World Open Circuit

by ChessBase
10/11/2022 – The Association of Chess Professionals has an interesting proposal: most chess player, they say, only take part in open tournaments, which are completely disconnected from the World Championship cycle. That creates "two parallel realities." For this reason, the ACF proposes making opens a part of the World Championship cycle. Here is their proposal, presented in full detail. We look forward to your comments.

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"We want all chess players in the world to feel part of the big chess family, "and feel proud to play in the same cycle as the best players in the world. We would like to ask for the support of the chess public for this proposal so that we can ask FIDE to accept it. In a few days we will send out a poll and if you agree with this proposal please vote and show your support. This is our chance to change the chess world for the better in a democratic way!

"We want all chess players in the world to feel part of the big chess family, to be able to say gens una sumus and feel proud to play in the same cycle as the best players in the world.

We would like to ask for the support of the chess public for the following proposal, so that we can ask FIDE to accept it. In a few days we will send out a poll and if you agree with this proposal please vote and show your support. This is our chance to change the chess world for the better in a democratic way!"

A PROPOSAL

by The Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) for

CREATION OF A ACP-FIDE WORLD OPEN CIRCUIT

I. Purpose

The World Championship cycle has a well-established upper part of the pyramid: the World Championship match is the pinnacle, the Candidates Tournament is the most-awaited tournament, the Grand Prix tournaments, the World Cup, the Grand Swiss and the Continental Championships all form a coherent system of qualification.

The system is working, but it is an elitist system. The lowest entry point for qualification in the World Championship cycle are the Continental Championships and these are not easily accessible to the lower-rated professionals, among other things because they are very expensive tournaments to play in. The Continentals are also a single-event opportunity for these players, which limit their chances. In other words, what is obviously missing is the lower part of the pyramid.

The vast majority of players play in open tournaments. These players never really feel FIDE’s motto gens una sumus apply to them – they don’t see that they belong together with the upper echelons of the chess pyramid, playing in opens they are disconnected from the top. In its current state the chess world is a segregated place with the elite and the rest living in different worlds. Therefore it is only natural to include the open tournaments in the World Championship cycle.

II. Benefits

We foresee the Circuit to be all-inclusive and based on merit where EVERY chess player in the world has a chance and can see a clear perspective ahead from start (the opens) to finish (the World Championship match).

The perspective of being part of the World Championship chain will incentivise players, sponsors, organisers, arbiters and national federations given that sponsoring, organising and playing in over-the-board tournaments that are part of the great cycle will be an honour for all stakeholders. The status of the open tournament is increased when it is part of the World Championship cycle.

By making the open tournaments part of the World Championship cycle FIDE will give hope to every chess player on earth and by doing so affirm its unifying role in the chess world. Every chess player will feel part of the big chess family.

A unified cycle can be sold as a product, just like in tennis. The sponsors can choose to support a single open on a local level, the World Open Circuit (in which case there can be money prizes for the top finishers of the Circuit), the whole cycle or anything in between as they see fit.

Additionally, in tennis and football, the world organisation running these sports earn most of the money from elite match-ups (the Grand Prix and the Champions League for example), but they still have the good organisation and structure to support the lower levels from where the new talents are coming through. The Circuit will help FIDE establish this structure and support the lower levels and help the new talents on their way up.

III. Description of the System

Qualification
Twenty players from the final standings of the Circuit will qualify for the next stage of the World Championship cycle and take part in the Grand Swiss event.

Duration
Two years, or depending on the length of the World Championship cycle. The Circuit wil start after the finish of the World Championship match and will end 1 month before the Grand Swiss.

Technical Requirements for the Opens

Format
Open Swiss;
At least nine rounds;
Not more than one double-round day per tournament.

Time Control
At least 90 minutes per player.

Number of Participants
At least 50, including at least five GMs.

Level
The mathematical formula according to which an event is eligible to be part of the Circuit is the following:

L (Level) > 2300
L is calculated with the following formula: L = (3xA1+2xA2+A3) /6, where:

A1 is average standard rating of top 1/9 part of all players (but not more than 10 players) in the starting list,

A2 is average standard rating of the next 1/9 part of all players (but not more than 10 players) in the starting list,

A3 is average standard rating of the next 1/9 part of all players (but not more than 10 players) in the starting list.

The above formula gives more weight to stronger events with high-rated players, as the top part of the field is multiplied by 3 and then by 2, thus making it more significant as in this case the level of the event will be higher.

The minimum would be the standard protection, defined as follows:
Events for which standard levels of protection may suffice: FIDE Level 3 events (FIDE Rated Competitions) where the remaining over the board FIDE titles and title norms can be earned.

i) Organizers must clearly and carefully designate areas for players (the “Playing Area”) and for spectators. Organizers and arbiters shall prevent getting any chess information from outside the “Playing Area”. Organizers shall endeavour, in so much as possible and reasonable, to avoid contact between players and spectators. If possible, provide separate refreshment/toilet/smoking areas for players and spectators (in team competitions, this should be extended to include captains as a separate category);

ii) Adopt at least one security measure from Annex A (hand-held security metal detectors; one or more additional anti-cheating arbiters; walk-through metal detectors; automatic electro-magnetic screening devices for metallic/non-metallic items; closed circuit cameras);

iii) Recommendation to send all available games in PGN format for screening by the FIDE Game Screening Tool. Obligation to send norm-related tournament games in PGN format for screening by the FIDE Internet-based Game Screening Tool;

iv) When registering the tournament with the FIDE QC, organizers are required to confirm that they are in compliance with the Anti-Cheating Prevention Measures. Waivers can be granted solely by National Federations and must be requested at least 4 weeks before the start of the tournament;

v) The chief arbiter is encouraged to devise a system for operating random checks during the game.

Standings

By participating in eligible events the players will accumulate Circuit points, which will depend on the tournament level (L). These are determined according to the following table.

Sustainability

The tournaments willing to join the World Open Circuit shall pay an entrance fee of 50€, which goes entirely for purposes of the administrative costs of managing the Circuit. This makes the Circuit self-sustainable and will not require any funding from other sources.

IV. Conclusion

The open tournaments represent the core of chess life in the world. Except for the top few, the whole world plays in them. By making the opens part of the World Championship cycle FIDE will give hope to every chess player on earth that when seeing the clear road ahead, perhaps she, too, can become a World Champion. With this step FIDE will affirm its unifying role in the chess world. Every chess player will feel part of the big chess family and finally the motto we all love to repeat, gens una sumus, will live up to its true meaning.


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Pemoe6 Pemoe6 10/26/2022 03:38
@wermoll: Why do you assume that Paehtz has got the title? Is there any official information/document about this?

If I go to "FIDE Ratings and Statistics" I only see
"Paehtz, Elisabeth IM WGM GER Std.: 2469 Rpd.: 2369 Blz.: 2396 B-Year: 1985"
wermoll wermoll 10/12/2022 11:08
The facts regarding Paehtz are very simple: at the FIDE General Assembly held in August in Chennai, Dvorkovich and some others said that there were mistakes by the referees when it was thought that the requirements for the second norm had been met, but since after the third norm Paehtz in the interviews was now considered GM, and since this is the year of the women in chess (...), she must be given the title even if she has regularly achieved two norms and not three.
All this is very RIDICULOUS.
Do you think that the female colleagues who have achieved the title on a regular basis will be happy?
The solution would be extremely simple: FIDE would have to say "we made a momentary mistake (referees) BUT we don't want to make another one and therefore Paehtz will have the title only when she will obtain ALL three norms on a regular basis.
If she gets the title unfairly, to me Paehtz will always be "Paehtz, the one with the ‘stolen’ GM title".
A Alekhine A Alekhine 10/12/2022 01:20
Elizabeth Paehtz's GM title is far from the worst title FIDE has awarded. One could make a long list of titles that FIDE arguably should not have awarded according to its own rules.

As a U.S. player, I will even name one title that FIDE awarded to a U.S. player who had not fully earned it. FIDE gave the GM title to Kenneth Rogoff in 1978 although he did not have all the norms. The unofficial word at the time was, he was given the title as part of a deal with the Russian Federation in exchange for one of their own players being awarded the title.

"He may not have satisfied the norm requirements for a GM title, but he argued that his performance in the U.S. Championship [he finished second in 1975 behind Walter Browne] proved he was GM strength."

Source: https://www.oocities.org/siliconvalley/lab/7378/rogoff.htm

Most likely Rogoff really was GM strength, although ideally one would like the formal requirements to be fulfilled. Many other players have received FIDE titles with much more dubious justification than Rogoff or Paehtz.
wermoll wermoll 10/11/2022 02:33
Interesting.
I think that you're doing right publishing this proposal!

However, I would like to take advantage of the fact that we are talking about the ACP to suggest to this association (given the spirit of the same) to officially say what the ACP thinks about the scandalous proposal to award Elisabeth Paehtz the GM male title in an undeserved way on the basis of childish and absolutely ridiculous motives.
Thanks, and sorry for the partial off-topic.
milog milog 10/11/2022 11:54
I love playing chess tournaments, but with a full-time job and family duties the format of 9 rounds at least and 1 day of double rounds max. is just not feasible. Make the tournament fit in 1 week at least…if you are playing 90 min +30 sec increment there are good examples like the Bruges Open (9 rounds in 5 days, even with a Blitz tournament on one evening).
SteveCustodio SteveCustodio 10/11/2022 11:45
Excellent idea! Open tournaments held regularly in Las Vegas could, probably, be part of this process.
tip4success tip4success 10/11/2022 11:15
I strongly support the idea. Most 2200-2500 players get few chances to participate in meaningful tournaments (unless you live in EU) where they can earn norms, rating pts and play top-40 players.
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