25 February 2015

Early FIDE Zonals

A few months ago, in a post on Early FIDE Titles, I used Marcel Berman's memoirs, published mid-20th century in the FIDE Review. In the same source there is much that is relevant to the early history of the zonals, and to get started I added two clippings to my page on the Zonals 1946-1948 (C00).

Fide Review 1960, p.8

I believe that Berman is the dark-haired fellow fourth from the left in the back row, standing behind then-FIDE President Alexander Rueb.

18 February 2015

Update to FIDE Codes

A few days ago, on my main blog, I posted about FIDE Country and Federation Codes (chessforallages.blogspot.com), with a new page on my main site having the same title, FIDE Country and Federation Codes (m-w.com). The new page provides support material for my ongoing project on the World Chess Championship Zonals.

The list of country and federation codes used some obsolete data relating federations to the FIDE continent and zone structure, but it was the best I could do at the time. Sometimes it's better to release a nearly finished prototype, then fix the errors, than it is to attempt perfection on the first release. This was one of those times. Here is a list of errors I corrected for this second edition.

  • Added missing data to several federations.
  • Added zone 1.10.
  • Updated most Asian zones, i.e. 3.x.
  • Added zone 4.4.

The Fide.com page, Zone Presidents, was useful to verify the European zones like the relatively new zone 1.10 for small countries. My own page Zonals : Links (and Other References) was useful for the recent history of changes to zone numbering, e.g.

Starting cycle 22 (2004-2005), zone numbering changed from 3.1a to 3.1, from 3.1b to 3.2, from 3.2a to 3.3, from 3.2b to 3.6, and from 3.3 to 3.5; 3.4 unchanged.

FIDE pages for individual federations were useful to verify current zone numbering. I discovered two federations, both in zone 4.4, which are not on my current list.

I'll tackle this discrepancy another time.

11 February 2015

2015 a Zonal Year (More++)

Since my previous post, 2015 a Zonal Year, there have been additions and corrections to the FIDE calendar for the current cycle (C27, according to my numbering). The additions are noted below. I've also noted a few other events for future reference.

2.1 American Zonal Open & Women St. Louis, Missouri, USA 31-Mar-2015
4.0 African Individual Championships 2015 Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt 1-May-2015
4.1 African Zonal Hammamet, Tunisia 25-Mar-2015
4.2 African Zonal (A) Kampala, Uganda 17-Apr-2015
4.4 African Zonal Lome, Togo 13-Mar-2015
0.0 ACP Wildcard (B)  
0.0 FIDE Online Arena (C)  

(A) See also TWIC1047: 24) Zonal 4.2 2014 (1 December 2014); 'The Zonal 4.2 took place in Cairo 21st to 30th November 2014. Bassem Amin won with 8.5/9.' • How to reconcile these two events for zone 4.2? NB: The previous cycle (C26) did not have a zonal 4.4.

(B) ACP Wildcard for World Cup 2015 (30 September 2014); 'The ACP will have a wild card in the World Cup 2015 [...] The wild card will go to the highest-placed participant of the ACP Tour 2014 who has not qualified by rating, continental championships or any other means.'

(C) FIDE Online Arena enters a new era (29 January 2015); 'According to the regulations of the FIDE World Cup (art. 3.1) the FIDE Online Arena will provide 3 qualifiers for the World Cup 2015.'

From fide.com/FIDE/handbook/WorldCup2015Regulations.pdf:-

2.3.5. The number of qualifiers for each continent is:
Europe 46,
Americas 20,
Asia 20,
Africa 6.

3.1. Qualifiers -
There are 128 qualifiers (in order of priority):
World Champion + four (4) semi-finalists from the World Cup 2013,
Women's World Champion,
World Junior U-20 Champions 2013 & 2014,
eighteen (18) rated players as described in 3.1.2,
ninety (92) players from Continental Championships,
the one (1) highest-placed participant of the ACP Tour who has not qualified with the previous criteria,
two (2) FIDE President nominees,
four (4) organiser nominees,
three (3) qualifiers from FIDE-approved internet events.
If there are no internet events, the spot(s) will be decided by the FIDE President after consulting the WCOC.

I'll look at the FIDE Online Arena in another post.

04 February 2015

The First Women's World Championship

A January 2015 Chess Note by Edward Winter on Chesshistory.com, 9074. Championship confusion, starts,
It is difficult to imagine a world championship title being decided in an event whose participants did not know that they were contesting the title, but that happened in 1927.

Winter goes on to document how the first Women's World Championship title, won by Vera Menchik, was awarded after the event. On my page World Chess Championship (Women) : 1927-39 Title Tournaments, I added a link to this fascinating research.

Near the end of his note, Winter asks, 'Where are the game scores?' On my main blog I have previously posted two photos showing Menchik at women's events: More Menchik (London 1926) and Folkestone 1933. In both of these photos, the chess tables appear to be too small to allow space for recording the games. Were games from early women's events not recorded? More photos needed...

28 January 2015

Small Projects for 2015

A year ago I set out to accomplish a number of Small Projects for 2014. It's totally out of character for me, but I actually accomplished all of them.

World Computer Championship: I wrote two posts on the topic.

The ICGA, responsible for organizing the events, hasn't kept up with the underlying technical evolution and their champions no longer include the strongest competitors in the world. Can they adapt?

World Correspondence Championship: With the exception of the 27th championship, which finished last year, the list in 'Small Projects' remains the current status. No new events were started in 2014.

Zonals: After completing the tasks listed in 'Small Projects', I wrapped them up with a second set of tasks.

Ditto for the second set, but the third set of tasks remains open.

Grand Prix: The following pages now show 'Overall Standings'.

As for 'Small Projects for 2015', I have nothing beyond the tasks for the zonals.

21 January 2015

2015 a Zonal Year

At the beginning of the previous World Championship cycle (C26 according to my system of numbering the cycles), it was useful to put together a list of forthcoming FIDE qualifying events and related activities -- see 2013 a Zonal Year. For the current cycle, C27, the following table is taken from the FIDE Calendar 2015, plus events completed in 2014. For the history of previous cycles, C00-C26, see World Chess Championship Zonals.

1.0 European Individual Championship 2015 Jerusalem, Israel 23-Feb-2015
2.0 American Continental Championship 2015 Montevideo, Uruguay 15-May-2015
2.2 American Zonal Canada 9-Jul-2015
2.3 American Zonal Guayaquil, Ecuador  
3.0 Asian Continental Championships 2015 Al Ain, UAE 20-Jun-2015
3.1 Asian Zonal Muscat, Oman  
3.2 Asian Zonal Kathmandu, Nepal  
3.3 Asian Zonal Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 6-Mar-2015
3.4 Asian Zonal Dushanbe, Tajikistan 3-Jun-2015
3.5 Asian Zonal China  
3.6 Asian Zonal Sydney, Australia 4-Jul-2015
4.3 African Zonal Malawi 13-Apr-2015
>> World Cup 2015 Baku, Azerbaijan 10-Sep-2015
  1st Quarter 2015 Presidential Board Chengdu, China 26-Apr-2015
  86th FIDE Congress Abu Dhabi, UAE 1-Sep-2015
Other (2014):
1.? Baltic Zonal (A)  
1.10 European Small Nations Chp (B)  
3.5 China Zonal TWIC1044  
4.2 African Zonal TWIC1047  

(A) FIDE President Opens the Baltic Zonal Chess Tournament in Liepaja (chessdom.com; June 2014): 'In Liepaja the first of the three stages of the Baltic Zonal Tournament takes place; the second will be held in September in Lithuania, and the third – in January in Estonia. The winner of the three stages in aggregate will be admitted to the World Cup tournament in 2015.'

The Week in Chess (TWIC):-
TWIC1022, Jun 2014, Liepaja
TWIC1047, Nov 2014, Vilnius
TWIC1054, Jan 2015, Tallinn

(B) 1st Individual FIDE Zone 1.10 Championship (chessdom.com; January 2014; follow links for the tournament bulletin): 'The winner of the Zone Championship will be one of FIDE president nominations for FIDE World Cup 2015.'

14 January 2015

'Happy to Take the Money'

In my previous post, Books on the Carlsen - Anand Matches, I mentioned the low ratings given by customer reviews for the Keene / Karlovich books. One comment on the book about the 2014 match baffled me:-
I am returning my two books. I bought one, and Amazon sent another when I said the first one was defective. Well, the second one was messed up, too. All of the chess diagrams in the second half of the text are complete nonsense, e.g. a diagram may have a black knight sitting on each light square: 24 black knights at once.

I couldn't imagine how that looked on the printed page. By coincidence, a few days later in 9046. Carlsen v Anand match book, Chesshistory.com reproduced a pair of pages from the same book. It boggles the mind that such a blatant series of errors could slip through the proofreading process. Then it struck me -- the book has never been proofread!

The Amazon 'Look Inside' feature (a real godsend for books like this one) offers many more examples of errors. See, for example, the following photo and caption from page 7.

'One it entitled to wonder...'

'Us chess players do not ask questions. [Us] are just happy to take the money...'. That pretty much sums up the philosophy behind this book.