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The latest volley in the world championship cycle rule change is a comprehensive summary from FIDE's Makro. It sounds like we're stuck with tournaments instead of matches, at least until they change their mind again. So we are once again without prospects for a traditional classical cycle. It's sad to see them give up on a long match without even trying. Their inability to put together a Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov match no doubt influenced the move, combined with the success (still not defined, though I'd like to agree) of San Luis. I still believe that a clear champ and a qualified challenger could find sponsorship for a long match, which would get more attention than any tournament. Trivializing the title wasn't successful with the knockouts and fans will turn on the round-robin the first time we see it decided by rapid tiebreaks.

I wasn't blaming the ACP for the rule changes, only for not keeping its membership informed of its talks with FIDE. Perhaps most alarming is this Makro comment: "when the previous version of the regulations for the 2005-2007 cycle were announced, FIDE requested the opinion of the top players in order to implement any applicable suggestions during the congress in Dresden. FIDE received no reply or suggestion at all, except for the proposals of the ACP."

If true it reflects player apathy, last clearly seen when almost no one showed up for the attempts to set up a GM steering committee in Bled in 2002 under the Prague Agreement. If half-true, as I suspect, we're left wondering how they chose the players to ask and why these procedures can't be open and organized. I take their point that placing second or third in the final tournament should mean something, but it shouldn't mean automatic entry into the same level next time around.

Also, see below for Gata Kamsky's reply to FIDE's earlier statement, which I thought was going to be put up at ChessBase but can't find there. It looks like Kamsky may become FIDE's worst nightmare: a 2700 lawyer! Was FIDE within its rights to change the rules of an event after players qualified for it?

Dear Mr. Sand,

As far as where I stand, I have obtained a right to play in a world cup by virtue of qualification in officially announced qualification tournaments and neither you, nor FIDE can deny me this right to play as there was created an implied contract between FIDE and players once FIDE had announced the start of 2005-2007 cycle. When I sent back signed Player's Undertaking, I have only reiterated the original terms of the contract to which I've agreed long ago, by virtue of playing in the Argentina Continental Zonal. However, FIDE made significant and material changes to this contract by changing the regulations for the world championship cycle, and in doing so breached it. As a chess professional, I do not wish to accept the October 24th changes made by FIDE.

Unfortunately and as you're very well aware, chess players are not rich people who can afford legal costs of enforcing contracts, especially against such large and powerful entity as FIDE's Executive Board, and taken together with my limited resources, there is not much I can do. But I find your and FIDE's Executive board position a strong-arm and heavy handed approach.

Once again, I have sent my signed Player's undertaking to re-confirm my readiness and willingness to participate in the world cup under the original rules and regulations as were stated by FIDE, on their website, and published everywhere, before the qualification tournaments began for the 2005-2007 world chess championship cycle. AND, I do not accept changes made by FIDE on October 24th.

I have already bought tickets and made hotel reservations with the world cup organizers and fully intend to go play there, and as I stated before, any attempt by FIDE's Executive Board to remove my right will be met with fierce resistance on my part to protect my interests.

Respectfully, Gata Kamsky


I only wish Gata had the money to go to court, because I sure like what he wrote and support him. I wish the rest of the players would speak up vehemently about this farce. Hey Bill Gates, how about donating some money to Kamsky's court case?

Guys, I've just sent Mig a follow up on this matter and after consulting with some legal advisers, it seems that i have no other option but to accept whatever FIDE offers me and just play chess. After Makro's letter today was published today on chessbase site, it seems clear that FIDE is on defensive and admits that there is room for improvement, so I'm satisfied with that at least. So, what we are going to do, is right now leave politics to politicians and focus on chess instead. Wish me and all other american players all the best in world cup in Siberia :)


Good luck, Gata, and good luck to all our other American players! But please guys, don't just sit quietly and allow FIDE to reduce the world champion title to nothing.

To GK: At the risk of sounding like a drooling fanboy, I'm still thrilled that you've made a comeback. Best of luck in Siberia.

I'm knocking back a Texas shot of Jim Beam in your honor Mr. Kamsky. Best of luck. You're wise to realize just how far you can push those bozo's...er, esteemed officials. Light up the board...and then maybe plant whoopee cushions straight from the Bronx on their chairs at the awards ceremony (braappppp!!).

Well, I knew it. Something had to happen with FIDE. They can't do a single thing well. We all were impresed when FIDE announced in May the WCC Cycle, but here they come to change the regulations.

Why do we get impressed?

FIDE will always do thins like this. They only know to do these sort of things.


The very best of luck to you!


Could someone do me the favor of spelling out exactly what the current plan is, in terms of how players qualify for each stage of the cycle? (I guess I'm too lazy to find and read the entire FIDE document.)

1. 10 players from the World cup plus 5 players invited based on rating plus the previous World Cup Champion (Kasimjanov) go to the Candidates' level.

Which at present is set up as minimatches in two stages--8 people out at the first level, 4 people out at the second. But if they can't find enough sponsorship, that might change. The main point is that those 16 will go in, and 4 will come out.

2. 4 winners from the Candidates cycle will meet with the top 4 finishers from the last World Champoinship Tournament (in San Luis), for another double round robin World Championship tournament.

And that's it.

A gigantic tournament of mini matches (the World Cup). A small tournament of mini matches (the Candidates cycle). A small all play all final tournament. And a Champion crowned at the end.

How long the mini matches will be will depend on the sponsorship, I imagine.

The top 5 players in the world by rating and the top 4 finishers from the previous all play all will get the option of skipping the World Cup.

In this format, the previous World Champion doesn't get any advantage over finishers #2, #3, and #4 from San Luis, something Topalov has already agreed to.

Horus,don't even bother to find and read the current FIDE plan. By the time you've done that it will be different.

What I do not understand is that after failing to find sponsors for a single match, now FIDE says it will be easier to find sponsors for a bunch of candidates matches. May be, they expect that future candidates will accept playing just for food?

Are double round robins so great?

By winning 2004 Linares did Kramnik prove he was better than Kasparov? Did that event make people stop wanting to see a re*match*? Of course not. That double round robin tournament simply doesn't cut it for chess fans. Why are FIDE and other top players ignoring what fans want by not having any World Championship Matches?

We should no longer wonder why there is no money in chess. If you ignore fans they will return the favor.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 1, 2005 10:03 PM.

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