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FIDE, Meet the ACP

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At long last FIDE has met with the Association of Chess Professionals in a formal encounter of board members. A summary of the meeting by GM Tregubov is here. Most of it seems to have been agreeing to talk about things later when a joint FIDE-ACP commission is formed. This is excellent news, as the crucial role of the ACP is to provide a voice for the players, who in many cases are isolated from their national federations, which are the real members of FIDE. Federations have many responsibilities, not just the pros. But the lives and livelihoods of the pros are directly affected by FIDE, not the case of the 99% of federation members who are amateurs.

Bad news: continuing with drug testing and the fast FIDE time control. I would love to know what proof FIDE has of the 90+30" control being "more attractive for the media and spectators" as they claim. When I ran a poll about this at KasparovChess.com a few years ago, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the classical control. If the "shorter is better" theory were correct, rapid chess would have more spectators and media coverage than classical. It doesn't.

As for player votes and preferences, they should be listened to, but I don't know many sports where the players can vote to work less and give the sponsors and fans less bang for their buck and a lower quality product. It's a tribute to the respect GMs have for their art that they vote for the classical control at all. But right now it's still up to event organizers. This could change if FIDE insisted it would only rate games of a certain span or if the ACP pulled enough weight with organizers to insist.

Good news is that they agree to take on making the rating system more dynamic. I'm going to send both sides the work I did with Jeff Sonas, Denis Bilunov, and Alexander Matros, among others, in Moscow three years ago. Unfortunately our work on how to reform the rating system never saw much light of day. More good news is that they are looking into institutionalizing anti-short-draw rules such as those used at the Mtel Masters.


"It's a tribute to the respect GMs have for their art that they vote for the classical control at all. "

Not necessarily: a GM that is top-10 in classical but not top-10 in Rapid would vote in favor of the classical time controls. Anand and Kasimdhzanov are players who would benefit from faster time controls, Kramnik would not.

Mig, on a different note: I just saw the picture from the "Rated X" daily dirt entry and noticed that Jeff Sonas looks taller than you. Considering you are 6'3", does it mean Jeff is 6'4"?

Hi Mig

Do you think that this JC can provide us with a unification match in 2006? Kramnik said he has the money and is willing to play the winner of San Luis. I think the chances for unification match are highly increased. What are your thoughts? What do you think will happen?

Mig, off topic and sorry for that, but yesterday I saw you in a movie! BBC2 showed Vikram Jayanti's film on Deep Blue. Unfortunately I missed the first few mts, but caught it when surfing channels. It was a really interesting piece! The footage from press conferences, awards ceremonies etc was amazing! One of my greatest regrets is not having seen GK live, and now I cannot because he's retired. This went some way towards redressing that, I could catch some of the mystique of the great man, and imagine what it would be like to see him play live in a game. Also potrays the tension well, I remember the tourneys I played in long ago, heart thumping, trying to control the nervousness and adrenalin when faced with unexpected moves. Anyway, sorry, I was so excited about seeing it, had to post about it!

"ACP expresses its concern about FIDE new rule forbidding writing down the move on the score sheet before playing it on the board."

This one made me a bit curious. Last thursday I played someone who wrote down the move before playing it. I have no problem with that. Some people try to avoid blunders that way (which never seemed to work for the people I know who tried it).

I just wonder about the fact that it says new rule. When I take a look at the online version of the FIDE handbook, there are still the rules which came into force on 1 July 2001. You can of course say that writing down the move before playing it, is some sort of making notices on the score sheet and hence not allowed. Or is there really a newer version available (or planned) where this "problem" is more specified?

Btw, I was surprised that such a meeting took place at all and that both sides agreed to so many things, but I still hope that they skip the FIDE time control some day.

(Not to mention the drug testing which is nonsense in my opinion. I don't see chess as an olympic sport. The only point for it is to get more money in many countries, including Germany.)

The new laws will come into force from July 1st, see http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=666

"In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (Appendix E), on the ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition. It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2 or 9.3."

You could argue that the new rule does allow a player to write a single move down before playing it - it is only forbidden to write "moves" (plural) in advance.
What is more curious is that the poor wording was brought to the attention of at least one of those framing the new laws and he/they decided not to clarify it. So maybe the idea was appear to get tought but not to upset too many people by 'accidentally' allowing players to continue writing down a move before playing it.

Why try to incorporate rapid games into the main ratingsystem and have a seperate Classical rating? Instead just keep the current time controls for the main rating system and have a seperate rapid rating as well. I believe Jeff Sonas has indicated he decided not to use rapid games in his rating sytem. I think there is good reason not to combine the results of the two different time controls. It just muddles the picture more.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 29, 2005 11:39 PM.

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