02 June 2021

A New Cycle Is Coping Nicely

A couple of months ago, in A New Cycle Is Struggling to Survive (March 2021), I gathered available info on the next FIDE World Championship cycle. That's the cycle that follows the forthcoming title match, Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi, Dubai, XI-XII, 2021. I'm happy to report that the cycle is not only surviving, it appears to be thriving.

The 'Struggling to Survive' post included the dates for the next world class event:-

FIDE World Cup; Sochi, Russia; 10 Jul; 03 Aug

That's next month! FIDE's Handbook, D. Regulations for Specific Competitions (handbook.fide.com), includes the usual qualification paths for the 2021 World Cup, and adds a new one:-

VIII. One hundred (100) players are determined according to the Final Ranking of the Chess Olympiad 2020 open section.

The top one hundred (100) national federations are given one qualification spot (hereinafter referred to as Olympiad spot). If any federation is represented by two (2) or more teams, it cannot get more than one Olympiad spot. Not more than forty (40) federations per Continent may get Olympiad spots. If there are more than forty federations from the same Continent in top 100 of the Final Ranking, Olympiad spot(s) go(es) to the next federation(s) in the Final Ranking.

Each Continent has [the] right to transfer up to 50% of the eventual respective Continent’s Olympiad spots to Continental events (see Article 2.1.V). Such a decision is to be announced by March 1st 2020. If this decision is taken, the remaining Continent’s Olympiad spots are given to the best federations representing the respective Continent according to the Final Ranking of the Chess Olympiad 2020.

Each national federation having won the Olympiad spot needs to work out qualification criteria for its representative. The Olympiad spot is to be given to one of the Olympiad 2020 national team members. If all Olympiad 2020 national team members qualify to World Cup by other paths or decline participation, the spot can be given to any other player.

All the Olympiad spots are to be announced between June 1st and July 1st 2021.

It remains to be seen how that will work in practice, especially the provision to 'transfer up to 50%', which I don't understand. The two most recent issues of TWIC ('The Week in Chess' by Mark Crowther) mentioned a number of World Cup qualifying tournaments.

The AICF Qualifier was a special event brought on by the covid crisis:-

FIDE has already issued reports on two of the Continental qualifiers:-

  • 2021-05-30: 36 European players qualify for 2021 FIDE World Cup (fide.com) • 'The European Hybrid Qualification Tournament for the FIDE World Cup took place from May 24-30 on Tornelo online platform. All the federations had specially designated and approved venues supervised by local arbiters and monitored by cameras. The event brought together 264 players from 35 European federations.'

  • 2021-05-31: Eight American players qualify for 2021 FIDE World Cup (ditto) • 'The American Hybrid World Cup Qualifier was an 8-group (16 players in each) knockout tournament taking place from May 22-29. The winner of each group qualified for the 2021 FIDE World Cup that will be held in Sochi, Russia from July 10 to August 7. All the games were played online on Tornelo platform from designated venues.'

'China Zonal 3.5' was missing from the 'Struggling to Survive' post. As for the other events covered by the TWIC reports, I'll wait for official reports before I go any further.

I discussed the hybrid format in FIDE Hybrid Competitions (March 2021), where I wrote, 'In a few months we'll learn how well this works for World Championship qualifiers.' The results so far appear to be positive.

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