November 19, 2008, 1:30 PM

Gata Kamsky confirmed last night in person, and again today by phone, that no contracts for the match have been signed yet. There are only drafts of such a contract circulating among FIDE officials, the players and their representatives.

Gambit, the New York Times chess blog inaccurately reported last night that “Kamsky and Topalov and their representatives signed the contracts Tuesday at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany.” [Emphasis added.]

The distinction is not trivial. A list of matches which were agreed to in principal, and announced by FIDE, but did not take place over the past ten years includes*:

Kasparov vs. Shirov 1999
Kasparov vs. Anand 1999
Kasparov vs. Ponomariov 2003
Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov 2004
Topalov vs. Radjabov 2006

The matches failed to occur for various reasons, and are not necessarily relevant to the present match negotiations, but certainly the existence of signed contracts would be a significant milestone.

Israel Gelfer, honorary FIDE Vice President, who is actively revising the contracts as of this writing, told me by phone, “there are no problems, we are just working on the wording.” He explained that an official communication from FIDE to be published on the FIDE website, was pending.

Gelfer also added that he expects the draft contracts to be approved and signed by both players “within one or two days.”

Interesting stuff can be found on the blog by Macauley Peterson for ICC. Chess.FM.

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