Canberra Times, January 21, 2001
Before the start of the elite Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, rival World Champions Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand gave separate press conferences.
One question dominated the two press conferences - would the Anand and Kramnik play a reunification world title match?
The players expressed their desire to meet to decide the true World Champion but both said that their hands were tied by contractual agreements with the organisers of the events which gave them their titles - Braingames Network for Kramnik and the world body FIDE for Anand.
Kramnik, however, may soon be free to reach a deal with FIDE if he wishes, as his contract with Braingames will expire next month unless the internet company is able to announce a follow-up qualifying series to find a challenger for Kramnik.
Little has been heard of Braingames since they organised the Kasparov-Kramnik match last October and it is considered unlikely that they will be willing or able to continue sponsoring world title matches.
Under the weight of their new titles, Kramnik and Anand have been playing steady, unspectacular chess in Wijk aan Zee.
Both titleholders are undefeated and have passed a major test by holding Garry Kasparov to a draw with the black pieces.
Early leader of the event, which features almost all the world's top ten and has been advertised as the strongest in history, is Alexey Shirov.
The amiable Spaniard is being closely followed by Kramnik, Kasparov and Anand, with the big games between Shirov and his rivals set for the final rounds of the tournament later this week.
Wijk aan Zee 2001