13 March 2008

2008-2009 Grand Prix

FIDE announced the players and venues for its first Grand Prix series: FIDE Grand Prix. Participants, host cities, schedule. Five of the world's top-10 players are missing -- no.1/2 Kramnik & Anand, no.3 Topalov, no.4 Morozevich, and no.7 Shirov -- although only Morozevich has explained why: Morozevich drops out of FIDE Grand Prix. One of those first three will emerge from the current cycle (2007-2009) as World Champion, but the other two will be missing from the next cycle unless they choose to play in the 2009 World Cup.

FIDE had offered to seed the losers of both the forthcoming Anand - Kramnik title match and the Topalov - Kamsky challengers' match into the last four Grand Prix events, but only Kamsky picked up the option. The loser of the subsequent title match in early 2009 would have been out of luck in any case, forced to fall back on the 2009 World Cup to stay in the cycle.

For informed commentary on the event, see FIDE Grand Prix Announced, and Morozevich Bails on FIDE Grand Prix on Chessninja.com. I opened a page on my World Chess Championship site, 2008-2009 Grand Prix, but it has only links to the recent FIDE announcements.

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