29 July 2015

Regulations for Qualifiers C15

After working on Zonal Qualifiers C16 - Qualification Paths, I turned my attention to the 1990 Manila Interzonal Tournament. I found an overview of the regulations to determine qualified players and started a new page, Zonal Qualifiers 1990-1993 (C15).

The list of players competing in the Interzonal, plus the regulations, plus the details on the Zonals 1990-1993 (C15), should allow me to identify how most of the players qualified for the 1990 Interzonal. I'll work on that for my next post.

15 July 2015

Cold War Chess Politics

On the Streatham & Brixton blog, Justin Horton posted about
the impact of the building of the Berlin Wall [1961] on various international chess tournaments that were due to take place that year and the next: mainly the Women's Olympiad, which was cancelled, but also making reference to the Interzonal, which took place not in Amsterdam, as planned, in 1961, but in Stockholm the next year. • Past imperfect III

A related clipping from the August 1961 BCM mentioned three forthcoming international events scheduled for the Netherlands:-

  • 1961-08: World Junior, The Hague;
  • 1961-09: Women's Olympics, Emmen; and
  • 1962-01: Interzonal, Amsterdam [BCM said 1961-01, but this looks like a misprint].

To this list he added an event from my page on the zonals of that period, C05: 1960-1963, specifically,

  • 1960-11: Zone 2 - Berg en Dal zonal,

where he questioned a statement from Robert Wade:-

Uhlmann of East Germany was refused a visa. This was one of the tit-for-tats in which NATO countries have retaliated for the setting up of the Berlin wall by refusing visas for all East Germans.

Wade apparently confused the years-long Berlin crisis with the building of the wall, the central event of that crisis. Here is a chronology from William Langer's Encyclopedia of World History (p.1200), a work I use frequently for understanding the connections between world events.

The Berg en Dal, Ubbergen [Wikipedia], tournament, which took place in November 1960, was also mentioned in a BCM clipping on my 'C05: 1960-1963' page:-

The East German grandmaster, W. Uhlmann, was refused an entry visa by the Dutch authorities, who said that multi-lateral agreements prevented them from granting it until he had obtained the necessary documents from the Allied Control Commission in West Berlin.

To understand the connection between the September 1960 events and the Allied Control Commission would take me into details of post-WWII cold war tensions that go beyond the objectives of this chess blog. In Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy, Frank Brady mentioned the impact of the Berlin events on the 1962 Stockholm Interzonal:-

The long, slow-burning, potentially eruptive conflict [the Berlin crisis] was no doubt partially responsible for the fact that FIDE was having no luck in its attempts to find a site for the Interzonal tournament. (p.48)

Since this would be more directly relevant to chess history, I'll see what I can discover for a future post. Thanks, Justin, for highlighting the entire sequence of events.

08 July 2015

Zonal Qualifiers C16 - Qualification Paths

I ended my previous post, Regulations for Qualifiers C16, saying, 'There are still some blanks to be filled, so I'll continue this exercise for my next post.' I returned to the two pages

filled in the blanks, double-checked some assumptions, corrected a few errors, and added the list 'Player - How qualified' to the 'Zonal Qualifiers' page.

The table on the left is similar to the one shown in Zonal Qualifiers C17 - Qualification Paths. It counts and summarizes the qualification paths of the 74 players who competed in the 1993 Biel FIDE Interzonal.

The letters in the left column correspond to the paragraphs from the first section of the 'Zonal Qualifiers' page ('Comment ils se sont qualifiés' = 'How they qualified'). For example, 'a' counts the players who qualified on rating, 'e' counts players who qualified as ex-World Champions (only Smyslov accepted), and 'z' counts players who qualified via a zonal.

The counts total to 76, so where do the two extra players come from? Europe Echecs listed ten players qualified on rating ('a'), but only eight eventually played (Azmaiparashvili and Christiansen were missing). On top of that, I identified another six players who didn't qualify by any obvious path. Since they all had ratings in the same range, I assumed they also qualified on rating and assigned them code 'a?' to keep them separate.

For my next post, I'll tackle qualification paths for the preceding cycle, Zonals 1990-1993 (C15).

01 July 2015

Regulations for Qualifiers C16

After Zonal Qualifiers C17 - Qualification Paths, and continuing to work backwards in time, I tackled the preceding cycle, C16. First I located a list of players who qualified for the interzonal and added the clippings to Zonals 1993-1996 (C16). The same source, Europe Echecs, had an overview of the regulations in force at the time. I used this to start a new page Zonal Qualifiers 1993-1996 (C16).

Combining this information with the players who finally participated in the 1993 Biel FIDE Interzonal Tournament, let me work out how most of the players qualified. There are still some blanks to be filled, so I'll continue this exercise for my next post.

24 June 2015

Zonal Qualifiers C17 - Qualification Paths

Continuing with the 1997 World Championship, FIDE Knockout Matches (Groningen), I ended my previous post, Regulations for Qualifiers C17, with
The regulations plus the list of qualified players plus the clippings from 'Zonals 1995-1997', allowed me to work out how most/all(?) of the players qualified for the knockout tournament. For my next post, I'll check this work once more before adding it to the new page on 'Zonal Qualifiers 1995-1997'

Good thing I rechecked, because I found a number of unclear or inaccurate points. First I added a new clipping -- Europe Echecs 1997-11 -- to the 'KO Qualifiers' section of

Then I added a list of the qualified players -- 105 by exact count -- to

The same page ends with a list of qualified players who did not compete, e.g. Kasparov and Kramnik.

The table on the left counts and summarizes the qualification paths of the 105 players. The letters in the left column correspond to the bullets from paragraph 12.12 of that 'Zonal Qualifiers 1995-1997' page ('Regulations for the 1997/8 World Championship'). For example, 'a' counts Karpov and Kasparov, who both received special treatment; 'e' counts the players who qualified from a zonal.

The rest of the counts match the regulations nicely except for 'j' ('Nominees of the Organizing Federation') which should be two nominees. The count for 'k' ('sufficient number of the highest rated players') includes all names that couldn't be placed elsewhere, which was guesswork on my part.

One other point deserves mention. Section 12.13 of the regulations states,

d) Where Kamsky fails to enter, his place in Round 3 [of the 1997 Groningen KO] shall be taken by the loser from Round 3 of the previous Candidates match.

Kamsky did not enter and his place was taken by Gelfand. According to my page on the 1994-96 FIDE Candidates Matches, in the last round Gelfand lost to Karpov, and Salov lost to Kamsky, thereby setting up the Karpov - Kamsky title match. It's not clear to me why Gelfand was favored over Salov for rule 12.13(d).

With that little mystery in the back of my mind, I'll move on to qualifiers for C16: 1993-96.

17 June 2015

Regulations for Qualifiers C17

I ended the post on Zonal Qualifiers C17 with
Matching the list of qualified players with the players who eventually showed up for the tournament, then showing how they all qualified, will be a separate exercise.

Using some work on my main blog, Early Chess on the Web, I located the document 'Regulations for the 1997/8 World Championship'. I then added that link and relevant portions to a new page Zonal Qualifiers 1995-1997 (C17). Essentially, it explains the (complicated) structure of the 1997 Groningen tournament, aka 1997 FIDE Knockout Matches.

The regulations plus the list of qualified players plus the clippings from Zonals 1995-1997 (C17), allowed me to work out how most/all(?) of the players qualified for the knockout tournament. For my next post, I'll check this work once more before adding it to the new page on 'Zonal Qualifiers 1995-1997'.

10 June 2015

2014-15 GP

I ended my previous post, 2014-2015 Grand Prix, Khanty-Mansiysk (GP), with a promise 'to add the participants to the index that cross-references players and events'. For the results, see World Chess Championship : Index of players.

The chart on the left is similar to the chart I developed two years ago for 2012-13 GP / 2013 WCC. It shows the 16 players who competed in the four Grand Prix events, along with the total score accumulated in the three events where they played. Is this the first GP -- for men or women -- where there were no additions to or substractions from the original list of players?

In the 2012-2013 Grand Prix, GM Caruana had the best overall score, but did not qualify for the subsequent Candidates event. In the 2014-2015 Grand Prix, he was one of three players to finish with the best overall score, GM Tomashevsky being the odd man out who failed to qualify. You can look at this in two ways. Either the qualifying process is inherently random -or- the GP scoring adds another dimension to a closely contested series. I'll take the additional dimension.