28 February 2024

C31 Zonals++ More Names

The previous post, C31 Zonals++ More Data (February 2024), was about data missing from the page (C31) Zonal Qualifiers 2022-2023 (m-w.com). At the end of the post I noted,
It looks like I'll need another post on this subject to incorporate the Wikipedia data into the other data. I'll come back to this another time.

The resulting update added nearly 100 names. For more notes related to the qualifying players, see Talk: Chess World Cup 2023 (wikipedia.org). Kudos to the Wikipedians who did a nice job documenting the World Cup on the main article.

21 February 2024

C31 Zonals++ More Data

In the previous post, C31 Zonal Qualification Paths (February 2024), I wrote,
There are many names missing on the new page. I'll come back later and try to fill in the blanks.

That 'new page' is (C31) Zonal Qualifiers 2022-2023 (m-w.com). I created a database and loaded two sources for data into it:-

  • Players who were listed in FIDE's document 'FIDE World Cup 2023: Preliminary lists of eligible players announced' (125 players); see C31 Regulations for World Cup Qualifiers (November 2023), for a link to the document.
  • Players who participated at 'FIDE World Cup 2023' (Baku; 206 players).

I determined that of the 125 players in the 'Preliminary lists of eligible players', 11 did not play at Baku. Of the 206 players who played at Baku, 89 were not in the preliminary list. That made 100 names to investigate, which is too many. I turned to the Wikipedia page, Chess World Cup 2023, for help.

The Wikipedia page lists all 206 players who participated in Baku, along with their qualification paths. When I compared FIDE's list of players to Wikipedia's list, I had 35 mismatches. Most of these were due to the usual difficulties with comparing names -- letters specific to a language, Asian names, Spanish names -- along with one real difference in spelling: Aleksandar Indic / Indjic of Serbia. After correcting those mismatches, the lists matched almost perfectly.

From the Wikipedia data, I derived a few counts, summarized in the following chart. The left column shows federations that had more than three players at Baku, out of a total of 86 different federations with at least one player.

The right column shows the counts of players who qualified via a zonal. The middle column shows the counts of players who qualified via a route other than a zonal. Most of the non-zonal codes are easily understood; 'WC' means the 2021 World Cup at Sochi.

It looks like I'll need another post on this subject to incorporate the Wikipedia data into the other data. I'll come back to this another time.

14 February 2024

C31 Zonal Qualification Paths

Continuing with zonals++ for the current cycle, after...

...there remains...

Still to do: Create a 'C31 Qualifiers' page and add it the appropriate pages.

...The new page is (C31) Zonal Qualifiers 2022-2023 (m-w.com). FIDE's official announcement for the qualifying players appears to have been made prematurely, so there are many names missing on the new page. I'll come back later and try to fill in the blanks.

07 February 2024

1998 Zonals 2.x References

In the previous post, 1998 Zonals 2.x (January 2024), I discussed several updates related to the 1998-99 zonal cycle (C18) and that concerned the American continent. For this post, I added the corresponding references to two of those zonal events:-
2.0 San Felipe 1998-10 (A)
2.1 Denver 1998-10 (B)

Both events now have additional info on the page covering the events for that cycle: (C18) Zonals 1998-1999 (m-w.com). Here are a couple of notes for the two events:-

(A) This was a new event that I had previously overlooked while developing the index page for The World Chess Championship Zonals.
(B) I added a link to the post for '1998 Zonals 2.x'. The focus of the post concerned the playoffs for the preliminary ('group') stage of the event, a U.S. championship.

There might be even more to the story. I had overlooked the '2.0 San Felipe' event partly because the winner of that event, Alexander Ivanov, was listed by FIDE as qualifying through one of the 'Nominees by Continental President'. In a feature article for the April 1999 issue of Chess Life, GM Ivanov wrote,

I was happy to hear the news from the last FIDE Congress in Elista (Kalmykia), held during the last Chess Olympiad, that a tournament called the Pan American Championship, to be held in San Felipe, Venezuela from October 25 through November 5, 1998, would be a qualifying event for the coming FIDE World Championship in Las Vegas.

According to my page (C18) Zonal Qualifiers 1998-1999 (m-w.com), there were four nominees in the same category as Ivanov:-

Nominees by Continental President
15. Africa: H. HAMDOUCHI (MAR)
16. America: A. IVANOV (USA)
17. Asia: AL-MODIAHKI (QAT)
18. Europe: L. ARONIAN (ARM)

Did any of the other three nominees qualify via a competition? My preliminary investigation said, 'No', but I am not yet convinced. TBD.

31 January 2024

1998 Zonals 2.x

A post from earlier this month, World Championships from 50 and 25 Years Ago (January 2024), uncovered a couple of details about the 1998-1999 zonals. The relevant info is in the following clipping which was taken from that post.

All of that together prompted me to comment,

The qualification of GMs Gulko, Ivanov, and Kudrin, is not consistent between the two sources. GM Ivanov's qualification is confirmed in TWIC 209, but the details about the other two GMs need further investigation.

TWIC 209 reported,

12) Panam Championship in Venezuela • GM Alexander Ivanov took the single qualifying place for Las Vegas scoring 6.5/9 ahead of Alexandre Lesiege on 6.

As far as I can tell, this was the first Continental Championship to serve as a qualifier for a World Championship. The same issue of TWIC, 'The Week In Chess 209 - 9th November 1998 by Mark Crowther', also carried news about that year's U.S. Championship.

3) US Championships 1998 • In group A Nick DeFirmian and Dmitry Gurevich progressed to the knockout stage and Seirawan, Dzindzichashvili, and Kudrin played off for third place seeing Kudrin qualified for Las Vegas eliminating Seirawan, possibly one of the US's best prospects. • There was a four way tie in group B and Gulko, Benjamin, Fedorowicz and Shaked played off seeing first Benjamin qualify after a round robin involving the players, then Shaked beating Gulko to take the other place.

TWIC had no crosstables for the playoffs. The February 1998 issue of Chess Life also gave no details. In GM Nick de Firmian wins the 1998 US Championship! (archive.org -> uschess.org), USchess.org reported,

Standings: Group A after 7 (Top 2 Advance to Semi-Finals); de Firmian and Gurevich Advance; Kudrin takes 3rd in play-offs • de Firmian and Gurevich qualify for the two Semi-Final spots from this group and do not need to go through the play-offs. Kudrin wins the play-offs to take third in the section and qualify for the WCT ['World Championship Tournament'].

Standings: Group B after 7 (Top 2 Advance to Semi-Finals) Benjamin and Shaked advance to SemiFinals; Gulko takes 3rd. • There was a play-off on Sunday between Gulko, Benjamin, Fedorowicz and Shaked to determine both the two who would advance to the Semi-Finals on Monday and the 3rd place who would also qualify for the 1999 FIDE World Championship Tournament event. Benjamin and Shaked advanced to the SemiFinals; Gulko took 3rd.

Since the U.S., aka Zone 2.1, produced six qualifiers with only five qualifying spots, I'm guessing that there was some sort of arrangement among American chess officials to have both Gulko and Kudrin qualify using a spot reserved for the Las Vegas organizers ('Nominee by the Administrator').

I'll add all of this to the page (C18) Zonals 1998-1999 (m-w.com), under '2.0 San Felipe (VEN) 1998-10' [new] and '2.1 Denver 1998-10'. I'll also add any further info if I discover it.

24 January 2024

More 1970s Fischer Philippines Photos

One of the topics I covered in World Championships from 50 and 25 Years Ago (January 2024) was a famous meeting from more than 50 years ago. In that post I wrote,
Re [1973] Fischer/Marcos, good thing I didn't go any further for that post. I've already dealt with the meeting in posts on both of my blogs [w/ links].

While I was researching that post, I discovered a related video


Bobby Fischer in Philippines (1973) (4:16) • '[Published on] Mar 10, 2017'

The description of the video is repeated in the video's opening sequence:-

These pictures were from albums given as a gift from President Marcos to Bobby Fischer to commemorate his visit to the Philippines in 1973. These albums were in storage in Pasadena that was abandoned by Fischer when he fled the U.S. These albums ended up in a local flea market.

The video adds,

Presented by
His Excellency
The President
of the
Republic of the Philippines
Ferdinand E. Marcos
and the First Lady
Imelda Romualdez Marcos

The Fischer/Marcos photo appearing in the '50 and 25 Years Ago' post is not included in the video, but there is a photo showing the table around 1:05 into the video. I'm guessing that Florencio Campomanes (wikipedia.org; 1927 – 2010), is the fellow between Fischer and Marcos (striped shirt?) starting at around 2:05.

For more about the 'storage in Pasadena', see Fischer's Storage Locker and eBay (May 2022). For more photos, this time in color, see Bobby Fischer in Philippines, Tokyo & Hong Kong - 1973/74 (youtube.com), on the same Youtube channel.

In the previous post featuring a Youtube video, Man City and Magnus (January 2024), I mentioned that 'While I was preparing the post on my local PC, I received the message: "Video unavailable : Watch on YouTube"'. The same thing happened this time. Has Youtube changed its policy on local use of its videos?

17 January 2024

The Race for the 2024 Candidates Events

The new year saw a flurry of activity related to the next stage of the current cycle (all links are fide.com):-

That last link includes full lists of the players who qualified for the two Candidates events and how they qualified:-

Candidates (*):-
Ian Nepomniachtchi, 2023 Match Runner-up
R Praggnanandhaa, 2023 World Cup 2nd
Fabiano Caruana, 2023 World Cup 3rd
Nijat Abasov, 2023 World Cup 4th
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, 2023 Grand Swiss winner
Hikaru Nakamura, 2023 Grand Swiss 2nd
Alireza Firouzja, Best by Rating
Gukesh D, 2023 FIDE Circuit Winner

(*) Magnus Carlsen, who qualified for the Candidates by winning the 2023 World Cup, earlier informed FIDE that he will not be taking part in the event. As per FIDE Candidates qualification paths, Nijat Abasov, who finished 4th in the World Cup, took his place.

Women's Candidates:-
Lei Tingjie, 2023 Match Runner-up
Kateryna Lagno, 2022-23 WGP 1st
Aleksandra Goryachkina, 2022-23 WGP 2nd
Nurgyul Salimova, 2023 World Cup 2nd
Anna Muzychuk, 2023 World Cup 3rd
Vaishali Rameshbabu, 2023 Grand Swiss 1st
Tan Zhongyi, 2023 Grand Swiss 2nd
Humpy Koneru, Best by Rating (World Cup spot replacement)

Also worth noting is an official page on a new feature of the current cycle:-

  • FIDE Circuit 2023 (wcc.fide.com) • 'FIDE Circuit is the new path to qualify for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024.'

Since the FIDE announcements are 'Just the facts, Ma'am', reports from the chess news sites add substantial background and color.

For both Candidates tournaments, the FIDE calendar says, 'Toronto, Canada • 03 Apr 2024 • 25 Apr 2024'.