Chess - The Scotsman 29/02/2012

DETAILS are emerging that Agon, a Russia-based media company owned by US businessman Andrew Paulson, are negotiating with the game’s governing body to become a major player in the sponsorship and running of all top FIDE events.

President Kirsan IIlyumzhinov is reported as saying the deal will bring E10-12 million directly into Fide with Agon in return having the rights to run the next two cycles, including Olympiad, Grand Prix, World Cup, Candidate and Title matches. However it is unclear whether he’s talking prize money, overall funding, or just sponsorship fees.

Agon is part of the SUP Group, owned by Paulson and controversial oligarch Alexander Mamut. Paulson is expected to consult with the governing body this week in Athens (bad financial omen or what?) and is set to publish a long-term calendar that will included major European cities.

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February turned out to be a bumper month for Mateusz Bartel! First he wins Aeroflot – gaining his ticket into the Dortmund super-tournament this summer – and now he has just won the Polish Championship title in Warsaw.

Bartel tied for first with Bartlomiej Macieja with 7/9, and then went on to win the rapid playoff.

Key wins for Bartel (and with the Black pieces), en route to clinching his third successive title, were over top-seed Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Bartosz Socko.

B Socko - M Bartel

Polish Ch., (6)

Giuoco Piano

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 d3 Be7 5 Nbd2 0–0 6 0–0 d6 7 Bb3 Na5 8 Ba4 c5 9 c3 Rb8 10 d4 b5 11 Bc2 Qc7 12 d5 c4 13 h3 Nb7 14 Re1 Bd7 15 Nf1 Nc5 16 g4 Nfxe4! 17 Bxe4 Nxe4 18 Rxe4 f5 19 gxf5 Bxf5 20 Ng3 Qd7 21 Re1 Bxh3 22 Nh2 Rf6 23 Be3 Rbf8 24 a4 Rg6 25 Qh5 bxa4 26 Ra2 Bd8 27 Rea1 Bb6 28 Bxb6 axb6 29 Rxa4 Qf7 30 Qe2 h5 31 Ra8 h4 32 Rxf8+ Qxf8 33 Qf3 hxg3 34 fxg3 Qxf3 35 Nxf3 Rxg3+ 36 Kf2 Rg2+ 37 Ke3 Bg4 38 Ra8+ Kf7 39 Ra7+ Kf6 0–1