ACP petition for Baku: don't touch the WCh mode

8/29/2016 – Recently the Russian Chess Federation submitted a proposal for consideration at the 87th FIDE Congress, to be held during the Baku Olympiad next week, allowing the World Chess Champion to accept the challenge of any player who can contribute to the prize fund and the costs of holding of the match. This motion was vigorously opposed by the Association of Chess Professionals, ACP, that has collected 850 signatures (including 200 grandmasters). There are three days left to join the opposition.

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The proposal of the Russian Chess Federation suggests that World Champion should in the future be allowed to "accept the challenge of any player who can contribute to the prize fund and the costs of holding of the match." FIDE would get 50% of the prize fund. Full details are to be found in our previous report.

The proposal, which is to be discussed in September at the FIDE Congress during the Baku Olympiad, met with immediate protest from the Association of Chess Professionals. "The upcoming Olympiad in Baku may turn out to be historic in more than one way," the ACP wrote us. "The official proposal by the Russian Chess Federation to modify the existing rules of the World Championship cycle, if accepted, will turn the world of chess on its head." The ACP Board submitted a petition that strongly opposes the idea of "purchasing the rights for the Title Match."

In the meantime, three days before the end of petition campaign, around 850 people had signed the English and Russian versions, almost 200 of whom were grandmasters. Most of the rest are trainers, organizers, heads of federations, club players "and all those who care about the future of the game," ACP President Emil Sutovsky wrote us today. "We need that final push to get to at least 1000 people, who support ACP stand on the matter. We really have to do our utmost to stop the change – and ACP needs as massive support as possible to try to do so. We need to show FIDE that this idea is massively disliked." Sutovsky asked us to remind our readers about a deadline to sign (1st September).

List of GMs who signed the English version

1. Wesley So
2. Alexander Stripunsky
3. Azer Mirzoev
4. Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu
5. Gilberto Hernandez
6. Emil Sutovsky
7. Michael Adams
8. Pia Cramling
9. Dubov Daniil
10. Mateusz Bartel
11. Zenon Franco Ocampos
12. Twan Burg
13. Mihail Marin
14. Peter Svidler
15. Alex Fishbein
16. Sune Berg Hansen
17. Pavel Eljanov
18. Igor Stohl
19. Dariusz Swiercz
20. Ivan Saric
21. Zhukova Natalia
22. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
23. Alex Colovic
24. Liem Quang Le
25. Nigel Short
26. Angelika Borsuk
27. Michal Krasenkow
28. Hans Ree
29. Bart Michiels
30. Galliamova Alisa
31. Sergey Shipov
32. Irina Krush
33. Bauer Christian
34. Michael Prusikin
35. Frolyanov Dmitry
36. Evgeny Postny
37. Abhijit Kunte
38. Brodsky Mikhail
39. Dejan Bojkov
40. Ivanisevic Ivan
41. Axel Rombaldoni
42. Viacheslav Zakhartsov
43. Giovanni Vescovi
44. David Navara
45. Sabino Brunello
46. Zsuzsa Veroci
47. Alexander Donchenko
48. Psakhis Lev
49. Sergey Kudrin
50. Anna Muzychuk
51. Kiril Georgiev
52. Romain Edouard
53. Jacob Aagaard
54. Harika Dronavalli
55. Anastasia Savina
56. Tanguy Ringoir
57. Alejandro Ramirez
58. Jaime Sunye Neto
59. Yannick Pelletier
60. Vasif Durarbayli
61. Grzegorz Gajewski
62. John Van Der Wiel
63. Viktor Erdos
64. Parimarjan Negi
65. Ketevan Arakhamia - Grant
66. Eduardas Rozentalis
67. Evgeniya Doluhanova
68. Jorden Van Foreest
69. Gadir Guseinov
70. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
71. Popov Valery
72. Barsov Alexei
73. Bajarani Ulvi
74. Sarunas Sulskis
75. Dolmatov Sergey
76. Alejandro Hoffman
77. Vishnu Prasanna
78. Antipov Mikhail
79. Keith Arkell
80. David Howell
81. Sam Shankland
82. Tatev Abrahamyan
83. Francisco Vallejo Pons
84. Romanishin Oleg
85. Georg Meier
86. Marina Brunello
87. Godena Michele
88. Nazi Paikidze
89. Jiri Stocek
90. Yrjo Rantanen
91. Abasov Nijat
92. Bela Khotenashvili
93. Levin Felix
94. Neverov Valeriy
95. Azer Mirzoev
96. Surya Ganguly
97. Koneru Humpy
98. Salome Melia
99. Dr Frank Holzke
100. Deep Sengupta
101. Namig Guliyev
102. Tania Sachdev
103. Magesh Panchanathan
104. Larry M Christiansen
105. Sebastien Feller
106. Sergey Azarov
107. David Norwood
108. Lubomir Kavalek
109. Nicolaus Stanec
110. Valery Salov
111. Vladimir Epishin
112. Jonathan Speelman
113. Nils Grandelius
114. Dani Raznikov
115. Murtas Kazhgaleev
116. Vidit Gujrathi
117. Kacper Piorun
118. Csaba Horvath
119. Jean-Noel Riff
120. Olga Zimina
121. Nigel Davies
122. Cornette Matthieu
123. Deimante Daulyte
124. Bartlomiej Macieja
125. Gennady Kuzmin
126. Igor Naumkin
127. Evgeny Shaposhnikov
128. Bogdan Lalic
129. Vladislav Vorotnikov
130. Sergey Grigoriants
131. Evgeny Romanov
132. Vladimir Burmakin
133. Vladimir Belov
134. Elizabeth Paethz
135. Sergei Ionov
136. Jonathan Tisdall
137. S. P. Sethuraman
138. Alexander Fier
139. Mikhail Ivanov
140. Roland Schmaltz
141. Joerg Hickl
142. Max Dlugy
143. Tal Baron
144. Nargiz Umudova
145. Sriram Jha
146. Colin Mcnab
147. Jonathan Rowson
148. Alexander Kochiev
149. Christopher Lutz
150. Aleksandr Poluljahov
151. Alexander Rustemov
152. Lalith Babu
153. Slavko Cicak
154. Daniil Lintchevski
155. Sergei Yudin
156. Zhaoqin Peng
157. Maarten Solleveld

List of GMs who signed the Russian version

1. Demchenko Anton
2. Komarov Dmitry
3. Okhotnik Vladimir
4. Lysyj Igor
5. Sivuk Vitaly
6. Yakovich Yuri
7. Vul Arkady
8. Lputian Smbat
9. Tunik Genady
10. Galliamova Alisa
11. Brodsky Mikhail
12. Oparin Grigory
13. Evdokimov Aleksandr
14. Ushenina Anna
15. Belozerov Andrei
16. Rakhmanov Aleksandr
17. Sokolov Andrei
18. Beshukov Sergei
19. Zozulia Anna
20. Kulaots Kaido
21. Kovalenko Igor
22. Berdichevski Igor
23. Gabrielian Artur
24. Popov Valery
25. Frolyanov Dmitry
26. Gharamian Tigran
27. Sulskis Sarunas
28. Areshchenko Oleksandr
29. Nikolov Momchil
30. Malakhatko Vadim
31. Gleizerov Evgeny
32. Sumets Andrey
33. Nino Khurtsidze
34. Karina Ambartsumova
35. Kovchan Alexander
36. Molchanova Tatiana
37. Bezgodova Svetlana

Stand: Moday, August 29, 2016, 12:00 noon. The lists are constantly being updated.
You can sign the petition here: (English and Russian).

Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


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genem genem 8/30/2016 08:55
The ACP petition explains why many people believe professional chess would suffer if the holder of the 'Match World Chess Champion' title had the option to sell the **privilege** of a challenge match: those ACP arguments are reasonable.
However, part of the ACP petition is bogus, because it uses the phrase 'purchasing the right', but honesty demands a softer phrase such as 'offer to purchase' (they cannot buy the 'right' to challenge).
The Russian Chess Federation letter used the softer phrase 'can accept' (not 'must accept').
---- Language from the Russian Chess Federation's proposal letter:
{... the World Chess Champion **can accept** the challenge of any player who can contribute to the prize fund and the costs of holding the match.}
---- Language from the ACP petition:
{Although **purchasing the right** for the match was common practice 100 years ago, it was more of a sad necessity than a good system.}
Crowncap Crowncap 8/30/2016 08:28
I just would like to see Magnus Carlsen (the current World Champion) signing against the russian petition...
Aighearach Aighearach 8/30/2016 09:03
The explanation missing from all this is that this is to benefit those players who come from countries who give national support to players. So if a country that is less into capitalism wants to support their player, they can just bid it high enough and they get a challenge. Capitalist countries have more money sloshing around, but very little government money goes to chess, and chess doesn't pull in big sponsorships. So this mostly helps "2nd world" countries.

And of course, individual players in the top 10 can dream of corporate sponsorship, but that is less likely. OTOH, there are probably plenty of potential sponsors willing to have the conversation, so it encourages those players to think this helps them.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 8/30/2016 08:08
As far as I know the proposal wants to allow the World Champion to accept such challenges, however, it seems that many think this proposal was created to allow people with money to challenge the world champion. The idea would grant positive discrimination for those who have money, which is unfair and unsporty in my opinion.
ARK_ANGEL ARK_ANGEL 8/30/2016 06:57
Let's be honest and open about this. The people who benefited most from this proposal are the top 10 GM in highest level of the spectrum who are not lucky enough to be the world champion challenger. To be frank no novice or moderate player with right mind wouldn't challenge Carlsen for a match and I don't think any sponsor would back that crazy idea. Definitely this is opening a corridor to a players like Aronian(Always in top 5 but not strong enough to be the challenger.) Another one is Giri(Super solid but not a tournament winner.). Nakamura or Curana(Strong enough to be consistently in top 10 but not enough to be the challenger. I am pretty sure minute after reading the proposal both of them already in Rex's Sinquefields door steps and tapping his check book.). Another one is Anand. Who has entire Indian nation is backing him still claims him the greatest player of all time(who has world top 3 millionaries likes of Luksmi Mithal and Ambani brothers). And then again Chinese Super GM who rarely get invitations for the super tournaments but strong enough to be in top 10 list but get lesser chances to challenge. I am sure Chinese government it self back this proposal if they can. So, if you readers feel that I am an hypocrite you carefully read the list of signers. You don't find Giri, Aronian, Nakamura ,Curana or any Chinese GMs and I don't believe even Topolov would sign this. Only surprise for me is Maxime Vachier-Lagrave(Top French player and world no 2). He could also have been benefited from this proposal. May be he is truly believing the universal justice and fair play. Good for him.
Kasperian Kasperian 8/30/2016 06:18
Only 5 out of current top-25 has signed this. Seems bit weird as one of them might be the next candidate. Is this a division of opinion?
thlai80 thlai80 8/30/2016 04:06
@oputu, basically not only Chinese players, but also all male Indian players, and most of all top players apart from Wesley So.

@basler88, before jumping the gun and shame on the players, perhaps this speaks volume of ACP influence, which majorly on European players. How often do you get top Asian players visiting Europe for competitions?

Anyway, if the Russian Federation gets it wish, perhaps in future we will see Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and some super rich tycoons fighting as challenger for World Chess Championship Match.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 8/30/2016 03:03
Two problems:

By allowing a person with a lot of money to buy himself a wc match, which he would never get because he is to weak ...

It downgrade the world champion to a prostitute and the FIDE to an pimp.

Chess is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee.
This status will be very likely lost.

- - -

In this case should the outcome of a referendum decide the change of this reglementation.


Even I use root words, please dont delete this post. Because there is no better way to compare this insane idea.
basler88 basler88 8/29/2016 06:47
You got that right oputu!! Shame on them!
oputu oputu 8/29/2016 05:57
No Nakamura, No Kramnik, No Aronian, No Caruana, No Anand, No Giri, No Chinese player!

Clearly, anybody with a sponsor already likes the idea!
geraldsky geraldsky 8/29/2016 03:32
I think it's good for exhibition match only, but not an official FIDE World championship Match/ Title.
Ty Riprock Ty Riprock 8/29/2016 01:31
This could be a good idea with one change: that the challenge matches may not interfere with the biannual mandatory title defense under normal FIDE qualification.
Derek McGill Derek McGill 8/29/2016 12:37
X iLeon aka DMG, You have got straight to the point of the Russian Chess Federation proposal !
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 8/29/2016 12:21
Wow, this is interesting! While we have this substantial list of GMs who've signed the petition, what is especially conspicuous is several names from the very top of the ratings' spectrum who haven't...
GregEs GregEs 8/29/2016 11:20
You mean Russia is proposing that any amateur chess player can challenge the World Champion crown, if the amateur chess player can produce a sponsor with lots of money.\
That won't be called a World Championship match, but an exhibition match.