The 1968 Candidates Matches ended with a match between Tal and me, played in the little Dutch town of Eersel (near Eindhoven). According to the FIDE rules, it should have been played in September, but FIDE'S attitude seems to be one of happiness that it was played at all. In fact, the official minimum prizes for this event, 500 and 300 Swiss francs, do not encourage the players to play it. In Eersel, the prizes were better, 1500 and 1000 Dutch guilders, but there is the funny point that in the same place, with the same sponsor (a cigar factory), there was played at the same time a match between Grandmaster Kavalek and the Dutch Champion, Ree (Kavalek won 7-3), with higher prizes, 2500 and 1500 guilders. The Dutch Chess Federation thought it would be considered an unkind gesture towards FIDE to propose such high prizes for an official FIDE match!
This little story well illustrates what FIDE is doing to professional chess masters. FIDE expects World Championship candidates to sacrifice a lot of time and energy -- remember, they must not only play these matches, but also prepare only them -- but it would like them to do it as amateurs. A FIDE World Champion should have a millionaire father or government support!
And he should be ready to let FIDE humiliate him again and again. After losing this match, ex-World Champion Tal, if he wants to try again, must start in the semifinals of the Soviet Championship!! While from other zones players reach the Interzonal who have no chances and no ambitions in connection with the World Championship. What a system!
It's worth noting that in a semifinal match of the previous cycle, Tal had won against Larsen 5.5-4.5 (+3-2=5); see 1964-66 Candidates Matches. Larsen went on to a playoff match for 3rd place against Geller. Larsen won 5.0-4.0 (+3-2=4). In two consecutive cycles, emerged as the third best player in the world, although Fischer did not compete in either cycle.
While I'm touching on the subject of zonal qualification, it's also worth noting that FIDE's World Cup 2017 -- the next step in the current World Championship cycle -- starts 2 September, in Tbilisi, Georgia. The zonal qualifications are still underway. In the previous cycle, I used a series of posts to document the zonal step.
- 2015-09-09: C27 Zonals
- 2015-09-16: C27 Zonals Indexed
- 2015-09-23: C27 Zonal Clippings 2014
- 2015-09-30: C27 Zonal Clippings 2015
- 2016-01-27: C27 Zonal Rating Reports
- 2016-02-03: C27 Zonal Links
- 2016-02-10: Regulations for Qualifiers C27
- 2016-02-17: Zonal Qualifiers C27 - Qualification Paths
I expect to do the same for the current cycle (C28).