Anand Not To Play Kasparov

By Arvind Aaron

At the Linares closing ceremony is World No.1 G.Kasparov and No.2 V.Anand in a chat. Linares champion V.Kramnik shares a joke with  FIDE Champion A.Khalifman.

World No.2 Viswanathan Anand announced on Tuesday that he decided not to play World No.1 Garry Kasparov as the terms of the contract were not on equal terms. Anand was made an offer to play Kasparov in a 16-game series by a British consortium for $2 million (about Rs.8.80 Crores) with the winner taking two-thirds and the loser one-third. The venue, sponsor, organiser were not disclosed and GM Raymond Keene was negotiating the deal. The deal fell through with Ray Keene claiming that Anand's lawyers wanted $300,000 as advance something which they could not come up with.

Anand feels that if the match feel through (like last time) he would get nothing to compensate his expenses on training and his loss of income for not playing  in the FIDE Championship for five years. Besides the escrow and the contract guaranteed only Kasparov the money if the match fell through. He did not want to be in a passive position and rely on Kasparov's goodwill for such a compensation. The organisation was a company to be floated in the future and there will be nobody for Anand to sue. It was  like a futures deal.

Under these circumstances he was set to reject the deal when the London consortium wanted to advance the signature date to March 21 from April 21, showing lack of respect for the World No.2 player. It was learnt later that Kasparov was visiting London on April 5 and wanted to make the announcement during that visit. The new deadline was given by an announcement when he was playing at Monte Carlo.

The whole world was wondering why he rejected the offer. The reason is clear: the guarantee was not sufficient enough and the typos/mistakes in the contract make one assume it was not a professional work. Anand agreed he would maintain secrecy about the contract but said he was surprised by the nature it was leaked to the London Times while he was denying talks about this possible match to journalists. He did not put the contract on the net since he thought the same people could change the contract and guarantee him a fee to start with.

Now Vladimir Kramnik is being offered the match and he has agreed to play in the press conference on April 5. Whether it will happen or not is a question that time will answer. It is Raymond Keene's second attempt in doing a world championship. He was instrumental in splitting up FIDE in 1993 when he got The London Times to sponsor the Kasparov-Short, PCA World Championship.

The way to find a challenger for Kasparov is strange. First they have a qualification match (in 1998) under the body `World Chess Council'. Anand refuses to play Kramnik. Shirov replaces Anand. Shirov also becomes the challenger in Cazorla May-June 1998. Then both players are not paid (Kramnik gets a major portion of his loser fund). Shirov gets nothing and the $2.10 million event does not happen. This drama happened in 1998. In 1999, Kasparov decides to play Anand instead. They signed an agreement in March 1999 at Madrid. Again, no sponsor found. In 2000, once again the same could happen.  Kasparov has not defended his world title since 1995, the longest since the time of Alekhine.