31 January 2024

1998 Zonals 2.x

A post from earlier this month, World Championships from 50 and 25 Years Ago (January 2024), uncovered a couple of details about the 1998-1999 zonals. The relevant info is in the following clipping which was taken from that post.

All of that together prompted me to comment,

The qualification of GMs Gulko, Ivanov, and Kudrin, is not consistent between the two sources. GM Ivanov's qualification is confirmed in TWIC 209, but the details about the other two GMs need further investigation.

TWIC 209 reported,

12) Panam Championship in Venezuela • GM Alexander Ivanov took the single qualifying place for Las Vegas scoring 6.5/9 ahead of Alexandre Lesiege on 6.

As far as I can tell, this was the first Continental Championship to serve as a qualifier for a World Championship. The same issue of TWIC, 'The Week In Chess 209 - 9th November 1998 by Mark Crowther', also carried news about that year's U.S. Championship.

3) US Championships 1998 • In group A Nick DeFirmian and Dmitry Gurevich progressed to the knockout stage and Seirawan, Dzindzichashvili, and Kudrin played off for third place seeing Kudrin qualified for Las Vegas eliminating Seirawan, possibly one of the US's best prospects. • There was a four way tie in group B and Gulko, Benjamin, Fedorowicz and Shaked played off seeing first Benjamin qualify after a round robin involving the players, then Shaked beating Gulko to take the other place.

TWIC had no crosstables for the playoffs. The February 1998 issue of Chess Life also gave no details. In GM Nick de Firmian wins the 1998 US Championship! (archive.org -> uschess.org), USchess.org reported,

Standings: Group A after 7 (Top 2 Advance to Semi-Finals); de Firmian and Gurevich Advance; Kudrin takes 3rd in play-offs • de Firmian and Gurevich qualify for the two Semi-Final spots from this group and do not need to go through the play-offs. Kudrin wins the play-offs to take third in the section and qualify for the WCT ['World Championship Tournament'].

Standings: Group B after 7 (Top 2 Advance to Semi-Finals) Benjamin and Shaked advance to SemiFinals; Gulko takes 3rd. • There was a play-off on Sunday between Gulko, Benjamin, Fedorowicz and Shaked to determine both the two who would advance to the Semi-Finals on Monday and the 3rd place who would also qualify for the 1999 FIDE World Championship Tournament event. Benjamin and Shaked advanced to the SemiFinals; Gulko took 3rd.

Since the U.S., aka Zone 2.1, produced six qualifiers with only five qualifying spots, I'm guessing that there was some sort of arrangement among American chess officials to have both Gulko and Kudrin qualify using a spot reserved for the Las Vegas organizers ('Nominee by the Administrator').

I'll add all of this to the page (C18) Zonals 1998-1999 (m-w.com), under '2.0 San Felipe (VEN) 1998-10' [new] and '2.1 Denver 1998-10'. I'll also add any further info if I discover it.

24 January 2024

More 1970s Fischer Philippines Photos

One of the topics I covered in World Championships from 50 and 25 Years Ago (January 2024) was a famous meeting from more than 50 years ago. In that post I wrote,
Re [1973] Fischer/Marcos, good thing I didn't go any further for that post. I've already dealt with the meeting in posts on both of my blogs [w/ links].

While I was researching that post, I discovered a related video

Bobby Fischer in Philippines (1973) (4:16) • '[Published on] Mar 10, 2017'

The description of the video is repeated in the video's opening sequence:-

These pictures were from albums given as a gift from President Marcos to Bobby Fischer to commemorate his visit to the Philippines in 1973. These albums were in storage in Pasadena that was abandoned by Fischer when he fled the U.S. These albums ended up in a local flea market.

The video adds,

Presented by
His Excellency
The President
of the
Republic of the Philippines
Ferdinand E. Marcos
and the First Lady
Imelda Romualdez Marcos

The Fischer/Marcos photo appearing in the '50 and 25 Years Ago' post is not included in the video, but there is a photo showing the table around 1:05 into the video. I'm guessing that Florencio Campomanes (wikipedia.org; 1927 – 2010), is the fellow between Fischer and Marcos (striped shirt?) starting at around 2:05.

For more about the 'storage in Pasadena', see Fischer's Storage Locker and eBay (May 2022). For more photos, this time in color, see Bobby Fischer in Philippines, Tokyo & Hong Kong - 1973/74 (youtube.com), on the same Youtube channel.

In the previous post featuring a Youtube video, Man City and Magnus (January 2024), I mentioned that 'While I was preparing the post on my local PC, I received the message: "Video unavailable : Watch on YouTube"'. The same thing happened this time. Has Youtube changed its policy on local use of its videos?

17 January 2024

The Race for the 2024 Candidates Events

The new year saw a flurry of activity related to the next stage of the current cycle (all links are fide.com):-

That last link includes full lists of the players who qualified for the two Candidates events and how they qualified:-

Candidates (*):-
Ian Nepomniachtchi, 2023 Match Runner-up
R Praggnanandhaa, 2023 World Cup 2nd
Fabiano Caruana, 2023 World Cup 3rd
Nijat Abasov, 2023 World Cup 4th
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, 2023 Grand Swiss winner
Hikaru Nakamura, 2023 Grand Swiss 2nd
Alireza Firouzja, Best by Rating
Gukesh D, 2023 FIDE Circuit Winner

(*) Magnus Carlsen, who qualified for the Candidates by winning the 2023 World Cup, earlier informed FIDE that he will not be taking part in the event. As per FIDE Candidates qualification paths, Nijat Abasov, who finished 4th in the World Cup, took his place.

Women's Candidates:-
Lei Tingjie, 2023 Match Runner-up
Kateryna Lagno, 2022-23 WGP 1st
Aleksandra Goryachkina, 2022-23 WGP 2nd
Nurgyul Salimova, 2023 World Cup 2nd
Anna Muzychuk, 2023 World Cup 3rd
Vaishali Rameshbabu, 2023 Grand Swiss 1st
Tan Zhongyi, 2023 Grand Swiss 2nd
Humpy Koneru, Best by Rating (World Cup spot replacement)

Also worth noting is an official page on a new feature of the current cycle:-

  • FIDE Circuit 2023 (wcc.fide.com) • 'FIDE Circuit is the new path to qualify for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024.'

Since the FIDE announcements are 'Just the facts, Ma'am', reports from the chess news sites add substantial background and color.

For both Candidates tournaments, the FIDE calendar says, 'Toronto, Canada • 03 Apr 2024 • 25 Apr 2024'.

10 January 2024

World Championships from 50 and 25 Years Ago

Last week on my main blog, I encountered a few World Championship topics that needed more time than I had. In the post January 1974 & 1999 'On the Cover' (January 2024), I commented,
That mention of Fischer and Marcos deserves further exploration, but I'm worried it might lead me down a rabbit hole from which I won't return in time to finish this current post. Maybe later...

That comment referred to January 1974, while a second comment in the same post referred to January 1999:-

The cover introduction continued with news about two World Championships. [...] Once again, that news 'deserves further exploration'.

The post quoted 'Chess Life & Review (50 Years Ago)':-

The great Philippines International Tournament, the most important chess event ever held in Asia and the Pacific area, ended November 6. The significance of the event was highlighted by the ceremonial presence of World Champion Bobby Fischer and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos.

Re Fischer/Marcos, good thing I didn't go any further for that post. I've already dealt with the meeting in posts on both of my blogs:-

Here is that Fischer photo again.

Re the 1999 'news about two World Championships', the first concerned the FIDE Knockout Matches; Las Vegas, VII-VIII, 1999 (m-w.com). The post quoted 'Chess Life (25 Years Ago)':-

De Firmian, Benjamin, and the other semi-finalists, Dmitry Gurevich and Tal Shaked, qualified to participate in the FIDE World Championship, along with Boris Gulko and Sergey Kudrin, both of whom qualified by previous performance or rating; and Alexander Ivanov, who qualified by winning the 1998 Pan American Championship, which was held in Venezuela in October. Gata Kamsky has also been invited (by rating).

My page Zonal Qualifiers 1998-1999 (C18) (m-w.com) has info on all eight players:-

Zone 2.1
56. N. de FIRMAN (USA)
59. B. GULKO (USA)

Nominee by the Administrator

Nominees by Continental President
16. America: A. IVANOV (USA)

Qualified by ELO (average January-July 1998)
85. G. KAMSKY (USA) (2720)

The qualification of GMs Gulko, Ivanov, and Kudrin, is not consistent between the two sources. GM Ivanov's qualification is confirmed in TWIC 209, but the details about the other two GMs need further investigation.

Re the 1999 news about the second World Championship, the January 1999 CL said,

Alisa Galliamova-Ivanchuk forfeited her match with Jun Xie. China was awarded the bid for the match; Alisa wanted to play at least half of the match in Russia, so she didn't show up at all. Jun Xie, the former women's world champion, will now challenge the current champion, Susan Polgar.

The reference is to an unprecedented sequence of matches for the 1995-99 cycle outlined on the World Chess Championship for Women (m-w.com). The Candidates final match is listed there as 'Xie Jun - Galliamova (forfeit)'; the subsequent World Championship match is listed first as 'Xie Jun - Z.Polgar (forfeit)'; and then as 'Xie Jun - Galliamova'. I've already posted twice about these matches:-

There is nothing more to add here.

03 January 2024

C31 More Zonal Clippings

In the previous post, C31 Zonal Clippings (December 2023), I created the incomplete page Zonals 2022-2023 (C31) with about half of its required clippings. I also noted,
I'll add the other half of the events for the next post on this blog.

I did this and then added a link for the 'C31 Zonals' to two index pages: World Chess Championship and World Chess Championship Zonals. The 'Still to do' at the end of the previous post remains 'Still to do'.