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Not My Plan!

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A strange document is currently making the rounds. FIDE's World Chess Championship Committee has sent out a sort of summary of their meetings during the Bled Olympiad last October. They want "the world's top 200 GMs" to send them feedback on the proposal. It also includes questions about which time control the players prefer.

Strangely enough, the godfather of this movement toward a new championship cycle, American GM Yasser Seirawan, didn't receive a copy until over a month after it was first sent out! He is troubled by the fact that they are referring to what they sent out as "the Seirawan Plan" despite how it differs in many respects from his original "Fresh Start" proposal. He was the secretary of the Bled meetings but he only recorded the comments made and the document he produced was not purely of his views.

One of the additions to the original plan is a "Last Chance Super Tournament" that would give high-rated players a second chance to qualify for the candidates matches if they didn't make it through the big KO. Sound silly to me. I'm also against having the incumbent world champion play in more than one match. Title succession is a very powerful symbol in chess and having a new champion never face the old champion sacrifices 90% of the drama and makes the final just another match.

(And no, I don't care if that's not the way it's done in tennis or golf. Think boxing. Chess world champions define eras and become legends. Why throw that away for the sake of a false "democracy"? What's wrong with the best player being champion? Trivializing the title won't help the chess world.)

Another suggestion is that the initial KO be at the rapid time control previously used but that they shift to classical controls for the matches and final. This is weird, sort of like running sprints to qualify for a marathon final. On the other hand the winner will have proved himself master of all different time controls. What do you think about mixing controls over the course of a world championship cycle? Perversion, improvement, or a necessary evil?

The full document and comments by Seirawan will be published later today at ChessBase.com and I'll update this link to go right to it.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 20, 2003 4:21 AM.

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