24 November 2010

Zonal Cycle 2006-2007

After a delay of a few weeks, I returned to my index page on the World Chess Championship Zonals and added Zonals 2006-07. The next step will be to release a new index page (last updated in September 2007), including the qualifying events from the latest complete cycle, 2008-2009. That will serve as a baseline for a new round of checks and updates.

17 November 2010

Kasparov on Modern Chess

The gremlins working at my website server host decided this would be a good time to take FTP out of service, so I'm temporarily blocked from making any updates to my site. Instead of continuing with my zonal page (last seen in Zonal Cycle 2004-2005), I have to punt. Looking at the ongoing list of possible topics (a long list), I see several reviews of Kasparov's series on Modern Chess, but no one source appears to have covered them all. While I'm not a big fan of Amazon customer reviews, they'll have to do.

Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess (Amazon.com):

I started this topic in a previous post, Kasparov vs. Karpov 1975-1985, where I included the 'Sales Rank'. Although it's now called the 'Amazon Bestsellers Rank', I guess it's the same thing and have included the numbers for comparison. Revolution in the 70's has gone from #264,777 to #150,712. Way to go, Garry!

10 November 2010

Carlsen Quits (Again)

GM Magnus Carlsen's announcement that he would no longer participate in the current World Championship cycle -- Magnus Carlsen drops out of World Championship cycle (Chessbase.com) -- sent shock waves through the chess world and shivers (déja vu style) up my spine. Instead of jumping to any conclusions as to Carlsen's motives, I decided to compile a list of similar incidents. Before I could start, I discovered I had been anticipated by the Daily Dirt (the dates in square brackets '[]' are mine):-
Alekhine dodged Capablanca [>1927]. Fischer disappeared instead of playing Karpov [1975]. Or was he taking a principled stand for rigorous rules? Shirov should have played Kasparov for next to no money. Or was it Kasparov who was dodging Shirov [1998]? Kramnik dodging Kasparov's quest for a rematch, or was he trying to restore a credible cycle [2001]? Kasparov skipping the Dortmund qualifier [2002], Ponomariov and Kasparov never playing [2003], and now Carlsen and, well, Ilyumzhinov [2010]. There are a dozen more we could add. • Carlsen Bails from WCh Cycle (Chessninja.com)

'Only a dozen more?', I thought. Here's a list I came up with after about 30 minutes, mostly spent on verification:-

  • 1948: Fine [WCC match tournament]
  • 1950: Reshevsky, Fine, Euwe, Bondarevsky [Budapest CT]; for several reasons
  • 1965: Botvinnik [CM]
  • 1964: Fischer [Amsterdam IZ]
  • 1967: Fischer [Sousse IZ]
  • 1972: Fischer [Reykjavik WCC]; will he or won't he?
  • 1975: Fischer [WCC vs. Karpov]
  • 1971: Huebner [CM qf vs. Petrosian]
  • 1980: Huebner [CM f vs. Korchnoi]
  • 1985: KK1; terminated by Campomanes
  • 1986: KK3; Kasparov threatened to quit
  • 1993: Kasparov - Short; played wthout FIDE
  • 1996: Ilyumzhinov cancels Interzonal and replaces with KOs
  • 1997: Kramnik [Groningen KO]
  • 1999: Karpov [Las Vegas KO]
  • 1998: Anand [WCC vs. Kasparov, declined]
  • 1999: Anand [ditto, cancelled]
  • 2000: Anand [ditto, declined]

There's some overlap there with the Chessninja list. I could have added more from the FIDE KOs played after 2000, but I became bored with the exercise. More challenging would have been a list of cycles where there weren't any such shenanigans. For a similar overview, see my post Troubled Matches from a few years ago. Maybe it has something to do with chess players not wanting to submit to authority.

03 November 2010

Zonal Cycle 2004-2005

I added Zonals 2004-05 to my page on the World Chess Championship Zonals. These events qualified players into the first of three consecutive World Cups held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, at intervals of two years. This was the first hint of order in the post-unification World Championship, a regularity that FIDE failed to maintain for other events in the three cycles.