Open letter by FIDE regarding WCC 2012
A few days ago London declined to excercise the option to host the World Chess Championship 2012. Malcolm Pein commented in an open letter, “Having secured the necessary funds, on July 21st 2010, CPL sent FIDE a formal offer and a detailed commercial contract to stage the next WCC match in London with financial terms similar to the 2010 WCC match at Sofia. Unfortunately agreement could not be reached in the autumn. Following more discussions in London in January, CPL asked FIDE to accept the offer by Saturday 29th January 2011. No such acceptance was forthcoming. Therefore, with regret, CPL has withdrawn its offer in time for the next Executive Board meeting which starts today in Turkey in order to give the EB clarity and the opportunity to consider alternatives. The timeline to stage a WCC match before the Olympic Games in May 2012 is now too short.”
FIDE answered as promised after the Presidential Board in Antalya. Here is the full text of the open letter by Mr. Israel Gelfer.
I received the announcement of Chess Promotions that you are withdrawing your offer to organize the
FIDE World Championship match (FWCM) with great disappointment. I would like to provide the chess
world with the correct facts which caused this move.
On February 2010 FIDE granted you the option to organize the FWCM “under the same conditions like
the Sofia match between Anand and Topalov”. On 15 February you signed a memorandum accepting the
conditions and regulations of the match and two days later paid a deposit of 50,000 Euro for such option.
After that, for a long period, you have been proposing several changes from the Sofia contract. In July
2010 (after the original deadline was extended by FIDE) you sent to FIDE a different version of the
contract with different conditions. For most among this were important financial conditions which had to
be clarified first. In a constructive manner FIDE, wishing to hold the match in London, accepted several
conditions interalia reducing the prize fund by 20% due to UK taxes not covered by the organisers,
reduction of the contribution to FIDE, reduction of the number of principals. In January we met in
London when I proposed to discuss the agreement based on the Sofia contract as amended above.
In our meeting both you and Mr. Andrew Finan replied that you only consider the version dictated by
you, claiming that they are no substantial differences between the two contracts. You made it very clear,
as you recall, that the sponsor of the match “lost interest” in it after the withdrawl of GM Magnus Carlsen
and consequently instructed you “not to negotiate at all about anything” i.e. “take it or leave it”.
Even after the meeting in London I was trying to solve the problems and I informed FIDE about the
situation. The FIDE Secretariat then gave me a list of 36 differences between our version and your
proposed contract and 16 changes from your original July draft. Many of which were completely
unacceptable to FIDE, interalia FIDE being responsible of player’s taxes in their respective jurisdictions,
no liability for any cancellation for any reason and putting FIDE as responsible for several
obligations which were and are not in FIDE`s hands.
Moreover, in your contract you change the regulations of the match. Furthermore you have informed us
only on 27 January that the players may be liable up to 50% tax. This means that the net prize fund could
be as little as near 1.2 million EUR after tax where as our agreement was that you will provide, as in
Sofia, a prize fund of 2.0 million EUR after tax. Therefore your statement that the conditions were equal
to Sofia was incorrect.
In order to try and solve the problems I asked for an extension of the signing date until the
Presidential Bord meeting in early February. You were also invited by the FIDE President to come to
Antalya so that we could try to reach an agreement. Unfortunately this proposal was rejected and you
announced the withdrawl of your offer.
It is clear, and was obvious to me and expressed specifically by you, that the withdrawl of GM Carlsen
from the WC cycle meant that the sponsor was no longer interested in sponsoring the match.
I regret that the FIDE World Championship Match, despite all our efforts, will not be organized in
London in 2012.
FIDE Vice President