07 October 2009

Players at the 1993 PCA Qualifying Tournament

During its brief attempt to gain control of the World Chess Championship, the PCA held one qualification cycle, starting with the 1993 Groningen PCA Qualifying Tournament. Somewhat ironically, the players in that event appear to have been chosen according to FIDE rating.

The event was initially expected to have 50 participants, but was expanded to 54. Of those 54, all but two were rated over 2570. The two exceptions were Friso Nijboer (2555) and Zsuzsa Polgar (better known now as Susan; 2545). I imagine that Nijboer was invited by the organizers and that Polgar was invited because of her status as the world's highest rated woman.

The top seven finishers at the event, held in December 1993, would qualify for the PCA Candidate matches. Players rated over 2600 on FIDE's July 1993 rating list -- there were only two rating lists per year at that time -- who did not play at Groningen are listed below.

2815 Kasparov, Gary (RUS)
2760 Karpov, Anatoly (RUS)
2705 Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)
2685 Salov, Valery (RUS)
2670 Gelfand, Boris (BLR)
2665 Short, Nigel (ENG)
2655 Epishin, Vladimir (RUS)
2630 Jussupow, Artur (GER)
2625 Dautov, Rustem (GER)
2625 Andersson, Ulf (SWE)
2620 Timman, Jan (NED)
2620 Lautier, Joel (FRA)
2605 Speelman, Jonathan (ENG)

The list includes Kasparov, the reigning PCA champion, and Short, who was seeded into the Candidate matches after losing to Kasparov earlier in 1993, as well as Karpov and Timman, who had played the 'other' World Championship match, organized by FIDE. As for the other names, there is undoubtedly a small story behind their reasons not to participate.

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