25 December 2013

World Championship Chess on Christmas

Even though I've been respecting WCC Wednesday since 2007 (the post Global Chess BV, May 2007, started the habit), this is the first time it falls on Christmas Day. What to write about? My first idea was to identify World Championship games that took place on 25 December. I thought of three events that fell over Christmas.
  • 1990 Kasparov - Karpov Title Match; New York/Lyon, X-XII, 1990 • The 21st game of the 24 game match was played on 19 December, with an adjournment the next day. The draw brought the score to +4-2=15 (11.5-9.5) in Kasparov's favor, meaning he needed only a draw to retain the title. The 22nd game was scheduled for Saturday, 22 December, but Karpov took a timeout. Although there had been pressure from the Lyon organizers to avoid timeouts on the Saturday games (the games were scheduled for Monday / Wednesday / Saturday each week), rumor was that Karpov took a swipe at them for lodging he considered unsatisfactory.

    FIDE President Campomanes granted a technical timeout for Monday, 24 December, and the game was played on the 26th. Kasparov got his draw, but the match continued to settle the prize money. This was to be the last World Championship match played using the system of FIDE cycles invented after the death of Alekhine. Before the following title match, foreseen for 1993, the cycle collapsed just after the Candidate matches.

  • 1997 FIDE Knockout Matches; Groningen, XII, 1997 • This was the first World Championship using the system of knockout matches imposed by FIDE President Ilyumzhinov. FIDE Champion Karpov was seeded directly into the final match, making the Groningen event more like a Candidates tournament. The 'quarter-final' (second-to-last round) of Groningen was scheduled to have the standard, long games played on 23-24 December, with the tiebreak on the 25th. Anand beat Gelfand in the standard games, while Adams and Short tied with a win each. In the fifth and last game of their tiebreak, a 5-minutes-to-4 blitz game (now called an Armageddon game), Adams, playing Black, beat Short. Anand beat Adams in the 'semi-final' (last round), which also reached the Armageddon stage, and earned the right to play Karpov three days later in Lausanne.

  • 2000 FIDE Knockout Matches; New Delhi/Tehran, XI-XII, 2000 • The final round was scheduled for standard games on 20-26 December (with a rest day on the 23rd) and a tiebreak on the 27th. Anand drew with Shirov in the first game, but won the next three games to win the title of FIDE Champion. It was his first World Championship title.

If my dates are correct, the only games played on the 25th were the Adams - Short tiebreak series in 1997. Anand won the title on 24 December in 2000. In case I've overlooked any events, I'll add them below. In the meantime, a Merry Christmas to one and all!

18 December 2013

2013 FIDE Executive Board : Whither the World Championship?

In past years, my annual look at documents published by FIDE about the World Championship -- last year's post was 2012 FIDE General Assembly : Whither the World Championship? -- has given me a good choice of material for this blog. This year, the documents from the 84th FIDE Congress Executive Board (EB), Tallinn, Estonia, in October, were less interesting, especially in comparison with, for example, the material on Ethics and Cheating.

I ended the '2012 Whither' post with a comparison of FIDE's two most recent attempts to commercialize its activities: Chess News Corporation (CNC) in 2009, and Agon in 2012.

I expect that any future 'Whither' posts will have little to say about CNC and much to say about Agon. Their London Grand Prix was a definite success and the Tashkent event starts today. The London Candidate matches in March will mark a clean break between the pre-Agon and Agon eras of chess history.

Let's look at the CNC and Agon in the 2013 EB. The first mention of either was during Ilyumzhinov's review of the past year.

1. Report of the President. President K. Ilyumzhinov presented his annual report. [...] As for our cooperation with Agon, both events in London took place with their active participation and its President A. Paulson, managed to succeed in several aspects, i.e. Chess Casting held during the London Candidates. He cooperated with Pentagram company, a leader in chess design, on a new design of chess pieces, you can find these on sale at the Harrods in London.

Mr. Paulson also had negotiations with Microsoft, Google etc. We are working towards bringing corporate sponsorship into chess and we think that during the match in Chennai, several important agreements will be signed. Large companies need much more time to prepare such detailed contracts.

That's not much, given that Agon was to be responsible for World Championship events over the next dozen years. No 'important agreements' were announced in Chennai, and for the next big event, Agon's presence is minimal.

5.20.3. FIDE Candidates’ Matches 2014. The dates should be 12-30 March 2014. [...] Mr. N. Freeman briefed the Board and said that there has been declaration of interests from Khanty-Mansiysk and Bulgaria, because the right to award the events belongs to Agon. [Long discussion of the circumstances around the two bids.] Mr. G. Makropoulos said this moment, with the situation we have in Agon, we could make a decision, negotiating on behalf of them at this moment.

What does Makropoulos mean by the 'the situation we have in Agon'? That had been discussed earlier along with the single reference to the CNC.

4. Administrative matters. [...]

4.4. CNC. Mr. G. Makropoulos presented his report.

4.5. Agon. Mr. G. Makropoulos informed the Executive Board about its activities

That's the entire content of the minutes on those two subjects. In contrast to the lengthy discussions on other important matters, usually further documented in an annex or two, the minutes offer two brief sentences. We can only assume that both projects are going the way of all previous FIDE commercial endeavors. Remember FIDE Commerce at the start of the year 2000? Neither does anyone else.

The person most closely associated with Agon was recently interviewed by Chessdom.com: Interview with Andrew Paulson, President of English Chess Federation

Q: What have you been doing in India to support the [Carlsen - Anand] Match?

A: I spent three months in India meeting with over 100 of India’s top companies, trying to evince interest in sponsoring the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match. I thought that this would be really easy: Anand, the Tiger from Madras; Chaturanga, invented in India; Carlsen, the ‘hottie’; supposedly 58% of Indian adults play chess regularly; and I’m a pretty good salesman. I was wrong: it wasn’t easy. It was impossible. Zero. But now I know all the reasons these Indian companies had for NOT sponsoring that event, and I will build on this and the friendships I made in India to design the right package of Indian events to get these same companies to say yes. Which they will.

Although there have been half-hearted attempts over the years by FIDE and national federations to find commercial sponsorship for chess, the greatest success has always been with passionate, wealthy patrons. I believe my efforts have been the most wide-ranging and persistent attempt to find sustainable, professional commercial partnerships. Many gears have to mesh in any sponsorship package in order for it to pass muster with a rational Marketing Director of any admirable company we would want to work with. We’re getting there.

The name 'Agon' isn't mentioned during the interview. Other reports on Paulson published since the end of the Chennai match paint a similar picture. I could give links, but why bother -- 'zero' means exactly that.

11 December 2013

2013 Carlsen - Anand & 2014 Carlsen - ???

I added the crosstable and PGN game scores to my page on the 2013 Carlsen - Anand title match, then added the event against both names on the Index of Players. I also created a new page for the 2014 Candidates Event to be held March 2014 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The next World Championship title match is scheduled for November 2014.

04 December 2013

Carlsen - Anand, Wrapup

The big match in Chennai has given me ample material for blog posts, of which I count two dozen to date. Here they are in chronological order. Most of the posts are from my main blog; posts from this World Championship blog are marked '(*)'. The first batch of posts was made before the match.

The second batch of posts was made while the match was being played. I spent so much time watching the games, that I sometimes was able to post only a photo.

Since the match ended, there has been plenty of opportunity for further posts.

I am certain that there are more posts to come. The match will continue to furnish material for years.

27 November 2013

Anand - Carlsen, the Third Week

The big match is over -- all over but the shouting, as they say, and I expect the shouting will continue for some time as the chess world adjusts to a generational shift. Magnus Carlsen's victory over Vishy Anand is the most important title match result since Kramnik beat Kasparov in 2000, which was the most important result since Kasparov beat Karpov in 1985, which was the most important result since Fischer beat Spassky in 1972, and so it goes in the history of the World Chess Championship, one generation supplanting and building on the previous.

My previous report, Anand - Carlsen, the Second Week, left off with the score +2-0=6 in Carlsen's favor, the Norwegian needing 1.5 points to win the match. Since that report, the benchmark Google News search on 'anand carlsen' has shrunk from 'about 82,800 results' to 'about 56,900 results', the first decline since I started tracking it the day before the opening ceremony. As the entire chess world knows by now, Carlsen gained the required 1.5 points in the next two games after that report.

The post-match analysis began immediately. Much of it involved soul-searching from Indian sources. How could one of their favorite sons have been beaten so badly?

The closing ceremony, despite the rich rewards not often seen in chess, was almost anti-climactic.

What happens now? The next championship cycle continues with a Candidates tournament and a World Championship match in 2014. There is some speculation whether Anand will participate in the cycle, but I expect that he will play. His play will be different, because he no longer carries the weight of the title on his shoulders, but he has always been a fighter and the next fight is waiting to be fought.

Carlsen will continue to dazzle for many years. He is young and his personality will continue to evolve. How will he adjust to the even bigger spotlight? This is, after all, a generational shift, and no one can say for sure what it will bring.

20 November 2013

Anand - Carlsen, the Second Week

We left off last week's post, Anand - Carlsen, the First Week, with game four just having finished in a thrilling draw. Since then, a Google News search on 'anand carlsen' has swelled from 'about 73,300 results' to 'about 82,800 results'. Let's first look at reports from Indian news sources for the five games played during the past week.

With wins for Carlsen in games five and six, it was a great week for the Norwegian grandmaster and a terrible week for Anand. Here are a few background stories that appeared during the week.

One of my personal discoveries during the week was the work of Jaideep Unudurti, writing for the Economic Times. I somehow overlooked his work until now and intend to review his previous articles when I find the time. In the meantime, here are two of his articles from this past week.

With four games to go, Carlsen leads 2-0. Will Anand manage to pull off a miracle? With the odds heavily stacked against that, will he manage to win at least one game? As long as I'm covering Indian sources, let's go back a few months to an interview with Anand that was published just after Carlsen won the London Candidates tournament.

Q: How different will [the Carlsen match] be from your previous WCC matches? • A: Firstly, he is not from my generation. There is a difference in age and outlook. When I played Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand, I read them in a certain way. And even then, I thought that if I end up playing Vlady this time, it would be a different Vlady from the one I played before. He (Carlsen) is from a different generation and Carlsen is also one of the most talented players from any generation. He will be ridiculously difficult to play against, yeah.

Next week's post might well be the last for this match. I hope you're enjoying the show as much as I am.

13 November 2013

Anand - Carlsen, the First Week

My previous post, Anand - Carlsen, One Day to Go, was a summary of news stories on *the match*, mainly from Indian news sources. A week later, the 'about 12,700 results' given by a Google News search on 'anand carlsen' has mushroomed to 'about 73,300 results'. Let's make another summary of news from the past week. Here are some pre-match reports.

As I write this, our two heroes have just drawn the fourth game, making four draws in four games, or +0-0=4 in W-L-D parlance. The first two games were short draws that ended in repetition, while the next two had considerable content. Somewhat surprisingly, all four games tipped in Black's favor.

The week's prize for bonehead chess reporting goes to a source I can't remember seeing before. The first story ignores the impact of an Anand victory on a nation of Indians. The second story needs to review the definition of 'disastrous'. What can you say about a news source whose current top featured article is 'Here's What It Takes To Work At Hooters'?

Considerably better, and another source I hadn't seen before, was the source I used for game two above.

Also worth noting is the source for game three above.

Where's game four? It should be in next week's news.

06 November 2013

Anand - Carlsen, One Day to Go

The opening ceremony of the long awaited World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen takes place tomorrow and media interest in chess is at a level not seen since Bobby Fischer died almost six years ago. On my main blog, a post on Anand - Carlsen Openings received more views after a few hours than most posts get over their entire lives.

The previous post on this blog, Anand - Carlsen Resources, offers a good metric in a Google News search on 'anand carlsen', currently showing 'About 12,700 results'. Many of those results are from Indian news sources, what you might expect from a country with a population of over a billion people celebrating a national hero.

It's impossible to keep up with that volume of reporting, but here are a few articles that caught my attention in the week running up to the start of the match.

Another article,

caught my eye not only for its many comments, but also for its 'Infographic', embedded below. (Note to myself: find out how to make one of these.)

Will Anand's opening gambit checkmate Carlsen?

In every parade there's someone standing on the side complaining about it, and chess makes a particularly easy target.

Why shouldn’t he be the World Champion?

The problem with the title of world champion is that it’s too crude a measurement of chess skill in an era of instantly updated ratings, and you get embarrassing, confusing situations where the player who is clearly the best isn’t labeled as such. Having a world champion makes sense in boxing, where infrequent matches make comparing fighters a tricky proposition. But in chess, as in tennis, the world’s two best players will meet head-to-head as many as four or five times in a year.

Tennis doesn’t have a world champion, and rightly so. That sport measures greatness by elevating four tournaments (the grand slams) above all others and assessing a player’s results there. Peaks and valleys are measured by a ratings algorithm that’s updated from week to week.

The author, who 'blogs about crossword puzzles', can go back to his word games. The rest of us will enjoy the ultimate test of chess skill that transcends 'instantly updated ratings' and the one-off 'head-to-head' meetings that prove nothing beyond who was in better form that day.

30 October 2013

Anand - Carlsen Resources

The much anticipated Anand - Carlsen title match starts in a little more than a week, so I'll use this week's World Chess Championship blog post to assemble a list of resources that I'll be following.

The formal title of the match is FIDE World Chess Championship 2013, Chennai, India, sometimes abbreviated to FWCM2013, and the official site is

The most important page on the site is the schedule, where I see that the first 12 games start at 03.00 PM (Indian Time). That's four and a half (!?) hours ahead of my local time, which means they will be starting at 10:30 AM for me.

I well remember the 2000 FIDE Knockout Matches, held in New Delhi (last round in Tehran), where Anand won his first World Championship title. At the time I compiled links to a list of news reports from India -- 2000 FIDE Knockout Matches, Reports from The Hindu -- which still lead to the original pages, nearly 13 years after the event. Here are links to two respected Indian news organizations, which should be excellent sources of on-site reporting in English.

As for a Norwegian source, there is a language barrier, but there are good translation tools to overcome this. I couldn't find a chess category, so here's a Google news search.

Since most chess fans know the main chess news sites, I won't list them here. If I discover a tag or category specific to the match, I'll add it to the end of this post. As for mainstream news sources, here's a link and an RSS feed to the same.

The Twittersphere (or Twitterverse, as some folks prefer) will be red hot. I won't try to anticipate its center of gravity, so I'll just list the account associated with the official site. It's been relatively sleepy until now.

Whenever I get the chance, I'll be watching the games live on the ChessBomb / Chessdom Live Arena. It always offers decent analysis from a world class player along with the usual mixed bag of comments from chess fans. A good post-game source is Chessgames.com, which also has an accurate record of past encounters between the two players.

Finally I'll list my own page, which I won't update until the match is over.

That's a good start. I'm sure I'll be consulting this post frequently throughout the match.


Later: Here are a few links for match reporting on the main chess news sites:-

Plus a few blogs maintained by match insiders:-

I'll add new links as I discover them.

23 October 2013

Anand - Carlsen Interviews

With the big Anand - Carlsen match only two weeks away, here are a pair of similar interviews with the players.

Interview with Anand prior to his match with Carlsen, 2013 (23:16) • 'World Champion Viswanathan Anand interviewed after 8th "Tal Memorial" in Moscow. Most of the questions regard his upcoming (November 2013) match with title challenger Magnus Carlsen.'

The 8th Tal Memorial took place in June.

Interview with Carlsen prior to his match with Anand, 2013 (11:03) • 'Interview with the highest rated chess player in the world, challenger for the world championship Magnus Carlsen from Norway. Taken after 8th "Tal Memorial" in Moscow. Most of the questions regard his upcoming (November 2013) match with World champion Vishy Anand.'

See Youtube channel ChessTVOfficial for more, although most of the videos on the channel are in Russian.

16 October 2013

2012-13 GP / 2013 WCC

My previous post, 2012-2013 Grand Prix, Paris, added the sixth and last event of the current cycle's GP series to my page on the 2012-2013 Grand Prix.

The next task was to add the GP series to each player on the Index of Players, which cross-indexes all World Championship events to the players who competed in the many events. The table on the left lists the 23 players who competed in the just completed GP. The middle column shows a player's overall score and the right column shows the number of games played.

It's worth noting that the most successful player, GM Caruana, did not qualify for one of the two places in the forthcoming Candidates tournament. Those qualification spots went to the next two players on the list, GMs Topalov and Mamedyarov, although GM Grischuk had the same score as Mamedyarov. These anomalies occurred because each player's worst GP tournament is dropped from the calculation of the overall score.

One action remains: to document the overall score for all players. Although I looked in all of the usual places, I couldn't find the FIDE calculations. This is still open for the 2011-2012 FIDE Women's Grand Prix, an event which finished two years ago. I could calculate the scores myself, but I'll probably end up copying them from Wikipedia.


While I was preparing updates, I also added a link for the official site to may page on the forthcoming 2013 Anand - Carlsen match. I found two official looking logos on that site and, not sure which one to use, I used both. The artier logo is shown on the left.

The opening ceremony takes place on 7 November, followed by the first game on 9 November. The games will be played at a rhythm of two games on consecutive days, followed by a rest day. If the match goes the distance, there will be an additional rest day between games 11 and 12, then between game 12 and the tiebreaks, which are scheduled for 28 November. Like most observers, I hope the match goes the distance. World class chess deserves a great show.

09 October 2013

2012-2013 Grand Prix, Paris

I added the crosstable and PGN for the 2013 Paris event to my page on the 2012-2013 Grand Prix. The SB tiebreak values on my page don't match the calculations on the official site, but I've used my algorithms so often that I don't think they're at fault. The official site might have used a nonstandard formula, like excluding a value. I'll investigate if I get a chance.

More important is to wrap up the series, since the Paris event was the sixth and last scheduled tournament. I need to add the calculations that determine the overall winner (and qualifiers to the Candidate event), plus add the participants to the index that cross-references players and events.

Despite its shortcomings, the Grand Prix series has become a fixture on FIDE's World Championship calendar. It might be worthwhile documenting its forerunner, the GMA World Cup of the late 1980s.

02 October 2013

2013-2014 Women's Grand Prix, Tashkent

I added the crosstable and PGN for the 2013 Tashkent (Uzbekistan) event to my page on the 2013-2014 FIDE Women's Grand Prix. Following the 2013-2014 Women's Grand Prix, Dilijan, this was the third of six events in the Women's Grand Prix series.

25 September 2013

Hou Yifan Recaptures Women's Title

I added the 2013 Hou Yifan - Ushenina Title Match to the index page covering the World Chess Championship for Women. This was the last event in the 2011-2013 cycle for women. The most important rules for the cycle were already summarized in my post on the 2011-2012 Women's Grand Prix, Jermuk.

There is much that can be said about the structure of the Women's World Championship, but I'll leave that for another time. In the meantime, congratulations to the remarkable Hou Yifan for regaining her women's title!

There are two more World Championship events currently underway. For details, see September 2013 World Championships on my main blog.

18 September 2013

2013 World Cup PGN and Players

Finishing the work started with 2013 World Cup Results, I added the PGN for all seven rounds of the 2013 World Cup. I also added links for the 128 participants to the Index of Players that covers all World Chess Championship events.

11 September 2013

2013 World Cup Results

I added the results of the recent Tromso, Norway, event to my page on the 2013 World Cup. TBA: PGN, explanation of abbreviations, and index of players.

Congratulations to GM Kramnik on a convincing victory. He had competed only once before in a World Championship elimination event, the 1999 FIDE Knockout Matches in Las Vegas, where he lost in the fifth (quarterfinal) round to GM Adams.

04 September 2013

C26 Zonal Clippings 2013

In my previous post C26 Zonal Clippings 2012, I mentioned that the permanent page for Zonals 2012-2013 (C26), 'includes only the six events played in 2012, and I'll add the events from 2013 as soon as I can.' And so I did.

21 August 2013

C26 Zonal Clippings 2012

Continuing with C26 Zonals Indexed, I created a page for clippings from other sources, titled Zonals 2012-2013 (C26). 'C26' is my code for the 26th zonal cycle since FIDE introduced the zonal qualifications in the late 1940s.

I also added links for the new page to the index of all World Championship Zonals, as well as to the overall index for the World Chess Championship. The new page of clippings includes only the six events played in 2012, and I'll add the events from 2013 as soon as I can.

14 August 2013

C26 Zonals Indexed

Continuing with C26 Zonals, I added the 22 new events for cycle 26 to the index page of the World Championship Zonals. Next step: Add clippings for the 22 events.

07 August 2013

C26 Zonals

The 2013 World Cup starts in a few days, which means it's time to update my index of the World Championship Zonals, and include the events from the current cycle. To get started, I identified all events and referenced them to The Week in Chess (TWIC). Here's the list.
1.0: TWIC 908 - (C 2012)
1.0: TWIC 967 - (C 2013)

2.0: TWIC 937 - (C 2012)
2.0: TWIC 967 - (C 2013)
2.1: TWIC 966 - (Z)
2.2: TWIC 927 - (Z)
2.3: TWIC 970 - (Z)
2.4: TWIC 965 - (Z)
2.5: TWIC 964 - (Z)

3.0: TWIC 914 - (C 2012)
3.0: TWIC 969 - (C 2013)
3.1: TWIC 966 - (Z)
3.2: TWIC 953 - (Z)
3.3: TWIC 952 - (Z)
3.4: TWIC 971 - (Z)
3.5: TWIC 933 - (Z)
3.6: TWIC 966 - (Z)
3.7: TWIC 936 - (Z)

4.0: TWIC 968 - (C 2013)
4.2: TWIC 966 - (Z)
4.3: TWIC 966 - (Z)

Only one event, zonal 4.1, is missing from TWIC. Next step: Update the index of all zonals.

31 July 2013

Averbakh on the World Championship

In yesterday's post on my main blog, Friendly Chess Players, I introduced Averbakh's 'Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes: A Personal Memoir'. The book is filled with stories about the World Championship, some of them new to me, many of them in more detail than I've seen before. Here's a list, each entry starting with its first page number in the book.

059 : 1950 CT
063 : 1951 19th USSR Chp semifinal (pre-zonal)
064 : ---- Pen portraits (A)
070 : 1951 19th USSR Chp (zonal)
071 : 1952 IZ
078 : 1953 CT
092 : 1955 22nd USSR Chp (zonal)
100 : ---- Sparring partner to MB
108 : 1958 25th USSR Chp (zonal)
110 : 1958 IZ
112 : ---- Early rules for WCC
120 : 1959 CT
129 : 1962 CT
147 : 1968 IZ playoff
154 : 1971 CM: TP-VK, RF-TP
157 : ---- Baturinsky
163 : 1972 WC: RF-BS
164 : 1963 VS & zonal
166 : 1974 CM: TP-LP, VK-TP
169 : 1977 CM: VK-TP
171 : 1974 FIDE Congress: AK-RF
175 : 1974 CM: AK-VK
178 : 1976 VK defection
185 : 1978 WC: AK-VK, Sevastianov
190 : 1982 IZ
193 : 1972 WC: RF-BS, Euwe
194 : 1982 FIDE President Campomanes
199 : 1982 CM: VS-RH, VS-ZR, GK-VK
214 : 1984 WC: AK-GK I
220 : 1985 WC: GK-AK II
221 : 1986 WC: GK-AK III
223 : 1987 FIDE Presidential election, GMA
223 : 1987 WC: GK-AK IV
224 : 1988 USSR Chp, GK-AK playoff
227 : 1988 USSR vs. World charity match
229 : 1990 Women's CT, Krogius
232 : 1972 Graz, Huebner - Rogoff (B)
233 : 1990 FIDE Presidential election
235 : 1987 GMA
236 : ---- Chess psychology (C)
240 : 1982 OL: Manila
242 : 1993 Schism, PCA, GK-NS, AK-JT
247 : 1994 OL: Salonika -> Moscow
250 : 1994 FIDE Presidential election
251 : 1995 FIDE Congress, Paris, Ilyumzhinov

IZ: Interzonal
CT: Candidate Tournament
CM: Candidate Match
WC: World Championship
OL: Olympiad (esp. Congress++)

AK: Karpov, BS: Spassky, GK: Kasparov, JT: Timman, LP: Portisch, MB: Botvinnik, NS: Short, RF: Fischer, RH: Huebner, TP: Petrosian, VK: Korchnoi, VS: Smyslov, ZR: Ribli

(A) Zubarev, Blumenfeld, Duz-Khotimirsky, Rabinovich, Verlinsky, Romanovsky
(B) A little known story about the future IMF Chief Economist; nothing to do with WC
(C) Incl. six categories of player as in 'Friendly Chess Players'

Although Averbakh's book deserves a review on my blog, this summary will have to do for now.

24 July 2013

2012-2013 Grand Prix, Beijing

These days it seems I'm spending half of my WCC time documenting Grand Prix events. Only a month after 2012-2013 Grand Prix, Thessaloniki ended, the 2013 Beijing event started. As usual for the current GP series, I added it to my page 2012-2013 Grand Prix.

17 July 2013

Catching up with FIDE

It's been a while since I last reviewed FIDE announcements, so I spent a few hours catching up with the last few months. I added links for relevant announcements to my pages on the 2013 World Cup and the 2013 Anand - Carlsen title match. Most of the other announcements relative to the World Championship were for future years. Here's a list of those I found most important.

I also found many announcements relevant to the current Grand Prix series -- both men's and women's -- but I ran out of time to consider them properly. I'll tackle those another time.

10 July 2013

Site Translation

The site translation function on my main page, The World Chess Championship, has been broken for some time, so I upgraded it to Google's current standard. It's considerably more complicated than previous versions and it remains to be seen how well it works in practice.

I also added a mention of the official site to my page on the 2013 World Cup. The event starts one month from today.

03 July 2013

2013-2014 Women's Grand Prix, Dilijan

I added the crosstable and PGN for the 2013 Dilijan (Armenia) event to my page on the 2013-2014 FIDE Women's Grand Prix. Four of the last five posts on this blog have been to add the latest results from one of the two concurrent Grand Prix series. The Dilijan event started only a month after the previous women's event -- the 2013-2014 Women's Grand Prix, Geneva -- ended.

26 June 2013

2012-2013 Grand Prix, Thessaloniki

I added the crosstable for the 2013 Thessaloniki event to my page on the 2012-2013 Grand Prix (The PGN is still in process and will be added shortly.)

Thessaloniki or Thessalonica? Wikipedia says, 'Thessaloniki, also known as Thessalonica and Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece'. How does this work on search? Google returns 'about 261,000 results' for 'chess thessaloniki', but only 'about 87,100 results' for 'chess thessalonica', even though the latter search is 'including results for chess thessaloniki'. It returns 'about 17,700 results' for 'chess salonica' without mention of 'including' anything, although the results highlight mostly 'Thessaloniki'.

The action that I gave myself for the post on 2012-2013 Grand Prix, Zug remains to be done. All in good time, but first I'll finish the PGN.

29 May 2013

2013-2014 Women's Grand Prix, Geneva

I added the crosstable for the 2013 Geneva event to my page on the 2013-2014 FIDE Women's Grand Prix. (The PGN will follow shortly.)

22 May 2013

2013-2014 Women's Grand Prix

I added a new page for the 2013-2014 FIDE Women's Grand Prix to my index page on the World Chess Championship for Women. The first of the six Grand Prix events has already been played and the results can be found at geneva2013.fide.com. I'll add those results to my own page as soon as I can.

The official site for the 2013 Geneva event included a new FIDE logo that I don't remember seeing before. I've copied it to this post.

15 May 2013

More Cumulative Scores

When I prepared the Cumulative Scores for the early candidates tournaments, and later for the 2013 London Candidates, I overlooked the two most recent World Championship tournaments,

While I was preparing those, I realized I had no tiebreak info for 2007 Mexico City, and will add it ASAP.

08 May 2013

2012-2013 Grand Prix, Zug

I added the crosstable for the 2013 Zug event to my page on the 2012-2013 Grand Prix. (The PGN will follow shortly.)

The second edition of the FIDE Grand Prix has been just as chaotic as the first (see 2008-2009 Grand Prix for background and links). I last commented on the situation in a post on London Candidates - First Week, but much has happened since then and I haven't found the time to dissect the changes. In any case, the situation is certain to continue evolving. I'll add relevant links to the page on the 2012-2013 Grand Prix -- and maybe do a post here -- as soon as I can.

01 May 2013

2013 Anand - Carlsen (in India?)

I added a page on the forthcoming 2013 Anand - Carlsen title match to my main World Chess Championship index page. The new page is little more than a stub, but I expect lots of news over the next six months.

Why would FIDE want to award the organization of the match without a bidding process? Didn't they learn anything from the disastrous schism that was the result of the flawed award in 1993? See FIDE/PCA Chronology for more about those dark days that resulted in a lost decade for world class chess players.

24 April 2013

London Candidates - The Players

I added the eight players who participated in the 2013 Candidates Event to the Index of players who have participated in any World Championship event since the beginning of recorded time. While I was there, I restructured the index to make it a bit more friendly.

17 April 2013

Six Months Before Anand - Carlsen

Now that the 2013 Candidates Event, played in London, is behind us, we can look forward to the Anand - Carlsen title match in November. The FIDE Calendar 2013 currently says '6-Nov-2013 : 26-Nov-2013', but this is undoubtedly subject to change.

The Rules & Regulations for the match mention both Anand and Carlsen, so they were published after the end of the Candidates tournament. We are looking at a 12 game match with tiebreak. According to a post I wrote three years ago, Intermediate Scores as a Match Predictor, 12 is a sufficient number of games. What happens if either Anand or Carlsen can't play?

3.6.2 If a player refuses to participate in the World Championship Match, he will be replaced as follows: The runner up finalist of FWCM 2012 GM Boris Gelfand replaces the World champion Vishy Anand and the runner up of the Candidates Tournament 2013 Vladimir Kramnik replaces the challenger Magnus Carlsen. In case any or both players refuse to participate when invited, or for any further replacements needed, the rating list of January 2013 will be used to determine their replacements.

The Chessgames.com links I created for the Candidates event, 2013 London CT Player Records, proved particularly useful. Here's the same for the title match: Classical games: Viswanathan Anand beat Magnus Carlsen 6 to 2, with 19 draws. Those 27 games are from a total of 58 played between the two opponents. How does that compare to my own PGN file on Carlsen's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record? I downloaded the file, extracted the Anand - Carlsen games, and also came up with 58. Here are some SCID stats for the first moves used.

Judging by comments in various places, Carlsen is the favorite going into the match. He was also the favorite going into the Candidates tournament, but emerged the victor thanks to a controversial tiebreak system. Given that he has little match experience, I expect the upcoming title match will be close.

10 April 2013

London Candidates - Wrapup

Important World Championship events always give me tons of material for my blogs. Here are posts for the recent London candidates event, starting with the blog you are now reading.

Posts from my main blog, Chess for All Ages, are usually lighter.

I even found inspiration for a post on my chess960 blog.

For a similar post on last year's title match, see Anand - Gelfand Wrapup.


(*) Includes links to Chessbase & Chessvibes reports for all rounds.

03 April 2013

London Candidates - Final Week

I added the crosstable and PGN file to my page on the 2013 Candidates Event. I also included a description of the tie-break systems which played a key role in determining the winner.

A few years ago I added Cumulative Scores to my pages on the earliest Candidates tournaments. Here is the same for the 2013 London event.

For a round by round account of the tournament, see my previous post, London Candidates - Second Week.

27 March 2013

London Candidates - Second Week

Today, round 10 of the 2013 Candidates Tournament is taking place. In my previous post, London Candidates - First Week, I listed British web sources. Now I'll list international sources, including live videos -- commentary and press conference -- from the playing site.

Rd. Live Chessbase Chessvibes
R0   Opening CeremonyPairings and commentary schedule PredictionsOfficially opened by Ilyumzhinov
R1 Video All games drawn Tournament starts peacefully: four draws
R2 Video Radjabov, Aronian draw first blood Aronian and Radjabov first winners
R3 Video Three decisive gamesExpert commentary Aronian sole leader after exciting round
R4 Video Carlsen joins Aronian in the lead Carlsen catches Aronian in first place
R5 Video All four games drawnPostmortem Four fighting draws
R6 Video Carlsen, Aronian win, leadPostmortem Aronian & Carlsen increase lead
R7 Video Mercy was the constant Four draws, Aronian & Carlsen maintain lead
R8 Video Kramnik, Gelfand, Grischuk winPostmortems Aronian & Carlsen still tied, Kramnik a point behind
R9 Video Carlsen survives, Aronian losesPostmortems Carlsen in sole lead as Aronian loses to Gelfand
R10 Video Kramnik, Aronian, Carlsen winOdds of winning the event Aronian, Carlsen & Kramnik winners
R11 Video Kramnik wins, Aronian losesPostmortems Kramnik beats Radjabov, now second as Aronian loses to Svidler
R12 Video Kramnik overtakes Carlsen after dramatic round Kramnik wins [vs. Aronian], overtakes Carlsen
R13 Video Kramnik draws, Carlsen winsPictures and postmortems Carlsen grinds down Radjabov to catch Kramnik in first place
R14 Video Leaders lose, Carlsen qualifiesPress conferences, postmortems Carlsen & Kramnik both lose in final round, Carlsen wins Candidates

I hope the table will eventually include all rounds.


Later: I added the opening ceremony ('R0') and rounds 10 through 12.

Even later: I added rounds 13 and 14. This was a great tournament!

20 March 2013

London Candidates - First Week

I'm watching the fifth round of the 2013 Candidates Tournament as I write this. There is so much to say on the subject, but so little to say that's important. I had planned to travel to London to watch the first few rounds of the tournament, but high travel costs coupled with a high uncertainty of seeing memorable games made me change my mind. As luck would have it, there is much to take in from the comfort of my home office.

British sources: With the tournament being held in London, British / English sources (yes, I do understand the difference) are closest to the action.

The 'Streatham & Brixton Chess Blog', which is usually one of my favorite sources, has been a disappointment. Snotty posts like How many wheels left on the AP wagon? and Chess Is Like... The Carlton Club? leave me wondering why these bloggers focus only on the negative.

Also disappointing was a BBC interview, with multiple video sources linked from Carlsen & Paulson on the BBC. The comments to that Chessvibes.com post list many of the problems with the interview and the interviewer. Neither Carlsen nor Paulson was able to rescue it. Did the interview air? I hope not. Surely the BBC can do better than this.

As for the live onsite commentary, last year I commented on the Moscow broadcasts from the Anand - Gelfand title match (see World Championship Chess on TV, 'the sheer pleasure of seeing the most important chess event of the year in real time') which set the bar very high. I'm happy to report that the London broadcasts are meeting, maybe even exceeding, the Moscow mark.

Tiebreaks: The chess itself has been fantastic. Since the objective of the event is to identify a challenger for Anand later this year, I started to wonder what happens if there is a tied score at the end of the 14 rounds. A readable copy of FIDE's 'Rules & Regulations' can be found on Chessdom.com: Candidates Tournament 2012 (the dates for the event were originally proposed for 2012); see '3.7 Tie-breaks'. It's complicated.

Grand Prix: It turns out that the premonitions of disaster (see A House Divided for background) were well founded. First we had a report from Chessdom.com: FIDE Grand Prix moves from Portugal to Switzerland, which has yet to be confirmed by FIDE. Then we had a report from Chessvibes.com: Nakamura sends open letter to Agon/FIDE regarding Grand Prix situation, which has yet to be addressed by FIDE. The evolving situation is following the same script as the first Grand Prix (2008-2009), which I documented at the time in Groan Prix. 'Fool me once', etc. etc.

13 March 2013

2013 World Championship Events

With the 2013 London Candidates tournament scheduled to start in a few days, I brought my page 2013 Candidates Event up to date, along with a link to the official site, london2013.fide.com. After that, I added a new page for the 2013 World Cup, scheduled to start in August.

The next World Championship match is still on the FIDE calendar for November 2013. That means there will be a little more than six months to organize the match after the Candidates tournament has determined Anand's challenger.

Following up last week's post, A House Divided, Silvio Danailov, President of the European Chess Union (ECU), tweeted on 11 March, '[Grand] Prix in Lisbon also cancelled. AGON(Y) is about to finish'. The event is on the FIDE calendar with a 17 April start date.

06 March 2013

A House Divided

With the London Candidates tournament fast approaching, I'll take a break from the Zonal Overview, last seen in Zonal Overview 2013 3.x & 4.x, and return to the subject of FIDE politics, last seen in What Is Going on Here. In that post I quoted Silvio Danailov, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, which had lost a bid for organizing the Candidates event to Agon and its representative, Andrew Paulson:-
I have met Paulson & Co several times and I immediately realized that [they] are not serious and will be a complete disaster for chess after the Candidates where Azerbaijan pays the bill. So far this is their only sponsor. The London Grand Prix was one of the worse organized big chess events ever; everybody could see it. They have no money, no sponsors and absolutely no idea about chess at all.

Those are strong words, coming from a person who is also President of the European Chess Union (ECU) and a member of the FIDE Presidential Board, the highest decision making group in international chess. Were these opinions sour grapes, petty politics, or something more substantial? To find out, I started following Danailov's Twitter feed, Silvio Danailov on Twitter. Following are excerpts [sometimes translated from Russian by Google Translate with minor editing for punctuation; I've left in untranslated words]. First, here are a pair of tweets on Agon's attempts to organize the other Grand Prix events.

Feb 19: Madrid Gran Prix will be cancelled soon. You guess what will happen with Paris & Berlin, it's not so difficult to predict. Pray for Lisbon guys

Feb 19: You can bet on it

A few days later this was followed by comments on a retweeted FIDE announcement (WCOC = World Championships & Olympiads Commission).

Feb 25 (FIDE @Fide_chess): WCOC recommendations approved by the Presidential Board

Feb 25: All these recommendations are shameful and discriminatory for ECU and Europe. BTW, the WCOC commission is the worst by far in FIDE.

Feb 25: I hope next ECU GA in Warsaw in November will not approve this nonsense.

Feb 26 (Chess-News.ru @Chess__News): Russian version -> Translated version 'FIDE adopted the recommendations of the committee for the World Championships and the Olympic Games, which are called the infamous Danailov'

Feb 27: Chess Churov again blather and PR deshego, his favorite spetsialnost. Mozhet calm down, this nonsense will not work on the [GA] in November.

Feb 27: Of course he forgot to mention that out of $ 50,000 prize money to Asia and America FIDE makes $ 35,000.

Feb 27: So in fact the prize in Asia and America 15.000 $, a in Europe on his proposal to be 150.000 €. As saying pochuvstvayte difference

Feb 27: So he, along with FIDE true boritsya fiercely for the rights of players in Asia and America

Feb 27: That's the main problem, you write too much and you're always the same. (From the comments chess-news.ru)

I think 'Churov' refers to Evgeny Surov, the editor-in-chief of Chess-News.ru. It's worth noting that the 'prize money' is for the Continental Championships, and that the European continent is not organized the same as the other continents. In Europe, the European Championship is the only opportunity for European players to qualify for the World Cup, the next stage in the World Championship cycle. The other continents offer zonal tournaments in addition to the Continental Championship. After this, we return to the Grand Prix.

Feb 28: Panic. Desperately moving back to the usual suspects: Baku, Jermuk, Nalchik, Elista, etc,etc. The question is, are they available any longer?

Feb 28: I won't bet on it

Feb 28 (Mikhail Golubev ?@mikhail_golubev) they have Grozny (the capital of the Chechen Republic) in reserve: several years ago they wanted to make a top event there

Then back to comments on the WCOC.

Mar 1: Riddle of the day: What is the reward awaiting Churov chess FIDE for the faithful service of his Greek head this year? Reply soon, hurry-:)

Mar 1: Answer the riddle of the day: Presidential nomination for the World Cup in Tromso, the same that he has already received in [Khanty] 2011 for the dedication and achievements.

Here I'm baffled. The six nominees of the FIDE President for the 2011 World Cup were Kasimdzhanov, Sutovsky, Nielsen, Ding Liren, Bologan, and Moradiabadi. What do any of them have to do with Churov/Surov? In any case, no one should be surprised that the presidential nominations are used for political reasons. What other purpose would they serve? Finally, a few days ago, we had a pair of retweets.

Mar 4 (Chess-News.ru @Chess__News): Russian version • Mar 4 (Chess-News.ru @Chess__News): English version, Ilya Levitov on FIDE: "There's Not Such an Organisation. Their Actions Are Supported Neither By the Idea, Nor By Any Plan"

Levitov is a FIDE Vice President and also a member of the Presidential Board. The Chess-news.ru article started,

Ilya Levitov, the Chairman of the Management Board of the Russian Chess Federation, strongly criticised the international chess federation in the recent interview given to Sport-Express : "Unfortunately, I have not any kind of relations with FIDE. That's because in reality this organisation doesn't exist. Their actions are supported neither by the Idea, nor by any plan. They meet, discuss something and make some decisions, which have no influence on the chess world. FIDE is remembered only when it prepares another mean trick for the chess players.

So we have the President of the European Federation badmouthing attempts to organize World Championship events on his continent. We also have a FIDE Vice President saying, 'I have not any kind of relations with FIDE'. What is wrong with this picture?

27 February 2013

Zonal Overview 2013 3.x & 4.x

It didn't take much work to research the question from Zonal Overview 2013 2.x, and it will take even less work for the Asian (3.x) and African (4.x) continents, shown below.

The change in 3.x numbering from C21 to C22 is explained on my page Zonals : Links (and Other References). A special analysis is needed for Africa. Although the overview looks consistent, much of the data for zones 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 is missing. The current data is filled with placeholders.

20 February 2013

Zonal Overview 2013 2.x

I researched the anomalies flagged in Zonal Overview 2013 1.x, added my notes to that post, and created a similar table for zones numbered 2.x, the Americas, shown below. Some cleanup is required to make the numbering consistent and to eliminate subzonals, but that is light work. Is C16 Z2.5 missing?

Next on the docket: the Asian and African continents, zones 3.x & 4.x.


Later: Re the question on C16 Z2.5, I'm certain that zone 2.4 was split for the following cycle, C17, although I can't find a direct mention. The Interzonal for C17, the 1997 FIDE Knockout Matches, lists five players from zones 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5. Garcia,Gild (COL) and Hernandez,Gi (MEX) qualified from San Salvador zt 1995 (Z2.3). Granda Zuniga,J (PER) and Milos,G (BRA) qualified from Z2.4 Sao Paulo (see Zonals 1995-1997, C17). Morovic (CHI) qualified from Santiago zt 1995 (Z2.5).

13 February 2013

Zonal Overview 2013 1.x

Continuing with Zonal Overview 2013, I looked into the anomalies shown in the table on that post and added notes for them. The zonal numbering changed to the continental system in the mid-1990s, so the technique I used is only useful through cycle 15.

For cycles 16 and later, I created a similar table for the European continent, i.e. zones numbered 1.x. Not shown in the table are the first continental championships that replaced the zonals starting in cycle 20.

After analyzing these results, I'll tackle the American continent, zones 2.x.


Later: (zonals with more than one event; see INF57 for more crosstables)
C16 Z1.1: 1.1a Dublin; 1.1b Brussels; 1.1c Lisbon
C16 Z1.2: 1.2a Graz; 1.2b Zagreb
C16 Z1.4: combine -> 1.4-A&B Budapest 1993-03
C16 Z1.5: 1.5a Zouberi; 1.5a' Kladovo; 1.5b Protvino
C16 Z1.7: 1.7a Vilnius; 1.7b Nikolaev; Why two?
C18 Z1.7: 1.7? Tallinn; others?
C19 Z1.6: 1.6-1 Moscow 1999; 1.6-2 Samara (53rd RUS chp) 2000


C16 Z1.5: see note EK esp. 'playoff was in Athens'; Zouberi zt 1993; Kladovo zt 1993; 1993 Biel FIDE IZ: 15 Sokolov I GM BOS (how qualified?), 19 Abramovic B GM FIDE (Wikipedia: '1st at Kladovo 1993'), 39 Kozul Z GM BOS (1.2b Zagreb), 51 Nikolic P GM BOS (how qualified?)

C18 Z1.7: Zone 1.7 - J. Ehlvest (EST), D. Fridman (LAT), E. Rozentalis (LTU); Tallinn zt 1998 (Fridman, Rozentalis)

C19 Z1.6: 2000 FIDE Knockout Matches - RUS 16 players; Moscow 1999-12 - Sakaev, Bezgodov; Samara 2000-06 - Volkov, Kharlov, Rustemov; how did others qualify?

06 February 2013

Zonal Overview 2013

It's time to tackle the zonals again. This is partly because 2013 Is a Zonal Year and partly because I haven't touched the subject for almost a year. My first action was to recreate the table I created four years ago in Zonal Overview.

Although the format of the updated table, shown below, is substantially the same as the previous version, there is one important difference: the cycle numbering I use to keep the data together differs for 1997 and after (see Zonals, Current Cycles, and GM Kamsky for the reason I did this).

Just as I did the last time I created the table, I'll step through it methodically to investigate the anomalies, fix those that are errors, and document those that are the result of valid reasons.


Later: (zonals with more than one event)
C05 Z02: 2-1 (annulled) Berg en Dal; 2-2 Marianske Lazne
C05 Z09: 9-1 (East subzone) Sydney; 9-2 (West subzone) Madras; 9f Madras
C06 Z04: 4(qualifier) Leningrad (USSR chp); 4(zonal) Moscow
C10 Z03: 3 (1/2/3:C) Vraca; 3 (1/2/3:D) Pula; 3 playoff? Arandjelovac (Arandelovac)
C13 Z01: 1A Brighton; 1B Montpellier; 1C Barcelona (Castelldefels)
C13 Z02: 2A + playoff +TB Beersheba; 2B + playoff Gausdal; 2S (tnmt for Swiss seed) Zurich
C14 Z01: 1A Bath; 1B Budel; 1C Andorra
C14 Z02: 2A Munich; 2B/14 Gausdal
C14 Z03: 3A Warsaw; 3B Warsaw [no playoff]
C15 Z01: 1A Blackpool; 1B Lyon; 1C Yebenez
C15 Z03: 3A +playoff Stara Zagora; 3B +playoff Stara Zagora [no playoff]
C15 Z08: 8 Cali; 8 subzonal? Pinar del Rio CUB [delete]


C10 Z03: Arandjelovac zt playoff; IZ Biel - Smejkal; IZ Manila - Uhlmann; Adorjan tied for 1st-3rd but did not play IZ
C14 Z03: IZ Subotica - Sax; IZ Szirak - Marin; IZ Zagreb - Pinter, Inkiov
C15 Z03: IZ Manila - Ftacnik, Georgiev, Marin, Stohl

30 January 2013

Agon Chief-of-Staff Robert Fontaine

Before joining Agon at the end of last summer (see GM Robert Fontaine joins Agon as chief of staff to Andrew Paulson) GM Robert Fontaine was a long time collaborateur with the leading French chess magazine Europe Echecs. The February 2013 issue of EE featured an article titled 'Interview: Robert Fontaine of Europe Echecs on the Candidates'. I took the liberty of translating portions for non-French speakers.
In the 21st century, all chess roads lead to London : from the FIDE Grand Prix to the Candidates Tournament, en passant to the London Chess Classic won for the third time in four editions by Magnus Carlsen. Rightly, Robert Fontaine now lives in the English capital. The French GM is at the forefront in more ways than one.

Q: First of all, can you remind the readers of Europe Echecs about the exact nature of your work at Agon?

A: My official title is "Chief of Staff". I have a wide enough role. I serve as interface and counsel between AGON and FIDE, the players, the media, etc. I help to develop everything that touches the game of chess.

Q: What conclusions did you draw from the first two Grand Prix at London and at Tashkent?

A: Very positive. I should point out that AGON participated only in the organization of the first Grand Prix at London. We had no experience. With a few exceptions, concerning the lodging, we had excellent feedback from the players. But one must know that hotels are extremely expensive in London. The playing conditions were excellent. The hall was on the 'Strand', one of the most popular streets, a few steps from Trafalgar Square. The coverage of the event was fantastic [...]

[Q & A: On the format of the Grand Prix cycle and on whether a French player might be invited like Adams at London.]

Q: Let's get to the Candidates Tournament... How to characterize the organization?

A: There's an enormous amount of work and we are all feeling a lot of excitement. We saw what didn't work when organizing the Grand Prix. Now everything is falling into place in tight cooperation with the players, FIDE, the partners, etc. I can already tell you that there won't be a glass cage. Andrew Paulson is totally against it. He wants a show, with the public as close as possible to the players. It won't be the same staging as at the last World Championship in Moscow : two players sitting at their table behind glass and distant spectators following the game on a big blue chessboard projected on a backdrop. We are still working on the project with Pentagram, a design agency. The idea is rather to move the players to an arena, a little like Cap d'Agde [a top French tournament].

Q: Where will it take place?

A: The playing hall will be in the heart of London, at the headquarters of IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), Savoy Place, on the bank of the Thames. The 'Big Wheel' is just in front and Big Ben is two steps away. It's a magnificent locale.

Q: Can you tell us about the level and the motivation of the eight candidates?

A: The four best players in the world as of the January 1st Elo ranking will be present: Carlsen, Kramnik, Aronian, and Radjabov. No one is really saying it, but everyone is aware that the titleholder, Vishy Anand, is no longer on the rise, so to speak. They see the Candidates Tournament as a chance to become World Champion. I sense that they are all very motivated. [Discusses the attention the players and their managers have been giving to the tournament site.]

Q: As announced, will this tournament mark the start of a new era for chess, especially in the direction of WebTV?

A: I hope that this will be the most successful event of recent years from all points of view, whether for the players, the public, the VIPs, the media. The retransmission must function perfectly, as much on Internet as in the hall. The spectators should miss nothing in time trouble, for example. It's not obvious, even more because we have developed a new type of retransmission, totally innovative. It will not, strictly speaking, be about WebTV, but more about an application dedicated to tablets and/or to PCs. If everything happens as we have foreseen, I think it will be a fantastic tournament.

This counterbalances my recent post What Is Going on Here?, where Agon was criticized by a top FIDE official. For more about the players, see 2013 London CT Player Records.