31 March 2010

Holding Your Breath

I added the URL of the official site to my page on 2010 Anand - Topalov. Here are some of the most important regulations from the FIDE Handbook: 10. Rules & Regulations for the FIDE World Championship Match (FWCM) 2010.
2. Schedule

2.1 Match System: The World Chess Championship Match Anand - Topalov will consist of 12 games and if necessary, tie-break games.

3.4 Drawing of colors

3.4.1 The draw for colors will be conducted during the opening ceremony. The colors shall be reversed after game 6. (The player getting the white color in game 1 shall play game 7 with the black color).

3.4.2 For tie-break games, there shall be a separate drawing of lots conducted by the Chief Arbiter of the match.

3.5 Time control

3.5.1 The time control for each game shall be: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61 has been made.

3.5.2 The games shall be played using the electronic clocks and boards approved by FIDE.

3.6 Conditions of victory / Replacements

3.6.1 The WCM shall be played over a maximum of twelve (12) games and the winner of the match shall be the first player to score 6.5 points or more. A tie shall be broken according to Article 3.7 below. If the winner scores 6.5 points in less than 12 games then the organizer can re-schedule the Closing Ceremony for an earlier date.

3.6.2 If a player refuses to participate in the World Championship Match, he will be replaced as follows: GM Vladimir Kramnik replaces the World champion Vishy Anand and GM Gata Kamsky replaces challenger GM Veselin Topalov. In case any or both players refuse to participate when invited, the rating list of January 2010 will be used to determine their replacements.

3.7 Tie-breaks

3.7.1.a If the scores are level after the regular twelve (12) games, after a new drawing of colors, four (4) tie-break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move

3.7.1.b All tie-break games shall be played according to the following: 1. Play is governed by the World Championship Technical Regulations (annex 1), which apply with the exceptions mentioned below in (2), (3) and (4). [...]

3.7.2 If the scores are level after the games in Article 3.7.1a, then, after a new drawing of colors, a match of 2 games shall be played with a time control of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move. In case of a level score, another 2-game match will be played to determine a winner. If still there is no winner after 5 such matches (total 10 games), one sudden-death game will be played as described below in Article 3.7.3.

3.7.3 If the score is still level after five matches as described in Article 3.7.2, the players shall play a one sudden death game. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

13. Prize Fund

13.1 The prize fund of the match, provided by the organizer, should be a minimum of 1,000,000 (one million) euros, net of any applicable taxes. The prize fund will be divided . 60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the FWCM ends within the 12 regular games. In case the winner is decided by tie-break games, the winner shall receive 55% and the loser 45%.

13.2 The organizer shall pay to FIDE an amount of 20% over and above the total prize fund, net of any applicable taxes.

13.3 If the match is played in the country of one of the players, then the opponent shall receive 100,000 (one hundred thousand) euros from the Prize Fund. The balance of the Prize Fund shall then be shared in accordance to Article 13.1 above.

How much is the prize fund? From the official site, Veselin Topalov: Interview by Yuri Vasiliev for Sport Express:-

Q: I read, that that prize fund sets a record for all World Chess Championship matches, barring the so called 'rematch of the 20th century', Fischer - Spassky [1992], where 5.000.000 US$ were at stake.

A: The prize fund in our match is 2 million Euro – about 3 million US$ - but if Anand would have made even a minor attempt, it could easily go over 5 million. India is a vast market and Anand is very popular in his homeland. But the World Champion preferred that someone else does all the work and even play the victim. 'Well, you see, I prefer not to play in Bulgaria, but there are no other options.' We were prepared to play in India half the games or even the whole match, but Anand didn't make even the slightest effort to arrange anything about this. Even 3 million US$ aren't bad at all, if we remember Kasparov being ready to play his matches – against Shirov, Ponomariov or Kasimdzhanov – for a mere 1 million and no sponsor was found for any of them.

Topalov has been widely criticized for those remarks about Anand and they are certainly inappropriate on the official site. I would have thought that after Kasparov's record with the GMA, PCA, WCC, and Braingames (am I missing any?), top chess players had learned that they should stick to playing, not organizing.

The last World Championship match where Topalov was involved, the 2006 Kramnik - Topalov Unification Match, aka Toiletgate, left chess with a nasty stench. Let's hope that the Anand - Topalov leaves us holding our collective breath in suspense, not our noses in disgust.


DimitarFilmsBlog said...

Mr. Week, you have problem with democracy. Topalov has right to have an opinion and to express it. Saying "Players are here to play chess not to talk..." are pretty unusual for 21 cetury.

Mark Weeks said...

DimitarFilmsBlog - Before you lecture complete strangers on democracy, you should learn something about it. You have obviously confused democracy with the right to free speech. They are not the same thing.

Yes, Topalov has the right 'to have an opinion and to express it', just as I have the right to criticize what he says, just as you have the right to criticze what I say, etc. etc. Nowhere in my post did I indicate otherwise.

I wrote that Topalov's remarks 'are certainly inappropriate on the official site'. That is not Topalov's fault, that is the webmaster's fault. And yes, I can also criticize the material the webmaster places on his site. An 'official site' should be fair and balanced. So far, the official site has demonstrated neither of those qualities. - Mark

Fundamental Dude said...

Very well said