26 February 2020

Small Projects for 2020

This year's 'Small Projects' post is almost six weeks later than last year's Small Projects for 2019 (January 2019), but it's never too late for a plan. This year will see the final two events of the current World Championship cycle (C29) -- the Candidates tournament and the title match -- which will dominate the WCC news.

An exercise for the current cycle is still not finished. Starting with C29 Regulations for World Cup Qualifiers (September 2019), through C29 Zonal Qualification Paths (December 2019), there remains 'C29 Zonal Rating Reports' and 'C29 Zonal Links'.

Two of the 2019 projects turned out not to be so small and I've documented their progress and completion at the end of the post (after '***'). Two more received no attention in 2019 and remain open:-

  • 2017-02-22: Missing Months
  • Another aspect of 'Championships in London' was the renewed interest for the English city in 1983.

Three of the 2019 projects are ongoing and need to be reviewed periodically. The current status is:-

Which one of these will I tackle first? Right now I'm thinking the C29 zonal posts or 1983 London.


'The history of the World Championship in the 1840s-1880s, a period spanning nearly 50 years, was centered on London. That important era deserves a closer look.'

Continue '2017-06-07: Zonal Qualifiers C01-C12 : Archive.org'

That last post mentioned, 'There is more I can do with these pages'...

19 February 2020

The GSC : Whither the World Championship?

GSC stands for 'Global Strategy Commission'. In the previous post, The Missing Link : Whither the World Championship?, I quoted its chairman,
GM Emil Sutovsky: 'Starting from the next Candidates tournament and World Championship match, everything passes under the direct control of FIDE, so FIDE will be in charge of all these events, regaining control.'

That control is the responsibility of the GSC, under the supervision of FIDE top management. What has the commission been doing since January 2019? Its website, gsc.fide.com, carries two reports, both available since October 2019. The first report was titled 'Second GSC Meeting', which took place in Wijk aan Zee at the end of January 2019. The first six bullets of the 19-point meeting summary were:-

1. Concrete steps approaching corporate world and VIPs
2. World Championship Match Format
3. Bidding procedure for the World Championship Match
4. Qualification for the Candidates Tournament 2020
5. Average Rating Range to determinate the qualifiers by Rating to the World Cup 2019
6. World Cup 2021 format ['Number of participants -- 206.']
* All decisions are subject of approval by PB.

I covered some of that (and more) in a pair of posts:-

In April, GM Sutovsky gave a long interview to Chesspro.ru in Russian: 'FIDE Between the Past and the Future', Part 1 & Part 2. My online translator gives the introduction as:-

Emil Sutovsky, grandmaster and long-time president of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP), has been the Director General of the International Chess Federation or FIDE for six months. The position is new - not only for him, but also for FIDE itself, previously it did not exist in an explicit form. De facto Emil is one of the most active and influential figures in the chess world. He is also a popular blogger, in his Facebook regularly speaks on a variety of topics.

Finally we have the undated two-page report mentioned on my main blog in Spectating the 90th FIDE Congress? (February 2020). I hope we'll learn more from the 90th Congress, although based on recent performance it might take a long time before anything is formally announced.

12 February 2020

The Missing Link : Whither the World Championship?

Last week on my main blog, in Spectating the 90th FIDE Congress?, I introduced the agendas for the forthcoming '2020 FIDE Extraordinary General Assembly and Executive Board', and wrote,
Although the annexes attached to the agendas are pre-'90th Congress', they are all we have to document FIDE's activities in 2019.

As far as the World Championship is concerned, the most important of the annexes is the Global Strategy Commission report (GSC; Annex 5.10). The undated report started,

In 2019 GSC is being involved in various activities and projects. Here are the main points...

This allows me to continue a series last seen in 2018 FIDE Congress : Whither the World Championship? (January 2019). I ended that with the statement:-

The WCO appears to have been disbanded. Exactly what has replaced it is not entirely clear.

WCO stood for 'Commission on World Championship and Olympiads', which was replaced by the GSC. The 2019 GSC report didn't mention the single most significant action of the year, which was announced in the following video.

#GibChess Breaking News from FIDE Director General, Emil Sutovsky (3:09) • '[Published on] Jan 23, 2019'

It starts with GM Sutovsky saying,

The news is about our agreement with Worldchess, previously known as Agon. [Worldchess/Agon] previously had control over the whole World Championship cycle. It's no more. The agreement has been signed and starting from the next Candidates tournament and World Championship match, everything passes under the direct control of FIDE, so FIDE will be in charge of all these events, regaining control. [Worldchess/Agon] will conduct the Grand Prix series in cooperation with FIDE in 2019 and 2021.

Looking for more information about this, I went back through other FIDE announcements from 2019 and found only List of Q1 2019 Presidential Board Decisions (March 2019), which stated,

Q1PB-2019/25 To confirm the new Addendum to the Agreement with World Chess, approved by absentee voting in January 2019.

Although this news is more than a year old, it is just as important now as was it then. It helps to understand other FIDE news about the World Championship and its related political activites.

05 February 2020

2019 Women's Title Match (January 2020)

I added a new page, including crosstable & PGN, for the recently completed 2020 Ju Wenjun - Goryachkina title match to the index page on the World Chess Championship for Women. This was the fifth match since title matches were reinstated in 2011. Chinese players have won every match. For the post on the previous match, see 2017 Women's Title Match (May 2018).

I also included a short explanation about the change of regulations that went into effect between the time they were announced and the time the match was played. It's a pity that FIDE still hasn't updated the obsolete regulations, especially since the announcement of the change is buried in the Fide.com Archive (November 2019).