19 September 2018

2018 Carlsen - Caruana, Schedule

It's already been six weeks since I posted News about 2018 Carlsen - Caruana, where I quoted a press release,
The much-anticipated match will be held in London from 9th to 28th November.

It's high time to decide whether I want to travel to London to see the match myself. First, what's the schedule? The official site, FIDE World Chess (worldchess.com/london), only informs

FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018 starts in
51 days : 10 hours : 35 minutes : 18 seconds

but 'Watch live at the college : get the ticket' leads to World Chess 2018 | Official Ticketmaster UK Site, which displays a useful calendar. Here's a copy in reverse black & white, which is easier to read in this reduced size.

The small print in the bottom line, which applies to rounds 10 through 12, says,

* : Sales will be open after the end of the 3rd and 4th round.

Second, what about tickets? Details for the first game are at Tickets: World Chess Championship - Round 1, London | Fri 9 Nov 2018 @ 3:00 pm:-

Best Available
Price : £600.00
Section : VIP Area

Ouch! The info button says, 'Event Info : General Admission Only', which probably means there are no numbered seats. The rest of the info informs,

VIP Tickets - with the VIP ticket you will get: separate entrance to the venue with VIP reception and separate coat check; comfortable VIP area with seating zones; bar with free drinks; priority entrance to the Players area; possibility to book seats in the first rows during the games and press-conference; memorable souvenirs.

General Admission Tickets - if you are buying this ticket you are getting: access to the Players area, where you can watch the two best world chess players compete for the chess crown; live commentating of the games by chess grandmasters; entertainment area, where you can try to beat your mate in chess; chess cafe where you can buy snacks and drinks; chess shop with chess souvenirs.

How about round 2? A page similar to round 1 informs,

General Admission Tickets : £70.00
VIP Ticket : £500.00

The related 'Find tickets' button informs, 'Tickets not currently available from Ticketmaster', which is the same message I received for round 3. The first available tickets I could find were for round 4 at £45.00 per ticket. Rounds 5 and 6 were also marked 'Tickets not currently available'. Looks like I waited too long to get tickets, but I'm glad to see that the match is so popular. Maybe I'll look at online viewing options in another post.

12 September 2018

Three Candidates in Three Weeks

With the FIDE presidential elections due to take place in three weeks, let's return to the subject of 2018 FIDE Election Tickets (July 2018). Last month the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) endorsed one of the three candidates:-

That second link, 'Why', listed seven areas of concern:-

  • The work of FIDE ['utterly ineffective for quite some time now']
  • Anti-cheating issues
  • World Championship Cycle [*]
  • Women's chess
  • Helping veterans
  • Calendar of official events ['dates of the major events are regularly shifted']
  • FIDE General Assemblies and Terms ['no President should be serving for more than two consecutive terms']

Given that this blog is named the World Chess Championship Blog, the area marked '*' is of particular interest. The ACP board stated,

This is a very troublesome area. To start with, the last title match saw the highest budget for such an event ever but also one of the lowest prize-funds in modern history. That is simply ridiculous. Restoring transparency and respect for the players is a very much needed action. It is not irrelevant to mention that the Grand Prix series suffered a major blow in recent years, mainly due to FIDE’s inability to attract corporate sponsors.

FIDE is composed of national federations. Although the federations are political bodies that don't pay much attention to the thoughts of their strongest players, the ACP endorsement is the strongest statement to date by any single chess organization. The FIDE election has also attracted attention outside chess circles.


Who will be king? Three-way battle for control rocks international chess
(2 September 2018; theguardian.com)

Of Dvorkovich, the Guardian article said,

The Russian bid sees one of the Kremlin’s most capable and modern lieutenants unleashed on a sport that, frankly, seems small fry for him. Dvorkovich was Russian deputy prime minister for six years and chaired Russia’s World Cup organising committee, which spent an estimated £10bn on the tournament. By contrast, the Fide’s annual budget is just £2.3m.

The article also quoted Chess.com's Peter Doggers, recently seen on this blog in Peter Doggers on Chess Politics (August 2018). His most recent post on the election was FIDE Elections: 'Fake News' And The Call For Transparency, from which we can conclude that GM Short is already the odd man out. For more about the three candidates, see their Wikipedia pages:-

The winner in the election will shape FIDE policy for the next decade and probably longer.

22 August 2018

24th World Computer Championship

Last week, while working on Battles of the Chess NNs, a post about TCEC S13, I was reminded that the 2018 edition of the World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) had taken place in July. From the Leela blog (archived version):-

That second link took a not-so-subtle swipe at the WCCC:-

WCCC still has a human operator make moves on a board. It's all very punchcard and mainframe and has one expecting to play against Belle and Cray Blitz. Hopefully the remote connection and special ASCII interface won’t lead to any snafus.

As someone who actually worked with punchcards and mainframes, I can say with certainty that they were 1960's technology, while the WCCC references in the rest of the quote were 1980's technology. But point taken, the WCCC is badly in need of a complete makeover.

What about the outcome? Relevant pages from the WCCC organizers are:-

This was Komodo's third straight WCCC title, but the engine has not been as successful in the TCEC against Stockfish. The message is clear: the TCEC is the World Computer Championship in all but name only; the ICGA's WCCC is the World Championship only in name. On my page about the World Chess Championship : Computer Chess, I decided to stop including details (PGN and crosstable) about new ICGA events. From now on, the page will only list the winner.

[For my post on the previous WCCC event, see 23rd World Computer Championship (January 2018).]

15 August 2018

Peter Doggers on Chess Politics

In a post last week on my main blog, 2018 CJA Awards, I assigned myself a couple of follow-ups:-
Getting back to those two 'Special Achievement' awards that head the awards list:-
- American Chess Magazine for 'All Four Issues', and
- Peter Doggers for 'Yearlong FIDE Coverage'
Both are worthy of a follow-up post.

Yesterday I closed the first in a post titled American Chess Magazine. Today I'll close the second.

I've referenced Doggers' reports many times on this blog -- most recently Grand Prix Boycott (August 2017) -- and on my main blog -- Ethics in Chess Politics - Stories (November 2015) -- and have also featured his video reports. He's extremely knowledgeable, level-headed, and fair to all sides, even to FIDE, a group often criticized in knee-jerk reactions by the chess press.

Until I started to write this post, I didn't realize there was a Chess.com news category that mainly features Doggers' work: News > Chess Politics. The following screen capture shows examples of his most recent reports.

Another Chess.com category also archives his work: News > Misc. Now I can catch up on the latest FIDE news about chess politics through one or two easy links.

08 August 2018

News about 2018 Carlsen - Caruana

Four months after the 2018 Candidates Tournament ended, we finally have some news about the forthcoming 2018 Carlsen - Caruana match. Received from Worldchess.com, World Chess Championship Match takes place in Holborn, Central London (email):-
We are very happy to announce The College, a breath-taking historic building in the heart of London as the venue for the FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018! The 10,000-square foot space in Holborn will host 400 people each day to see Magnus Carlsen defend his world title against US challenger Fabiano Caruana. The much-anticipated match will be held in London from 9th to 28th November.

The announcement carried an artist's conception of the playing area. It was too dark to see much, so I took its negative.


'Render of the playing hall at the College, Holborn'
[reverse black & white]

Before the announcement of the venue, the only other email communication from Worldchess.com was dated 17 June 2018; US President Will Meet the Challenger to the World Championship Title (If You Want Him To!):-

Chess fans from the [USA] contacted us with an idea: to petition Donald Trump to invite Fabiano Caruana, the challenger to the Title, to the White House before the World Chess Championship Match that takes place in London in November. They published a petition today in support of this proposal at the White House’ petitions page. According to the rules, if the petition is signed by over 100,000 in 30 days, the Administration will review and possibly grant it.

The related link to petitions.whitehouse.gov now informs,

Signature Count • 847 signed, 100,000 goal // Closed Petition • This petition has been archived because it did not meet the signature requirements. It can no longer be signed.

In other match related news -- carrying the same date as this blog post -- Unibet secures 'opening move' sponsoring FIDE World Chess London 2018 (sbcnews.co.uk):-

Kindred Group Plc European sports betting subsidiary Unibet has broadened its sponsorship portfolio confirming that it has become the official betting partner to the ‘FIDE World Chess Championship Match’ (London 9-28 November). The bookmaker confirms a ‘ground-breaking deal’ with principal organiser World Chess, becoming the first betting partner of a FIDE syndicated event. World Chess expects a sell-out crowd for its much-anticipated event. [...]

Ilya Merenzon, the CEO of World Chess, backed Unibet as new partner: "World Chess is proud to announce this exclusive partnership with Unibet. We're enabling fans to be even closer to the action in this tantalising match. The tournament is the highlight of the chess calendar and millions of people around the world will follow every move."

Speaking of World Chess, whatever happened to their Grand Prix series, last seen in Palma de Mallorca, November 2017, according to my page 2017 Grand Prix. The FIDE calendar has nothing listed for 2019. Anyone taking bets on whether it will take place next year?

25 July 2018

Another Bad Day for Spassky

In the previous post, A Bad Day for Spassky, I extracted a passage from 'Chess Panorama' by William Lombardy and David Daniels.
The 'Chess Panorama' excerpt mentions the book 'Spassky's 100 Best Games' by Bruce Cafferty. That should of course be Bernard Cafferty, who also mentioned other last round incidents of the same genre. I'll cover those in another post.

In fact, the 'Chess Panorama' excerpt is from the Foreword to Cafferty's book, written by Leonard Barden. Here's the full text around the excerpt (p.19).

The Spassky - Tal was important becuase of its role in the 1957-1960 Zonal Cycle (C04, Z04). The Stein - Spassky game was important because of a similar role in the 1960-1963 Zonal Cycle (C05, Z04).

For the moves of the Stein - Spassky game, see Leonid Stein vs Boris Spassky; USSR Championship (1961), Moscow URS (chessgames.com). For the moves of the other two games mentioned above, also from Chessgames.com, see Rodolfo Tan Cardoso vs David Bronstein; Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, and Oscar Quinones Carrillo vs Leonid Stein; Amsterdam Interzonal (1964), Amsterdam NED.

18 July 2018

A Bad Day for Spassky

On my main blog, in a post titled Chess-books and Chess-players, I rediscovered the chess books offered by the Internet Archive's Open Library. In one of the books I looked at, Chess panorama By William Lombardy (openlibrary.org), in a chapter titled 'The Last Round', I found a long anecdote about a famous failure that occurred in the 1958 Soviet Championship, a zonal (p.179).

For a crosstable of the tournament, see 1957-1960 Zonal Cycle (C04, Z04). To play through the moves of the game, see Boris Spassky vs Mikhail Tal; USSR Championship (1958), Riga URS (chessgames.com).

The 'Chess Panorama' excerpt mentions the book 'Spassky's 100 Best Games' by Bruce Cafferty. That should of course be Bernard Cafferty, who also mentioned other last round incidents of the same genre. I'll cover those in another post.