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Lots of interesting stuff in the comments to yesterday's item on Topalov's comments. Included was a link to this tidbit from the Russian news service Interfax. These little things are often out of context and spurious, but as it reads, it's confusing and/or bad.

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) presidential board has decided to hold the men's chess world championships every two years, and the next world championship will be held in September-October 2007, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told Interfax on Tuesday. The top four chess players from the world championship that has just been completed, and four other chess players according to the results of the World Cup and qualifying matches, will take part in the championship, he said.

Huh? This is the first mention of such a tournament I've seen. FIDE's original announcement, reinforced with other details later, was simply that World Cup players would enter candidates matches against the top San Luis finishers, with Topalov entering in the semifinals. Now it's to qualify for a "world championship" in Moscow? This doesn't explicitly say tournament or anything else about the format, however. Perhaps the success of San Luis has made Ilyumzhinov lose his memory, or his grip on reality. This is just the sort of thing we've been worried about, that FIDE would talk classical to concrete the title and then start up the circus music again. (Kirsan was just essentially reappointed dictator of Kalmykia by Putin, so his grip on FIDE won't be loosened in that way.)



The idea isn't all that bad and it would be better if this tournament in 2007 is used to decide on the challenger to WC (Topalov) instead of deciding the WC. Afterall, San Luis was a huge success and there inn't any reason why the one in 2007 won't be one.


I think most players look at San Luis as being similar to the world championship tournament held after WWII to replace Alekhine. Thus, it should never have been seen by FIDE as a good way to determine the world champion! It was simply a way to determine a world champion when the title appears (in the view of some, not including myself) to be vacant.

We want circus. Chess needs circus. San Luis was a very good circus. And a double round robin with 8 players and long time control is fair enough to decide the winner for the next two years. OK, sometimes there will be a winner by a very small margin, but also many wc-matches has been decided in the last round. If we want to know who is the strongest, we just look at the rating list.

I do not belive in traditional head to head matches in the internet age with live games. Kramnik - Leko had to many short draws. Capablanca - Alechine and lots of QGD would not be good entertainment today. In a tournament the winner must win many games, more fighting chess. With qualification at 4 place and price money to play for all over the line, all fight to the end.

As Nunn has pointed out, it is difficult to get sponsorship for a qualifier, and he just wanted one wc-tournament every second year. Fide are more ambitious, but they should not become to ambitious in the qualifying for the last four. We want a steady cycle without postponements in search of a sponsor.

I understand that many chess fans will want the traditional matches to continue. Well, I belive a wc-tournament is the best way ahead for chess. Could even be a good TV-show!?

Is there something like "men's chess world championships" now ? I thought there was an open gender world championship and a women championship.

Isn't it ironic that FIDE seems to give up matches in favour of tournaments in order to determine the world chess champion just shortly after the greatest tournament player ever has announced his retirement?
Can there be any doubt that under these new conditions Kasparov would still have to be considered the favourite, and for some time to come?
If unification is dead and matches are henceforth discarded by FIDE, I think that he should seriously reconsider his retirement.

I think everyone's flipping out way too much about this tiny news item. First and most importantly, he could have just as easily been implying "in a series of matches" as "in a tournament". Secondly, this news item has been translated from Russian, which could easily lead to misunderstandings, for example how John points out that even though he says "men's" championship, there has been no such thing for some time. Third, it is one small blip, not even a full interview, introducing the possibility of out-of-context quoting, misquoting, or any number of other credibility issues.

If anyone needs reminding about how things will proceed, very detailed regulations are still posted on the FIDE website (http://www.fide.com/official/handbook.asp?level=DD103). Until there is either a less ambiguous and more credible contradiction or until they change the regulations, I see absolutely no reason to worry that the matches won't proceed as planned.

So now you can get back to worrying about what will happen if Topalov never plays Kramnik (or if he does, and loses).

Let's vote for Lautier as FIDE president within a few months. San-Luis was far superior to precedent fide world championships for a sole reason : those coming elections. It was necessary for the FIDE team to try to do something less catastrophic in order to try to be reelected. But as soon as they'll be reelected (in the case they are) they'll start their old sh** again.

LET'S GET RID OF THEM and the WC will get back to something normal soon.

Topalov also talks about a San Luis-style tournament every 2 years in that Sport Express article at http://news.sport-express.ru/online/ntext/10/nl104053.html doesn't he? So it certainly seems like that. So much for FIDE's new "classical cycle" and their credibility. Yuck.

the main cause, for me, to be on krams side is kirs.
kirs is a fraudster and if kram is gone and the wc title lays in the hands those gangsters, they will do what ever they want. remember the past years....and look at the "new cycle" which is not existing and never will.....it is a fata morgana....after all, why should those idiots change their mind?


P.S: i forgave kaspy everything (the schism, being an arrogant fellow and a prima donna, and and and...) but to crawl back under kirs roof after losing to kram....never...that was degrading.

the main cause, for me, to be on krams side is kirs.
kirs is a fraudster and if kram is gone and the wc title lays in the hands those gangsters, they will do what ever they want. remember the past years....and look at the "new cycle" which is not existing and never will.....it is a fata morgana....after all, why should those idiots change their mind?


P.S: i forgave kaspy everything (the schism, being an arrogant fellow and a prima donna, and and and...) but to crawl back under kirs roof after he lost to kram....never...that was degrading.

I agree with akselborg.

The tragedy is that a lot of chess fans and players are too tied to tradition without even thinking of what makes sense in the present times. That's sad and dogmatic and hurts the growth of chess.

I think its time to throw out the "WC" title of old and get to a new format like the tennis players do etc. WC must be held my someone who has the top ELO/Jonas rating and not by anyone else... and there is really no harm if it changes hand every year. The old system is really out dated.

I agree with acirce: until official new regulations are announced, i's more probable that it's either a reporter's mistake or a trial balloon, not an official announcement.

Reporters do make exactly this kind of error from time to time, of course--assuming the next event will have the same format as the current.

It's also possible that sponsorships have not been coming forward for the multistep match cycle (which required sponsors for the knockout World Cup, the Last Chance Super Tournament, the Candidates phase, the quarter finals, the semi finals, and the finals).

So FIDE may be waiting to see what the chess community and sponsors think about repeating the San Luis format.

I liked the San Luis format BECAUSE it was to be followed by the multistage cycle--it gave the participants a reason to fight for #4 instead of #5, and #2 instead of #3.

If all you do is repeat double round robins every two years, I suspect there will be a lot less "circus" involved in the event.

But it may be that, practically, you can only get sponsors for the two events: Knockout World Cup and double round robin Championship. Sad, but if that's the reality, I'd rather have something like that that actually repeats for two cycles in a row predictably than the ever changing kaleidoscope (based mostly on which stars will appear) that we seem to have now.

I'm hoping for a reporter's error, though. :)


Sorry Duif, you must be agreeing with somebody else. In principle your points about reporters and misunderstandings are correct, but this modification of their initially announced cycle was pretty much was Topalov and Danailov was talking about as well, so while I'm not completely sure it indeed seems very much like it's the case.

Kirs a gangster? That's a bit harsh isn't it? Isn't this the guy that donates millions of his own money to spread religions and world peace? Maybe he is not so religious himself- he can't seem to make up his mind as to which religion to support- but a gangster? Dictator? Bradford

Well, ask yourself where he's made "his own money" since he's been ruling this dirt-poor republic for the past dozen years. The lines between gangster, politician, and businessman are pretty much wiped out over there these days, mind you. He has a pretty solid track record of abuse at home.


My apologies for the confusion, I'm not seeing too well today. You're right, the post I was agreeing with was nsteinme's, which is to say that since FIDE still has the multistage regulations posted in the handbook at fide.com, as nsteinme mentioned, I'm hoping that's still the official position.

As for what Topalov means in the article link you did give, I'm not sure. My Russian isn't that good, but he's saying "best 8 players," right? That would imply that the World Cup wasn't involved at all, but I'm sure that FIDE DOES intend to have qualifiers from the World Cup go into some stage of the candidates. And Topalov also implies there is no Champion's advantage whatsoever, buthe's contradicted that himself in other interviews.

So I guess we'll just see. Sorry again for the confusion.

Wow! The relevant bit:

Q: "What about a reunification match with Kramnik?

T: My manager and Kramnik's manager share a good rapport and if there is any interest and sponsor and if FIDE is all for it then I have no problems. For me, title is of course important but if you are not showing that you are the strongest, then it is not worth it. It is not a real title. A World champion should not escape from matches.

Q: Do you think this championship may put some order?

T: Surely, Kramnik's title now is a little bit de-related because he is not showing good results. But in match he is a dangerous opponent."

In contrast, the Sport Express article quoted by Mig:
"In this Sport Express interview (in Russian) Topalov says he doesn't see why he should give a title shot to someone ranked only #7 on the rating list and rated 60 points below him, especially since Kramnik had the opportunity to play in San Luis and declined. No mention of the classical title. He goes on to say that if they do play it will probably only be a money match with no title on the line."

Perhaps the Russian journalist got it wrong?

Wow! The relevant bit:

Q: "What about a reunification match with Kramnik?

T: My manager and Kramnik's manager share a good rapport and if there is any interest and sponsor and if FIDE is all for it then I have no problems. For me, title is of course important but if you are not showing that you are the strongest, then it is not worth it. It is not a real title. A World champion should not escape from matches.

Q: Do you think this championship may put some order?

T: Surely, Kramnik's title now is a little bit de-related because he is not showing good results. But in match he is a dangerous opponent."

In contrast, the Sport Express article quoted by Mig:
"In this Sport Express interview (in Russian) Topalov says he doesn't see why he should give a title shot to someone ranked only #7 on the rating list and rated 60 points below him, especially since Kramnik had the opportunity to play in San Luis and declined. No mention of the classical title. He goes on to say that if they do play it will probably only be a money match with no title on the line."

Perhaps the Russian journalist got it wrong?

Before you talk, please have a look at available information. For instance, just go to wikipedia, and try to open your eyes before you open your mouth :


You'll see - by yourself - that Mr Ilumjinov is not only a gangster and a dictator, but a murderer as well. You can also have a look at the next link :


Just do a simple google search under Larisa Yudina.

Once you'll have done all this, once you'll begin to open your eyes on what's happening in Russia today, then you'll see that Putin is a (mass) murderer as well, that Russia is living under a despotic system, and that ... people, and especially the chess community, should try to give full support and show great respect for Kasparov's political involvement against Putin.

Even if what Kasparov did for chess wasn't probably the best, I think that since he retired and started his political fight he deserves high respect to ... sacrifice his chess carrer, to positively use his popularity and to put his life in danger for his fight against a tyrant.

Kirsan doesn't want the cycle he promised. He only dug it out of the closet as a carrot for players to play in San Luis. He wanted them to think FIDE was going to really have a legite cycle in the future so they better choose sides with FIDE.

For those who say these tournamnent champions are so wonderful and the way the truthe and the light. I say why then after years of FIDE putting on these tournament championships is the interest in the world champion at an all time low. They just split 1 million eight ways. If these tournaments are so great then why has the event depreciated in value so much in the past 15 years?? Kasp Karp played thier *third* match against eachother. People then also complained about draws. But the Interest in the match was much higher than this tournament. The money sort of proved this as well I think they split somethign like 3 million 2 ways.

Yes there are many people who want a real world championship. The rating system is fine but it doesn't exactly keep you glued to the edge of your seat. Chess a great system with candidates matches. It brought money and interest to chess like no other events. Why keep pi____ing in the wind with these tournament champions?

Once the other players realize they have been had by Kirsan once again - and he wont really have the legitimate cycle - stock in kramnik's title will go up.


You are inconsistent when blaming Kirsan to have changed his opinion about the classical vs. tournament issue yet not blaming Kasparov who simply ****ed up the whole chess world when he stood up for the classical championship's legitimacy (no matter whether he was right or not), and now says Topalov shouldn't care about Kramnik's title anymore. The only reason I can think of is that Kasparov still couldn't forgive Kramnik for not giving him a rematch. Kirsan is not a person to be looked up to but neither is Kasparov - aside from his chess skills. He just messed up the whole chess world and now admits he was not even serious about his arguments. The only problem is that although he retired the chess world might not recover from it for a very long time.

This behaviour is... whatever, you get the point.


Please learn to control your language. I don't need this site being put on nanny block lists because kids can't express themselves. Thanks.

Ah, is Kasparov president of FIDE now? Do his opinions on this affect what will happen? This "yeah but what about so-and-so" change the topic method of argument is ridiculous. We should criticize everyone equally whether or not they are right, is that it? What Kirsan is doing is okay because what Kasparov said about something entirely different is wrong? What sort of argument is that? That pizza at that restaurant isn't so bad because the ham sandwich at at that other restaurant isn't very good?

Kasparov's arguments have changed with his position over the years, of course. I don't see anyone denying this. That doesn't mean he can't have his opinion on the matter, especially now that self-interest isn't such a factor. Sticking it to Kramnik a little surely is, but it doesn't mean he can't have an opinion.

That said, Garry has always said that the world champion should have a valid claim to being the strongest player in the world, especially in a chess world without a clear WCh system. Without such a system, which hasn't existed since 1995-96, rating lists and tournament results are what we have to define the strongest players. Kasparov was undoubtedly the strongest player in 2000, so when Kramnik beat him in a match there was a great deal of respect for that result.

When Kramnik proceeded to fail to put together his own qualification cycle and FIDE failed to put together anything more credible than a KO, things became more confused as Kramnik's rating fell. A drawn match against the winner of Dortmund is not the same as beating the clear world #1. Topalov's +6 in San Luis, which will make him the world #1 on the next list, is impressive relative to Kramnik's steady drop down the list. And relativity matters today.

As is well documented, Kasparov doesn't think Kramnik has upheld the classical tradition. One, by sucking. Two, by not playing a championship match against the strongest possible contender, which, not coincidentally, was him. Kasparov has been asking why anyone would consider Kramnik champion anymore since 2002. What was a de facto title with some thin lines of tradition in 2000 has become, in Kramnik's hands, an increasingly desperate attempt to say it's all about Steinitz and succession.

To be fair, you have to play the cards you are dealt to a certain extent. When your rating falls you talk about tradition. When your rating is high you talk about strength. When you're the FIDE champ you talk about the importance of the official title. Etc. Players aren't politicians, they have to look after their own interests and not bite the hand that feeds. It's easy for us to criticize this waffling, but asking for self-destructive stands on vague grounds isn't fair either.

While Kasparov is not the president of FIDE, the public attention he and his interviews get is much higher then the words of Ilyumzhinov or of anyone else in the chess world. Only because of the fact, that he is Kasparov. So his opinion does matter. (Just look at chess history from the mid 90's, his opinion did definitely matter :)

What I was pointing out is that your previous post (Topalov and Kasparov agree that Kramnik doesn't deserve to play a world championship match) you didn't criticize Kasparov, you only noted, that you "would still prefer a unification match if Kramnik can come up with the money". And I feel it to be double standard.

Also, you expect Kramnik to set up his own WC cycle but you agree they aren't politicans. Chess players should play chess, Kasparov was an exception, he not only did manage the chess part pretty well, he also was a great networking, organizing and fundraising guy. Good for him but we shouldn't expect it from Kramnik. (For organizing and fundraising - in an ideal world - we have FIDE ).

Kramnik is/was (time will tell us) a good player, Topalov IS a good player, their game would put an end to a disgraceful story. And seeing Kasparov trying to influence chess politics by saying that Topalov should avoid a game with Kramnik makes me very angry. Kasparov - again - put his own personal interest (revenge?) before those of the chess world. And now it wouldn't be "asking for self-destructive stands", we (the chess world) would just need him to stay away from chess politics.

Sorry for the language in my previous comment, didn't think it was something to worry about. And keep up the good work, your blog is the best chess source on the web.

Opinion is dandy, but let's not confuse it with action. Kramnik's ACTIONS matter. He can make a choice and DO something. Ilyumzhinov can DO something. Topalov can DO something. Mixing the principals up with the observers, of which Kasparov is now one, is counterproductive. Garry's opinion mattered much more back then because his CHOICES mattered more. Now he's just another commentator, if an important one. And taking hacks at him, especially when they were just off-the-cuff remarks to me previewing what will be a column, is a distraction from addressing the people who really matter here, those who have the ability to do something. I pointed out that I disagreed with Kasparov, but as I said in my last post, this isn't a big change of heart for him compared to his statements in the past few years. Telling him, or anyone, to stay away from politics or sharing an opinion isn't very reasonable.

As I said, not everyone considers the situation unresolved. The "hit by a bus" scenario is already embraced by many. I.e., if Kramnik were hit by a bus tomorrow, Topalov would be the uncontested world champion. Kramnik IS his title, and if he is discarded in some schools of argument (not a real qualifier for challenger, no cycle, low rating), Topalov is uncontested. I don't agree with this, but based on what we see around here many do.

To clarify, I said they weren't politicians not to excuse them from responsibilities they may have accepted, as in Kramnik's case, but to say why they can't be expected to go out and campaign against self-interest. Circumstances change and they still have to make a living playing chess. Leko played Kramnik and then played in San Luis. That doesn't make him a hypocrite, just a chessplayer who wants to play chess. Why should he, or anyone, give up the right to play because some fans think there is a huge principle involved?

The world champion is a de facto player/politician, but when there is a solid system in place the politician role should be far in the background. When there is no system, as with Kramnik, he is forced to politick.

One reason Karpov would be ideal for FIDE presidency is that he would never devalue classical chess and would want to give as much prestige to the title of WC as possible. i'm sure he would put an end to the circus.
And those who like circus should understand that chess is not compatible with circus.


you criticized Kramnik countless times for not "doing". Is it possible that he's been trying really hard but has been unable to put up a cycle, so he can't really be criticized for it? Maybe he needs help, and is helpless on where to find it?

Yes, everyone should get a gold star for best effort. Abolish grades, down with standards! If you do, you get credit. If you do not, you do not. Kramnik is in a lousy situation; I don't think he's just sitting around all the time, although he's clearly, and admittedly, not much of a worker away from the board. He paints, remember? "Just" being a player is fine - perhaps - when you are under a system.

When you're in a bad position you don't get to call time out or go home. A politician runs on his record, not on how hard he tried to do things he wasn't able to do. Nobody knows how hard Kramnik is trying other than Kramnik, so we have to go by results. If he is reduced by circumstance and inability to being a distraction, perhaps he should again follow in Kasparov's footsteps and stand aside. But it's early yet, and I would still like to see a unification match just to be tidy.

Would Kasparov support Karpov for FIDE presidency?

ACP has a quick interview with Shirov on recent developments at http://chess-players.org/eng/news/viewarticle.html?id=449

Q: What is your attitude to sudden change of the world championship formula?

A: These changes directly hit those players who haven't qualified yet, as they will compete for only four spots instead of eight. And there is a huge difference between these numbers!

Q: Do you think the new system is better of worse than the previous one in principle?

A: "The system", as far as I understand, is not proposed yet. A round-robin format has a disadvantage – limiting number of the title contenders to eight is too harsh. I have always thought that the optimal number is sixteen.

Q: Will the championship unification match Topalov-Kramnik, if organized in 2006 under FIDE aegis, benefit chess?

A: And why not Topalov-Anand? I guess, such a match would surely benefit chess a lot.

Q: Does Kramnik, in your opinion, have moral or juridical rights to challenge Topalov?

A: Not a bit. It is sufficient to recall the year 1998.

well said Alexei, pithy and powerful, just like your Chess.

The WC scenario could become very complex in the coming months.

For example, what happens if Kramnik wins Wijk An Zee where Topalov is also going to play? If Kramnik manages the feat the whole situation will be crazy.

Topalov must realise that Anand and Kramnik are probably strongers players than himself and if they get going they may bring his tournament winning streak to an end.

Kramnik has really hit the bottom (for him World #7 is definitely the bottom)...he can only go up now. Indeed, the only way for Kramnik to stand up to criticism is to let his pieces do the talking. It's his only chance. If he plays the political game he may as well retire.

Co-opting Mig's point, now that Garry is just an observer who gives a rat's patootie what he has to say? His public positions were often self-serving and inconsistent (just ask Campomanes - no need to refer to Kirsan as an example), but that was back when he had the power to do something. Now's he just a retiree thinking about posterity and how to win an election.


By saying Kasparov is just an outsider you would only be right if he had had nothing to do with today's situation. But he was in huge part a cause of that.

I am not saying he has no right to express his views, but I partly blame him for the situation (not to whitewash FIDE), and I find it unacceptable to annull everything he had said for the sake of personal revange.

But Mig is right, I have to give Kasparov the benefit of doubt, I haven't read his article yet.

And it's a bit silly to pretend Kasparov's opinion and background are irrelevant now that he's retired. If Bill Gates retired tomorrow his thoughts on technology would still be more valuable than, say, mine, even though he was no long active on the scene. I just wouldn't confuse opinion with action/inaction of the principals. At least read the columns before you deny him the right to write them! (Of course I help write them so am hardly an impartial critic, not that I have ever claimed to be, but I don't take any credit or blame for the ideas, only how they are presented.)

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and Kasparov embracing Topalov's title is an interesting turn of events. I didn't see anyone predicting that around here, so saying it's obvious or selfish or hateful is oversimplifying the matter. Had, say, Morozevich won San Luis I'm quite sure Kasparov wouldn't be endorsing him like this. While he has been critical of Kramnik for several years now, the "strongest player" title thing really means something to Garry and Topalov has achieved that.

Honestly I find Shirov's claim that because Kramnik beat Kasparov in a match that he did not technically qualify for, his title is invalid to be rather dubious. The fact is if Kramnik now played me in the park, lost all his money, and then put the belt on the line, and then hung his queen on move 5, I could legitimately call myself the classical world champion. But on top of that, I remember Bronstein's comment about beating Boleslavsky in the candidates match--- that although he felt bad, in doing so, he possibly managed to save his friend from a humiliating defeat(Boleslavsky had a big psychological block against Botvinnik, only about 1 million times less severe than Shirov's block against Kasparov). I am starting to find this constant reference to Cazorla, a bit annoying. In 1998, I really felt bad for Shirov, but the way he handled it reflects on the strength of his character. Stuff happens.

Why did Shirov play in the Dortmund qualifier if it wasn't to play Kramnik for the title? I see that as a de facto recognition. Or has he given any other reasonable explanation?

"Kramnik has really hit the bottom (for him World #7 is definitely the bottom)...he can only go up now."

Oh, yeah? Plenty of formerly great players have started to sink, and just kept sinking. Actually, I wonder when was the last time a formerly #2 player sank to #7, and was able to get back to #2? I'll bet it hasn't happened often.

"You criticized Kramnik countless times for not
'doing'. Is it possible that he's been trying really hard but has been unable to put up a cycle, so he can't really be criticized for it?"

Kramnik was invited to San Luis, and he declined. It is therefore incumbent on him to come up with a Plan B. Nobody else has any incentive to do it for him.

I agree with Mig's point that a World Champion needs to be #1, or at least close to it. Part of the reason the FIDE KO's lacked credibility, is that they kept crowning "champions" who were way down on the rating list. It led to the obvious conclusion that people like Khalifman, Pono, and Kasim, weren't truly the best, but merely lucky winners.

Topalov has credibility, not merely because he won in San Luis, but also because he is now the #1 active player in the world. Kramnik is losing credibility, in part due to his lame defense against Leko, and also in part due to his ratings free-fall. Tradition is all he can cling to, because his results are saying something else entirely.

"Mig: Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and Kasparov embracing Topalov's title is an interesting turn of events. I didn't see anyone predicting that around here,"

IMO it was obvious. Roughly half a year ago Kasparov said Kasimdzhanov has the real title what do you expect now? Of course he is going to embrace the FIDE title.

Kasparov is definitely not the outsider. He is much more worse. He is a person everybody should listen to, and do the opposite to what Kasparov says if this is not regarding moving pieces!
He is great player, but in around-chess he is not even zero, he is an infinite negative number! He had his chance to prove he can do something real when he created 4 professional chess organizations, and his credibility as politician is lost forever, not mentioning he proved many times that he can say and do anything if this is for his own profit and is not a violence.

Trying means making mistakes sometimes. There is a long list of people who never made any errors, I'm sure, but we've never heard of any of them. All those attempts, even the failed ones, mean Kasparov knows a heck of a lot about this stuff and his opinions are usually considered and worthwhile. His passion and ideas brought as much positive attention to the game in the past few decades as his chess. It would be silly to ignore them now, especially since it does no harm to do so. It's not as if he's a dictator with powers that need to be counteracted.

Everything fails eventually. Calling the GMA and the PCA failures is ignorant. Both achieved quite a bit despite their eventual dissolution. The millions of dollars brought in by the PCA were quite real indeed. The WCC was a never-was and I'm not sure about the fourth you refer to.

Last week I had a world championship in my backyard. I invited Kramnik but he declined. So therefore he concedes his title and he's not the champion anymore?
Get real please and stop using this stupid argument.

Btw Mig: Posting a message (still?) generates an ominous looking error message giving the distinct impression the posting of the message failed. (Using Firefox 1.06 in case this is relevant.)

It's actually quite common among the top 15 to move up and down 5 or 6 places.

Topalov himself was #4 in January 2003, #7 in July 2004, and back to tied for 3rd in October 2005.

Leko has gone from #5 in 2001 to #11 in April 2002 and back to #4 in October 2005.

Ivanchuk has gone from #6 in 2001 to #15 in January 2003 and back to #5 in October 2005.

Morozevich has gone from #4 in July 2000 to #23 in January 2003 to #4 again in July 2004 and back to #17 in October 2005.

Even Svidler has gone from #4 in January 2004 to #10 in April 2005 to #6 in October 2005.

The two most consistent are Kasparov (at #1) and Anand (at #2 or #3) for a long time.

But other than those two, there's quite a bit of change.

It's a mistake to think that Kasparov's passion and ideas are what brought the publicity - frankly, the majority of Kasparov's bigger non-chessboard ideas haven't gone so well. What brought the publicity was Kasparov's brilliant play and his willingness to actively promote chess.

Kasparov on chess politics is like Richard Daley on democracy.

Kramnik is far from charismatic (the Petrosian of our day?) but he may understand more about chess than anyone alive. If tournament play alone determined championship titles, Korchnoi, Keres, and Larsen might have been titleholders.... FIDE has cheapened the title: it's time to uncheapen it by merging the two streams.

Also: Topalov-Kramnik should be seen as a marketing opportunity. Maybe K. is boring, but T. isn't!

There are opinions, who said, that the tournament system produces credible and strong winners. Just check the Super Tournament Dortmund 2005 winner (Naiditsch). What happens, if the next 2007 WCh will be won by the #18. Than those guys will say booo, arghhh and uuuh. The match system is always better. Never will a #20 win a match against any actual Classical WCh. Kramnik won it, because he was a good player. If he would play against Topa, maybe Kram would loose, because Topa is a great player. But maybe not. That would only mean, that Kram is the better, and eligable for the WCh title. So easy. Tourneys are only for candidation...

Some mention, that the match system is outdated and the tourney system is the future.
That is the difference between the current (pop) sports - one is very popular a day, but some years later it's forgotten, like it was never been, at all - and the old sports like tennis, boxing, chess etc. They are popular for centuries, and their rules don't change a lot. Just imagine boxing with tourney world championships => amateur boxing, that's it. Who cares?
So don't blame tradition.

Schavo, The Super Tournament Dortmund 2005 was not a double round robin. A double round robin like San Luis gives a more reliable ranking of the players.

There have been changes in other popular sports to, which contributed in maintaining the sport popular, backpassing to keeper in football etc. But chess is not that popular, is it? Maybe we should do something different.

Allright, so I now read where Topa says "nyet" to a challenge from Kramnik for a match. Reason? The 60 points difference in ratings..LOL, yea Topa feels that a Fischer-like 6-0 result would really have the world laughing, cause he didn't play a worthy opponent:-)....Topa's statement if true, proves he's AFRAID of losing to Kramnik in a head to head match to end this yes, so called "circus". He's got his FIDE Title (without playing a head to head match)...and will not take any chance to hand the whole ball of wax to Kramnik in a match. For those saying Topa is World Champ, FIDE Champ,ect. how are you going to draw the line from Steinitz? Kramnik defeating Garry in 2000 doesn't count?? Defending against Leko in 2004 doesn't count?? Oh maybe if Kramnik's rating was say only 59 points lower, he might consider it....naw, he'd have to be maybe 58 points lower:-)...Topa your a coward, and you know it.

Well, I'm still curious about the original question here. According to the FIDE calendar, the FIDE Presidential Board was scheduled to meet in San Luis from October 14 to October 16. The Interfax article suggests that they did "something". What did they do? Do we have to wait for a "definitive article" to appear somewhere? There are 16 members of the Presidential Board who have their contact information posted in the Directory section of the FIDE site, not counting GM Topalov and WGM Stefanova, who do not. Is it possibly for somebody who knows (at least one of) these people to try to find out what the board really did?


Is here something similar to boxing world? Maybe it would be simpler to go to same direction than in tennis, you know. ATP -rankings tell you who is the best player at the moment, no need for any artificial championship matches.

If Topalov wants to remain the Tournament World Champion, so be it ("Thus the tournament shall determine the new holder of the Crown. That is the plan” Topalov is quoted by Sport Express).

But he should not pretend that he stands in the tradition of classical Chess Champions, who all won the title in matches (at least when it was possible). In contrast to Alekhine, Kramnik is well alive, and in contrast to Fischer he is also very reasonable:
Kramnik willing to face Topalov

The idea of a Tournament World Champion in itself is quite interesting, it could exist in addition to the traditional title.

It is difficult to see what else Kramnik could do to help get a regular cycle going. The fact is many people dislike him for many reasons. This drags down his effectivesness at geting the right thing done. He ahs always and repeatedly asked to have assurances that a credible cycle will come in. He has repeatedly tried to make this happen. But when he is constantly getting knocked by many "chess observers" he does in fact lose his clout.

He put together a qualifier as he had agreed to contractually before his WC match with kasp. he then agreed to prague. Fide blew it. After FIDE reconfirmed that they would ahve a decent qualifier for 2005 - 2007 he agreed to play thier champ for a unified title. FIDE is blowing it agains and may even renege on thier announcement.

Its funny when the very people who do all they can to pull him down try to then blame him for not having enough political clout. If you think he is tryign to do the right thing support him. Don't constantly play games to help your current favorite.

Kramnim seems to be desperately trying to provoke Topalov into a match ("if anybody believes they are stronger than me, let them beat me in a match"). Yeah.. tell that to Shirov.
And how can he compare himself to Botvinnik, Spassky and Petrosian when trying to excuse his poor rating and lack of tournament victories?????? Dude, they qualified.

Well, it's official. FIDE's "classical cycle" now means candidates matches to qualify for ... a WC tournament. See the updated regulations at http://www.fide.com/news/download/WC05-07Regs.pdf

They are also "examining" the possibility of "interim World Championship matches":

"A Any player with a published FIDE rating of 2700 and over can issue a challenge to the reigning World Champion for
a World Championship match. The challenge can be accepted by the World Champion only after the approval of
B The organizing cost of the match, the prize fund and the contribution payment to FIDE shall be guaranteed by
C Even if the above conditions are met, the World Champion is not obliged to accept the challenge unless a minimum
prize, set by FIDE, is offered as compensation to the World Champion.
D The time control of a World Championship match will be 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next
20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move
61. If both players agree, then the time control used in the World Cup (90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by
15 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move from move 1) can be applied."


Yah, I got this in a Word document the other day. Looks identical. Haven't had time to examine it; I'm still screaming on the inside. Morons. FOUR people from San Luis into the final? Only FOUR new entries? Tournament again instead of match? Horrible. Flavor of the month as usual with FIDE. San Luis goes well so let's dump everything we've planned for another one. Of course next time there will be a three-way tie at +2 with rapids and blitz and my head will explode. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Still trying to figure out the wording on the interim matches. Can FIDE force the title holder to put his match on the line if the money is there? Sounds like yes. They have veto, he doesn't.

hmmm... Kaspy come back!!!!!!

Yah, now apparently you can just BUY a title shot. Viva the London Rules.

As I understand it, FIDE is giving a very clear message:

a) to the public and the top players that FIDE's cycle is here, rolling and well-funded.

b) to Kramnik, Fischer or any other self-named "World Champion" that Topalov is ready to accept any challenge if the money is there.

To me, FIDE's moves are logical and according to a certain plan. Of course they are lucky that Topalov is an acceptable World Champ so everything becomes easier...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 19, 2005 11:54 PM.

    Topalov and Kasparov Agree was the previous entry in this blog.

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