At the Presidential Board meeting in June 2007 FIDE introduced a new world
championship cycle. It included a Grand Prix series, which would span a period
of two years, with a tournament every year in America, Asia and Europe. We tried
at the time and to the best of our ability to decipher
the new system.
Subsequently, at the General Assembly in Dresden (at the end of November 2008),
FIDE was spurred into action by the failure of Grand Prix events from materialising.
The organisation created a new candidates tournament to find the challenger.
This could, it was decided, be an eight-player round robin or a four-game knockout
series (with a six-game final). The eight participants would be two Grand Prix
winners; two World Cup winners; the loser of the 2009 Kamsky-Topalov Challenger
match; the world's highest ranked player; the loser of the 2009 World Championship
match; and a 2700+ wildcard nominated by the organiser.
80th FIDE Congress in Kallithea, Greece
Now, at the Anniversary Congress in Kallithea (October 15-17, 2009), details
of the Candidates Tournament were discussed and some remarkable decisions taken.
The correspondent of the Azeri chess site ExtraTime,
Teimur Tushiev, reports that in order to address the concerns of individual
players the World Championship Candidates Match will be split into two groups,
with four players in each. One of these will be held in Azerbaidjan, and the
other (in which Aronian will play) in a different country. This must, at the
insistence of Azerbaidjan, not be Armenia. This is to be seen against the backdrop
of a decade-long conflict between the two countries, who have never enjoyed
So what happens if the final match has to be contested between representatives
of Azerbaidjan and Armenia. In that case, the FIDE Congress decided, it will
be played in a neutral country. "If the final is between a representative
of Azerbaidjan and a player other than Aronian, it will be played in Azerbaidjan.
Finally, if the final is between Aronian and a representative of another country,
other than Azerbaidjan, the final will take place in another country."
We are informed that the Candidates matches will take place at the end of 2010
and the beginning of 2011.
Translations: Steve Giddins
Relevant ChessBase reports
||Veselin Topalov and the new FIDE world championship
24.06.2007 – At the Presidential Board meeting,
which is currently being held in Tallinn, Estonia, FIDE has introduced
a new Grand Prix series and a new world championship cycle. With a high-ranking
Bulgarian delegation presenting a case for Veselin Topalov to enter the
world championship FIDE made some special rules to govern the 2007-2009
stage. We have tried to decipher
the new system.
||FIDE decides on a new Candidates format
27.11.2008 – The General Assembly of the 79th
FIDE Congress has approved a new World Chess Championship cycle for 2011.
It will be an eight-player round robin or knockout (the organiser gets
to decide which); and the participants will be two each from the Grand
Prix and World Cup, the loser of Kamsky-Topalov; the loser of Anand vs
Kamsky-Topalov; the highest ranked player; and an organiser nominee. Details.
||Ilyumzhinov: 'Candidates Tournament in Spring 2010'
27.11.2008 – Our previous report describes
the new FIDE Candidates cycle. In an interview conducted by Yuri Vasiliev
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov defends the decision to create a new
format. "The knockout, the Candidates and the Grand Prix are all my children,"
Ilyumzhinov says, "and I love them all. But time does not stand still,
FIDE must adapt to the requirements." Sport
||Adams withdraws from Grand Prix cycle
11.12.2008 – It was in the
air and speculated on by many, especially after his name disappeared from
the list of players for the Grand Prix in Elista (originally Doha, Qatar).
Now the British GM Michael Adams has issued a formal statement on his
withdrawal from the cycle. The reasons he gives are the sudden switch
of venues, replacement of players, and the uncertainty of future GP events.
||Magnus Carlsen withdraws from Grand Prix
05.12.2008 – After a week of
correspondence with the FIDE office in Athens, and after receiving replies
he deemed unsatisfactory, Magnus Carlsen, the world's number four ranked
player, has decided to withdraw from the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix cycle.
Instead, the Norwegian GM, who turned 18 last Sunday, will "concentrate
on playing well organised and interesting top level events elsewhere".
||Carlsen on the Grand Prix + readers' feedback
03.12.2008 – The cauldron is on the boil, FIDE
has changed the World Championship qualification regulations, Alexei Shirov
has lodged a protest. Now Magnus Carlsen, represented by his father Henrik,
hints at legal action and withdrawal from the cycle. We bring you a report
from his blog and feedback from readers on this and other subjects (including
Aronian on women and computers!). A
long, interesting read.