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ACP Responds, Finally

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As I mentioned in the comments the other day, the ACP has finally made a statement about FIDE's rule changes, published as a reply to Gata Kamsky's open letter. The changes in format from semifinal and final matches to a San Luis-style tournament came as a surprise to them too, which is no surprise. There was a notable absence of suggestions and no mention of action. Nice to see they got an extra day for tiebreaks in Siberia.

FIDE is still enamored of anything that can get sporadic sponsorship from regional government instead of trying to develop something commercially viable. This is to be expected with a politician in charge; Ilyumzhinov knows politicians. It would be interesting, if not essential, to see someone with corporate and commercial sponsorship experience on the job, either as president or in a role inside FIDE with actual authority.

Dutch champ Loek van Wely speaks out in the same article. I'm always happy to see anyone involved in the process and I too was curious as to why the Dutch team isn't in the World Team event this week. I'm stunned by his suggestion that only the World Cup winner should go to the final championship tournament, and that other qualifiers could come from annual supertournaments like Corus and Linares. Those events are hardly less exclusive than the rating list itself. It's one thing for pro organizers to invite only the biggest names, but FIDE needs to make sure everyone gets a shot in a way that rating doesn't matter. But I'm glad van Wely repeats the most essential thing of all, the need for clear rules and transparency.


The ACP has so little power. they are correct however in that they need more members to gain more power. The ACP also needs more time to slowly consolidate more power. They have a difficult road ahead over many years.

Mig: It's one thing for pro organizers to invite only the biggest names, but FIDE needs to make sure everyone gets a shot in a way that rating doesn't matter."

This is one thing that the mind is so easy at forgetting. It is so easy to think this is the World Championship cycle and therefore the object is to crown one of the top 10 players and forget about all the regular players below.

However, your point is crucially important. A true genius could be hiding in the lower ranks. Take Ivanchuck for example. he certainly has the talent to pull it all together and win the championship if he were to settle down and really make that his goal. right now he seems to be enjoying playing lots of chess.

what a novel idea. enjoying playing chess.

Anyway he deserves to have a shot in the cycle. Thinking back. it seems a long time since all the players really had a fair shot at the title. this last cycle was a quick pick of 8 players. back in 2002, the Prague agreement did not allow some like Anand to participate. in 1998 Shirov was not given his title shot that he earned.

Time marches on and many of the best players are stripped of their opportunity to participate when they are playing their best chess. this is really scandalous.

I wrote some things in the above and they did not come up. must be a problem with the software.

Mig let me know if you want more details.


Using symbols often causes problems because the system doesn't allow html code. When quoting, you used the symbol that is used in html, so the system deleted the contents. I fixed it. Just skip quoting if you can.

Corus, Linares and Dortmund have a tendency to invite at least one player from the home country who would not otherwise make the list. No problem with that, but it surely rules them out as qualifying tournaments for the World Championship.

Mig, is it no longer possible to preview before posting?

While corporate sponsorship would be good for stability, there are also merits to getting sponsorship from regional governments and the like.
Corporate sponsorship would inevitably lead to crass commercialization, which is natural and understandable, but probably not the best at keeping chess clean.
Dannemann was yet relativelly bearable and almost discreet, but yet there was symptoms like having the name Dannemann appear in many places and the executive (or whoever) needing to sit and smile beside when interviews were being given, for show. If corporate sponsorship was more widespread, commercial aspects would gradually take ever ghastlier forms of expression, and there's no guarantee it would end anywhere. Just look at racing cars, and the suits drivers wear, thought of as space for logos. Maybe i'm more of a purist than most of you, but such things can hardly be thought of as acceptable in chess.
Also with corporate sponsorship the question of cost efficiency will come to question yet lessening the prestige and perceived quality of chess as a sport.

Whilst it has it's own problems, funding from regional governments seems preferable to me, unless of course there would be strict guarantees and rules to the exposition the corporate sponsors can make use of...but once you give your little finger...

And sometimes there simply aren't good solutions to problems...only solutions with varying amounts of ill-wanted side-effects.

In the end, once chess players and FIDE would have gotten used to corporate sponsorship and become reliable on it, the corporations could dictate anything they wanted..

Cars and drivers are seen on TV. It's a visual sport and the teams are sponsored by those companies, unlike professional American team sports, where there is an owner. The club system, prevalent in Europe and South America, is quite different and they must seek direct corporate sponsorship.

Chess event sponsorship is somewhere between sports and cultural sponsorship. It's not expected to be a huge spectator sport. This is what Danemann did with the Kramnik-Leko match, associate themselves with the game. Giant corporations donate to museums and sponsor cultural events all the time. I don't know how much work is done on looking for those dollars. We're all obsessed with chess as a sport and comparisons to golf. The cultural aspect is overlooked.

let's just throw dignity to the wind, go nascar style and put a logo on each square and piece. of course, we could charge a fortune to have topalov's king, since it never gets taken. that's 96 logos in one game!

Why did it take so long for ACP to release this statement? Anyone else find it suspicious that they would wait until October 30 to release the statement, a day prior to the World Cup signup deadline?

Suspicious? What exactly is it you suspect?

It's interesting that van Wely advocated inviting players to the WC based on supertournaments, while he himself is invited to Corus et. al. much more often than his rating would suggest. (Can anyone name another 2650 who gets so many invitations?)

This suggestion reeks of opportunism and shouldn't be taken seriously.

As for Netherlands left out of WTCC, and Georgia getting the difficult-to-explain invite, here are five words for you: "Zurab Azmaiparashvili, FIDE Vice President". That should explain it.

Somehow I'm fond of the idea of getting the supertournaments into the process. But Mig's point that they are open to just a select few players is ofcourse correct.

But what if such a new status for these tournaments were only given to those willing to in some way adapt their choice of players to something more juste?

What's the deal with Corus now, by the way? Is the winner of Corus B automatically into next years Corus A etc? If so, then you could argue that this is not completely exclusive atleast...

Why not produce the events chess fans want to see??

It is fast becoming appearant no one in this debate really seems to care what fans want. And in the next blog we will all sit mouths agape wondering why there is no sponsorship for chess.

So players want a shot at quick money regardless of thier rating. Is this a surprise? While I agree there is often too much weight given to the ratings I don't agree to go to extreme the other way.

The World championship should be for those who claim to be the best in the world and want to prove it. If you are not rated in the top 50, why shoudl we take seriously your claim that you are the best chess palyer in the world? The fact that someone rated 95th may be able to win the championship system shows there is a problem with the system, not that he deserved a shot.

Does anyone think Kasim would have won a chmpaionship if he had to play a 2 matches agaisnt top 15 players and then a 20 game match against kramnik? Why is it so unfair to say to players they have to at least get thier rating into the ball park before we are going to take thier claim seriously? What the ball park is is always debatable but certainly if the palyer himself isn't going to claim they are the best in the world then we shoudl be able to rule them out.

If the system is not designed to test different player's claims at being the best in the world then it really is a meaningless Jalopy of nonesense. Sorry but no matter how you dress it up sooner or later everyone will see that.

ACP seems to miss this basic point. They obviously will only have the interest of thier players that they need to represent. The question is will they take the long view or the short view? Since the players are all interested in thier own welfare(not that I blame them) and they have a short tiem to cash in the short view will predominate.

Fide should be helpfull but the current FIDE leadership wants obscure champions. So they have opposing interests to what fans want.

Since chess is not really covered by major press it seems covering chess is simply repeating what the top players say. We need more commentators in ches who aren't afraid to disagree with top players or fide. Maybe its time to write another "mig on chess"?

> But I'm glad van Wely repeats the most essential thing of all, the need for clear rules and transparency.

To me, the most essential thing for FIDE to improve on is 'integrity' for which 'constancy of purpose' is a necessary ingredient.

'Clear rules' and 'transparency' flows from 'integrity' and 'constancy of purpose' all of which are lacking in FIDE's conduct of the chess business.

Okay, but those things are intangible causes we have to hope for but cannot see. Transparency is demonstrable in the short term and represents integrity. Anyway, I think the correct answer is "all of the above."

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 30, 2005 10:53 PM.

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