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FIDE Publishes Grand Prix Dates, Cities

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 8/20/14, 7:22 AM.

The four tournaments of the new FIDE Grand Prix series will be held in Baku (Azerbaijan), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Tehran (Iran) and Moscow (Russia). Earlier today the World Chess Federation (FIDE) published the full schedule, with dates and host cities, on its Web site.

It looks like FIDE hasn't been as successful as before in finding host cities (or sponsors), because after two series consisting of six events, this time only four tournaments will be held. No western cities are involved: the players will go to Baku, Tashkent, Tehran and Moscow. The full schedule:

  1. October 1-15, 2014: Baku, Azerbaijan
  2. October 20-November 3, 2014: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  3. February 14-28, 2015: Tehran, Iran
  4. May 13-27, 2015: Moscow changed to Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia


The winner and second-place player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016.

Players
FIDE intends to work with a total of 16 participants: 11 qualifiers, 4 nominees from the organizers (to be announced) and 1 nominee of the FIDE President (to be announced). According to the regulations, the following 11 players have qualified automatically.

  1. Carlsen, Magnus (World Champion) 
  2. Anand, Wiswanathan (World Ch. match 2013) 
  3. Kramnik, Vladimir (World Cup winner 2013) 
  4. Andreikin, Dmitry (World Cup runner-up 2013) 
  5. Tomashevsky, Evgeny (World Cup semi-finalist 2013) 
  6. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime (World Cup semi-finalist 2013) 
  7. Aronian, Levon (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014) 
  8. Caruana, Fabiano (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014) 
  9. Grischuk, Alexander (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014) 
  10. Nakamura, Hikaru (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014) 
  11. Topalov, Veselin (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)

These players need to confirm their participation by August 27, 2014. Players like Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian did not play in the previous series, and it is unlikely that they will play this time.

The first reserves are:

  1. Karjakin, Sergey (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014) 
  2. Gelfand, Boris (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014) 
  3. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)

Each player agrees to play in three of the four tournaments. In each tournament, 12 of the 16 players play.

The players will have the opportunity to communicate their preference of tournaments to FIDE, who are not obliged, but “will endeavour to respect the players' preferences, and will balance the player allocation to a host city according to objective criteria such as average tournament rating, and continental representation,” as is mentioned in the participation contract.

Downsized
The big difference with the previous two Grand Prix series is of course the number of events: there will be only four instead of six, and each player plays only three instead of four. This means that a player cannot afford one bad tournament anymore; whereas the worst result used to be filtered from the final score, this time all three events count.

There are more differences: the total participants went from 18 to 16, and the prize fund for each event went from €170,000 to €120,000. 

This is especially disappointing taking into account the big plans that were announced by FIDE two and a half years ago. Of all host cities announced back then, three would eventually never see a Grand Prix: Lisbon, Madrid and Berlin. The first two of the original six Grand Prix that were planned for 2014 and 2015 (May 14–May 28, 2014 and July 2–July 16, 2014) were quietly removed from the FIDE Calendar.

AGON
Those big plans were related to the company AGON, which obtained the commercial rights to organize events in the world championship cycle. However, after the 2013 Candidates tournament in London, AGON hasn't been involved in FIDE events anymore.

However, FIDE still hasn't terminated its contract with AGON. On the contrary: AGON is mentioned several times in the participation contract and the regulations of the upcoming Grand Prix. For instance, the participation contract starts with the following paragraph:

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is the governing body of the FIDE Grand Prix 2014-2015 (hereinafter referred to as the GP 2014-2015). The Administrator of the GP 2014-2015 is FIDE, in collaboration with AGON Ltd.”

The financial conditions include:

“5.1 Each tournament of the Grand Prix will have a prize fund of 120,000 euros, in accordance with the official regulations, provided by FIDE through its marketing partner AGON Ltd.”

The regulations state that

“The prize money which will be paid by AGON for each tournament is 120,000 Euros.”

and also:

“Four players may be nominated by AGON on behalf of the local organisers (4 players).”

Last but not least, for each of the four tournaments travel expenses, full board and lodging costs need to be provided for two AGON representatives, and four times AGON will receive a 15,000 Euro fee for “management and support."

So what is the situation with AGON? Who owns the company? Where does the prize money come from? Who are the two representatives?  What will it be doing with the management and support fees?

Andrew Paulson, who has claimed to be AGON's only shareholder (which was claimed by FIDE as well), told Chess.com: “I have not done anything with AGON in the last 1.5 years. It's out of my hands.”

FIDE could not comment on the AGON situation either, due to “confidentiality clauses.” A spokesperson wrote the following in an e-mail:

“Agon will issue a statement regarding Grand-Prix series till Friday. We are not prepared to speak on ownership now as the issue is still being finalized.” 

8467 reads 47 comments
4 votes

Comments


  • 3 months ago

    bigbikefan

    Mafia.

  • 3 months ago

    wrcase

    This will continue because no honest businessman will deal with someone as slimy and crooked as the current FIDE president.  Kasparov was no better of a candidate because no sponsor will put up with his childish temper-tantrums when he doesn't get his way.  FIDE suffers from the same problem that all world-wide organizations face, corruption.  Look at FIFA, the Olympics or the United Nations, all thrive on corruption.  The head of FIDE needs to be an honest person with an established business and legal background.  Someone who is comfortable with dealing with potential sponsors and someone with whom sponsors feel is a straight-shooter.  Professional sports are doing quite well in the United States because these are the types of people that run these organizations.  Look at the NBA, when David Stern took over, it was an organization with a lot of problems.  Today it is a world-wide brand name enjoyed all over the world.

  • 3 months ago

    McNastyMac

    Wow, I feel as FIDE is slowly dying, being asphyxiated to death by it's president and all the mafia behind him.

  • 3 months ago

    polimorpho

    its visible that even with all the "popularity" of Carlsen "The new face of chess" The game is not capturing much atention from the western countrys.

    i said it before and i will say something about again, personaly i think that the world match should happen every 2 years. This will improve the relative importance of grand prix events, world cup, and candidates. Also it would open more time for other top private tournments.

    But back to 1 maybe it is the lack of money in the game wich is reducing the chess to 1 year world matches and few events more.

  • 3 months ago

    wrcase

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 months ago

    inselschaker

    To those saying that such-and-such should be "invited": read the article ... . For the time being, nobody was invited, all qualified based on objective criteria. To me it makes sense that a long-term rating average is used rather than the most recent live rating list - this as well as the exact qualifying period can be discussed, but Giri and Ding Liren reached their current Elo rating and ranking only during the Olympiad. Next in line by long-term average rating would probably be Dominguez and Svidler (who lost Elo during the Olympiad and may well get the Russian wildcard).

    The number of qualifying spots from the World Cup can also be discussed - it means that the outsiders Andreikin and Tomashevsky are in, but it was also the only way for Vachier-Lagrave to get a spot.

  • 3 months ago

    Kiwidutchie

    Anish Giri and Wesly So should be invited, they belong according to the last ratings to the top 15 chess players. That makes sence.

  • 3 months ago

    -waller-

    Tehran is IMO the best on the list there actually ... chess in Iran seems to be increasing in popularity rapidly, hopefully this will help!

    Would have liked to see FIDE putting a lot more effort into holding the other 3 in other "emerging" locations instead though and a bit more spread around the globe ... if you mark Kalmykia on that map you can see all 4 tournaments are taking place pretty close ...

  • 3 months ago

    melvinbluestone

    Tehran?? Jumpin' Jehosaphat!

         "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, they had to pick this....uh, 'city'!"

  • 3 months ago

    RebelJohnny

    Ok, wait a minute guys, you don't know what's going on in Tehran...

    We had our first international tournament in tehran under new leadership about 6 months ago, which turned out to be organized quite well. The 'Eco' Cup will start in 10 or 12 days time, which will be a grandmaster tourney. I'm sure that'll turn out well too.

    Iran surely has the potential to have the grandprix too!

  • 3 months ago

    GM thegormacle

    "This young players together with Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are the only players that can seriously dispute the WCC from Carlsen in the next 5 to 10 years. They need to be invited to the Grand prix."


    10 years is too long a time frame. It's likely that in that period players will have come along that we haven't heard of yet.

  • 3 months ago

    P_G_M

    How about Anish Giri, Wesley So, and Ding Liren?

    They should be invited to participate in the Grand Prix.

    They are the young GM that need to have an opportunity to qualify for the candidates.

    This young players together with Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are the only players that can seriously dispute the WCC from Carlsen in the next 5 to 10 years. They need to be invited to the Grand prix.

    The rest of the list should be Aronian, Grishuk, Topolov, Nakamura and Kramnik. 

  • 3 months ago

    P_G_M

    How about Anish Giri, Wesley So, and Ding Liren?

    They should be invited to participate in the Grand Prix.

    They are the young GM that need to have an opportunity to qualify for the candidates.

    This young players together with Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are the only players that can seriously dispute the WCC from Carlsen in the next 5 to 10 years. They need to be invited to the Grand prix.

    The rest of the list should be Aronian, Grishuk, Topolov, Nakamura and Kramnik. 

  • 3 months ago

    P_G_M

    How about Anish Giri, Wesley So, and Ding Liren?

    They should be invited to participate in the Grand Prix.

    They are the young GM that need to have an opportunity to qualify for the candidates.

    This young players together with Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are the only players that can seriously dispute the WCC from Carlsen in the next 5 to 10 years. They need to be invited to the Grand prix.

    The rest of the list should be Aronian, Grishuk, Topolov, Nakamura and Kramnik. 

  • 3 months ago

    rTist21

    Baku and Moscow make sense; the other two cities much less so.

    I wonder why no European cities outside of Moscow wanted in on this. Maybe it's because of FIDE itself?

  • 3 months ago

    alexcross90226628

    Nothing will happen to Nakamura in Iran. If anything it would be an opporutnity for diplomacy an he would embrace it unlike Karjakin who backed out of Sinquefield cup BEFORE the ferguson situation exploded.  That isn't the point. The point is that Kirsan and his band of merry men have sold chess to the highest bidders with very little transparency. Why should Iran get an event over nations who are actually producing top chessplayers? No western locations for four events? No events in east asia? What happened to the Berlin date? And as for the nutter butter carrying on about fat Americans in the comment stream. Blah blah blah to you to.

  • 3 months ago

    FM Boorchess

    Someone call up Rex and Garry. Time to start a new federation based in the United States that is funded by MicroSoft, Facebook, and Paypal. All the founders of these companies are chess players! You can reach me if you need a reliable spokesman for chess who actually cares that pro chess players are treated well and understands how to market chess to the American and world Public.

  • 3 months ago

    Lawdoginator

    What crap!

  • 3 months ago

    bongcloudftw

    seriously, why has this guy not been dethroned already? It's been like 20 years.

  • 3 months ago

    Lapris1297

    LMFAO.... So so so sad

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