FIDE statement concerning the Candidates Matches 2011
FIDE respects that every player makes his own decisions and regrets that GM Magnus Carlsen has expressed his desire to withdraw from the upcoming Candidates Matches. It is always a big loss for any event when a player of Magnus Carlsen's strength is not participating. FIDE's policy is to review regularly the World Championship cycle after consultation with the top world players. At this point in time, the current cycle is in its final stages and it is not possible for FIDE to change its regulations. In the case of GM Magnus Carlsen not participating, according to regulations GM Alexander Grischuk from Russia will be his replacement.
The match system for the World Championship has been in place for around a century with some slight variations such as in 1948 or 1999-2007 when round-robin or knock-out tournaments were also used to decide the world title. FIDE has always been sceptical about World Championship matches instead of tournaments. Ten years ago, FIDE established that the World Champion should not have any privilege when entering the World Championship Tournament (knock-out or round-robin), in accordance with the current suggestions of GM Magnus Carlsen. After 2007, FIDE discussed the format with a number of top players and many of them, including former World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Gary Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik still preferred a match to decide the winner of the title instead of a tournament. FIDE accepted this change and returned to the classical system of a World Championship Match but without the privilege of the World Champion keeping his title in case of a tie.
As a matter of principle, FIDE cannot change its regulations upon the wish of a single player, even if this player is the World Champion or the No. 1 or No. 2 of the world ratings. On the other hand, FIDE is always open for suggestions which can be applicable in the future and which would also support or increase the marketing value of the World Championship.
FIDE Deputy President
Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen, born 30 November 1990, is from Norway and currently at 2802 Elo poinTs the number two ranked player in the world. In January 2010 he became the higHest-ranked player in the world, the youngest chess player in history to achieve this, but was overtaken by World Champion Viswanathan Anand in the November 2010 list.
Carlsen became a grandmaster at the age of 13 years, and 148 days, making him the third-youngest Grandmaster in history. Carlsen's performance at the 2009 Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament has been described as one of the greatest in history, and it put him about the 2800 Elo mark – the fifth player to reach that level and, aged 18 years 10 months at the time, by far the youngest.
Based on his rating, Carlsen had qualified for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger to face World Champion Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2012. However, last Friday he informed FIDE that he was withdrawing from the Candidates.
Alexander Grischuk, born 31 October 1983, if from Russia and the current chess champion of his country. In the FIDE World Chess Championship 2000 he made it to the semi finals, in 2004 he made it to the quarter finals. He finished in the top ten in the 2005 FIDE World Cup, which qualified him for the 2007 Candidates Tournament, where he advanced to the eight-player FIDE World Chess Championship 2007 tournament, where he finished last.
Along with being a top-level professional, Grischuk is also known as one of the best blitz chess players in the world, winning the 2006 World Blitz Championship in Rishon Lezion, Israel with 10.5 points out of 15 games. Grischuk is married to the Ukrainian WGM Natalia Zhukova.