09 December 2009

Knockout Finalists

It's time to eat crow. In a comment to Asleep at the Wheel, Klaus Johnson informed that at the end of 2008 FIDE had indeed announced that two players from the 2009 World Cup would qualify into the next candidates event.
  • The 79th FIDE Congress completed its session in Dresden • 'It approved a Candidates tournament in which two players are from the ongoing Grand Prix series, two players as finalists of World Cup 2009, the defeated player from the World Championship match 2009, the defeated player from the Challenge Match 2009, the highest rated player provided that he is one of the top six players based on the rating list, and the player nominated by the organizer with a rating above 2700)' [November 2008]

  • Bidding Procedure for the World Championship Cycle 2009-2011 • 'Players will qualify for the Candidates stage according to the following order of priority: [same as above with a few clarifications; December 2008]

This was changed a few months later by the FIDE Presidential Board (PB).

  • Presidential Board meeting 1st quarter 2009 • 'In 2011, there will be a Candidate Matches/Tournament consisting of GM Kamsky, the loser of the Anand-Topalov match, two players from the Grand Prix series and one player from the World Cup, two highest rated players not already qualified and a player nominated by the organizer. The winner will play the World Champion in 2011.' [March 2009]

The regulations were drafted, approved at the next FIDE PB meeting, and published in June.

I could quibble that the 'rules' weren't formally announced until June 2009, and thus have never been changed, but this would serve no useful purpose other than to show that I can be irrationally stubborn. When FIDE announced the Bidding Procedure in December 2008, potential organizers should have known what they were bidding on, even if the change from

  • two World Cup finalists and one seed based on rating to
  • one World Cup finalist and two seeds on rating

would have no impact on the bid. Did the PB introduce the change in March after considering the finalists of past knockout events (winner listed first)?

  • 1997 Groningen • Anand - Adams
  • 1999 Las Vegas • Khalifman - Akopian
  • 2000 New Delhi/Tehran • Anand - Shirov
  • 2001-02 Moscow • Ponomariov - Ivanchuk
  • 2004 Tripoli • Kasimdzhanov - Adams
  • 2005 Khanty-Mansiysk • Aronian - Ponomariov
  • 2007 Khanty-Mansiysk • Kamsky - Shirov

Both finalists in the 2009 knockout -- Gelfand and Ponomariov (a finalist for the third time) -- are worthy of competing in the candidates event.

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