I also added recent announcements from Fide.com to the same pages where appropriate. Then I ran out of time. To be continued?
12 May 2021
05 May 2021
The red line separates the two halves of the tournament, where the second half was played more than a year after the first. As soon as I get a chance, I'll add that image -- plus the PGN and crosstable for the second half -- to my page 2020 Candidates Tournament; Yekaterinburg (Russia).
The cumulative score continues a pattern I've noted several times on this blog. The previous mention was Yekaterinburg Candidates - First Week (March 2020):-
The eventual winner was from the group of players who had a plus score after round 3. The winner was also one of the leaders after the first half of the tournament.
That makes five consecutive candidate tournaments showing the same pattern. What are the odds?
28 April 2021
Congratulations to GM Nepomniachtchi on a well deserved victory. Another article on Chess.com, published just before the second half of the tournament started, is worth noting: FIDE Candidates: Karjakin Names Nepomniachtchi As Most Difficult Opponent For Carlsen (Peter Doggers). Over the next few weeks, I'll add the finishing touches to my own online record of the event.
21 April 2021
This might become one of the shortest blog posts I've ever written. After last week's post, Yekaterinburg Candidates - First Week, there was no second week.
I decided to keep the title ordinally simple: First Week, Second Week, Third Week. Next week's post will be titled ... no prize for a correct guess.
My second problem was what to write about. The first round of the restarted second half finished yesterday, so there's not much new material to work with. Let's just say that the continuation of the event is finally underway -- there were no further postponements or delays. On top of that, all of the players arrived safely -- there were no last minute cancellations. Those points are both noteworthy, in and of themselves.
Once again, like for 'Second Week', that's not much of a post. Fortunately, I have a backup idea. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Eric van Reem telling me that he had released a couple of podcasts about the Candidates tournament, with a third podcast on the way. Last year I became familiar with Eric's work thanks to my chess960 blog; see The Norwegian Connection (November 2020), for his two part chat with GM Jonathan Tisdall (which covers much more than chess960). The three more recent podcasts are well worth a listen:-
- 2021-03-30 #26 Lennart Ootes, 'Let's talk about the Candidates Tournament and photography'
- 2021-04-06 #27 Leontxo García, 'Let's talk about your escape from Yekaterinburg'
- 2021-04-18 #28 Douglas Griffin, 'Let's talk about chess history' [with an emphasis on past candidates tournaments]
Each of those podcasts links to the full index of all 28 podcasts. That's guaranteed to provide some entertainment between rounds of the tournament. What will podcast #29 bring?
14 April 2021
Sometimes the evolution of a zonal is not so straightforward. One example is documented on my page (C05) 1960-1963 Zonal Cycle, where the zone two tournament at Berg en Dal was annulled and played again the following year at Marianske Lazne. The underlying reason had to do with Cold War Chess Politics (July 2015).
Another such cold war event involved two zonals, 1975 Barcelona & 1976 Arandjelovac (August 2014). I outlined the circumstances in that blog post, but there's more to the story. Vladica Andrejic of Perpetualcheck.com, sent me scans of the following clippings, which tell the tale of 1976 Arandjelovac.
Šahovski glasnik, 1976-09, p.305-306
I ran the scans through (1) an OCR to text converter, followed by (2) a language translator, and was pleased enough with the results that I'll incorporate them here. The article, written by V. Sokolov, is titled 'Supplementary Zone Tournament in Arandelovac'. The first two paragraphs [with some minor edits by me] say,
It is in Arandelovac at the time of 16. to 25. [April] o. g. held supplementary match-tournament of four grandmasters who for obvious reasons did not participate in the zonal tournament in Barcelona (Spain).
After many vicissitudes and months of negotiations on the route FIDE-SSJ ['ŠSJ' = 'Šahovski Savez Jugoslavije' = Yugoslavian Chess Federation] finally four grandmasters Uhlmann (DDR), Smejkal (CSSR), Adorjan (Hungary) and Velimirovic (Yugoslavia) got a chance to [be] subsequently included in interzone tournaments. It needed to be won the first two places, i.e. the last two are dropped.
The next eight paragraphs describe the evolution of the tournament, especially taken from the point of view of Velimirovic. Unfortunately for his Yugoslav fans, he had a poor tournament and finished last behind the other three players who finished tied for 1st-3rd. The next paragraph says,
So the tournament ended in a dead race. Three players found themselves in the first place and should have continued with a new two-round tournament. They have, however, opted for gambling, just like Parma and Liberzon. Such as it is known that the dice were not in favor of Adorjan, [so] Smejkal and Uhlmann were placed for interzone tournaments. It seems that it should not be applied gambling when it comes to such a serious matter as the World [Championship]. Yet it is in a sense chess degradation.
I added the crosstable shown in the clipping to the page (C10) 1975-1978 Zonal Cycle, then reorganized the page to clarify the different sequences of events. There are still some open questions involving the 'IZ Qualifiers', but perhaps 'Šahovski glasnik' will prove useful there as well.
07 April 2021
2021-03-23: 'The dirtiest chess match in history': Stean on Karpov-Korchnoi, 1978 (chess24.com; Colin McGourty)
The great Viktor Korchnoi, one of the strongest players never to become World Champion, would have turned 90 today. On the eve of that anniversary, the BBC dedicated an episode of the radio broadcast Witness History to the match that saw Viktor come within a win of claiming the World Championship title. The clash with Anatoly Karpov in Baguio City in the Philippines is described as "a surreal experience" by English Grandmaster Michael Stean, who turned 25 during the match and was working as a second for Viktor.
2021-03-19: Petra Korchnoi dies at 93 (chessbase.com; Frederic Friedel)
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Petra Korchnoi – Petronella Leeuwerik before her marriage to the two-fold World Championship Challenger. She was a remarkable personality and a great friend, and will be sorely missed.
More than 20 years ago I used database techniques to compile a summary of the many themes that occurred in the match: 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi Title Match : Yogurt, Parapsychology, Ananda Marga, ... (m-w.com). That analysis still holds up today.
31 March 2021
|Source: FIDE Calendar|
|[World Events 2021]|
|Candidates Tournaments||Yekaterinburg, Russia||19 Apr||28 Apr|
|FIDE World Cup||Sochi, Russia||10 Jul||03 Aug|
|FIDE Women's World Cup 2021||Sochi, Russia||10 Jul||06 Aug|
|FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss 2021||Isle of Man||25 Oct||08 Nov|
|FIDE World Chess Championship||Dubai, UAE||24 Nov||16 Dec|
|European Hybrid Qualification event for the FIDE World Cup||Online||22 May||30 May|
|Asian Continental Open Chess Championship||Hybrid||20 May||30 May|
|Zone 3.1 Zonal Open Championship||Hybrid||01 Jun||09 Jun|
|Zone 3.2 Zonal Open Championship||Dhaka, Bangladesh||01 Jun||09 Jun|
|Zone 3.3 Zonal Open Championship||Hybrid||01 May||10 May|
|Zone 3.4 Zonal Open Championship||Tashkent, Uzbekistan||06 May||15 May|
|Zone 3.7 Zonal Open Championship||India||2021||2021|
|2021 African Online World Cup Pre-Qualifying Chess Championship||Tornelo Platform||23 Apr||02 May|
|African Individual Chess Championship 2021 (Open & Women)||Lilongwe, Malawi||17 May||28 May|
|Zone 4.1 Individual Chess Championship 2021 (Open & Women)||Algiers, Algeria||29 Oct||06 Nov|
|Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship 2021 (Open & Women)||Lomé, Togo||03 Sep||11 Sep|
|Zone 4.3 Individual Chess Championship 2021 (Open & Women)||Libreville, Gabon||01 Oct||09 Oct|
|Zone 4.4 Individual Chess Championship 2021 (Open & Women)||Kigali, Rwanda||27 Aug||04 Sep|
|Zone 4.5 Individual Chess Championship 2021 (Open & Women)||Maseru, Lesotho||05 Nov||13 Nov|
[World Events 2021] - My most recent posts on these subjects were:-
[Europe] - See also European hybrid qualification tournament for the FIDE World Cup (chessbase.com), which starts,
The European Hybrid Qualification Tournament for the FIDE World Cup will take place on May 22-30 and will be played Online as a hybrid event. 36 players will qualify for the FIDE World Cup 2021. The event will be played under a knock-out system with matches consisting of 2 standard games plus tiebreaks if needed.
FIDE has asked the Continents to send the names of the participants in the World Cup before May 31st, 2021, also approving to organize Continental Hybrid Championships where no titles will be granted.
[Asia] - Zone 3.5 is missing. Zone 3.6 was covered on 2021 Oceania Zonal (chessexpress.blogspot.com). That kickoff post explained,
The 2021 Oceania Zonal is now going ahead as a 'hybrid' event. This means that the players will be playing online, but supervised by an in place arbiter. Due to the logistics of organising such an event, it will be a round robin tournament, with 1 player per country, except Australia, who can nominate 2 players.
[Africa] - I first mentioned the new zone 4.5 in FIDE Details the New Cycle (May 2019).
For more about the hybrid format, see my recent post FIDE Hybrid Competitions: 'In a few months we'll learn how well this works for World Championship qualifiers.' The experience started with zone 3.6.