Kasparov retires. Garry Kasparov, ranked the #1 chess player in the world (and who's at least among the top three players all-time) said the 2005 Linares tournament will be his last as a professional player. It seems this announcement leaves professional chess and FIDE, at least, in a bit of a bind. Although he's not an official champ, he's still ranked as the strongest player by FIDE. If he really is gone, how much legitimacy will any successor as "unified champ" have? Or does it really matter? How many people on Metafilter care about this, and is it more or less than those who worry about the hockey strike?
It looks like that the British network einstein.tv and the FIDE may open negotiations this month for a reunified world chess championship. The championship was split in 1993 when Garry Kasparov left the FIDE to start his own failed league. Kasparov claims the world championship left with him, while the FIDE claims he abdicated by refusing to play nice with others. Kasparov lost the championship last year to Kramnik. Einstein.TV is milking the publicity while the FIDE says we are meeting but no comment. Wood pushers like me are probably better off leaving the politics to the people who can't stand each other and sticking to the internet chessclub, the free chess servers or simply email chess.