the International Congress Center, Dresden, to attempt to reach agreement on the terms of the World Championship semi-final match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov….
At 12:00 Noon the meeting adjourned for a one hour lunch break, affording the first opportunity to learn who was present, and whether progress was being made.
In attendance were Gata Kamsky (pictured above, right), Emil Sutovsky (Kamsky’s second and now de facto manager; pictured above, left), Silvio Danailov (manager of Topalov; pictured below, right), Stefan Sergiev (President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation; pictured below right with Danailov), Israel Gelfer (Honorary FIDE Vice President), William Kelleher (FIDE Vide President and USCF Delegate), Georgios Makropoulos (Deputy FIDE President), Zurab Azmaiparashvili (FIDE Vice President), Boris Kutin (Continental President for Europe), Berek Balgabaev (special advisor to President Illyumzhinov) and Lakhdar Mazouz (FIDE Verification Commission).
Topalov himself, was not present, nor was Alexander Chernenko, previously serving as Mr. Kamsky’s manager and organizer of the so-called “Lviv bid” for the match. As recently as last Friday, Chernenko in an open letter stated, “I will be present at the FIDE Congress as the Manager of GM Gata Kamsky.” That, along with various other assertions made by Chernenko over the past months, has proven false.
One attendee, who asked not to be named, quoted Kamsky as saying, “Chernenko is no longer my manager.” Further details were not available, however FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman, who was not in the meeting, told me that in his opinion Chernenko had lead FIDE and the rest of the chess world “on a wild goose chase.”
During the lunch break, most of the participants retreated to the Maratim hotel next door, but Kamsky and Sutovsky took a short walk along the Elbe river before returning to the hotel. The meeting reconvened at 1:00 PM, lasting only another 45 minutes.
After the meting I spoke to several attendees. “Everything is going in a good way,” said Mr. Makropoulos, who also confirmed that an agreement had been reached. Gelfer and Mazouz immediately began drafting, not just a FIDE statement (to be published tonight or tomorrow morning), but contracts for the match itself, which are to be signed as soon as they have been checked and approved by both players.
Neither Kamsky nor Danailov would comment, having been expressly told not to speak to the media until after an official statement by FIDE is released. However, a few salient details are now known.
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