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FIDE Candidates 2011 (Kazan)

FIDE Candidates are moved to Kazan

Sport Express Reports that the FIDE Candidates for 2011 are to be moved to Kazan, Russia. They have been moved from Baku Azerbaijan and this seems the first fruits of the Russian Federations influence on the FIDE President.

The decision was taken at the Presidential Board in Tromso. The Azerbaijan nominee Shakhriyar Mamedyarov will not lose his place in the Candidates.

The coming contract with "Chess Lane" seems likely to take over all FIDE commercial activities for a fee. This may all be at the root of the Russian Chess Federation's desperation to keep Ilyumzhinov in power. However plus points seem to be that there will be more money (at least that's what the Russian press were saying) and the fact that Aronian will find the venue acceptable, given the tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan he'd already said he wouldn't play in Baku.

However the bitterness Topalov holds towards his loss in Elista in his world title match has resulted in him releasing a letter saying he would not play in Russia, especially against a Russian opponent (in fact Kramnik is the only Russian).

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is going to write a letter to Topalov asking him not to take hasty decisions. If Topalov still refuses to go to Kazan, Alexander Grischuk will replace him. He was the 3rd placed finisher in the FIDE Grand Prix.

The full implications of this decision are hard to read. It isn't difficult to see this as part of a wider pattern which took in the desperation of the Russian Federation to nominate Ilyumzhinov and the upcoming contract with "Chess Lane" that seems likely to pass all FIDE Commercial activities to a Russian Company funded by the shadowy figures of the brothers Ziyavudine and Mohammed Magomedov from Dagestan and represented by their frontman David Kaplan. (Background in Russian in this article on the APN website: A Revolution is coming in the Chess World

Indeed I read this morning on Ilyumzhinov's own website that the money for the Candidates indeed is coming from CNC which is part of the "Chess Lane" group.

This same article claims Ilyumzhinov won a blitz chess tournament in Tromso. Did anyone see him play? Most available evidence suggests he isn't a very good player.

FIDE Documents of 2009 draft agreement between FIDE and "Chess Lane". FIDE and Chess Lane pdf

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