29 May 2019

Zonal Qualifiers C13-C16

In the previous post, Zonal Qualifiers C01-C16, I started working with a summary of the qualifying paths from the zonal stage to the interzonal stage for the earliest World Championship cycles. On top of zonals, these paths included other means of seeding players into the Interzonals, like rating. To facilitate comparison, I created a table which is also shown near the end of today's post.
The table shows my count of the number of players who participated in the interzonals for C01 through C16. [...] The last column shows the number of players documented in the zonal material that I'm using as the base for this exercise. The table gives me a guide for further work on this particular project. [...] The new data lets me complete C01-C12 and also lets me doublecheck C13-C16.

The cycles C13-C16 took place during FIDE's darkest days. Let's have a recap of the interzonals that spanned nearly a decade.

C13 unfolded during the uncertainty of the first three Kasparov - Karpov (K-K) matches, when the continuity of the previous cycle (C12) had been disrupted and had entered uncharted territory. For C13, FIDE scrambled to organize something resembling a traditional cycle. There were three Interzonals that eventually led the way to the fourth K-K match.

C14 was played in (more-or-less) traditional circumstances. It was the last cycle to have three Interzonals. They culminated in the fifth K-K match, the last match between the two 'K's.

C15 saw the introduction of a single interzonal tournament using a Swiss system format instead of the traditional round-robin format. The cycle would eventually lead to the schism between FIDE and Kasparov, with two parallel World Championship matches.

C16 was played as the schism was deepening, with two parallel World Championship cycles. No one knew where world class chess was going.

The following chart is taken from the previous post, 'Zonal Qualifiers C01-C16', and highlights the four cycles featured in today's post. The counts show the approximate number of players who qualified into the interzonals for those cycles.

I compared the lists of players from my record of interzonals and the summary of zonal qualifying paths (ZQP). After identifying differences in the spelling of players' last names (needs more work to establish the accepted spelling) and accounting for the order of Asian names (like 'Qi Jinguan' and 'Jinguan Qi' in C13) I worked out the reason for the different numbers.

In C13 and C14, a total of four players were missing from the ZQP lists. C15 matched perfectly. C16 was due to a mismatch between my page on 1993 Biel and my Index of Players (they should also match); the ZQP data was perfect.

All things considered, I was pleased with the correlation between my data and the ZQP data. It was even better than I had hoped for and confirmed my belief that the ZQP data is an excellent source of info on the early FIDE zonals and interzonals.

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