Breaking news: FIDE announced new dates for Candidates

by ChessBase
3/28/2012 – After numerous protests about the scheduling of the next Candidates Tournament – in October, in the middle of the high season of chess – FIDE and its new organiser Andrew Paulson have relented and moved the Candidates to March 2013, where it will clash with nothing. For a second time Magnus Carlsen, who is intimately affected by the decision, was surprised – this time pleasantly so.

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FIDE Announces Dates for World Chess Championship Cycles

March 28, 2012 – Athens, Greece – Following publication of the draft calendar two weeks ago and after evaluating feedback from players and organizers, FIDE and AGON, FIDE's partner for organizing the World Chess Championship Cycle, are pleased to announce the revised schedule of events for 2012-2016.

[N.B., in the revised calendar, the next World Chess Candidates Tournament has been moved to March 13 – March 31, 2013. The tournament will take place in London.]

Championship Match   Moscow May 10 – May 30
Olympiad Istanbul August 27 – September 10
Grand Prix Chelyabinsk   September 19 – October 3
Grand Prix Tashkent November 21 – December 4
Candidates London March 13 – March 31
Grand Prix Lisbon April 10 – April 24
Grand Prix Madrid May 22 – June 4
Grand Prix Berlin July 3 – July 17
World Cup Tromsø August 10 – September 5
Grand Prix Paris September 18 – October 2
Championship Match TBD November 6 – November 26
Candidates TBD March 12 – March 30
Grand Prix TBD May 14 – May 28
Grand Prix TBD July 2 – July 16
Olympiad Tromsø August 1 – August 14
Grand Prix TBD September 10 – September 24
Championship Match TBD November 5 – November 25
Grand Prix TBD May 13 – May 27
Grand Prix TBD July 1 – July 15
World Cup TBD August or November
Grand Prix TBD September 9 – September 23
Candidates TBD March 9 – March 28
Grand Prix TBD May 11 – May 25
Grand Prix TBD July 6 – July 20
Olympiad TBD August or September or November
Grand Prix TBD August or September or November
Championship Match TBD August or September or November

First reaction

One of the first people to react to the original dates was a grandmaster who was intimately affected by it: Magnus Carlsen told us in a short interview in February that he was "surprised" by the decision to hold the Candidates Tournament in late October: "FIDE must have a very good reason to schedule the Candidates in the fourth quarter instead of for instance the late first quarter or the second quarter of 2013," Magnus said. "I’m really curious to know what would drive FIDE to schedule the candidates in the middle of the high season of top level tournaments. Frankly, I sincerely hope that FIDE will reconsider the schedule for the Candidates. Times are tough, financially, in Europe, and every step should be taken to protect and support the efforts of the top level tournament organisers."

After today's announcement Magnus was again surprised, albeit pleasantly so this time. "I never thought I would welcome a FIDE delay," he said, "but this time I am grateful for it. I have been quite vocal in my support of Bilbao and London, and critical of FIDE placing the Candidates in the middle of the elite tournament high season. Moving the Candidates Tournament to March suits me and probably everyone else in the professional chess circuit fine."

Some weeks ago Magnus met with the man behind the FIDE World Championship cycle, Andrew Paulson, an American entrepreneur working in Russia and responsible for a number of giant Russian social media projects. The meeting was very constructive, Magnus' opinion of the new sponsor and organiser was positive, and is so far impressed by Paulson's willingness to listen to and cooperate with the wishes of organizers and players.

And the organiser of the London Chess Classic, IM Malcolm Pein, wrote us: "I think this is great news, not only for the London Chess Classic but for the chess community as a whole. It clearly shows the value of having a promoter working independently of FIDE. I would like to thank Andrew Paulson for his efforts over the last few weeks, he consulted widely and found a solution that is good for world chess."

Previous reports

Breaking news: Candidates 2012 to be held in London
10.02.2012 – It had been buzzing around vigorously in the Twitter world, but FIDE would not confirm anything. Now Sport Express has published a first announcement: the next Candidates Tournament will be held from October 23 to November 13 in London, England. Part of the arrangement is apparently to transfer the rights to the world championship cycle to a new sponsor. Interesting development.
Carlsen: Candidates format great, schedule 'surprising'
13.02.2012 – In 2010 Magnus Carlsen, the world's top ranked player, dropped out of the World Championship cycle, criticizing its format. Now that FIDE has announced an eight-player double round robin the Norwegian will participate. But why, Magnus asks, do they have to stage the Candidates in the middle of the high season for chess tournaments? Interview and video of an exciting TV blitz game.
FIDE to receive 10-12 million Euros for upcoming cycles
22.02.2012 – On Monday the President of the World Chess Federation signed a contract with the Tretyakov Art Gallery, making it the venue of the Anand-Gelfand World Championship match. FIDE has also signed an agreement granting the company Agon the rights to hold the World Championship matches, Candidates Tournaments and World Cups for the coming years. News, views and plans.
Bilbao requests postponement of FIDE Candidates
28.02.2012 – "Common sense suggests that the FIDE and the organizers of the biggest private tournaments should work together in harmony to avoid the possibility of a clash of dates," writes the Director of the Chess Grand Slam Masters Final, which is scheduled to end just ten days before the FIDE Candidates. Why, asks Juan Carlos Fernández, can it not be staged in the first half of 2013?
Paulson: 'World cities will glorify chess'
12.03.2012 – FIDE recently transferred the rights to its World Championship cycle to a company called Agon, an action that sent shock waves through the chess world. The man behind Agon is Andrew Paulson, and American born media entrepreneur working in Russia, who is not well known in the chess world. That changes radically now, since GM Raymond Keene sent us this very outspoken interview.

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