29 November 2023

C31 Zonals

Continuing with qualifying events for the 2023 World Cup, Baku (August 2023), after identifying the events in C31 Regulations for World Cup Qualifiers (November 2023), I ended saying,
Next step: Add the 22 events on the right to the index page, World Chess Championship Zonals.

That index page needs a date and a venue for each event. Of the 22 events identified on the 'C31 Regulations' post, I found 21 reported in Mark Crowther's 'The Week in Chess' (TWIC). They are listed in the table below, which follows the format established for the previous cycle in the post C30 Zonals (January 2022). The missing C31 event is discussed in a note to the table.

1.0: TWIC 1400 (2021)
1.0: TWIC 1431 (2022)
1.0: TWIC 1480 (2023)
1.10: TWIC 1456

2.0: TWIC 1436 (2022)
2.0: TWIC 1490 (2023)
2.1: TWIC 1459
2.2: TWIC 1433
2.3: TWIC 1429
2.4: TWIC 1460
2.5: TWIC 1479

3.0: TWIC 1461 (2022)
3.0: TWIC 1492 (2023)
3.1: TWIC 1491
3.2: TWIC 1488
3.3: TWIC 1488
3.4: TWIC 1491
3.5: TWIC 1484
3.6: TWIC 1473
3.7: TWIC 1470

4.0: [A] (2022)
4.0: TWIC 1489 (2023)

There are other issues here. The event was identified in the previous post as 'Continental Chp [Africa 2022] (3)'. The number in parentheses is the number of players qualifying from the event. FIDE said three players qualified, but their list of players had four names. Was there a playoff? No, it turns out that the list of players was wrong. Another FIDE page 2022 African Chess Championship: Bassem Amin and Shahenda Wafa claim titles (worldchampionshipcycle.fide.com; September 2022), says that

3. GM Hesham Abdelrahman

was the third qualifier. The list of all players said that

3. Hesham
4. Abdelrahman (EGY)

were the third and fourth qualifiers. The error is easily understood and corrected. The table above is enough to proceed with populating the 22 events on the index page World Chess Championship Zonals.

22 November 2023

C31 Regulations for World Cup Qualifiers

In Small Projects Checkpoint (September 2023), I wrote,
One topic demands attention -- documenting the qualification paths for the most recent World Cup, 2023 World Cup, Baku (August 2023). It's a time consuming procedure that involves pulling together various sources of information. Here's what I produced for the previous cycle (C30 in my system of numbering the World Championship cycles):-
* 2021-10-27: C30 Regulations for World Cup Qualifiers
* [...]

Those links in italics are repeated here for easier reference. Since this isn't the first time I've performed the exercise, I've added links to 'Regulations' posts for previous cycles:-

For C31, the current cycle, FIDE published a preliminary list of qualifiers:-

That document leads to a PDF, Qualified players for the World Cup 2023 (fide.com). I downloaded the PDF, extracted the various lists, reformatted them for use in a database, and produced the following composite image. It shows the various qualification paths for the 2023 World Cup.

The chart on the left counts players who qualified by various routes other than a World Cup qualification tournament. The numbers in parentheses, e.g. 'FIDE President's nominee (4)', are copied directly from FIDE's document. The number in the 'Ct' column are my own counts. The chart on the right counts players who qualified via a tournament played in the current World Championship cycle.

Next step: Add the 22 events on the right to the index page, World Chess Championship Zonals.

15 November 2023

Why 1993 Karpov - Timman?

In Small Projects 'On the Cover' (October 2023), I flagged,
2023-04-18: 'news of Kasparov's non-FIDE World Championship title; see also the letter from Karpov'

In this post I'll tackle the letter from Karpov. It shines a light on one of the most obscure matches in World Championship history. For the original post, see April 1973 & 1998 'On the Cover' (April 2023). For the circumstances surrounding the match, see FIDE/PCA Chronology (m-w.com). For the match itself, see 1993 Karpov - Timman FIDE Title Match (ditto). Following is the full text of Karpov's letter.

During my recent participation in the 1998 U.S. Amateur Team East Championship in Parsippany, NJ, I had time to read several American Chess magazines. In the January 1998 issue of Chess Life I came across an article about the history of the World Chess Championships. I don't wish to discuss the biased nature of the article, or the factual inaccuracies, which should be presented as the author's personal views. Instead the actual title portrays this as a historical account of the history of the World Championships. Even in this case, just to have a valid opinion you must know the facts. Therefore I would take a moment to correct the most serious mistake in the author's interpretation of modern chess history.

It was written that when Kasparov and Short left FIDE -- "Surprisingly FIDE ignored another player, Artur Yusupov, who lost in the same round as Karpov, but was not even given a chance." (Jan. issue, page 43, column 1, paragraph 2). This FIDE action had nothing to do with Karpov and favoritism as alleged in the article. Nobody expected that Kasparov and Short would not play under the auspices of FIDE. However, in any serious organization, you must be prepared for all contingencies.

As it happened, FIDE had regulations pertaining to exactly what did transpire. "In case the Challenger can not play with the World Champion, he will be replaced by another Finalist." That player was Timman, at that moment in chess history. In case both World Champion and Challenger could not or refused to play the match, then FIDE would organize a match for the World Championship between the second finalist and the highest rated player in the World. In the regulations you do not see any semi-finalist mentioned. For many years and at that moment in history I was the highest or top ranked player (considering Kasparov was out) in the world. Therefore FIDE was simply following the regulations established prior to each cycle and approved by the FIDE Congress.

Best regards, Anatoly Karpov

The four-page article in the January 1998 Chess Life was titled 'A Brief History of the World Chess Championship' by Michael Khodarkovsky. Nowhere in the article was the author's close relationship to Kasparov mentioned. In Michael Khodarkovsky (wikipedia.org), we learn,

[Khodarkovsky] was a member of Kasparov's coaching team during the 1995 and 2000 World Championship matches and during the 1996, 1997 matches versus IBM's computer Deep Blue.

In 1993, many observers of the international chess scene, including me, assumed that Karpov had received favorable treatment from FIDE in being invited to play the match with Timman. It took me 30 years to discover Karpov's side of the story.

08 November 2023

2023 Grand Swiss, Isle of Man

Taking the previous blog post documenting a FIDE World Championship event, 2023 World Cup, Baku (August 2023), as a model, this post for the 2023 Grand Swiss needs the following info:-
  • Official site and logo
  • FIDE news items about the event

The rest can be found on Wikipedia via my main index pages:-

The 2023 logo is shown here:-

2023 official site:

FIDE Grand Swiss 2023 (fide.com)

Compare that with the 2021 logo for the previous event:-

2021 official site:

The design on the left changed, although the two designs were inspired by the same motif. The text on the right has dropped the mention of 'Chess.com' as a sponsor. I looked for an explanation of that change, but found nothing. I suppose it was a high-level business decision by one or more of the parties. I copied the following infographic from the 2023-11-05 news item in the list below and added the corresponding web domains.

fide.com • iomchess.com • visitiom.co.uk • --

As for the Scheinberg family, see the FIDE news item dated 2022-04-19 in the following list. From FIDE.com:-

That last news item doesn't mention who qualified for the 2024 Candidates tournament. Other sources tell us that Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and Hikaru Nakamura qualified from the 2023 Grand Swiss, and that Vaishali Rameshbabu and Tan Zhongyi qualified from the 2023 Women's Grand Swiss For the two index pages mentioned at the top of this post, I added links to Wikipedia pages for the two 2024 Candidates tournaments.

01 November 2023

Rules for the 1973 Interzonals

After posting Qualifiers for the 1973 Interzonals (October 2023) a few weeks ago, I found another source of info even more detailed than the source for that post. The January 1973 issue of Chess Life (p.33-34) had an article titled 'FIDE Congress : The Men's World Championship' by Fred Cramer, Vice President of FIDE. It covered all aspects of the cycle, including the following section headers:-
  • The Cycle Ending at [1972] Reykjavik
  • The New Cycle, First Stage : The 1972 Zonals
  • The 1973 Interzonals - The Euwe Plan
  • The 1973 Interzonals
  • The 1974 Candidate's Matches
  • The 1975 World Championship Match
  • A Championship Match Out of Cycle?

I extracted the two sections covering the 1973 Interzonals and created the following composite image.

(Can be expanded)

I then added the image to my page (C09) Zonals 1972-1975 (m-w.com). The Cramer article presents new details about several aspects of the Interzonals and sometimes contradicts sources that I have previously used. Since Cramer was as close to the original discussions as anyone, his word takes precedence.