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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Chess Unification as Kasparov Pulls Out

Garry Kasparov says he is withdrawing from a FIDE world championship match that had been scheduled this spring because he has suffered financial and psychological damage from the match's repeated postponement, his office said Wednesday.

In a statement published Tuesday on the Chessbase News web site, Kasparov said he had alerted the World Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE, on Monday that he would not take part in the World Chess Championship in Istanbul.

The competition was to be a so-called "unification match" between Kasparov, who broke away from FIDE in 1993, and FIDE champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan.

"Over the past two and a half years, unification matches have been scheduled four times and each time the deadlines have come and gone while the financial guarantees were ignored," said Kasparov, the world's top-rated player.

"Four times I have put my life on hold to schedule three months for preparation, play and recuperation. The loss of earnings is easy to understand, but the hidden damage is psychological."

Kasparov said that his Istanbul commitment had prevented him from taking part in the Corus tournament underway now in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.

"It breaks my heart to watch such a great event from the sidelines. It hurts me, and I believe chess is poorly served as well," Kasparov wrote.

He said that Ilyumzhinov's claim last year to have enough funds for the reunification match, planned at one point for Dubai this month, was untrue.