FIDE Champ Kasimjanov ends reign

Rustam Kasimjanov is perhaps the unsung hero of the tournament. He has fought valiantly in his games and although he is on 5-7, he has perhaps put a stamp of credibility on the title that he won in Tripoli, Libya last year. There were the naysayers who stated that he was only a capable rapid player, but he has proved them wrong. Some have even implied that his win over Anand was a fluke and "it means nothing."

His play this tournament suggests he is a fighter and a capable champion. The young player from Uzbekistan has already eclipsed the 2700-barrier once and is poised to enter the world's elite again. In fact, a rumour has been circulated that retired chess champion
Garry Kasparov has been following Kasimjanov's games with great interest. If he closes out the tournament against Peter Leko and Topalov on a high note, there will be no question as to the legitimacy of his crown.

GM Rustam Kasimjanov.   (Photo courtesy of WCC official site)

GM Rustam Kasimjanov
(Photo courtesy of WCC official site)

This weekend will feature the closing to the FIDE World Chess Championships and a new champion will be crowned. There is still a slight chance it will not be Bulgarian star, Veselin Topalov. One thing is for certain… one contender will be eliminated today. With two rounds to play, Topalov holds a 1½-point lead over both Viswanathan Anand and Peter Svidler.

Editor's Note: Kasimjanov and Topalov drew in today's match symbolizing the "passing of the torch" from one champion to the next. Ironically, it was Kasimjanov who defeated Topalov for the title in last year's tournament. Congratulations Veselin Topalov, FIDE World Chess Champion!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 13 October 2005