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Corus of Talent in 08

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The field for Corus 2008 was announced last week. It will run from January 11-27. As usual it's a 14-player round-robin with a big slice of the top twenty plus a qualifier from this year's B Group plus Loek van Wely. The qualifier is Ukraine's Eljanov, who has been showing some good results and has been working as Gelfand's second lately.) The official site seems to be down right this second, but it should be coruschess.com as before.

Viswanathan Anand 2801
Vassily Ivanchuk 2787
Vladimir Kramnik 2785
Veselin Topalov 2769
Peter Leko 2755
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752
Teimour Radjabov 2742
Levon Aronian 2741
Boris Gelfand 2736
Mickey Adams 2729
Magnus Carlsen 2714
Judit Polgar 2708
Pavel Eljanov 2681
Loek van Wely 2680

In the 2007 event Radjabov, Aronian, and Topalov shared first place on +4. Radjabov jumped out with 4.5/5 but only even after that. Topalov hasn't played classical chess since winning the MTel in May. The Tal Memorial starts November 10th in Moscow with Kramnik playing in what is billed as a category 20 field that I can't find details on. Anyone? Then most of the world's best heads for Khanty-Mansyisk for the World Cup that begins Nov. 22.


The Tal Memorial will have 10 players according to the following link (in Russian):

Six of them are Kramnik, Leko, Ponomariov, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Radjabov. Also likely Carlsen. Three other are not mentioned.

Also, according to the same link, Topalov is definitely not invited.

They will also hold a blitz tournament that is planned to have the status of the world blitz championship.

All of this is based on the words of Alexander Bach (not sure if this is the right spelling in English), the main organizer of the event.

There is another, more recent link (also in Russian):


According to Arkady Dvorkovich, the players are Leko, Kramnik, Radjabov, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Carlsen, Alekseev, Yakovenko, and two others that will be chosen from the following list: Svidler, Morozevich, Grischuk, Mamedjarov.
No Ponomariov this time.

The world blitz chess championship (a double round robin), already approved by FIDE, will take place November 21-22.

Corus was acquired by India based Tata group.
Top seed is a World No 1 and World Champion from India. See any connections ?

No, because


Anand has played Corus in 9 out of the 10 past years and Tata bought Corus less than two years ago.


I think I see the connection.

Unlike the Mexico City WCC tournament, which excluded some top-rated players, Tata/Corus invited #2 Ivanchuk and #4 Topalov.

Tata/Corus is thus a much more rigorous test of chess supremacy than Mexico City, and the Corus winner (which Tata expects to be Anand) will be crowned WORLD CHAMPION.

Did I get it right?

>Tata/Corus is thus a much more rigorous test of chess supremacy than Mexico City, and the Corus winner (which Tata expects to be Anand) will be crowned WORLD CHAMPION.>

He will be crowned as the 2nd Undisputed-WCh, that's the new "line".
Btw, didn't Kasparov suggest before
Linares- 1994 that "the winner could be considered the world tournament champion" ?

Also coming soon (October 12-20): Essent (www.essentchess.nl), with Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, van Wely and world junior champ Zaven Andriasian in the double round robin Crown group.

Ah yes, that unforgettable moment when Kasparov congratuled the runaway winner of Linares 1994 as the world champion of tournament chess.

Tata should have ensured that atleast Harikrishna or Sasikiran should have been invited. Sorry van Wely! (Being dutch is no advantage now).

At the risk of starting a throng of anti-Americanism, does anyone know what Kamsky is doing during all these big tournaments?

Greg Koster wrote: "Ah yes, that unforgettable moment when Kasparov congratuled the runaway winner of Linares 1994 as the world champion of tournament chess."

Yes, Greg, some might have it that finishing a full two-and-a-half points ahead of you at the "world championship" tournament would have elicited a gracious acknowledgment. But as we already knew, for Kasparov at that particular point in his career it was all about the match.

I was mocked for saying it before, and I'll be mocked again. But I would like a clear, non-arbitrary explanation for why you can declare the Mexico winner "World Champion," but not the Corus winner.

If it's not the match format that makes the champion, then it must be the strength of competition, right?

If not, then what? And remember, the key is "non-arbitrary." That is, "Kirsan said so" and "Kramnik said so" aren't good enough; some actual logic and reasoning would be nice.

I'm surprised Koneru Humpy isn't (yet) on the Khanty-Mansyisk list. She is almost as much ahead of the other women as Judith is ahead of her..

Chris: 2 main differences

1) Corus/Linares etc are based on invitations, while Mexico is something you had to qualify for (either by past WC performance or through the World Cup/Candidates Matches) and so every strong chess player in the World had a reasonable shot of making it to Mexico.

2) The declaration of Mexico as the World Championship in advance also meant that everyone trained extra hard for it, and did not treat it like a 'mere' super-tournament but as the World Championship (they all came with seconds for example).

The first one is the more important distinction IMO.

"If it's not the match format that makes the champion, then it must be the strength of competition, right?"

Not quite. It is the same difference between a friendly football match, versus a true qualifying match. Or a real tournament, versus an online ICC blitz tournament. People are supposed to play the same, but they really try much harder (novelties, physical training, on the board), and psychological factors also become magnified.
In a mere tournament, I think Anand would have taken less risks for instance, and at the expense of maybe getting the shared first.

>the key is "non-arbitrary." That is, "Kirsan said so" and "Kramnik said so" aren't good enough; some actual logic and reasoning would be nice.>

The "logic" here is that of the "political compromise", i.e., lying to avoid more scandal and controvesry while taking comfort in knowing that the Kramnik-Anand match will bring all soon to normal ( to real actually).

Mexico-tournament winner "had" to be WCh to save Kirsan from the consequences of his previous mistaken choices (he contracted Mexico before the Kramnik-Topalov match).

But this can't last long however hard one may to try to "recognize" Anand as WCh.
Such a WCh-title simply lacks weight. It is open for disputation by every winner of a yearly supertournament (Tal Mem or Corus). It is an "unstable"-title..however in our case it has to last only until the proper event happens in 2008.

It is not hard to "recognize" Anand as the World Champion. He has clearly earned it. Now Kramnik will have his match opportunity, the same type of opportunity he should have given Kasparov. All is almost back to normal. Now if Ivanchuck can win to play Topalov we will end up with a real World Championship Cycle.

Ok, I'm even confusing myself, so I'll ask this a totally different way:

Is there anyone who believes BOTH of the following:
1) Anand is the new World Champion.
2) It's his first time.

There are many people who didn't view the FIDE knockouts as being real WC events. That is, that the list of World Champions doesn't really include Khalifman, Ponomariov, etc.

Do any of these people think the Mexico WC tourney was different?

It wasn't "strength of competition," because Corus will be stronger and it's not for the WC.

It wasn't "difference of preparation for WC play," because that was certainly there for the knockouts.

It could be "Kramnik OK'd it," but if so, where is the line drawn on what the title-holder can do? Can he sell it? Can he nominate his successor and retire? Are others comfortable with the often-capricious whims of past champions determining these things?

So if you believe that Anand is the WC and that it's his first time, I honestly, truly want to know where the difference lies. I would sleep better if this made sense to me--I'm not trying to perpetuate the argument just to argue, at least I don't think so.

Chris, the easy difference is the probability that the strongest chess player will win a given format. Two-game knockout is a crapshoot. In a round-robin the strongest players finish near the top and Anand has an accomplished feat of scoring at least 1 point higher than the other top GMs in face to face play against them. Of course, there is always the possibility that the strongest player will not win, but such a possibility exists in any format.

Indeed I believe this:
1)Anand is the Champion and 2)It is his first time.

In 1993-2000 the Champion was Kasparov. In 2000-2006 it was Kramnik. In silly FIDE tournaments - San Luis 2005 included! - there was no Champion's title at stake, because the champion didn't agree to destroy the title like that. In Mexico Kramnik put his title on the line - reluctantly I am sure but still according to his contract from Elista 2006 match - and that's why the Mexico winner IS the champion.


if players seriously prepare for knockout, u think Akopian and khalifman make the final? if they all prepared and it is still the result, what does it say about knockout format?

you said corus is stronger than mexico. not so. in mexico, everyone was a super gm. in corus, we have weak players that the top players can whip. if i remember correctly, the average rating in mexico is higher than corus.

this is anand's first title because he is the only world champion. all other titles with 2-3 champions are worthless.

As I know Anand will play in Moscow for the World Blitz Title and organizers would like to have him in the main (?) tournament also but looks like he will prefer not to play classic chess this time and concentrate only on a blitz.

Let's stop discusion about titles. It could be wonderful match Kramnik-Anand, there are both great players.

Can somebody tell me what will be the way forward for Anand/Kramnik/Topa/"World Cup winner" for the 2008/2009 WC cycle? Will the 3 losers (out of these 4) have to play the next World Cup (to qualify) in 2008/2009 ?


19xx - 1993 - 20xx :- Anand champion!

Isn't that clear?

19xx - 1993 :- Kasparov champion!
1993 - 2007 :- Disputed champions! (People's pick! Go ahead and pick whoever you want.. but provide supporting document. Please!)
2007 - 20xx :- Anand champion!

Isn't that clear?

This is Anand's first time as undisputed world champion. He said so himself and I agree.

By analogy, if the top 8 tennis players in the world compete in Wimbledon. The winner is the Wimbledon champion. If these same players compete in the US Open, the winner is the US Open champion. If these same 8 players compete for first bite of the barbecued chicken during a garden party, the winner is the barbecued chicken champion. And finally if these same 8 players compete in the World Championship, the winner is the World Champion.

The logic is simple enough, you win what the players agreed to fight for. Anand is World Champion because he won the competition for the World Champion title. The format is irrelevant.

The winner of the Corus event will be the 2008 Corus Champion but certainly not World Champion just because of that win. The strength of the event is irrelevant.

Tal memorial field:

edfong, nice post, although I think Chris and probably many others will not be satisfied.
The point is that say, in tennis, you do not have a World Championship tournament. Why? Because it would be illogical.

In any sport, the WCH is never a competition equal to others in everything except the name. It is this stupid and illogical situation in chess now that Chris is pointing at.


Actually, it should be:
19xx - 1993 :- Kasparov champion!
1993 - 2006 :- Disputed champions! (People's pick! Go ahead and pick whoever you want.. but provide supporting document. Please!)
2006 - 2007 :- Kramnik champion!
2007 - :- Anand champion!

1985-2000 KLasparov champion
2000-2007 Kramnik Champion
2007-* Anand Champion

Is Anand playing in the Tal blitz? Isn't he the defending champion or something? I recall him winning a blitz tourney with a strong margin last year.

Yes, Vishy won last year, with a 2-point margin. Karpov played there too, btw. Full final standings at

Andrey where did you get the final field for the Tal Memorial?

Posted by: Andrey at October 10, 2007 01:05
Tal memorial field:

First and last time I'm giving my views on this very popular but not very constructive topic (in the wrong thread, by the way!). Discussion on this subject all boils down to a matter of opinion, so there is no way to say who is "right" or "wrong". For instance, I totally disagree with "match purists" because for me tradition alone is not a good enough reason to reject beforehand any attempt at change, but their logic is every bit as legitimate as mine.

My list of recent world champions is almost identical to jmi's, with one exception:

1985-1993: Kasparov.
1993-2005: disputed champions, therefore no one and only WC.
2005-2006: Topalov.
2006-2007: Kramnik.
2007-?: Anand.

My position is that a world chess champion must fulfil two conditions:
1) He/she must earn the title from a system which, at least theoretically, gives a shot to every single player on the face of the earth (one of FIDE's greatest merits was to introduce this concept with zonals etc. after 1945).
2) He/she must be recognized as such by the overwhelming majority of the chess world.

From 1993 to 2000, Kasparov did not fulfil criterion 1). Nor did Kramnik do so from 2000 to 2005. On the other hand, the winners of FIDE knockout championships did not fulfil criterion 2). With Kasparov's retirement and the emergence of a flawed but reasonable WC tournament, instead of a ridiculous system with 2-game matches at a semirapid time control, the San Luis winner was the first player in a long time who could stake his claim to a legitimate world title.
Now unification has at last been achieved, and I hope that in the future we can leave these discussions behind us and focus on the chess itself.


Afromeev, Vladimir

What's the story with this guy? I see suspicion everywhere but no real investigations.
Are there any decent articles about this?

Afromeev is a famous russian cheater, there are a lot of materials in an internet about him. But he cheats not over an opponent just over the chess, looks like he produced fake games and may be fake tournaments, peoples told he is about Class A player.

another story:
Gelfand (#3, Mexico), Leko (#4, Mexico), and Morozevich (#5 in Ratings) will skip World Cup (as well as Kramnik, Anand, Topalov)

looks like for me that Mr. Topalov with his geniuos manager can lose something in the future,
I can not believe that, for example, Leko will just skip a cicle of the World Championship without any reason.

Really it could be nice to see candidate matches once again, for example: Kramnik-Anand loser,
Topalov, Gelfand, Leko and first 4 from the World Cup. And the winner will play Kramnik-Anand winner for the next World Championship Match.

Do you mind?

@ kaluga
Not a bad formulation. The same pool (Kramnik-Anand loser,Topalov, Gelfand, Leko and first 4 from the World Cup) could play a double round robin for the challenger (instead of matches).

Is Khanty-Mansiysk really the best venue for an event like this? It looks like it is in the middle of nowhere. It should be a requirement that an event like this be held in a city that has its own International Airport.

Maybe it’s a nice place but it sure seems remote to me. If it was in a well-known city, it may attract more mainstream media coverage and prestige.

I would imagine that any city would jump at the chance to host such an event. Did they even try to find others?

Because of money,
if New York, Moscow, Tripoli, Teheran will pay more they will choose, so dear Mr. CRZ feel free to organize the next availible World Cup :-))

our GO-cousins seem to do much better ( or is just my impression ?)...quite a question if Kirsan (the kalmykian tax-paying rabble) is the savior of the chess or rather Kirsan's
continous interference is what prevents chess to become economically viable...

This is a list of professional Go tournaments. The tradition, initiated by the Honinbo Tournament in Japan, is for an event to be run annually, leading up to a title match and the award of a title for one year to the winner.

Tournaments do not consist, generally, of players coming together in one place for a short period, but are spread out over time.

LG Cup is a tournament sponsored by LG Group. The winner's purse is $250,000. The current title holder is Zhou Junxun.

Samsung Cup is a tournament sponsored by Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance (which is a branch of the Samsung Group) and the Hanguk Kiwon. The winner's prize is $200,000. The current title holder is Chang Hao.

Fujitsu Cup is a tournament sponsored by Fujitsu and Yomiuri Shimbun. The winner's purse is $141,000. The current title holder is Park Jungsang.

Chunlan Cup is a tournament sponsored by the Chunlan Group of China. The winner's purse is $150,000. The current title holder is Gu Li.

World Oza is a tournament sponsored by Toyota Denso every two years. The winner's purse is $285,000. The current title holder is Lee Sedol.

Ing Cup is a tournament sponsored by Ing Chang-ki, Ing, Yomiuri Shimbun, the Nihon-Kiin and the Kansai-Kiin every four years. The winner's purse is $500,000. The current title holder is Chang Hao.

Zhonghuan Cup is a title sponsored by the Taiwan Qiyuan and JPMorgan Chase. The winner's purse is $62,000. The current title holder is Choi Cheol-han.

source wikipedia

Yeah Chris if you can't understand the difference between a knockout tournament and a round robin full of players who had to qualify then I don't think we can help you.


"The format is irrelevant."

Well, if you believe that, in that case, you can't say that Anand is champion now for the first time. He won the FIDE KO wc in 2000...

I do understand the difference between a knockout and a round robin, thank you. I also understand the difference between a round robin and a 12+ game match.

@the world:
Nonetheless, what I'm trying to do, as politely as possible (though it's clearly not working as well as I'd like), is resolve a bit of cognitive dissonance. I haven't yet found the correct way to phrase the question, which suggests the dissonance is mine. But I still hope to resolve it.

(Note: I probably won't be able to. If the cognitive dissonance is yours, then there isn't a way to phrase the question that leads to a clear and logical answer, and if it's mine, then your clear and logical answer will make no sense to me. But I'm still trying one more time, hahaha)

The dissonance in question is why so many people have, so many times, refused to accept a non-match-winning champion, *including* Topalov prior to the Kramnik "unification" match. It just seems, logically, like these people aren't being consistent with their rules--why is this the ONLY tournament that was worthy of replacing match play for the championship, and none of the others before or after? The answer so far seem to include "they prepared harder for this one," (how is that MY problem?), "they earned a spot in this one" (where was Topalov?), and "this one was called the World Championship" (as have several others been!). None of these, logically, do anything to elevate the Mexico WC tournament.

The only argument I've seen that seems to apply hard logic to it is "Kramnik signed on the dotted line," which has more teeth than the above, but again, I wonder how much ownership we, the chess-loving public, should allow Kramnik. Again, would it have been OK for Kramnik to retire, and name his successor? Could he have declared "there's no WC title anymore, it ends with me?" Obviously you're drawing the line somewhere between that, and "the title can be lost in a tournament," but *specifically* where is the line drawn, and why?

Ok, I promise that's the last way I'll try to ask it. If I can't make logical sense of the answers this time, I'll just assume the problem is with my grasp of logic, and move on quietly to the next topic.


when topalov won, there was another guy claiming he is also the world champion. what fun is that? it's like having a hot wife who has another husband.

it's not kramnik signing dotted line that made the diff. it is the world champion playing and failing to win that you have to take into account. he didn't play in san luis or any other fide wcs before. the diff is clear.

also u claiming people didn't accept topalov as world champion is false. he was universally acknowledged as the fide world champion but it was also understood that the title was disputed which makes his title worth a little less.

Chris, my personal standard is two-part: 1. Format of the competition must be likely or very likely to result in the strongest player winning and 2. The champion must give his OK for the competition to be a world championship. Kramnik could not name his successor because that would fail part 1 (transfer based on his choice rather than a chess competition). My requirement for a person to stay champion, however, is that he stay active in defending his title against one of (or more) the world's strongest players every few years. So Kramnik could not just refuse to defend the title for a very long period of time--then FIDE or somebody else could organize a San Luis type tournament. However, at the time of San Luis, Kramnik has defended his title against Leko less than a year before, and won the title against Kasparov a few years before that, so I don't consider San Luis winner to have been a world champion.

To ocelot,
Read my earlier note carefully.

I stated that Anand is undisputed champion for the first time. The emphasis is on the word *undisputed*.

Anand stated in his interviews that he is world champion for the 2nd time but undisputed world champion for the 1st time. That is why he feels the Mexico win is more valuable,not because of any difference in format but because it is undisputed. Nevertheless he also mentioned that the feeling from winning is just as great on both occasions.

I wish I know how it feels but I really don't cos I have never won a world championship.

>The emphasis is on the word *undisputed*.

meaning: "without having disputed the due match".


1. You asked why Mexico and not Corus?

It is not the format. It is not the strength. It is because FIDE said so. It is a necessary condition for the event to be called a world championship. Corus does not qualify.

2. You asked, who thinks Anand is new Champion. It is his first time? Do any of these people think the Mexico WC tourney was different?

"It wasn't 'strength of competition,' because Corus will be stronger and it's not for the WC."

This is incorrect. Strength of competition is a necessary condition (for some of those who say yes to your question) but not a sufficient condition. Being stronger does make a difference. That does not mean it MUST be the strongest or that it is the ONLY condition. Also, refer back to question #1.

Format (i.e. probability of strongest being the winner) is a similar argument.

It could be "Kramnik OK'd it," but if so, where is the line drawn

Kramnik's OK does make a difference. This does not imply that it was necessary or sufficient, and therefore does not give him any of the powers you suggest. The power to relinquish the title is not the same as the power to hold or transfer the title.

""I honestly, truly want to know where the difference lies""

The various replies have told you this. Your problem is that "None of these, logically, do anything to elevate the Mexico WC tournament." Actually they all do, but you keep tyring to make each the full answer.

Each of these things matter to each person to a different degree. That is why some people still don't recognize Anand as champ (must be match) and others do recognize Pono etc. (FIDE is THE official body)

There is:

a. Certified by an official body: Anand had it both times. Just because Anand's first time is not respected by the group in question doesn't mean it doesn't matter in the complete picture.

b. Undisputed (and who is making the dispute): Anand has it now but not before. This has to do with Kramnik and also the fact that the championship did not go to tie-breaks.

c. Reasonable: This includes who participated 'they earned a spot' and 'strength of competition', the format, and that the winner happens to be the highest rated active player.

You can apply these to all world champion claimaints at any time.

Kasparov after the split: a. nope, b. nope, c. didn't lose his match against Anand and maintained the highest rating. Good enough for most people but not without criticism.

Kramnik: a. nope, b. nope, c. Defeated Kaparov in a match. Good enough for most people (at least at first)

Khalifman and Pono: a. yep, b.nope, c. nope. Not good enough for most.

Anand 1st time: a. yep, b. nope, c. nope, but respected more than the above because of his rating

Topalov: a. yep, b. nope, c. yep

Anand 2nd time: a. yep, b. yep, c. yep

So if you ask about the group that accepts: Anand's 2nd but not Topalov's, then b is your distinguishing factor; Anand's 2nd and his 1st, then b and c.


Thank you. You reason about these matters well. I would only refine your definition of b to read "Undisputed: no other active player has a reasonable claim to the world title" with "reasonable claim" defined as a player who:

1. Won the world title in either a competition defined by FIDE or defeated the classical world champ in a match.

2. If he won the FIDE title in a tournament, has not failed to win a more recent FIDE world championship tournament.

3. Has not lost his title by losing a world championship match, refusing to play in a world championship match, or verbally resigning these title.

guys, not to be too serious,
try for execersices 1930 years:

how many times was Max Euwe World Champion?
2; FIDE in 1928 and "classical" in 1935;

Do you know that Alekhin-Bogolubov matches were
"unification" matches between "classical" (Alekhin) and FIDE (Bogolubov) World Champions (after Bogolubov beat Euwe in FIDE approved match)? Not exactly, Alekhin never claimed FIDE Title.

DId Alekhin lost his title in the 1938 AVRO tournament, which supposed to determinate the next candidate (1-2. Keres, Fine 3. Botwinnik 4-6 Euwe, Reshevsky, Alekhin 7 Capablanka 8 Flohr) and had exactly the same format as Mexico? No

So lets wait at least a year, or may be five more
and the history will answer your question.

Hermans Matissons (good player, he died queit young; he was the first who beat Alekhin in the tournament game after Buenos-Aires 1927 match)was FIDE World 1924 Champion and Ruslan Ponomorev was FIDE World 2002 Champion, so that is history now.

Actually, you undermine your own point. Kasparov did indeed fulfill your condition #1, since he initially became World Champion by earning the Title through successful competition in the FIDE "system" (after the "Marathon Match" of 1984-85 was aborted, many might argue that FIDE no longer had a system in place).

Also, let's not forget that Kasparov created his own system, which was far from arbitrary. In his first match, he played against Short, who had earned his status of Challenger through the FIDE System. In 1993, Kasparov's organization, the PCA, created a similar qualification system to that of FIDE's. There was a large, Swiss System Interzonal, followed by a series of Candidate's Matches. Anand qualified (that is, was not simply designated by Kasparov) to play Kasparov in 1995.
Therefore, Kasparov AGAIn met both of your conditions. Only around 1998 did major questions arise about the legitimacy of Kasparov's Title, since by then the "normal" span of 3 years (between Title Defenses) was due to pass.
Because Kasparov had effectively alienated an array of Corporate sponsors, it was impossible to organize a proper system (that met Condition #1).
Instead, he tried an ill-conceived idea of using a Linares event (which, in itself was far from inclusive) and having the Top 2 finishers play a Candidate's Finals match. Shirov did better than expected at Linares, and eventually played that Match vs. Kramnik. I can't recall, but I believe that Anand might have earned a chance to play in the Candidate's Match, but opted out due to an exclusivity clause in a FIDE contract which he had signed.
Shirov won, but Kasparov would not give him a match on the promised financial terms. In the end, he selected Kramnik, who proved his manifest worth as a Challenger by shutting out Kasparov in the 2000 match.
Given that FIDE's KO matches were widely considered to be a joke (thereby failing to meet condition # 2) many people simply held their noses, and accepted Kramnik as Champion.

"My position is that a world chess champion must fulfil two conditions:
1) He/she must earn the title from a system which, at least theoretically, gives a shot to every single player on the face of the earth (one of FIDE's greatest merits was to introduce this concept with zonals etc. after 1945).
2) He/she must be recognized as such by the overwhelming majority of the chess world.

From 1993 to 2000, Kasparov did not fulfil criterion 1)."


how can alekhine lose his title in a candidates tournament? are you fc@#$ng joking?


the diff is clear. avro is candidates tournament. mexico is world championship tournament. in both cases, all parties agreed to the conditions.

Mr. Chesss,

Lets talk in 2 years, IMHO if Anand will beat Kramnik I am sure he will consider it like his best result ever and will unquestinable #15 (he already won Linares twice (with Kasparov, Kramnik, Shirov, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Svidler in 1998, which I considered higher than Mexico, also as Redgeo-Emilio 1991/92, where he was the only non Soviet player in tournament and won) 4-times Corus, several times Dortmund, and hundreds times the other tournaments winner), Anand was knock-out, tournament, rapid and blitz world champion, as well as world junior champion, so he only need to win the World Chess Championship Match, he had his chance in 1995, so now it will be his second chance. Anand is the nice person, probably the ever niciest on the high chess level from Tal and Keres times, he is one of the greatest world chess players of the last two decades, as well as Kasparov, Kramnik and Karpov (not counting last decade); but if he will lost match to Kramnik, the history will never consider him like #15; whatever you or someone else can write now; probably he is too nice to be the real World Champion (just joke);
I think the only reason that Kramnik played in Mexico was to eliminate Mr. Topalov with his famous manager from the cicle and he got his aim, respectful second place and next year match against nice Anand, not water closet boy Mr. Topalov. Anyway I am waiting Kramnik-Anand match, I vote for Kramnik, because he is younger,
but I will not dissapointed if Anand will win.
Lets better player win!

are others also missing all older items of this blog?


Anand won Corus 5 times. In Admittedly, in 1989 it was not quite as strong.

sorry, I never would like to decrease Anand's achievments, I do all my notes just using my memory, which is not perfect, of course five:
1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006; in my memory I merged 3 last wins in 2.

What, this world championship is an interview?!! - to hear Anand is given a chance, Anand is given a chance. Even in interviews, they would reconsider after an year or so. If you consider a the title span 2 years, then from 1997 till 2007, anand was not given a chance for 5 times. I think it would be more appropriate to say, Anand is not given a chance, Anand is not given a chance!!

Ok, agreed. It is all due to chess mess. But my argument is, how could there be world champion when anand is not involved. Kasparov, Kramnik played for money and I don't blame them. But title? Sorry!

Heck, Anand chose to follow FIDE's whims when he had the chance to play Kasparov 2000, Dortmund qualifier 2002 etc.

Looks like we'll have another couple years of FIDE doing whatever they want...

I am still in shock that it took 14 years to re-unify the world championship- only to destroy it that year with a super-tourney that didn't include several of the highest performing players in the last 5 years.

Khanty-Mansky world cup will produce a non-top 5 qualifier and people will shrug for another 5 years.

The FIDE 'world title' will go down in history the same way it did in the Alekhine days, which is to say that it will be disregarded as meaning much of anything. Supporters of this new FIDE 'world title' want to have things both ways - Anand demonstrated that he believed in the classical title when he played for it against Kasparov outside of FIDE, so now just because he lost you want to say that that title doesn't mean anything? If the classical title doesn't mean anything then he should not have been participating; he should have just stuck with FIDE.

"Heck, Anand chose to follow FIDE's whims when he had the chance to play Kasparov 2000, Dortmund qualifier 2002 etc."

Anand had indeed signed a FIDE contract in 1998, which led to the Kramnik-Shirov debacle. In 1999, Kasparov organization failed. In 2000, he was throw away in favor of Kramnik. In 2002 and the prague unification, people didn't consult him at all when they negociated - at the end, he was told: ok we didn't care about you (who cares about the #2 chess player in a WC title?), but if you really really insist and you are nice, we can try to make you a small place - and please be very thankful.

But after all, maybe Anand does not deserve to be a champion if he doesn't break his word, or break his contracts, or remorselessly screw other people or/and blame them, or be an arrogant idiot (toiletgate anyone?), or, more generally, if he acts like a decent human being.

At least, unlike some of his predecessors, Anand earned his WC title(s), 100% on the board. Until this day, Kramnik has lost all championships where Anand participated.

"My position is that a world chess champion must fulfil two conditions:
1) He/she must earn the title from a system which, at least theoretically, gives a shot to every single player on the face of the earth.
2) He/she must be recognized as such by the overwhelming majority of the chess world."

Is that all? No problem. Want something that satisfies my post points a,b, and c? Easy. Think Anand wasn't given a chance like claims? Think again.

Simply accept the chess oscar winners as your world champions.

Wow, every patzer and every nobody has his or her own position (and even imposes conditions!) on who they think should be regarded as a world champion.

I don't remember when was the last time I read so much meangingless, illogical and utterly useless opinions from people who actually think they are writing something intelligent.

The fact is that Anand IS the "undisputed world champion" right now who will go down in history as such (even if he loses to Kramnik), no matter what you think and what illogical rationalizations you try to use to dispute this fact. Get over it. Maybe discuss the next cicle or something.

Posted by observer
>Wow, every patzer and every nobody has his or her own position (and even imposes conditions!) on who they think should be regarded as a world champion.[.] The fact is that Anand IS the "undisputed world champion">

you are perceptive, observer...perhaps we (all with FIDE card) should simply vote, every
4-years or so.

A brief reply to those who have been so kind as to comment on this discussion.

Doug: Of course, Kasparov was a legitimate champion, but by breaking away I feel he turned his back on the system which crowned him and so was compelled to earn his title from scratch. The PCA cycle, until the money was there, was clearly better than the handpicking which took place later. However it was, inevitably, not perfect: the 1993 Groningen Candidates was open to all players over a certain rating, which is OK but lacks the universality of the zonal/interzonal mechanism.

Clocked: your list of points is more accurate than mine, but with a properly functioning system point 'c' should be unnecessary: if a title is undisputed and awarded by an official body, it has to be reasonable.

Observer: I agree that our opinions are "utterly useless" (we aren't the ones who make decisions!) and that many of them are "meaningless" or "illogical", although perhaps kinder adjectives such as "interesting" or at least "harmless" could also be used. But since this has been going on for years on this and many other chess sites, why do you bring the matter up right now, and target the word "conditions" which I was apparently the first one to use? It looks as though you were specifically attacking my post and I don't understand why.

Observer, you said

"Wow, every patzer and every nobody has his or her own position (and even imposes conditions!) on who they think should be regarded as a world champion.
The fact is that Anand IS the "undisputed world champion" right now"

This blog is full of the dispute you tried to hand wave out of reality. Which should I trust, the reality everyone can see in this blog, or Observer's contrary fist pounding? The grandmasters accept Anand as the only world champion, but the grandmasters do not speak for all chess players. Maybe where ever you come from many people do not think for themselves, and they just think what they are told to think by the official powers.

knight-tour is right that this whole messed up situation has cheapened the title somewhat, especially this mexico tournament being claimed to replace a match.
Anand is champ now, but the title he holds is diminished and less important than the rejuvinated title Kramnik or Anand will win in their 2008 match.

As per the someone who posted in another thread, now there are 2 traditional lines actually. And Kramnik would be the 7th "wonder"ful champion in the sub-classical line??

Sub-classical champions: (hand-picked)Steinitz,Lasker,Capablanca,Alekhine,Euwe,Botvinnik and Kramnik

Classical champions: (ones who earned their way to the title!)
Smyslov,Tahl,Petrosian,Spassky,Fischer,Karpov and Kasparov.

If this is correct, the question is, are you an undiminished "classical" purist??!!

One of the purposes of FIDE was to prevent WCs from avoiding putting their title on-the-line. Now we have Anand refusing to put his tournament-won WC title up-for-grabs in Corus, which, by modern standards, must be considered WC-quality.

To even suggest that Corus would be about World Championship title is utterly dumb - why diminish the Title on purpose? Mexico must be considered (HOPEFULLY) a one-off-thing after the unification in 2006 and after this the normal order (=WC matches) is restored. Anand is #15, because Kramnik put the Title on the line and that's it. If Kramnik wins the match against Anand then Kramnik plays the part of Botvinnik and Anand the parts of Smyslov and Tal from the past. Why make it more complicated than it already is? Personally I think Mexico was a mistake by FIDE, but what do you so? Mistakes happen and you learn to live with them.

#13 Kasparov 1985-2000
#14 Kramnik 2000-2007
#15 Anand 2007->

because Kramnik put the Title on the line and that's it.

With this logic of "putting it on-the-line", Fischer must be champ, as he never put his title on-the-line. Why shouldn't Anand just plain-refuse to play for the WC, and keep himself as WC till death? This is what previous WCs have attempted to do. Mexico is already a discredit with Topalov and Ivanchuk excluded. Corus might help solve this credibility problem, but Anand refuses to risk his WC award, and by the "champ-makes-the-rules" logic, FIDE can't force him. Saying Corus-WC would "diminish the Title" is quaint, as it will likely be of a higher-standard than Mexico-WC. Since we agree that Mexico-WC was a FIDE-mistake, then it should either be deleted (this will essentially happen if Kramnik-Anand takes place), or the mistake should continue in Corus (and persist at least until there is a clearly-dominant WC like Kasparov) so that others might become WC under the same-rules as Anand did. Denoting Anand WC from a tournament-result and then arbitrarily making him play Kramnik in a WC-match is a credulity-strain.

"how many times was Max Euwe World Champion?
2; FIDE in 1928 and "classical" in 1935;"

He was also declared champion at the 1947 FIDE Congress, on a vote that took place while the USSR delegation was still en route. When the Soviets arrived, the decision was reversed and it was agreed to play a match-tournament to determine the champion.


"With this logic of 'putting it on-the-line', Fischer must be champ,..."

Wrong. A sufficient condition does not imply the inverse. if a then b does not give if not a then not b.

"Corus, which, by modern standards, must be considered WC-quality."

Wrong. Even 'modern standards' for a world championship is the 'quality' of being called a world championship.

The WC truly-cannot be "un-disputed" when someone has a direct right-to-re-match. BotvinKram-nik had zero-incentive to care (beyond pride) about winning. Indeed, Botvinnik would rather play WC-chess than engineer, and Kramink will take the big-bucks re-match after his bad-play in Mexico-WC. Anand can break this cyclic-mess by declaring Corus-WC (not a great-idea I admit) and/or refusing the FIDE-Kramnik re-match (probably legitimate only if he first declares-and-wins Corus-WC). According to you, FIDE cannot "call" Corus-WC w/o Anand's approval-stamp; though, strangely contrapositionally, it can WC-strip Fischer/Anand for not playing a FIDE-match. Since all Corus-WC is quality-lacking is an Anand-labelling, the situation might be worse than when WC was FIDE-owned.

If Radjabov wins Corus with +5, Anand 2nd on +4, while Kramnik gets a viral-infection and finishes mid-pack, and then FIDE-plans for Anand-Kramnik fall-through, we could get Anand-Radjabov, Kramnik-Ivanchuk, etc., with no-end-in-sight of WC-confusion. Alternatively-wise, Kramnik dominates Corus-non-WC and then the Anand-WC re-match thin-airs. Only if Anand plays-and-beats Kramnik in a WC-match is there any situation-closure, but this problem-occurrence was a FIDE-Mexico-WC snafu-disaster all-along. Just declare Mexico-WC to be Mexico-Candidates and no-worries. Kramnik would be chicken-yoked (as Fischer) if he tried negotiations-scuppering at that point. My hopes that Anand will not just be a transitional-WC like Smyslov/Tal (at least Botvinnik kindly gave them draw-odds in their nominal re-matches), but chess-politics usually depress.


"bad-play", are you serious?
You want Anand to break with Fide?
"According to you, FIDE cannot 'call' Corus-WC w/o Anand's approval-stamp". Not true.
"when WC was FIDE-owned" Isn't it now?

Kasparov was only able to do what he did because of the degree of his legitamacy. Anand will not have this power until he defeats Kramnik in a match or cycle. Although FIDE has reason to fear this power, it is weighed against other factors such as sponsorship.

"plans for Anand-Kramnik fall-through" not good, however Kramnik could fight for his contractual right without making a claim to the title.

"Kramnik dominates Corus" So? The world champion does not have to win everything nor does he/she have to be the best player. When Kasparov won everything in sight after losing his match to Kramnik, he did not declare himself to be the world champion. He only made a claim to be the clear challenger.

"Just declare Mexico-WC to be Mexico-Candidates and no-worries." Even if that is what it really was and even if FIDE wanted to, it had already sold it to Mexico as a world championship.

I am first-most-sorry for confusing the Mr-X and clocked responses. Mr-X claimed that Mexico-WC existed because Kramnik put it on-the-line while the clocked-claim is that the WC is FIDE-owned. Obviously this is simultaneously-inconsistent. The main-question is what happens if Kramnik-Anand is a non-match. The Anand-claim remains-weak unless pre-bolsters it by making Corus-WC. The bonus-addition to this is that it already-undermines the FIDE-authority.
If he were still Anand-candidate, he would have a true-complaint when the FIDE-WC-match thin-airs. But as-is the first-impression is to make him a Kramnik-dodger. And I cannot see what-else but bad-play lost for Kramnik in Mexico-WC. It seems hat FIDE-marketing has poorly-sold the Mexico-WC so for big-bucks they could just Corus-WC also.

"by making Corus-WC"


you're making stupid claims. here's hoping you are joking

You just-quote a wee-bit of my post, and say my "claims" are stupid. What else but bad-play made Kramnik first-loser rather than first-place? You might-expect chess-negotiations to be fair-pool, but my alternate-approach is via conspiracy-theory. The Turkey-lawsuit is a worry-vindicator vis-a-vis FIDE-big-bucks. Both Kramnik and Anand need to pre-prepare their exit-plan. With fan-multitudes in India, the monetization-question becomes most-relevant for Sasikiran, etc. With two-of-five of the top-contenders being Mexico-absent, Kramnik-Ivanchuk is non-redundant. Corus-results will effect the back-door under-handed back-stabbing big-time.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 8, 2007 9:08 PM.

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