The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mess in world chess can’t go on: Anand

New Delhi: Slamming the “taking over of chess by politics”, Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand said on Tuesday that the game had suffered because of the fighting between the two world chess associations — Fide and the rival body floated by Garri Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.

“The situation is a complete mess. The chess world can’t go on like this. There is lack of clarity at the top. We all hope that by next year there will be some de facto unification if not a de jure one,” Anand said.

“Hopefully some time next year some thing will come up and we are all waiting for the unified world championship,” said Anand, who was here to promote NIIT’s Mind Champions Academy.

“Because of the prevailing world economic condition it is tough to get sponsors and still people are trying to hold three world championship matches. The last three years was a circus. And the end result is that you don’t have a single marketable person,” Anand said referring to the recent scrapping of the unification match between Russia’s Kramnik and Hungary’s Peter Leko by the London-based Einstein group.

The group announced last month that it was unable to raise the estimated $1 million-plus prize fund from sponsors for the Kramnik-Leko match planned for this summer.

The winner of the Kramnik-Leko match was to play the winner of the match between former world champion Kasparov and Ukraine’s Ruslan Ponomariov — who holds the Fide crown — in an effort to end a division going back to 1993.

The unification match, supposed to be held by the end of this year, was to be followed by a revived cycle of candidates’ matches and an end to all the confusion the game has suffered for the last ten years.

The unification process started after the signing of a deal in Prague between Fide, Kasparov and Kramnik on May 6. As per the deal Kramnik and Kasparov were to revoke all claims to any alternative world champion title and Fide would issue a license to a new body to manage professional chess as a profitable business.

“We have to resolve (the matter) internally,” Anand said about the impasse.

India’s no.1 chess player said he would be representing India in the next Asian Games in Doha. “If chess is successful at the Games it will bolster our case to get into the Olympics,” he said.

Specially praising Delhi’s rising stars Parimarjan Negi and Tania Sachdev, Anand said the Indian youngsters have become very competitive.

‘No need for dope tests’

Anand also said there was no need for dope testing in chess simply because there was no place for performance enhancing drugs in the sport.

“It is a pity that dope testing is being introduced in chess. There is no doping in chess. I do not see any need for it. In chess you would not see any player complaining about other’s performance,” he said.

“There is no need to introduce dope testing just to make chess an Olympic sport,” he said.

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