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San Luis Field Complete

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According to this FIDE communique (Word format), the field for the 2005 FIDE world championship in San Luis, Argentina (Sep.27-Oct.16) is complete. It came out the way we predicted it. Kasparov and Kramnik out, Svidler and Polgar in. The field of the double round-robin: Anand, Topalov, Leko, Adams, Morozevich, Svidler, Polgar, Kasimdzhanov. Should be a fantastic event. There is not even a mention of Kasparov or Kramnik.

Many fans want to interrogate the players on whether or not they recognize Kramnik's title, or if they would play him in a unification match. This isn't really fair to them. It could burn bridges with FIDE and the San Luis organizers, who are putting on a fine event with an excellent prize fund. And it would achieve little else. The good news is that so far FIDE hasn't painted itself into a corner by issuing ultimatums or prohibiting players from playing in a unification event. (At least not to my knowledge. I haven't seen the official 'player's undertaking' document, but I was told it didn't have this language.)

(You can find our many previous discussion of this event and the world championship debate in general by searching for San Luis on the left.)


I think that with this tournament FIDE recovers a little of its lost credibility. I hope this tournament be played, but with FIDE nobody knows what could happen.

I also think that this tournament leaves Krammik in a hard position, because the best players in the world, except himself and retired Kasparov, are going to play for the title of World Champion.

Does FIDE really have a history of penalizing players who recognize Kramnik's title? I mean, every time they hold one of these events they seem to invite everybody, regardless of whether it's realistic or not.

This tournament in my opinion only places Kramnik in the hard position in the sense that now FIDE has a much better structure for championship and he still hasn't produced one. In my mind, him, ACP or whoever he is working with now (Braingames? Just kidding) have about till the end of the year to declare something.

If nothing else, it'll be cool to see five supertournaments this year instead of the usual three.

Did all 8 of them confirm their participation? So far I only heard about Anand and, I think, Adams+Topalov confirming.

The FIDE document says all eight have confirmed.

Yuriy: Several times in the past, FIDE has put language prohibiting some players participating in the FIDE championship from playing in other world championship events into the player contracts. Usually it was quarter or semifinalists only. Officially, this is what kept Anand, Ponomariov, and Ivanchuk from participating in the Dortmund 2002 tournament that was used as a qualifier to play Kramnik.

With the participation of Leko too along with Anand and Topolov, this is a big blow to Kramnik and a boost to FIDE.You can not say winner of this tournament has any less legitamacy than Kramnik.Added to that the winner should be stronger than Kramnik.
Atleast this is hightime that Kramnik , what players who matter care is a fair oppertunity to participate on equal terms with good money.They care a damn about breaking their heads about Kramnik and his so called title.
Now it appears Prague and unification reached its most deserving place.... into oblivion.Good riddens.

Why is Moro playing and not Grischuck, Bacrot and Ivanchuk?

They're using an average of the July 2004 and the January 2005 lists.


This is great news! Who will win this tournament is any guess but I am predicting that the winner will have a score of at least + 4,given the format it is likely that players will have to take the risks they are so averse to.
This is a lifeline for Moro who has always complained that it impossible to get a real chance to be WC.Hes got it now and the format is to his liking.However he must work on his nerves which are at times tattered and his openings.I dont think he should play mainlines like everyone else,but he should play sharper stuff than the g3 Nf3 stuff which he has been playing oflate,that will get him nowhere.I think Topalov would be favorite to win this one.

Well, only two things are for sure: Kasimdzhanov will not win and Morozevich will not win. Other than that it's pretty open. As of now I would consider Leko the favourite.

Acirce I dont agree at all,it is obvious that in such a format Kasims solidity in one-on-one matches will not help him and he just doesnt have the ability to win games against the quality of opposition he is facing.Moving onto Morozevich he is in dreadful form and his performances of late have been awful,and paradoxically this is why I think he will have a good tournament,his results are known for undergoing dramatic swings.I think if he comes prepared with a repertoire better than the one we saw at Wijk(much better) I dont think he lacks chess ability at that level,the way Kasim does.We all know Moro can play chess steadily against the best only when in bad form he gets beaten up by them.Anyway I do concede that it would be highly unlikely that he wins but i dont think it impossible.
However I absolutely fail to understand how you consider Leko the favorite.In a 14 round tournament with twoplayers-Kasimdhaznov and Morozevich as players who may be targeted for points,I cant see any score less than +4 winning and if he plays like he does at Linares I just cant see Leko getting anything more than +2 if he is lucky.I can see Topalov,Anand and maybe even Polgar or Adams as equal favorites.Lekos chances I will hardly rate above Kasims or Moros given the format.

I'll take Anand and Leko and you can have the other six players at 2 to 1. Anyone taking that bet?

Nothing is impossible, of course. In that sense Moro could win. And I could become a GM in one year. "We all know Moro can play steadily against the best" yes, of course he doesn't always lose, and once in a while he even gets a win. But he has never ever played well enough against them, consistently throughout a tournament, to win anything of this calibre. Or even getting close.

Why Leko the favourite? Because I consider him and Anand the best players in the field and exactly because the format and the relative absense of "weakies" favours him. Of course he wouldn't win if he played like in Linares, but it's a strange argument to base it on one tournament. However this is just a tentative prediction. Things may change with Dortmund for example, and/or the rest of Sofia.

I hope Mickey Adams can win, then at least chess will gain some prestige in the western world.

"You can not say winner of this tournament has any less legitamacy than Kramnik."

Of course you can. Historically, world chess championships have been determined in long matches (14-20 games, or more) between the reigning champion and a single opponent. Kramnik has prevailed in that format twice, in 2000 and 2004. Granted, in last year's match he barely hung on, but he prevailed nonetheless.

This Argentina tournament is important, but it's just one of five "super-tournaments" that are being held this year. How does the winner of this tournament have any more credibility than, say, the winner of Linares, Dortmund, or Wijk?

Mig Sure I will take the bet,mark my words Leko will not be the one winning this tournament. I juat cant see Leko winning enough games against this kind of opposition. As for Anand I have a feeling not this year.In fact Mig it is very much as you put I will take "the other six" rather than accepting the other six because of any particular member among those six.Acirce maybe in my estimation form plays a larger role in chess then in the way you view the probabilities.But at any rate I am sure that except for the possible exception of Kasimdzhanov all the rest will be going there aiming to win-its the golden chance to win a really credible title which hasnt existed in ages.As a side bet I would give anybody two to one odds that the resyult percentage will not be be less than 40.
If I drew up a probability chart for the champion it would come out roughly

Marc,I agree this format is more like Linares.It is different to the extent that, it is WC tournament,more money and players are selected based on certain criteria,unlike Linares where the selections could be arbitary.
This is certainly not a preferred format.But it is more democratic with fair chance to all the potential contenders.This was something everyone craving for and not seen for about a decade.(FIDE KO are there but they are shorter time controls and KO's , which paved a way for some 50th player winning the championship, making the format even more questionable).Arguably this is one of the strongest and shoud be exciting.By recognising the winner as WC one can expect all the seriousness one would want to see in WC tournament.
Coming to tradition etc..there is very little to cheer about.It doesn't hurt if we start something new which is a better one.

Prabhat,Here is my prediction.
Anand has the best chances to win .Followed by Leko,Topolov,Adams in that order.Topo will have more decisive results but they cancel out.Leko may loose either 1 or no games and endup with +1 or +2.Anand will loose 1 game and score +2 or +3.Topolov will loose 2 games and score 0 or +1.
Adams will loose 2 and score +1 or -1.

If you want get more attention for chess from people in the US and western Europe, I think you should be hoping for Polgar to win, not Adams.


What do you think are the chances of a match between the winner of San Luis and Kramnik? High or low? If such a match were to occur what would happen if the match ended in a draw?

Mig your giving 2 to 1?

I'd be willing to take that bet too. Anand and leko may be the best players but they have absolutely no control over the vast majority of the results in the tournament. Thats one of the reasons tournaments are so unpredictable. Anyway, send me an e-mail if your serious about this bet.

Mig, I remember that FIDE in the past has prohibited players who participated in its matches from playing in other cycles, however, FIDE burning bridges with players who recognize Kramnik's title would mean that they would punish players for participating in other cycles. A small, but significant difference, as FIDE has not declared war on any GMs, simply placed restraint on those who chose to play in their cycle.

I don't see the difference. Either they contractually prohibit players from playing elsewhere or they don't. In the past they have said if you play here, you can't play there, and visa-versa. I understand they feel the need to protect their title, but it's punitive and unnecessary at this point. It's hard enough to make a living at chess without the official federation telling you you can't play in some events. If there were competing federations and you could make a living playing in either one, that would be somewhat different. But in a semi-amateur sport like chess, it's out of line.

Have you noticed that FIDE did not ask Kramnik to reconsider as they usually did to Kasparov? FIDE are aware that Kramnik is losing credibility and will do their best to remove Kramnik's title of World Champion.

I wonder whether Kramnik would have taken part if all other players declared their acceptance to the invitation before he rejected it.

Probably Kramnik's next move will be to aceept the winner of FIDE's tournament as his challenger through his sponsors and try and declare it the Classical World Championship.

It's not looking good for Kramnik as he looks to be the odd one out now.


"FIDE are aware that Kramnik is losing credibility and will do their best to remove Kramnik's title of World Champion."

How has he lost credibility? He carried out his side of the Prague agreement by defending his title against Leko.

"I wonder whether Kramnik would have taken part if all other players declared their acceptance to the invitation before he rejected it."

It wouldn't have made a difference. Kramnik believes that the championship should be settled in a long match between him and a properly selected challenger. He has been very consistent about this. He is not going to put his title on the line in a multi-player tournament--nor should he.

Actually Kramnik is not out at all if there is no exclusivity clause. Even if FIDE doesn't want to unify the titles by a match between the winner Argentina and kramnik. The players can particpate in this very nice torunament and then play in Kramnik's qualifier for a shot at the world championship title.
It will be ok for Kramnik and will be ok for chess all around.

"How has he lost credibility? He carried out his side of the Prague agreement by defending his title against Leko."

He has lost credibility by declining to play wherever Kasparov played in the last 2 years. Kramnik did not accept to play the winner of Kasim vs Kasparov if the match took place. He kept the issue open. His rating is getting lower instead of higher. etc. etc.

Yes it's true....Kramnik will choose an appropriate challenger and play the World Championship Match. And the chosen player will accept since it's makes money. However this will not reunify the World titles.

If everyone is happy, then yes it will be ok for all.



The difference is, FIDE has never said: "You played for Kramnik's title, so we are not going to invite you to our tournament." They did not restrict participation in any of their tournament or ratings based on the grandmaster playing in/acknowledging any part of the Classical chess championship cycle.


Ah, I see what you mean. But since the FIDE event is first that shouldn't be the issue. Putting something in the San Luis player contract prohibiting participation in other WC events would be in keeping with their past behavior. Let's hope they don't do it.

FIDE invited Kramnik.How they do it if it believes Kramnik is still the champion anyway different from Kasim.With the participation of Leko it is pretty much clear there are no loyalties here.It seems most of the players peticularly Anand are happy about the tournament.Equal terms.Big money.Grand title.What else is needed?.Ok.Unification.Who wants it so badly?
Topo and to some extent leko and Adams have never declined any oppertunity to play in any kind of WC in the past.I don't tink they are pretty much flexible in idology.Which may not be a bad thing after all?

"Unification. Who wants it so badly?"

To one degree or other, I think most of the top players want unification. It will be easier to get sponsorship for future matches--and the cycles leading up to them--when it is clear that the winner is an undisputed champion.

The current fragmentation helps nobody, except for the temporary blip in the careers of players like Khalifman, Ponomariov and Kasimdzanov, who for a brief time could claim, however tenouously, that they were world champions. But even Kasim knows that the REAL title is the one he doesn't have yet.

Kramnik's motivations are probably mixed. Chess isn't like baseball, where you know your title expires on a date certain. So a guy like Kramnik has a luxury not afforded the champions in other sports, to decline offers he finds unreasonable. Yet, at the same time he knows he must defend his title eventually, or it will be defunct. Bobby Fischer taught every future champion that you can't say "Nyet" forever.

FIDE event is first if you start counting now. If you start, for example, in September of 2004, you have to eliminate Kramnik and Leko, if earlier, then Kasparov too. Didn't they even continue to invite Kasparov and Kramnik throughout their career? So far, FIDE has shown no desire to burn bridges with any GMs. Now, treating them like crap is a different story.

without Ivanchuk this event can't be considered as "championship" ...

Heh, not? And what is so special about Ivanchuk?

...FIDE himself don't care about status and acknowledgement of this tournament as of championship.

acirce: now (especially after Havana) Ivanchuk reiting is far higher neither Polgar or Svidler

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 15, 2005 2:44 PM.

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