20 December 2007

Match News for the Current Cycle

Two important events for the current World Championship cycle happened this week. First, Gata Kamsky won the World Cup by beating Alexei Shirov in the final: Gata Kamsky Wins World Cup 2007 (Fide.com). He will play Veselin Topalov for the right to challenge the World Champion in a title match.

A few days later, details of the Anand - Kramnik match were announced: World Chess Championship Match 2008, Anand vs Kramnik (Fide.com). The press release was on the Chessbase.com site well before it was on the Fide.com site. The match will be a title match, with Anand the champion and Kramnik the challenger.

The Kamsky - Topalov match will be played sometime after the Anand - Kramnik match. I assume the timing is to know the identity of the champion before knowing the challenger. Has there ever been a series of title matches where the challenger was known before the champion?

The winners of the two matches will play a title match in the first half of 2009. The losers of the two matches will be seeded into last four Grand Prix tournaments. The six Grand Prix events are scheduled for April, August, and December, in both 2008 and 2009.

Here are the 'Overall records' of the four seeded players according to Chessgames.com:-

There is no word from the Anand camp on the resolution of the reported blocking points : venue in Germany and draw odds. Both were resolved in favor of Kramnik.

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