28 November 2007

2007-Q4 Maintenance

Following up my last post on Regulations for the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix, I added bullets for the 2009-10 cycle to my World Chess Championship Index Page. • Re timing for the Grand Prix, FIDE issued the call for bids in November 2007 with a deadline of January 2008. Considering how many previous calls have ended up without bids, it's reasonable to assume that FIDE already has most of the six cities lined up.

I fixed the link to the official site for the 2007 World Cup, which is taking place now. The old link produced a 404 error message. It appears that the site responsibles changed the page name just before the event started. It would seem common sense to redirect the old page to the new page, but it wasn't done.

I also fixed a few minor errors in the lower level pages. One change was a correction to a player's name in FIDE's first World Women's Championship. Searching on the error located a page that had copied all of my crosstables -- I campionati del mondo femminile -- with no sign of attribution or thanks.

22 November 2007

Regulations for the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix

FIDE has issued the details and regulations for the 2008-2009 FIDE Grand Prix (see FIDE Grand-Prix, 19 November 2007, esp. the linked document DD10.PDF; Fide.com). For easier reference, the first four sections of the PDF document are incorporated here. The section headers for the rest of the document are at the end of this post.


Regulations for the 2008 - 2009 FIDE Grand-Prix

1. Introduction

1.1. Following the approval of the Presidential Board in Tallinn 2007, Global Chess BV and FIDE have worked on the Regulations for the World Championship Cycle for 2008/2009. A principle of stability and consolidation has been maintained throughout the various meetings and discussions held to draw up these Regulations.

The first important principle is the commercial approach to the organisation and management of these events and Global Chess will be responsible for locating one or several title sponsors for the six tournaments and for the Challenge match at the end of the Series. The host city may seek alternative sponsorship from business industries not in conflict with the main business activity carried out by the title sponsor.

The second principle is one of co-ordination. Together with FIDE, Global Chess will work and assist in the search and selection process of the host cities. The offer of each respective host city will be evaluated in terms of location, accessibility, and quality of conditions.

The third principle is communication. An open and transparent discussion has been held and will continue to be held with all stakeholders to seek continuous improvements in the standards that are offered, in making the tournaments more available to the world chess and non-chess media.

1.2. Governing Body: the World Chess Federation (FIDE). For the purpose of creating the regulations, communicating with the players and negotiating with the organisers, the President has nominated a committee, hereby called the World Chess Championship Committee (WCCC) who will co-operate with Global Chess BV.

1.3. FIDE retains all commercial and media rights of the Grand-Prix, including internet rights.

1.4. The body responsible for any changes to these Regulations is the FIDE Presidential Board.

2. Format of the Grand Prix 2008-2009

The Grand Prix will be a series of six tournaments held over two years (2008-2009) in leading world cities. The bidding process for the final selection of cities will commence in the second part of November 2007 and be finalized by January 2008.

In the interest of chess development, all continents should be represented, as far as possible, and depending on the interest generated in the series, FIDE will aim at organizing at least one event in each continent.

The timing of evaluating and contracting host city offers will be very important particularly at the start of the series. Offers to host and contract three tournaments over the next six years (i.e. three cycles – for 2008/9, 2010/1 and 2012/3) will be given preference.

21 top world players will be selected to compete in these tournaments. Each player agrees and will contract to participate in exactly 4 of these tournaments. Players must rank their preference of tournaments once the final list of host cities is announced and the dates are allocated to each host city.

FIDE reserves the right to assign players to tournaments according to the organizational needs and the players for each tournament will be announced before the cycle begins.

Each tournament will have 14 players playing over a schedule of seventeen days. The months allocated for the organisation of the Grand Prix tournaments are April, August and December of each respective year. These months have been selected to ensure there is no conflict with any other major event.

In view of an objective of harmonisation of the FIDE chess calendar, the months for the Grand Prix for 2009 are fixed as above, and the World Cup will be scheduled to meet the timing of the World Championship match in 2009 and the Grand Prix series.

The winner of the Grand Prix series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the World Cup held in 2009 in an eight game match to become the challenger to the World Champion in a match to be held in the third quarter of 2010.

3. Qualifiers for the Grand Prix 2008-2009

The players who qualify for selection to play in the Grand Prix will be chosen on the following prioritized basis :

3.1 MATCHES. For the first cycle of 2008/9, the two players who lose the World Championship (ie. Kramnik or Anand) and Challenger matches (Topalov or the World Cup 2007 winner) will be invited to participate in the Grand Prix. Given the organisation of both these matches in the third quarter of 2008, these players will all be asked to commit their participation in the Grand Prix series by not later than 31st December 2007, based on the above proviso of the loser of each respective match being allowed to play in the last four Grand Prix tournaments starting from December 2008.

3.2 QUALIFICATION. The FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk 2007 will be used to determine three qualifiers for the 2008/9 Grand Prix Series. Excluding the winner, these will be the players who have qualified to the semi final stages of the World Cup.

3.3 RATING. Based on an average calculation to two decimal places, of the January 2007 rating list and the October 2007 rating list in the year prior to start of the cycle, seven qualifiers will be selected (excluding the four players who will be playing the matches as defined in Article 2.1). If players have the same average rating, the number of games played between January 2007 and September 2007 (rating period) will be used to determine ranking.

To ensure active participation in the future, a minimum of twenty five (25) games is being recommended in the four rating lists including and prior to the October rating list in the year of qualification i.e. 2009, 2011 etc.. Given the short notice in the first edition of the Grand Prix, this regulation will not be applicable in the 2008-2009 series.

If any player does not accept to play in the Grand Prix series, then the selection process using the average rating plus number of games played in the rating period will be adopted, until the number of qualifiers required for the Grand Prix is completed.

3.4 PRESIDENT NOMINEES. The FIDE President may nominate three players and they must be rated among the top 40 players in the world as per the October 2007 rating list. Players nominated by the President should be from different countries.

3.5 HOST CITY NOMINEES. One players may be nominated by each host city and must be rated not less than 2550 in the last rating list prior to the final nomination or selection of players. If the host city does not have a player rated at least 2550 then the highest rated player from the Federation of the host city will be invited to play, subject to his rating not being lower than 2500.

The WCCC will coordinate with Global Chess and with all the host cities, in the allocation of players, should there be a conflict in the number of players in their ranking of preference of host cites. FIDE is not obliged, but will do its utmost to respect the players’ preferences, and will balance the player allocation to a host city according to predetermined criteria such as average tournament rating, piece colour, continental representation, etc.

4. Tournament Format

4.1 In each tournament the 14 players shall play a round robin tournament of 13 rounds.

4.2 If a player withdraws after completing 50% or more of the games, the rest of his games are lost by default. In case a player completes less than 50%, all his results are annulled.

[MW: 4.3 missing; is it this?:] • Time control: 120 minutes for the first forty moves, 60 minutes for the next twenty moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.

4.4 The players are not permitted to speak to their opponents during the games. Appropriate sporting behaviour is expected from all participants and FIDE rules of conduct are to be strictly followed at all times. Players will not be allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents. Any draw claim will be permitted only through the Chief Arbiter in the following cases:

[MW: omitted; as per the laws of chess]

The Chief Arbiter may consult with the Technical Adviser before accepting any claim by players for a draw. The Chief Arbiter is the only authority who can acknowledge the final result of the game in these cases.

4.5 The Technical Adviser must be a Grandmaster, rated at least 2500, who has held the title of Grandmaster for at least ten years and is an active player as defined by the rating system.

4.6 Tie breaks for each tournament: As prizes and GP ranking points are shared equally, in cases of any tied position/s. No tie break system will be utilised for the individual GP tournaments. The process of determining the overall winner of the series, in the case of a tie, is defined in Article 7.2


5. Tournament Schedule
6. Confirmation of Participation
7. Prize Money & Grand Prix Points
8. Financial details
9. Arrangements for the Playing Hall
10. Interviews, functions and mode of dressing
11. Photography and Television
12. Principals
13. Tournament and Playing Conditions
14. Appeals Committee
15. Opening Ceremony for each tournament
16. Closing Ceremony of each tournament
17. Payment of Prize Money and Stipends
18. Penalties


Later: It turns out that the regulations are also in the FIDE Handbook:-

Regulations for the 2008 - 2009 FIDE Grand-Prix

14 November 2007

Qualifiers for Khanty-Mansiysk 2007

For players qualified into the 2007 World Cup, starting later this month at Khanty-Mansiysk, the following table summarizes how they qualified. It was derived from FIDE's List of Qualifiers for the World Cup 2007, dated 18 October 2007. The left column shows the number of players who qualified via the path listed in the right column. The numbering for Continental Championships (1.0, 2.0, etc.) is my own, not FIDE's.

161.0 European Championship 2006
291.0 European Championship 2007
72.0 American Continental
52.1 Zonal
12.2 Zonal
22.3 Zonal
22.4 Zonal
22.5 Zonal
103.0 Asian Continental
13.1 Zonal
13.2 Zonal
23.3 Zonal
23.4 Zonal
23.5 Zonal
13.6 Zonal
64.0 African Continental
5FIDE President
4Organising Committee
3World Championship Tournament 2007
1World Junior Champion 2006
1World Women's Champion 2006

The list will be used to fill in the gaps on my list of World Chess Championship Zonals.

08 November 2007

The Players Protest

The 'protests' concern the next two legs of the FIDE World Championship cycle 2007-2009 -- the World Cup and the two semi-final matches. Chessbase.com published interviews with two of the three players who declined to play in the forthcoming World Cup (Leko was the third).

Morozevich provided a direct answer: (Q) 'Many of your followers are very disappointed that you have opted out of the forthcoming World Cup, the winner of which will play a match against Topalov, for the right to play a world championship match in the next cycle. Why did you refuse to play?' • (A) 'Several months ago, FIDE changed the rules yet again, to give Topalov the immediate right to play the final candidates match. And in Sofia at that. I do not understand the reason for this; it looks ridiculous. Given my relations with Topalov, such a match in Sofia is never going to happen, and I cannot play the tournament without being motivated to want to win it.' • That raises a new question about his 'relations with Topalov', which is noted. All things in time.

Gelfand was more mysterious: (Q) 'For the next cycle you are empty-handed, while other players have privileges. What are your intentions in the next cycle? Do you hope to make another big assault?' • (A) 'It is very important for me to have a proper World Championship cycle, and that’s why I did my best to use this opportunity, as it was first real cycle since 1995. I am very disappointed that FIDE decided to keep the tradition of a world championship match and abandoned tradition of a world championship cycle. I don’t think that it is less important tradition.' • I'm not at all sure what he is saying here. Did he answer the questions?

Chessbase is known to hype the chess news from time to time (remember the 2005 Needleman affair?), but its coverage of an emerging feud between Anand and Kramnik could be the real thing.

Russian players have often been the beneficiaries of favorable treatment from FIDE, with Karpov the biggest recipient (1975, 1985-86, 1993, 1997, more?). Kramnik likes to stand on principle when his own rights are at stake (1997 Groningen, 2004 post-Leko match), but has a history of turning his back on the other players (Shirov, Kasparov 2000, Unification 2002) when it's to his advantage.

Some of the informed commentary on the feud has been enlightening.

There are three points when people will pay attention to a chess match : when it's announced, when contractual negotiations are underway, and when it's being played. The players are right to seek attention at those times. I trust the whiff of bad blood is no more than this.


I had originally intended to write The Players Doth Protest as the title of this post. Then it occurred to me that 'doth' might be singular, as in Shakespeare's famous 'the lady doth protest too much'. I was right to be wary. Answers.com defines doth as 'v. Archaic; A third person singular present tense of do.' Furthermore, according to Reference.com's entry (doth), there is no plural equivalent.