16 February 2011

London, Siberia, Turkey, Siberia, ...

Since the time I last looked at Current Events, there's been so much activity related to the World Championship that it's about time I pulled my head out of the zonals (see FIDE Rating Reports for Zone 2.x for the last update) and documented some of the news. Following is a summary:
  • After a months-long news drought about the next World Championship match, it rained in buckets starting with the withdrawal of the London 2012 organizers. I opened a new page, 2012 Title Match, to keep track of the happenings.

  • FIDE finally published documents related to the 81st FIDE General Assembly Minutes and Annexes -- 'We are publishing the Minutes and Annexes of the General Assembly meeting that was held from 29 September to 2 October 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia' -- so I'll tackle those as soon as I can. This will be a follow-on to the summary I did in December 2009, 2009 FIDE Executive Board : Whither the World Championship?

  • Just when I thought that the most recent Women’s World Championship, the 2010 FIDE Knockout Matches, was history, some of the participants released OPEN LETTER to FIDE about the WWCC 2010 [Chessblog.com; lots of comments] • 'We, the players of the Women’s World Chess Championship 2010 in Antakya/Hatay [Turkey] who have signed this document below, would like to share with the chess community and FIDE our thoughts about the level of the organization of the recent women's world championship.'

  • The women's complaints followed hot on the heels of It’s Turkey’s Move [gambit.blogs.nytimes.com; see 'Related Posts' for previous news] • 'In late December, the Turkish Chess Federation, which had been awarded the right to organize the European Women’s Championship, withdrew as the host.' What's the connection with the World Championship? The European Women’s Championship is a qualifier into the next World Women's Championship.

  • Of the last 20 news items on Fide.com (covering a little less than three weeks), four were congratulatory messages, three were related to titles, two were site subdomain announcements, and two were the comings & goings of the FIDE President. Given this relative lack of significant news, the FIDE Calendar for this year and for next, FIDE Calendar 2012, take on special importance.

    After the Candidates Matches 2011 (Kazan, Russia; 3-May-2011; 27-May-2011), the next big, scheduled event is the World Cup 2011 (Khanty Mansiysk, Russia; 26-Aug-2011; 21-Sep-2011). The first major event in the next cycle, this listing is noteworthy for several reasons. First, the months are a change from all previous World Cups, which were held November - December. Second, previous discussions (see my 'Whither' post above) had the event taking place in Tallinn, Estonia. Third, it is once again, and for the fourth consecutive World Cup, in Khanty Mansiysk (Siberia). Soviet authorities used to banish political opponents to Siberia. Now FIDE authorities send chess players.

There is no official news on the structure of the cycle following the World Cup, but there is unofficial news.

If by 1 March nowhere has been found to hold the four Grand Prix tournaments, then the cycle will be as follows: the candidates matches will consist of three players from the World Cup, three based on ratings, the nominee of the organising country and the player who lost the World Championship match. - Levitov on the collapse of the London match [Chessintranslation.com]

According to that same Chess in Translation post, Levitov is 'a FIDE Vice President and the man in charge of the Russian Chess Federation'. The schedule change for the World Cup has an impact on the qualifying events held by the continents and zones. Here are the continental events currently listed on the calendar.

  • 1.0 European Individual Chess Championship 2011 (Aix-les-Bains, France; 21-Mar-2011; 3-Apr-2011)
  • 2.0 Panamerican Continental Chess Championship 2011 (Mexico)
  • 3.0 Asian Continental Championships 2011 (Mashad, Iran; 1-May-2011; 11-May-2011)
  • 4.0 African Individual Chess Championships 2011 (Maputo, Mozambique; 19-Sep-2011; 1-Oct-2011)

The Panamerican championship isn't scheduled yet, and the African Championship takes place after the World Cup. As for the zones, the following are currently listed:-

  • 2.1 (St Louis, USA; 13-Apr-2011; 28-Apr-2011)
  • 2.2 (Colombia; 22-Mar-2011; 29-Mar-2011)
  • 3.1 (Yemen; 27-May-2011)
  • 3.3 (Tagaytay, Philippines; 23-May-2011; 31-May-2011)
  • 3.4 (Tashkent, Uzbekistan; 2-Jun-2011; 15-Jun-2011)
  • 3.5 (Beijing, China; 13-May-2011; 22-May-2011)
  • 3.6 (Rotorua, New Zealand; 25-Jan-2011; 31-Jan-2011)
  • 4.3 (Gaborone, Botswana 29-Apr-2011 9-May-2011)

The FIDE Grand Prix might be dead, but the Women's Grand Prix lives on:-

  • 2009-10, no.6 (Doha, Qatar; 20-Feb-2011; 6-Mar-2011)
  • 2011-12, no.1 (Nalchik, Russia; 16-Apr-2011; 30-Apr-2011)
  • 2011-12, no.2 (Astrakhan, Russia; 1-Jun-2011; 15-Jun-2011)
  • 2011-12, no.3 (?; 1-Sep-2011; 15-Sep-2011)
  • 2011-12, no.4 (Istanbul, Turkey; 16-Apr-2012; 30-Apr-2012)
  • 2011-12, no.5 (Jermuk, Armenia; 1-Jun-2012; 15-Jun-2012)
  • 2011-12, no.6 (?; 1-Sep-2012; 15-Sep-2012)

A few other events have venues and dates (Is the schedule conflict with the SportAccord Mind Games the reason the World Cup was shifted?):-

  • 2nd Quarter 2011 Presidential Board (Al Ain, UAE; 4-Jun-2011; 7-Jun-2011)
  • 82nd FIDE Congress 2011 (Krakow, Poland; 15-Oct-2011; 22-Oct-2011)
  • SportAccord Mind Games 2011 (Beijing, China; 8-Dec-2011; 17-Dec-2011)

And a few lack one or both:-

  • Women's World Championship Match 2011
  • World Championship Match 2012 (London, England)
  • Women's World Championship 2012 (Khanty Mansiysk, Russia)
  • World Chess Olympiad 2012 (Istanbul, Turkey) [FIDE General Assembly]

That's a lot of news for the World Chess Championship. I'll follow these up as time and info permit.

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