London Won’t Host Because Magnus Dropped Out

As everyone in the chess world knows by now, the London based organization, Chess Promotions, recently withdrew it’s bid and proposal to host the World Chess Championship. The facts, taken as those which the two parties do not dispute are quite simple. Chess Promotions paid a 50k fee to purchase an option to form a contract to host the WCC, however, once the options expired the two parties had not agreed to specific relevant terms, and so Chess Promotions decided to no longer pursue the hosting of the event.

The interesting part of the dispute is that both parties are accusing one another of allowing the option to expire. Chess Promotions claimed:

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 Therefore, with regret, CPL has withdrawn its offer…

Which sounded pretty convincing to my western ears- I assumed FIDE merely dropped the ball, as they always do. Until I read their retort, addressed to Malcom Pein personally:

You made it very clear, as you recall, that the sponsor of the match “lost interest” in it after the withdrawl [sic] of GM Magnus Carlsen and consequently instructed you “not to negotiate at all about anything” i.e. “take it or leave it”.

Wow, that sounds like a good reason to allow an option contract to expire, and I have to say it makes more sense than simply blaming FIDE for failing to agree to an adhesion contract offered on a “take it or leave it” basis. According to Chess Vibes, Malcom Pein is composing a letter as we speak in response to this FIDE attack. I’ll update this post when it is made public.