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San Luis WCh Website

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The official site is on the air. This link goes to the English version. The event beings on September 27. It's a predictably heavy website, also chock full of historical, typographical, and every other type of mistake you can think of, in both the Spanish and English versions. (Maybe "Vishwanathan" represents a Barcelona accent?) As for the "history of chess" page, that popping sound you just heard was Edward Winter's head exploding. They plan to run a live move broadcast from a slow site hosted in Argentina, which should hold up for around 19 seconds.

It's a pretty site and I do very much like the tango-themed official logo. The building where the event will take place is still under construction. The event hasn't gotten much attention in the national press, surprisingly. The local paper "Diario de la Republica" is covering it, which isn't a surprise since I believe it is still owned by the local ruling SaŠ family that is behind the tournament's support. There is a heavyweight political battle going on right now between President Kirchner and his rival Duhalde that is getting most of the ink in the national press these days.

There is nothing about rules or regulations, most of which were already covered by FIDE's release (.doc) about the event. The classical seven-hour time control is the most relevant. It's not too late to apply Corsican anti-short-draw rules.


Funny -- the first version, or at least the first version I saw, of the "History of the World Chess Championships" section, included Kasparov and Kramnik after 1993.

I am looking forward to this, think its a great lineup. Shame about Kasparov, but I dont care so much about Kramnik being missing, since he looks unlikely to regain his best form anytime soon. Only omission that seems a shame based on current form is Chuky, but you cant have everything! Really really, REALLY glad that the most talented player of his generation, Morozevich is playing. Come on Moro, get your act together and show us how to play the game!!

Personally I miss Bacrot. He has pretty much proven that he belongs in such a field.


I think corsican-rule should not be applied here because the players will be playing 14 rounds in just 18 days and we still have to get a fair idea of how much fatigue this rule causes. It was clearly noticeable that players were really tired in the second half of the Corsica tourney. Here they will already be worried about a short (without any clear evaluation of the position) because there will 12 other players who might gain half a point more in their games. Add to that, the extra pressure of a World Championship!

In a world championship, Corsican rule may be more logical in a candidates match (which normally feature 8 games in some 11-12 days), because in case of a short draw, the spectators have no other games to watch and the players have to (prepare for or) adjust to, just one opponent.

Corsican-rule, of course, should be the future of chess tournaments. But I think it would be premature to apply in a 14 round, World Championship Torunament.

My point is, it would be better to test this feature at least for one year (by making it mandatory for all FIDE-approved tournaments) and then evaluate the need for optimum number of rounds and rest-days, because it would be so enjoyable if such an important tournament be spoiled due to extreme fatigue in the second half of the tournaments.


Sorry Amit, you're way too reasonable for this place. You have to leave.

I agree that more testing is needed, but three rest days isn't too many. Players need to get used to playing every day the way they used to. Athletes in every sport are in better shape now than 50 years ago, just look at Rafael Palmiero! And I think I'd want such rules in San Luis even more because the temptation to take tactical draws will be even higher with such pressure. There is a greater chance of an event being ruined with short draws than by a few mistakes toward the end, which is natural in any case.

What are the "Corsican" draw rules ? Any difference from the rules applied in Sofia ? And BTW why the name (I'm quite convinced Napoleon hasn't got anything to do with it...) ??

Corsican rules, no draws by agreement, were used in last year's rapid event. Similar to Sofia rules, if not as detailed. My report at ChessBase:


Seems only fair to give them credit since Corsica was months before Sofia.


Sheer curiosity and so I know who to cheer for: is Diario on the side of Kirchner or Duhalde?

And for god's sake, leave Chucky out of this.


I personally do not like the idea of so-called Corsican rules for several reasons but it seems to be most people like it so why not have it applied over say 50% of the games, in a random nanner that would be announced to the players by the arbiters only before the game starts.
Another idea that may be interesting is to give black the first move in 50% of the games in a random way. There are also many things to say favoring this.

Just to clear up a tiny bit of confusion...

The "no agreed draws" rule was first used in Corsica in relatively high level play. The Sofia organisers observed it in use there, and then adopted it. Hence it is the ACP calls it "the Corsican Rule" See section H):


The "Coriscan Rules" (plural) used in the last Corsican even included giving 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw, I believe, but this was not used in the very top section, and is not what GMs mean when they say "Corsican rules."

So...although Corsica has tried several different things to reduce the number of draws, the ACP refers specifically to the "no agreed draws" as "the Corsican Rule."

And many GMs and journalists then say something will be played "by Corsican rules" but they mean only the single "no agreed draws" provision, not the alternate scoring.


Just curious: will the posters here accept the winner of this tournament as World Chess Champion? Or one of two?

I'll go ahead and say that I will accept the winner of this tournament as one of two World Chess Champions. I've considered none of the FIDE Knockout Champions as World Champions due to the shorter time controls, in particular since a tied 2-game match would then devolve to rapids and then to blitz.

I think the legitimacy of whoever is champion in San Luis is unquestioned and should lead to a match with Kramnik for unification. This is my great hope.

So with that in mind, I want Adams to win San Luis. Not that I'm any great fan, but I think Adams or Anand have the best chances of enticing Kramnik to a unification match and at the same time beating Kramnik in a match.

Here are the results of Kramnik vs. those competing at San Luis (once short time controls are subtracted from the results):

+14 vs. Polgar - in fact she's never beaten Vlady even at short time controls. No doubt a reunification match that involved a woman would draw a lot of non-chess media, but as a match it would be a bloodbath. Think Kasparov vs. Shirov - it's the same kind of domination.

+8 vs. Svidler - would the fact that they're good friends make a unification match more or less likely?

+6 vs. Topalov - love the Bulgarian's game, but it looks like he'd come up short vs. Kramnik

+2 vs. Morozevich - hmmm, no doubt this would be an entertaining match (what match with Morozevich wouldn't be?), but his form has been about as poor as Kramnik's lately

+1 vs. Adams - Kramnik's plus score would encourage him that he could win a match, but +1 isn't much of a margin and Adams would stand a good chance in a match

even score vs. Kasimdzhanov - they've only played 1 game at regular time controls and that was 6 years ago. By the way, if Kasim were to win this tournament after having won the FIDE Knockout against a similarly strong lineup would there be any doubt that he's a legit champ?

-2 vs. Leko - Leko winning San Luis would be a disaster for unification. Kramnik would say that they'd already played this match in Brissago so what would be the point?

-4 vs. Anand - With this kind of score against Anand, Kramnik would in no way wish to play this match. But Anand's place at the top of the active list and his long position in the Top 3 coupled with Kramnik's slide on the ratings list might prompt Kramnik to attempt to legitimize his position in the chess world with a match.

So, go Mickey, go Vishy!

One of the premises of the above post seems a bit flawed -- Kramnik has already suggested to play the San Luis winner, the obstacle is FIDE, who so far has said no. The question would be, which one of the potential winners would be more likely to lead to a unification match, considering 1) the player's own views on the matter 2) the probability that FIDE will change its mind

I can see immediately that the statistics are flawed too. Kramnik in fact has a plus score against Anand in classical chess, for example. But lifetime scores are not always terribly interesting unless they are very onesided.

Yah, lifelong scores are usually a waste of time as predictors among the elite players. Extreme cases of nemesis are a little different, but even Polgar hasn't done so badly against Vlady lately.

Unless the conditions are absolutely terrible, Kramnik would and should play anyone who comes out of San Luis. It would be Christmas come early. But remember that it would be up to FIDE. All the San Luis players signed contracts prohibiting them from playing in another event. So FIDE would have to endorse it. They will only do that if there is a lot of money in it for them. No doubt they will shop around.

The trick with the winner will be if they feel the need to play Kramnik at all. A dominant player like Anand, who has won the FIDE WCh in the past, might wonder why he should play Kramnik.

I dunno, I have a feeling after how long Anand has been left out of the World Championship cycle that if he got a chance to play Kramnik in a match he would certainly take that opportunity. If you look at the circumstances that disabled him after the Prague agreement to try to gain the title I think he would be willing to unify. I think FIDE's rules to prevent unification after San Luis are absolutely absurd. Their tournament was not an attempt at compromize. They invited Kramnik to come "unify" except this was not negotiated with him and the circumstances gave him no particular advantage to being the defending champion. While I do believe Kramnik has gone too far to defend his title without having to really play for it, I don't think San Luis was the solution and I really don't blame him for declining to play in such an event.

Much, if not everything, will depend on the deal on the table. The irony and the ugliness will come if Kramnik and FIDE find big money and then FIDE insists the San Luis winner play and he doesn't want to. If this sounds bizarre, this is essentially what happened to Ponomariov.

To be somewhat more understanding of FIDE's position, there is no way they could get good sponsorship for something like San Luis by saying it was a candidates event for Kramnik. They have no control with Kramnik, no way of knowing if he'll play the winner or not. As I said here before, everyone has to pretend their championship is the only real one until the last moment, then they make a play for unification money. If there's no money, we stay split.

Mig, what do you mean FIDE to stay split? With whom? For FIDE it doesn't matter if a future challenger is called Kramnik, Fischer, Kasparov, Smyslov or Lautier as long as the required money is on the table...

I don't mean FIDE when I say "we," I mean the chess world. There are still those who say Kramnik is the world champion.

One of the many potential ironies is that FIDE may end up doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. That is, allowing the San Luis winner to play Kramnik for the unified title because there is ready cash.

Mig are you one of those who say Kram is WC? Do you honestly think there would be money for a Kram vs San Luis winner?

Oh, I've been trying to have it both ways for a while now. I summed up my opinions here in the past, and elsewhere:


Basically I feel Kramnik has valid claims, and that a match between him and the San Luis winner would be a Good Thing if there is a cycle already set in stone for the winner to participate in. (I.e. signed contracts.) But I'm not a jihadist on this; I'm not Kramnik right or wrong. By not playing in San Luis he has again accepted the task of organizing a cycle and defending his title in the classical tradition.

Meanwhile, FIDE has announced their intention to do just this. If FIDE actually follow through and produces their first true classical champion since 1993, Kramnik becomes increasingly irrelevant to me. I don't prize succession so much that I'll ignore the product of a classical cycle in favor of the guy who beat the guy but who can't organize a cycle or a legit and democratic defense. If both things happen we stay split, although it will still be tough for Kramnik, just like it was for Kasparov from 95-2000. He had the benefit of FIDE chaos and KO's and having the #1 rating. Kramnik doesn't have these things.

The money question is the big one. My feeling is that yes, there could be enough to bring FIDE to the table for this. But it will have to happen fast or the cycle may start. Kramnik will have to bring money and perfect timing to pull this off. But don't think FIDE's not poking around too.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 2, 2005 11:37 PM.

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