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Alexander Morozevich:
"I am disappointed that FIDE offers such contracts and takes such decisions. "

by Yurij Vasiliev

A. Morozevich's interview to the "Sport-Express", leading Russian sports newspaper.

Last year's fantastic rise of Alexander Morozevich, when he made a powerful jump and moved from the fifth dozen of chess players to the fifth place, was taken by many with much skepticism. They say he should reveal himself in some more important competitions. However, the very first 19th category super tournament in his life confirmed the high class of this young grandmaster's chess. According to a new rating list of the International Chess Federation that was adjusted in FIDE headquarters the other day, Morozevich moved to the 4th position. Besides, he is only 2 points behind Kramnik, who is number 3. We'll note, however, that these two points were not considered some time ago, they were approximated. Moreover, Morozevich is 24 points ahead of Alexei Shirov. And this is too much to be approximated.

Moscow grandmaster Morozevich became 22 years old on the 18th of July. This is just the right age to storm the most difficult heights! And suddenly we find out that the chess player does not take part in the FIDE KO World Championship in Las Vegas, that's due to begin today.

- Why, Alexander?!

- We do not comprehend each other with FIDE functionaries. Just as it was offered to all the chess players, before May 31, I sent a signed contract to FIDE headquarters. I did not agree with some of the paragraphs, so I crossed them out. And that caused the following turmoil.

- So what did not suit you in the contract?

- First of all, I did not agree to develop chess in the world in case I enter the semi-final.

- Excuse me, what does it mean, "to develop chess in the world"?

- For 7 days a year, semi-finalists of the tournament should work for FIDE image for free.

- Immediately after the end of the event?

- No, not immediately, in about half a month's time. They have a right to phone you and tell, for example, that tomorrow you are to fly there and there, and for three days running you are to give interviews and smile to TV and photo cameras.

- Why not do for the use of FIDE?

- Actually, this is not what really matters. The thing is that the functionaries have not explained in detail when and how I have to smile for their image. They have not explained in the contract what would happen if I can't "develop chess" in the moment they need it. And it can cause certain problems. Thus, I crossed this paragraph out. It was also said in the contract that all the chess players had to be present at the opening of the Championship or of any other event held by FIDE President or by the Chief Arbiter. I crossed out "any other events", as I was not going to visit any other events during the tournament, no matter who is the organizer.

- That's logic, considering what a tense and nervous competition was waiting for you.

- On top of all that, FIDE functionaries wanted every chess player to give interviews to the journalists after each game with no right to refuse. It was also mentioned in the contract that every chess player was to pay a fine in case he was late for a game in the final (a thousand dollars per minute).

- Have you tried to reach some compromise in disputable questions?

- Yes, we've wasted nearly all July trying to do that.

- And whom did you negotiate with, if it is not a secret?

- With Iliumzhinov's aide - Berik Baldabaev.

- When I talked to him, it seemed that he was rather wide of chess.

- I reckon, a lot of people there are wide of chess.

- So what did it all come to?

- I was offered to sign the entire contract or to come to Las Vegas, where the Appeal Committee was to be in session one day before the beginning of the Championship, and my case was to be viewed there. It is only then that I was able to find out if I could take part in the event under the offered conditions or not. I said that no one in my circumstances would go to Las Vegas at his own expense. And FIDE replied that in such case there was nothing they could do for me. Thus, we parted.

- Are you disappointed that you missed the FIDE World Championship?

- I am much more disappointed that International Chess Federation offers such contracts and takes such decisions. And as for the tournament, I did not even have enough time to properly tune myself up to it. Though, of course, it's a shame that I miss such a serious event.