2004 FIDE World Chess Championships
June 18th-July 13th
Tripoli, Libya

2004 FIDE WCC - Rustam Kasimdzhanov wins FIDE Crown!

In what has been truly a ground-breaking event, Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan (Central Asia) won the 2004 FIDE World Championship by defeating Michael Adams of England, 4˝-3˝. In a grueling month-long series of matches, the result represents a step toward the unification of the official "World Champion." Kasimdzhanov will play GM Garry Kasparov and that winner will meet the winner of the Vladimir Kramnik-Peter Leko match.

What was amazing about this tournament was the "rise of the unknowns." Several players made their presence felt on the world scene during the tournament which of course includes Kasimdzhanov. GMs
Hikaru Nakamura of the U.S. and Lenier Dominguez of Cuba also had stellar touranments. Kasimdzhanov had by far the toughest mountain to climb in winning the crown. Seeded #28 in the tournament and ranked #55 in the world, here is the field he defeated for the world crown:

GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov

GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov


Round 1: Defeated GM Alejandro Ramirez (Costa Rica - #101 seed),  2˝-1˝.
Round 2: Defeated
GM Esham Ghaem Maghami (Iran - #92 seed), 1˝-˝.
Round 3: Defeated
GM Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine - #5 seed, #12 in the world), 2˝-1˝.
Round 4: Defeated
GM Zoltan Almasi (Hungary - #44 seed, #51 in the world), 2-0.
Round 5: Defeated
GM Alexander Grischuk ( Russia - #5 seed, #16 in the world), 3-1.
Round 6: Defeated
GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria - #1 seed, #7 in the world), 4-2.
Round 7: Defeated
GM Michael Adams (England - #3 seed, #6 in the world), 4˝-3˝.

The Adams-Kasimdzhanov match was full of spins and turns and five out of eight games were decisive. It appears that Adams may have suffered from the effects of fatigue as evidenced by severe mental lapses in several of his games during the match.  Kasimdzhanov (at age 24) had more energy as exhibited by his aggressive play… despite playing at total of 30 games (eight more than Adams).

Certainly, Kasimdzhanov will be thrust into the spotlight as the chess ambassador for at least the next several months. Thus, the press will have to learn to pronounce his name (Ka-sim-jon-ov) and be able to locate Uzbekistan. The world of chess is suddenly a
different place. Let us hope that it is also a better place.

Congratulations to
Uzbekistan and Rustam Kasimdzhanov!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 13 July 2004