26 December 2007

2007 World Cup Added

I added match crosstables and PGN game scores for the 2007 World Cup and updated the Index of Players. I count 45 players who participated in a World Championship event for the first time.

20 December 2007

Match News for the Current Cycle

Two important events for the current World Championship cycle happened this week. First, Gata Kamsky won the World Cup by beating Alexei Shirov in the final: Gata Kamsky Wins World Cup 2007 (Fide.com). He will play Veselin Topalov for the right to challenge the World Champion in a title match.

A few days later, details of the Anand - Kramnik match were announced: World Chess Championship Match 2008, Anand vs Kramnik (Fide.com). The press release was on the Chessbase.com site well before it was on the Fide.com site. The match will be a title match, with Anand the champion and Kramnik the challenger.

The Kamsky - Topalov match will be played sometime after the Anand - Kramnik match. I assume the timing is to know the identity of the champion before knowing the challenger. Has there ever been a series of title matches where the challenger was known before the champion?

The winners of the two matches will play a title match in the first half of 2009. The losers of the two matches will be seeded into last four Grand Prix tournaments. The six Grand Prix events are scheduled for April, August, and December, in both 2008 and 2009.

Here are the 'Overall records' of the four seeded players according to Chessgames.com:-

There is no word from the Anand camp on the resolution of the reported blocking points : venue in Germany and draw odds. Both were resolved in favor of Kramnik.

12 December 2007

Zonal Clippings

Continuing the evolution of my project on the zonals...

The World Chess Championship Zonals

...I've collected many photocopied articles documenting the results of the individual events. For the past few months I've been considering how I should handle them, and I decided to use the photocopies the same way I would paste clippings into a workbook. A later step would be to transcribe the scanned images to a machine readable digital format with the parallel goal of collecting PGN game scores, then using those to produce crosstables.

The first zonal cycle is here...

Zonals 1946-48

It's primitive, but I don't want to be locked in by too many design decisions at this early stage.

28 November 2007

2007-Q4 Maintenance

Following up my last post on Regulations for the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix, I added bullets for the 2009-10 cycle to my World Chess Championship Index Page. • Re timing for the Grand Prix, FIDE issued the call for bids in November 2007 with a deadline of January 2008. Considering how many previous calls have ended up without bids, it's reasonable to assume that FIDE already has most of the six cities lined up.

I fixed the link to the official site for the 2007 World Cup, which is taking place now. The old link produced a 404 error message. It appears that the site responsibles changed the page name just before the event started. It would seem common sense to redirect the old page to the new page, but it wasn't done.

I also fixed a few minor errors in the lower level pages. One change was a correction to a player's name in FIDE's first World Women's Championship. Searching on the error located a page that had copied all of my crosstables -- I campionati del mondo femminile -- with no sign of attribution or thanks.

22 November 2007

Regulations for the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix

FIDE has issued the details and regulations for the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix (see FIDE Grand-Prix, 19 November 2007, esp. the linked document DD10.PDF; Fide.com). For easier reference, the first four sections of the PDF document are incorporated here. The section headers for the rest of the document are at the end of this post.


Regulations for the 2008 - 2009 FIDE Grand-Prix

1. Introduction

1.1. Following the approval of the Presidential Board in Tallinn 2007, Global Chess BV and FIDE have worked on the Regulations for the World Championship Cycle for 2008/2009. A principle of stability and consolidation has been maintained throughout the various meetings and discussions held to draw up these Regulations.

The first important principle is the commercial approach to the organisation and management of these events and Global Chess will be responsible for locating one or several title sponsors for the six tournaments and for the Challenge match at the end of the Series. The host city may seek alternative sponsorship from business industries not in conflict with the main business activity carried out by the title sponsor.

The second principle is one of co-ordination. Together with FIDE, Global Chess will work and assist in the search and selection process of the host cities. The offer of each respective host city will be evaluated in terms of location, accessibility, and quality of conditions.

The third principle is communication. An open and transparent discussion has been held and will continue to be held with all stakeholders to seek continuous improvements in the standards that are offered, in making the tournaments more available to the world chess and non-chess media.

1.2. Governing Body: the World Chess Federation (FIDE). For the purpose of creating the regulations, communicating with the players and negotiating with the organisers, the President has nominated a committee, hereby called the World Chess Championship Committee (WCCC) who will co-operate with Global Chess BV.

1.3. FIDE retains all commercial and media rights of the Grand-Prix, including internet rights.

1.4. The body responsible for any changes to these Regulations is the FIDE Presidential Board.

2. Format of the Grand Prix 2008-2009

The Grand Prix will be a series of six tournaments held over two years (2008-2009) in leading world cities. The bidding process for the final selection of cities will commence in the second part of November 2007 and be finalized by January 2008.

In the interest of chess development, all continents should be represented, as far as possible, and depending on the interest generated in the series, FIDE will aim at organizing at least one event in each continent.

The timing of evaluating and contracting host city offers will be very important particularly at the start of the series. Offers to host and contract three tournaments over the next six years (i.e. three cycles – for 2008/9, 2010/1 and 2012/3) will be given preference.

21 top world players will be selected to compete in these tournaments. Each player agrees and will contract to participate in exactly 4 of these tournaments. Players must rank their preference of tournaments once the final list of host cities is announced and the dates are allocated to each host city.

FIDE reserves the right to assign players to tournaments according to the organizational needs and the players for each tournament will be announced before the cycle begins.

Each tournament will have 14 players playing over a schedule of seventeen days. The months allocated for the organisation of the Grand Prix tournaments are April, August and December of each respective year. These months have been selected to ensure there is no conflict with any other major event.

In view of an objective of harmonisation of the FIDE chess calendar, the months for the Grand Prix for 2009 are fixed as above, and the World Cup will be scheduled to meet the timing of the World Championship match in 2009 and the Grand Prix series.

The winner of the Grand Prix series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the World Cup held in 2009 in an eight game match to become the challenger to the World Champion in a match to be held in the third quarter of 2010.

3. Qualifiers for the Grand Prix 2008-2009

The players who qualify for selection to play in the Grand Prix will be chosen on the following prioritized basis :

3.1 MATCHES. For the first cycle of 2008/9, the two players who lose the World Championship (ie. Kramnik or Anand) and Challenger matches (Topalov or the World Cup 2007 winner) will be invited to participate in the Grand Prix. Given the organisation of both these matches in the third quarter of 2008, these players will all be asked to commit their participation in the Grand Prix series by not later than 31st December 2007, based on the above proviso of the loser of each respective match being allowed to play in the last four Grand Prix tournaments starting from December 2008.

3.2 QUALIFICATION. The FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk 2007 will be used to determine three qualifiers for the 2008/9 Grand Prix Series. Excluding the winner, these will be the players who have qualified to the semi final stages of the World Cup.

3.3 RATING. Based on an average calculation to two decimal places, of the January 2007 rating list and the October 2007 rating list in the year prior to start of the cycle, seven qualifiers will be selected (excluding the four players who will be playing the matches as defined in Article 2.1). If players have the same average rating, the number of games played between January 2007 and September 2007 (rating period) will be used to determine ranking.

To ensure active participation in the future, a minimum of twenty five (25) games is being recommended in the four rating lists including and prior to the October rating list in the year of qualification i.e. 2009, 2011 etc.. Given the short notice in the first edition of the Grand Prix, this regulation will not be applicable in the 2008-2009 series.

If any player does not accept to play in the Grand Prix series, then the selection process using the average rating plus number of games played in the rating period will be adopted, until the number of qualifiers required for the Grand Prix is completed.

3.4 PRESIDENT NOMINEES. The FIDE President may nominate three players and they must be rated among the top 40 players in the world as per the October 2007 rating list. Players nominated by the President should be from different countries.

3.5 HOST CITY NOMINEES. One players may be nominated by each host city and must be rated not less than 2550 in the last rating list prior to the final nomination or selection of players. If the host city does not have a player rated at least 2550 then the highest rated player from the Federation of the host city will be invited to play, subject to his rating not being lower than 2500.

The WCCC will coordinate with Global Chess and with all the host cities, in the allocation of players, should there be a conflict in the number of players in their ranking of preference of host cites. FIDE is not obliged, but will do its utmost to respect the players’ preferences, and will balance the player allocation to a host city according to predetermined criteria such as average tournament rating, piece colour, continental representation, etc.

4. Tournament Format

4.1 In each tournament the 14 players shall play a round robin tournament of 13 rounds.

4.2 If a player withdraws after completing 50% or more of the games, the rest of his games are lost by default. In case a player completes less than 50%, all his results are annulled.

[MW: 4.3 missing; is it this?:] • Time control: 120 minutes for the first forty moves, 60 minutes for the next twenty moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.

4.4 The players are not permitted to speak to their opponents during the games. Appropriate sporting behaviour is expected from all participants and FIDE rules of conduct are to be strictly followed at all times. Players will not be allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents. Any draw claim will be permitted only through the Chief Arbiter in the following cases:

[MW: omitted; as per the laws of chess]

The Chief Arbiter may consult with the Technical Adviser before accepting any claim by players for a draw. The Chief Arbiter is the only authority who can acknowledge the final result of the game in these cases.

4.5 The Technical Adviser must be a Grandmaster, rated at least 2500, who has held the title of Grandmaster for at least ten years and is an active player as defined by the rating system.

4.6 Tie breaks for each tournament: As prizes and GP ranking points are shared equally, in cases of any tied position/s. No tie break system will be utilised for the individual GP tournaments. The process of determining the overall winner of the series, in the case of a tie, is defined in Article 7.2


5. Tournament Schedule
6. Confirmation of Participation
7. Prize Money & Grand Prix Points
8. Financial details
9. Arrangements for the Playing Hall
10. Interviews, functions and mode of dressing
11. Photography and Television
12. Principals
13. Tournament and Playing Conditions
14. Appeals Committee
15. Opening Ceremony for each tournament
16. Closing Ceremony of each tournament
17. Payment of Prize Money and Stipends
18. Penalties


Later: It turns out that the regulations are also in the FIDE Handbook:-

Regulations for the 2008 - 2009 FIDE Grand-Prix

14 November 2007

Qualifiers for Khanty-Mansiysk 2007

For players qualified into the 2007 World Cup, starting later this month at Khanty-Mansiysk, the following table summarizes how they qualified. It was derived from FIDE's List of Qualifiers for the World Cup 2007, dated 18 October 2007. The left column shows the number of players who qualified via the path listed in the right column. The numbering for Continental Championships (1.0, 2.0, etc.) is my own, not FIDE's.

161.0 European Championship 2006
291.0 European Championship 2007
72.0 American Continental
52.1 Zonal
12.2 Zonal
22.3 Zonal
22.4 Zonal
22.5 Zonal
103.0 Asian Continental
13.1 Zonal
13.2 Zonal
23.3 Zonal
23.4 Zonal
23.5 Zonal
13.6 Zonal
64.0 African Continental
5FIDE President
4Organising Committee
3World Championship Tournament 2007
1World Junior Champion 2006
1World Women's Champion 2006

The list will be used to fill in the gaps on my list of World Chess Championship Zonals.

08 November 2007

The Players Protest

The 'protests' concern the next two legs of the FIDE World Championship cycle 2007-2009 -- the World Cup and the two semi-final matches. Chessbase.com published interviews with two of the three players who declined to play in the forthcoming World Cup (Leko was the third).

Morozevich provided a direct answer: (Q) 'Many of your followers are very disappointed that you have opted out of the forthcoming World Cup, the winner of which will play a match against Topalov, for the right to play a world championship match in the next cycle. Why did you refuse to play?' • (A) 'Several months ago, FIDE changed the rules yet again, to give Topalov the immediate right to play the final candidates match. And in Sofia at that. I do not understand the reason for this; it looks ridiculous. Given my relations with Topalov, such a match in Sofia is never going to happen, and I cannot play the tournament without being motivated to want to win it.' • That raises a new question about his 'relations with Topalov', which is noted. All things in time.

Gelfand was more mysterious: (Q) 'For the next cycle you are empty-handed, while other players have privileges. What are your intentions in the next cycle? Do you hope to make another big assault?' • (A) 'It is very important for me to have a proper World Championship cycle, and that’s why I did my best to use this opportunity, as it was first real cycle since 1995. I am very disappointed that FIDE decided to keep the tradition of a world championship match and abandoned tradition of a world championship cycle. I don’t think that it is less important tradition.' • I'm not at all sure what he is saying here. Did he answer the questions?

Chessbase is known to hype the chess news from time to time (remember the 2005 Needleman affair?), but its coverage of an emerging feud between Anand and Kramnik could be the real thing.

Russian players have often been the beneficiaries of favorable treatment from FIDE, with Karpov the biggest recipient (1975, 1985-86, 1993, 1997, more?). Kramnik likes to stand on principle when his own rights are at stake (1997 Groningen, 2004 post-Leko match), but has a history of turning his back on the other players (Shirov, Kasparov 2000, Unification 2002) when it's to his advantage.

Some of the informed commentary on the feud has been enlightening.

There are three points when people will pay attention to a chess match : when it's announced, when contractual negotiations are underway, and when it's being played. The players are right to seek attention at those times. I trust the whiff of bad blood is no more than this.


I had originally intended to write The Players Doth Protest as the title of this post. Then it occurred to me that 'doth' might be singular, as in Shakespeare's famous 'the lady doth protest too much'. I was right to be wary. Answers.com defines doth as 'v. Archaic; A third person singular present tense of do.' Furthermore, according to Reference.com's entry (doth), there is no plural equivalent.

31 October 2007

2007-2009 FIDE Cycle

The Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup starts in a few weeks. I updated my pages on the 2007-2009 cycle with current, available information:-

This was gathered from several posts on this blog over the last few months:-

Those posts have more detailed information and links.

25 October 2007

Will Anand Play?

In an August 2007 post, Insider Interviews, I mentioned a Chessbase report on an interview with Viswanathan Anand. During the interview, which took place before Anand won the World Championship title in Mexico, he was asked whether the new FIDE regulations granting a special match to Kramnik and Topalov were 'unfair to the other participants'. His answer was
Of course it is unfair. But I have stopped fretting over the world chess federation FIDE. They always do the same. It would be so nice if they did not keep discarding their own rules. At some stage you become sick of all this and decide to just play chess.

When the Daily Dirt pointed to other sources with similar reports -- Anand Decries FIDE Favoritism -- the comments flooded in from fans of chess politics.

According to one report published after Anand won, Anand silent on rematch, the genial Indian is considering his options: 'the undisputed world champion said he has not taken a decision on the rematch, which is expected sometime next fall [2008]'.

When former title challenger Nigel Short was asked by Chessbase, 'The FIDE rules gives the benefit of re-match to Kramnik, which has been criticized by one and all. Your views?', he answered

Under the old system, a defending champion, with the benefit of a rematch, had a 75% chance of retaining his title. These were overwhelming odds which Mikhail Botvinnik, who in his later years was a shadow of his former force, ruthlessly exploited. The rigged system did not seem to trouble his conscience, if, indeed, he possessed one. With Kramnik it is slightly different . The current World Championship "system", if I may laughingly call it so, is a real dog's breakfast. Kramnik's advantage is not so obscene as Botvinnik's, and it is more difficult to blame him for taking his chances amidst the chaos. In general though, rematches, like feudalism, should be abolished.
FIDE simply possesses an extraordinary capacity for making bad decisions. Anand ought to use his enormous influence to try to do something about it, instead of adopting his usual passive, Mr Nice-Guy, fatalistic attitude.

Source: Nigel Short on FIDE.

17 October 2007

News from FIDE

Three months ago, when I last looked at preparation for the forthcoming World Cup (see Qualifiers for Khanty-Mansiysk 2007, 2007-07-19), the regulations were in the process of being updated on Fide.com (FIDE Handbook, Regulations for the World Chess Championship Cycle 2007 - 2009: 1. Organisation; 2. Qualifying Events for World Cup 2007; 3. World Cup 2007; and 4. World Championship Matches 2008-2009). It's time for a new look.

First, following is an overview of relevant FIDE documents (all Fide.com) published since June, along with a few comments.

One of the big changes for the new World Championship cycle is the introduction of the Grand Prix. In future cycles, the winner of the World Cup will meet the winner of the Grand Prix to determine the next title challenger. The June report on the Tallinn Presidential Board (PB) said, 'FIDE and Global Chess will draft detailed regulations for the Grand Prix starting in 2008 for the next Presidential Board in Mexico City.' In the September report of the Mexico City PB, there was no mention of a Grand Prix. This is perhaps because FIDE President Ilyumzhinov was absent from the meeting.

Other relevant issues:

  • The ACP has made a formal complaint about the number of World Cup qualifying places for European players. • 2007-09-10: Irregularities in nominations for the World Cup 2007 • [Chess-players.org]

  • In my last post I wondered about the status of three players. • 2007-10-11: Continental Championships and Zonals (2007-Q3)Q: Have Leko, Morozevich, and Gelfand declined to play, or is there some other arrangement? A: The World Cup Regulations specify that '128 qualifiers (in order of priority): World Champion + seven (7) finalists from the World Championship Tournament 2007 in Mexico...'. It appears that the three players are indeed out of the next cycle.

Also worth noting is that the official site for the World Cup is now operational: Chess in Khanty-Mansiysk • I'll incorporate all of this into my own pages -- Zonals and 2007 World Cup -- on the World Chess Championship.

11 October 2007

Continental Championships and Zonals (2007-Q3)

Following up Continental Championships and Zonals (2007-Q2), here are Q3 qualifiers to the World Cup:-

4th Pan-American Championship (Zone 2.0): 'The IV Continental open took place 10th-20th July, 2007 in Cali, Colombia. The event was an 11 round Swiss Open. [...] Five players tied for first place but GM Julio Granda from Peru won the tie break and the title. Seven players have been qualified for the next World Chess Cup will be at the end of the year in Rusia: Julio Granda, Alexander Ivanov and Varuzhan Akobian (USA), Darcy Lima (Brasil) and the Panamerican Young IM Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela), Matsuura Everaldo (Brasil) and GM Fernando Peralta (Argentina).' [TWIC663 : 'The Week in Chess' by Mark Crowther, no.663]

Asian Championship (Zone 3.0): 'The 6th Asian Individual Chess Championship took place 18th-30th September 2007 in Cebu, Philippines. 72 players from 17 countries include 29 GM, 1 WGM, 17 IM & 9 FM competed in 11 round Swiss System. Zhang Pengxiang edged out Wang Hao on tie-break after both finished on 8/11.' [TWIC673]

African Championship: (Zone 4.0) 'The 2007 African Individual Chess Championships were held at the Safari Court Hotel in the Namibian Capital of Windhoek from August 31 to September 10, 2007. [...] The Open Section was won by IM Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe with an undefeated score of 7/9. IM Pedro Aderito of Angola took the silver medal ahead of IM Essam El Gindy of Egypt on tie-break.' [TWIC671]

Zone 3.2: 'Surya Shekhar Ganguly qualified for the FIDE World Cup in Siberia in November. Ganguly finished level on 9/11 with GN Gopal but won a rapid playoff match 2-0 to qualify. [...] Dhaka (BAN), 23-31 August 2007' [TWIC669]

The current list of qualifiers can be found on the FIDE page Qualifiers for the WORLD CUP 2007. The info and date publication change frequently. A few weeks ago the page said,

a) From World Championship Tournament 2007: 1. V. Anand (IND), 2. A. Morozevich (RUS), 3. P. Leko (HUN), 4. L. Aronian (ARM), 5. P. Svidler (RUS), 6. B. Gelfand (ISR), 7. A. Grischuk (RUS), * The 8th player - V. Kramnik - is replaced from the FIDE average rating list 7/2006 & 1/2007.

Today it says,

a) From World Championship Tournament 2007: 1. L. Aronian (ARM), 2. P. Svidler (RUS), 3. A. Grischuk (RUS), * Five players (World champion V. Anand, GM V. Kramnik, GM P. Leko, GM A. Morozevich and GM B. Gelfand are replaced from the FIDE average rating list 7/2006 & 1/2007).

Anand and Kramnik have parachutes into the 2007-2009 World Championship cycle. Have Leko, Morozevich, and Gelfand declined to play, or is there some other arrangement?

03 October 2007

2007 Mexico City Finished

I updated my World Chess Championship to include the crosstable and PGN game scores for the recently concluded 2007 Mexico City title tournament. I also updated the Roster of Players, adding the event to the records of the eight players who took part. • Next event: the Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup, 23 November to 16 December 2007.

27 September 2007

For More Info on Mexico City

I'm keeping track of the Mexico City tournament in two places on About Chess...

Blog Index: 2007 World Championship

Forum: 2007 FIDE World Championship

...I plan to update my World Championship site (see sidebar) next week, when the event is over.

19 September 2007

Whence They Came

I updated my in-process page on the the World Chess Championship Zonals to include all information gathered since the last update on 2005-10-03. This includes Continental Championships and Zonals for the previous and current cycles, which qualified players into Khanty-Mansiysk 2005 and 2007.

The page is starting to become more reliable, although there are still many gaps to be filled. Since I worked on the update while cut off from written references and from the Internet, there are several new gaps which should be easy to fill for the next update.

Once again, special thanks are due to Glenn Giffen (GMG) and to Wybe Koopmans (WK) for their original input. • Next step: relevant clippings from chess magazines.

29 August 2007

2007 Mexico WCC Player Records

Tournaments like the forthcoming FIDE World Championship in Mexico City are rare events. How have the eight players fared against each other in the past? To answer that question, I spent a few minutes to create the following table.

Aronian xx******
Gelfand   xx*****
Grischuk   xx****
Kramnik    xx***
Leko     xx**
Morozevich      xx*
Svidler       xx

The players' names link to the corresponding FIDE Card. The asterisks ('*') in the crosstable link to the games played by each pair of players as recorded at Chessgames.com.

Once the event is over, the Chessgames.com links will continue to show current results.

22 August 2007

Insider Interviews

Here are interviews with three Mexico City insiders: Aronian, Hensel (Kramnik and Leko's manager), and Anand; and with two principals of Global Chess BV: Kok and Borg.
  • Aronian: the world championship should be decided in a match • 'Levon Aronian is one of the hot favourites for the world championship in Mexico City this September. What does he think of his chances, what does he think about the format? In an article in the German broadsheet Neues Deutschland, born in Armenian and now living in Berlin, speaks about these and other subjects relating to the inclusion of Veselin Topalov in the FIDE cycle.' [9 July 2007; Chessbase.com]

  • Carsten Hensel on Kramnik and the World Championship cycle • 'After his victory in Dortmund world champion Vladimir Kramnik came to Hamburg for a few days, to record his first DVD with ChessBase. With him was his manager Carsten Hensel, who also looks after the interests of Hungarian chess star Peter Leko. During the recording sessions with Kramnik there was ample time to talk to Carsten and get his take on the situation in world chess.'[11 July 2007; Chessbase.com]

  • Chess soon to be a million dollar business?; Interview with Dutch businessman Bessel Kok • 'Recently FIDE founded a commercial branch called Global Chess BV. Based in Amsterdam and run by Dutch businessman Bessel Kok this company, equippted with a seed capital of $4.5 million, is set to take over the marketing of major FIDE events, especially future World Chess Championships.' [5 August 2007; Chessbase.com]

  • FIDE Vice President and CEO of Global Chess BV Geoffrey Borg's interview • 'During the official visit to Turkey, the FIDE Vice President and the CEO of Global Chess BV Mr. Geoffrey Borg gave an interview to the Press Officer of the Turkish Chess Federation Mr. Ozgur Akman. Mr. Borg speaks about chess, FIDE and Global Chess VB and how he sees the future developments of chess in the sphere of marketing and promotional activities.' [8 August 2007; FIDE.com]

  • Anand criticizes the World Chess Federation • 'In an interview with a German newspaper on Tuesday the world's number one ranking chessplayer has criticised the world chess federation for haphazardly breaking and changing its own rules. Usually to favour Kramnik or Topalov, who get extra chances at the title. "At some stage you become sick of all this and decide to just play chess," says Anand bitterly.' [16 August 2007; Chessbase.com]

Borg: 'One of the principles for Global Chess is that to be successful we must have a credible, reliable and stable world championship cycle. The main difference that was introduced in Tallinn [FIDE Presidential Board, June 2007] is a six year plan, a very good principle, where we are looking forward to have a balance between the World Cup, which is the knockout tournament and an introduction of a tournament series which will give top players, selected on certain criteria, an opportunity to play in a Grand Prix system. We can also involve several continents and try to ensure that tournaments are held not just in one continent.'

16 August 2007

ICCF World Championships

What's missing on my World Championship page for Correspondence Chess finals? The 'ICCF Tables and Results' are found on different sites: www.iccf-webchess.com and tables.iccf.com. Here's a summary:

17*Not finished
19*Not finished
20 Not finished; winner not yet known
21 Not finished; winner: van Oosterom
22 Not started

The asterisk ('*') means I've listed the winner, but am missing the crosstable. Next step: find PGN game scores for the WC18F. • IECG World Championships, which I don't list yet, can be found on the IECG Tournament Results page.

08 August 2007

Preparations for 2007 Mexico City

I added the list of players, the schedule, the official logo, links to the official site, and links to relevant pages on FIDE.com to my page on the World Chess Championship, 2007 Mexico City.

Official logo The official site is something of a disaster. The domain name Chessmexico.com produces a blank page, so I included a link to the start page in English. Many of the images are broken and the 'Players' page doesn't list the four players who qualified from the candidate matches in June. With a little more than one month to the start of the event, someone should look after this.


Later: The broken images were my fault. I was running with Flash disabled, as I usually do. When I enabled it, the 'images' were fine.

02 August 2007

15th World Computer Championship

I added the crosstable and PGN for the 15th WCCC, 2007 Amsterdam to my page on Computer Chess. See also my report for About.com: Elsewhere on the Web, New World Computer Chess Champion, 1 July 2007.

25 July 2007

Dual Qualification Paths

The ACP is against maintaining the dual qualification to the next stage of the World Championship via both zonals and continental championships.
  • 2005-05-24: FIDE - ACP Meeting • 'Zonal tournaments : ACP suggests to abolish Zonals as the players taking part there get two chances to qualify whereas the others have only one – through Continental Championships. FIDE will carefully examine this idea.'

  • 2006-03-25: 3rd ACP - FIDE Meeting • 'Zonal Tournaments: Abolishment of Zonal Tournaments helped to make the European Championship an important and strong event. It also equalized chances of all European players to qualify to the World Cup, regardless of their citizenship. The ACP thinks this model should be extended to other continents as well. It is out of any logic that the winners of national championships in relatively weak chess countries qualify directly to the World Cup, while the winners of national championships in the strongest countries, like Russia or Ukraine have no rights at all. Moreover, some players have 2 chances to qualify to the World Cup (from the Zonal Tournament and the Continental Championship), while all others only 1. FIDE agrees that this is an important, but sensitive problem, and proposes to include it into the agenda of the FIDE General Assembly in Turin. The ACP agrees.'

Re 'FIDE agrees that this is an important, but sensitive problem', that means there are politics involved. I have never seen any specifics on this.

19 July 2007

Qualifiers for Khanty-Mansiysk 2007

When I prepared my post on Continental Championships and Zonals (2007-Q2), I overlooked that the recent U.S Championship was a zonal. TWIC didn't mention it in the final report either. Here's a summary in the same style as my first post...

Zone 2.1: 'The Frank K Berry 2007 US Championships took place May 15th - 23rd 2007 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Alexander Shabalov defeated Sergey Kudrin in the final round to win on 7/9 half a point clear of Alexander Onsichuk.' [TWIC655]

...How many players qualified into the World Cup? The info page on the Official Site (Monroi.com) says, 'The tournament also qualifies five players into the upcoming FIDE World Cup championship cycle (with ties broken by computer tiebreaks if necessary).' Is that confirmed on the FIDE site? Yes, it is. Under the FIDE Handbook I found Cycle for the Individual World Championship, which points to...

01. World Championship General Provision

...This page says that Zone 2.1, the USA, is entitled to five men and three women. The document appears to be out of date because it doesn't mention the continental championships, which have largely replaced the zonals as qualifiers. While I'm on the subject of the FIDE Handbook, I'll mention two other references...

05 Regulations for the World Chess Championship Tournament

06. Regulations for the World Chess Championship Cycle 2007 - 2009

...The first link concerns the upcoming tournament in September at Mexico City. The second link concerns Khanty-Mansiysk 2007 and beyond. It appears that I stumbled on the 'Regulations for the World Chess Championship Cycle 2007 - 2009' as it was being updated. The first time I looked at the page it was blank. A few minutes later it was available, but horribly formatted. A little later, as I was writing this post, it looked much better.


While I was searching for the qualifying info, I found a press release about the Presidential Board Meeting, held 26-28 January 2007. Two paragraphs are relevant to the World Championship...

'4. World Cup 2007 • The final contract between FIDE and the Organizer of the World Cup 2007 to be held in Khanty-Mansiysk region has been signed. The preparation for the 2007 event has been made in the proper manner and the Cup will take place at November 23-December 14th, 2007 in Ugra, Siberia, Russia. The website of the 2007 World Cup is: www.ugra-chess.ru'

'6. Other tournaments and bids for tournaments • The Presidential Board reviewed preparations and decided on bids regarding the following chess tournaments:-
- Women’s World Chess Championship 2008 will be held on March 8-25th, 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic
- World Junior Chess Championship 2008 will be held on August 2-16th, 2008 in Ankara, Turkey
- World Youth U-16 Chess Championship 2008 will be held on August 15-24th, 2008 in Ankara, Turkey
- World Amateur Chess Championship 2007 will be held on August 10-19th, 2007 in Predeal, Romania'

...The web site for the 2007 World Cup doesn't yet show anything interesting.

11 July 2007

2007 African Championship

In my previous post, Continental Championships and Zonals (2007-Q2), I wondered if the 9th African Games, which starts today in Algiers, is the 2007 African Continental Championship, a World Championship Qualifier.

It turns out that it's not. After a little searching, I found a document with details on the 2007 African Individual Chess Championships. It will be held 31 August to 11 September 2007, at Windhoek, Namibia. • 'The 2007 African Individual Championships is a qualification event for the World Chess Cup 2007, Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. The top six players at the end of the tournament will be the African Qualifiers.'

05 July 2007

Continental Championships and Zonals (2007-Q2)

Follow-up to FIDE World Cup Qualifiers (2007):-

8th European Championship: 'The 8th Individual European Chess Championships took place 2-16 April, 2007, in the International Congress Center, Dresden (Germany). 11 rounds Swiss system, 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. Vladislav Tkachiev won the tie-breaks [...] Initially there were 33 qualifiers announced but then this was reduced to 29 as some players had qualified from 2006' [TWIC650 : 'The Week in Chess' by Mark Crowther, no.650]

Zonal 2.3: 'Zonal 2.3 took place in Santo Domingo 29th May-10th June 2007. Lenier Dominguez won the men's event and Maritza Arribas Robaina the women's both from Cuba.' [TWIC657]

Zonal 2.4: 'Zonal 2.4 took place in Sao Paulo 16th-22nd June, 2007. Gilberto Milos took first place on tie-break from Rafael Leitao after both finished on 6/8 but both progress in the FIDE cycle.' [TWIC659]

Zonal 2.5: 'Zonal 2.5 took place in San Luis ARG, 19th-26th March 2007. Diego Flores won with 7.5/9. Juan Pablo Hobaica won a three way playoff for second place.' [TWIC647]

Zonal 3.5: 'The Chinese Zonal 3.5 took place in Shandong, 28th April - 6th May 2007. Bu Xiangzhi won with 7.5/9 a point clear of Wang Yue and Ding Liren. Two players qualify for the FIDE World Cup.' [TWIC659]

2007 Oceania Zonal: (Zone 3.4?); 'IM Zong-Yuan Zhao of Australia proved to be the toast of the 2007 Oceania Zonal when he finished the event with 7/9points to qualify for the world cup to be held later this year.' [http://www.oceaniachess.com]


Coming events as listed on the FIDE Calendar 2007:-

American Events: Absolute Americas Continental Chess Championships 2007; Cali, Colombia; 10-Jul-2007 to 20-Jul-2007 • Americas Women's Continental Championship 2007; San Luis, Argentina; 28-Aug-2007 to 7-Sep-2007.

Asian Zonals: Zone 3.2 Championship 2007; Bangladesh.

Asian Events: Asian Individual Championship; Philippines; 18-Sep-2007 to 30-Sep-2007 • Asian Women Individual Chess Championship 2007; Tehran, Iran; 2-Sep-2007 to 12-Sep-2007.

African Events : 9th African Games 2007; Algiers, Algeria; 11-Jul-2007 to 23-Jul-2007 • Is this the African Continental Championship? No other event is listed.

27 June 2007

New World Championship Cycle

The FIDE explanation of the new World Championship cycle is not a model of clarity...

Tallinn Presidential Board Maps New World Chess Championship Cycle

...The portion of the qualification path relevant to the current cycle (culminating in the Mexico 2007 tournament) and the next cycle (culminating in a 2009 match) is shown in the following diagram.

A couple of important points:-

  • The winner of Mexico 2007 becomes the next World Champion (the event should have been shown in yellow).

  • The two qualifying events in 2008 for the 2009 match depend on Kramnik's result in Mexico. This is not shown in the diagram and was not explained well in the accompanying text.

If Kramnik loses in Mexico, there will be two qualification matches:-

  • Kramnik vs. winner Mexico
  • Topalov vs. winner World Cup

The winners of the two matches will meet in the 2009 World Championship match.

If Kramnik wins in Mexico, there will be one qualification match:-

  • Kramnik vs. Topalov
  • Winner World Cup is direct seed

The winner of the Kramnik vs. Topalov match will meet the winner of the World Cup in the 2009 World Championship match.


This is all, of course, subject to change. If it holds up, the following cycle (culminating in a 2010 match) is a model for subsequent cyles.

21 June 2007

2007 Candidate Matches - Update and Logo

I updated my page on the 2007 Candidates Matches to record the match results and PGN game scores. I wanted to add the logo for the matches, but it's not clear what the official logo was. Both of the logos in the following image were used. Neither is particularly interesting.

The logo in the upper image, used on the playing stage and the player's cards, can be seen in many images from the FIDE site, e.g. Rd 2 Game 1. I couldn't find a nice copy of it, so I cropped one of the FIDE photos. Apologies for its low quality; it was the best I could find.

The logo in the lower image was used on the official site, Globalchess.eu, and on the Chessbase.com site starting with their report Arrival in Elista. It's also not clear if the horse head was designed only for the candidate matches, or will be used for future World Championship events.

13 June 2007

Chessbase Interview with Kramnik

Interview with Vladimir Kramnik (end-April; video and transcription) by Frederic Friedel:

06 June 2007

2007 FIDE Candidate Matches

I'm keeping track of the Candidate Matches in two places.

2007 FIDE Candidate Matches [About Chess; see also link to ChessChrono]

Candidate Matches 2007 [Forum]


I also added a sidebar link to Globalchess.eu. This is the domain of the Amsterdam outfit that is taking responsibilty for World Championship events, as documented on my previous post Global Chess BV. The domain name was registered only a few days before the matches began, and the pairings for round two of the matches haven't been announced on the site, although they start today. Teething problems?

30 May 2007

Global Chess BV

Since my previous post on this blog, dated 1 April, is starting to look like the joke that it wasn't intended to be, it's time to take drastic action. Here's announcing WCC Wednesday.

For many people, Monday is the worst day of the week. For me, the worst day is Wednesday. On Woden's Day, the previous weekend is a distant memory and next weekend, a future dream. It also happens to be my quietest day, when I have the fewest regularly scheduled weekly activities. From now on, Wednesday will be the day I post to this blog. That should guarantee at least one post per week and four per month. Even if the posts are journal entries documenting links, it's better than nothing. If I'm feeling really ambitious, I might even update the World Championship site.


I added a new link to the 'Other WCC Sites' sidebar : Chessgames.com • WCC Index compiled by Hesam7, 'I am building a World Chess Championship index similar to what is done by Mark Weeks'. Thanks for the mention Hesam7 (why 7?) and good luck with your project.


Of all the events that have occurred over the past two months, the most important is Global Chess BV. Yes, I know the Candidate Matches are taking place, but they are not yet finished. There are so many good news sites. Who needs another, mediocre one? I've always thought of my World Championship site as a reference site, not a news site.

FIDE and Global Chess. Press Release
Full text of the press release:

The FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Mr Bessel Kok have met in Dresden to announce formally the commencement of operations of Global Chess BV. The main office will be in Amsterdam where negotiations on space in the MAX EUWE CENTRUM are in a final stage. A branch office in Lausanne is also envisaged. • The first part of the working capital has been transferred to Global Chess BV and this will permit the Company to finalize negotiations with FIDE on a commercial licence agreement. • Upon conclusion of the license agreement, Global Chess will (in cooperation with FIDE) start working on World Class Chess tournaments (including the WCC cycle as from 2008). Global Chess will equally examine investment opportunities in Chess related projects and ventures. • The Chairman of Global Chess BV will be Mr Bessel Kok and the Chief Executive Officer of the Company will be Mr Geoffrey Borg. • Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Bessel Kok [4 April 2007]

Global Chess BV [lots of comments]
'The pro management company planned by FIDE has been formally announced in Dresden by FIDE prez Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the chairman of the new company, Bessel Kok.' [3 April 2007]

Global Chess to operate out of Amsterdam
'In December 2006 we reported that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had launched a ten-million dollar company to be run by Dutch businessman Bessel Kok. Now that company, Global Chess, has now taken residence in the Max Euwe Center in Amsterdam. The web site Chess Vibes met with the main Global Chess officers and has provided indepth video interviews.' [27 April 2007]

Head office Global Chess at the Max Euwe Center - interview with Bessel Kok
'ChessVibes had [video] interviews with Bessel Kok and with Geoffrey Borg, about the cooperation with the Max Euwe Center and especially about the plans of Global Chess BV.' [26 April 2007]

Malta Chess Federation President appointed CEO of Global Chess BV
'Mr.Borg is also currently a Vice-President of FIDE, as well as General Secretary of the Mediterranean Chess Association (MCA). He was elected to the Presidential Board of FIDE in an election held in Torino, Italy in May, 2006. This new appointment is a prestigious opportunity not only for Maltese Chess but also for Maltese Sport in general.' [7 May 2007; more details on Borg's career]

Kok and his wife were also featured on the cover of the May 2007 Europe Echecs. An interview with Kok, offering insights not found elsewhere, was inside (p.15-19).

01 April 2007

FIDE World Cup Qualifiers (2007)

The FIDE World Cup Qualifiers are a mixture of continental championships and zonals. The European continent has a continental championship only, while the other continents have both. The only information I can find about these events is on the FIDE Calendar 2007. The following events are listed and appear to be qualifiers.

European Events
European Individual Chess Championship 2007 • Dresden, GER • 2-Apr-2007 • 16-Apr-2007
EU Chess Championship 2007 • Arvier, Italy • 15-Jun-2007 • 24-Jun-2007

American Zonals
Zone 2.3 Chess Championship 2007 • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Zone 2.4 Chess Championship 2007 • to be confirmed
Zone 2.5 Chess Championship 2007 • to be confirmed

American Events
Absolute Americas Continental Chess Championships 2007 • Cali, Colombia • 11-Jul-2007 • 24-Jul-2007

Asian Zonals
Zone 3.2 Championship 2007 • Bangladesh

Asian Events
Asian Individual Championship • Manila, Philippines • 1-Sep-2007

I assume the European Individual Chess Championship is the Continental Championship, but I include the EU Chess Championship because I'm not sure what the difference is.

To Be Continued


Later: It occurred to me afterwards that the EU Chess Championship is for the 27 countries (25 before 1 January 2007) that make up the European Union. I doubt that it is a qualifier for the World Cup.

23 March 2007

FIDE's Current Plan for the WCC

To make sense of the current plan, it helps to go back to FIDE's December proposal. Chessbase explained the details of the plan, which were buried inside a PDF document on the FIDE site. It is reasonable to assume that the proposal was the idea of Ilyumzhinov, although Balgabaev was given credit. The gist was that an elimination event called the World Cup (held in odd years) would determine a match challenger for the reigning champion (even years). • NB: The links are all given with two dates. The first date is that of the document which is the subject of the link. The second date is that of the page which contains the document.
  • 2006-12-06 Proposal on the change of the World Chess Championship Cycle • 'FIDE is publishing the proposal on the change of the World Chess Championship Cycle made by Mr. Berik Balgabaev, Assistant to the FIDE President.' [6 December 2006; Fide.com]

  • 2006-12-09 FIDE's new world championship format • 'Since 1998 the FIDE world championship has been a 128-player knockout event, which never really found acceptance amongst chess players and fans. In 2005 the format was changed to an eight-player double round robin, with the knockout transforming into a "World Cup". Now FIDE has tabled a plan to merge the two.' [9 December; Chessbase.com]

According to later documents, the FIDE Presidential Board gave Ilyumzhinov the authority to make the decision and deferred it to a later date. FIDE also solicited the opinions of parties having a direct interest in the proposal. The December proposal was called 'A'; a second proposal, keeping the two events which FIDE had already proposed (a series of candidates matches and a double round robin tournament) was called 'B'.

Ilyumzhinov announced his decision at the beginning of March. It confirmed the December proposal ('Proposal A'). Various responses to the two proposals were only revealed after the decision had been announced.

  • 2007-02-19 Alexei Shirov on FIDE Proposals for future World Championship Cycles • 'Giving Mr. Kramnik a match in 2008 regardless the results in Mexico would only add the anarchy into our sport and therefore both proposals A and B are totally unacceptable. They also contradict your previous public statements and change the rules during the cycle. Finally there can not be two different democracies - one for a particular player and the other for the rest of the chess world.' [12 March; Chess-players.org (ACP)]

  • 2007-02-27 ACP position on "FIDE Proposals for future World Championship Cycles" • 'The ACP has thoroughly studied both proposals for the future World Chess Championship Cycles suggested by FIDE. In this letter we would like to present our official position, though we have to admit, that some of the ACP Board Members have different opinion.' [7 March; ; Chess-players.org (ACP)]

  • 2007-03-01 Decision of the FIDE President in respect of the World Chess Championship cycle • 'The FIDE Presidential Board in Antalya tasked the FIDE President to make a decision until 1 March 2007 in respect of the World Chess Championship Cycle for the coming 6 years.' [2 March; Fide.com (attaches only 'Proposal A')]

  • 2007-03-01 Decision of the FIDE President in respect of the World Chess Championship cycle • 'The FIDE Presidential Board decided in Antalya to present to the 20 Top Grandmasters and Candidates two proposals for the future World Championship Cycles. The ACP was also asked to present its opinion. The new format shall be stable and unchanged for a period of at least 6 years, starting after the Mexico WCCT 2007.'[12 March; Chess-players.org (ACP; attaches both 'Proposal A' & 'Proposal B')]

  • 2007-03-08 FIDE Follies Forever • 'If not forever at least until 2014, which is where the new FIDE world championship plan leaves off with ".. and so on." It may as well say 3014 from an organization that has changed its world championship format three times in the past year on paper and three other times in practice in just three years.' [8 March; Chessninja.com (lots of comments)]

  • 2007-03-12 FIDE President meets the World Champion Vladimir Kramnik • 'Today, 12 March 2007, the FIDE President has met the World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in Paris, France. Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov informed him on his decision in respect of the World Chess Championship cycle and decisions taken by the 1st quarter Presidential Board meeting held in Antalya, Turkey from 27 to 29 January 2007.' [12 March; Fide.com]

  • 2007-03-15 Alexei Shirov on the Decision regarding future World Championship Cycles • 'More than ten days passed after your decision on the future of the World Championships was published. At first I did not want to get further involved in the matter because after all the decision is the decision. But then I realized that something is still wrong.' [16 March; Chess-players.org (ACP)]

It is fairly clear from reading the various documents that FIDE had no intention of implementing anything other than the December proposal ('Proposal A'). The request for comments on the two proposals was political window dressing. While I have no particular preference for proposal 'A' or 'B', I find it a pity that the world's top players were ignored once again as FIDE continued to flip-flop on the format of the World Championship.


Following are a few more documents which have been published on the Web in recent weeks. They also have some relevance to the WCC events.

  • 2007-03-15 Charter flight from Moscow to Elista • 'The Organizing Committee of the Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Championship Tournament informs that a charter flight for participants, their accompanying persons, officials and mass media representatives will be organized on the 25th of May 2007.' [15 March; Fide.com]

  • 2007-03-19 ACP Proposal regarding Appeals Committee • 'Recently, the ACP has received many complaints (one of them attached) regarding the work of Appeals Committee during official FIDE events. Indeed, there was o lot of controversy even (or especially) during the World Championship Match in Elista 2006. Eventually, the FIDE President dismissed the Appeals Committee to have possibility of manoeuvre, as he admitted in an interview or the Members of the Appeals Committee voluntary resigned, as was stated on the FIDE website.' [19 March; Chess-players.org (ACP)]


Does anyone believe that the latest FIDE WCC proposal will hold as presented until 2014?

21 March 2007

Round Trip Complete

I added a link to this blog from all pages on the World Chess Championship site. Here, for example, is the index page:-

The link is circled. It's the first global change to the site since I added Google Adsense in May 2004.

16 March 2007

The Second Decade

Almost ten years have passed since I first started assembling the information that became my first web site. Chess had always been good to me and I wanted to do something for the game. No one had yet put anything on the web that tackled thoroughly the history of the World Chess Championship, so I decided that it would be my little gift to chess.

I spent a month or two collecting the data, then bought a book on HTML while touristing with my Belgian family in California. I studied it while the rest of the family slept. After returning home, I started creating the pages that make the site. Within a week or so, I had loaded the first version onto the free web space provided by Compuserve.com, my first Internet service provider. Today the site has the same appearance that I gave it in 1997, and even though it looks badly dated by current standards, I doubt that I will ever change it. Reference sites don't have to be pretty; they have to be accurate.

Times change and people change with the times. For a long time I've wanted a more powerful method to maintain my World Chess Championship News. I am convinced that blog technology is an excellent choice. At first I wanted to integrate this blog into the WCC site, but scrapped the idea when I discovered that it required giving my domain's password to Blogger.com.

If you have anything to say about the World Championship, don't hesitate to comment against any post on this blog. The comment doesn't have to be related to the subject of the post. Blogger.com sends me a copy of all comments and I always enjoy hearing from other chess history amateurs all over the world.