London Candidates?

Twitter is awash with rumours that the 2012 FIDE Candidates event is to be held in London. Early this morning, the FIDE Vice-President, Berik Balgabaev, announced on Twitter that the event would be held in London from 23 October to 13 November. However, his tweet was directed at Russian chess organiser and entrepreneur, Ilya Levitov, who appears to have questioned this information. All day, Levitov has been bombarding Balgabaev with tweets, claiming that the information is not correct. In his latest, he writes

“Read Nigel’s letter. There is no date, no venue. They want to sign a contract”.

I am told that “Nigel” refers to FIDE VP, Nigel Freeman, but I have not seen the letter referred to, and do not know if it is available anywhere.

So, is there any truth in this rumour? Frankly, I doubt it. There are only two people within the British chess community who are capable of arranging such an event. Malcolm Pein, again on Twitter, has publicly denied any knowledge of the affair. That only leaves Ray Keene, who also tells me that it is nothing to do with him (he is currently busy arranging the bombing of Homs and trying to destroy evidence of his involvement in the massacre at Tienanmen Square, apparently…).

“There is no uncertainty at all. The event will take place on the planet Vulcan, starting on 30 February, in a year yet to be determined. What could be clearer than that?” (Photo: chessbase)

So, if it is in London, I can only think of two possible organisers. Perhaps it is Charlie Storey, in which case all games will presumably have to open with The Sniper? Failing that, it must be someone connected with FIDE itself, maybe one of the various Russian promotional groups, to whom our alien abductee President periodically sells the exclusive rights to promote world chess for the next 400 years or so.  Either way, it all sounds pretty unlikely, with Sofia a much more plausible choice. Personally, I won’t believe a word of it until a contract is signed and an official announcement made.

Oh, wait a minute, this is FIDE we’re talking about, isn’t it? Scrub that last bit. I’ll start to believe it when the event is at least 75% of the way through.

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