OK, I really had to check the date after reading this shocking news on chessbase, and unfortunately it wasn't April 1st! Carlsen has decided not to participate in the coming WC cycle, and has written a letter to FIDE about this.
It would be unfair to chessbase to copy/paste all the news material, so I'll just give the link:
My first reaction to this decision was that it was SO wrong, bringing another dispute to the cycle, just after the chess world had gone out of some turbulence that had started with Kasparov's departure, and had ultimately ended with Anand's reign, where we were just about to enjoy an almost proper candidates selection process, eventhough it should've been better.
My second reaction, after reading his full letter, is also not positive. Carlsen demands that the WC doesn't "hold" the title, and starts the next WC cycle just like everybody else. I'm not the least bit of a traditional person, but about this, I strongly like the classical chess tradition that the challenger needs to prove his/her might and win the title by beating the current WC in a long match. I think that is much more exciting, entertaining, and is more suited to determine the best player in the world. In tournaments, anything could happen, but a 10 game head to head match leaves less ground for "accidents".
What do you think?
that's a shame for fans, it reminds me of Kimi Raikkonen not driving in F1 this year:(
It sounds like a bold gambit. Only chess and boxing adopt the position that the Champion reigns while challengers knock each other out, and he only must face the survivor.
Carlsen is banking on keeping and expanding his #1 ranking as a bargaining chip: if he continues to play as well as he has in recent years, his absence from the cycle diminishes the championship.
While others probably won't join him right away, once this cycle nears conclusion and several of the world's strongest have seen their chances fade from a single substandard performance while the Champion just sits and waits, others may. If that happens, changes will come.
wow.. quite a bold decision I'd say. Hopefully FIDE will start making some changes to this horrible process
Wrong decision IMO, it's best to fight the system within the system.
FIDE will probably call his bluff and others will join the match instead of him.
At the end it would be a lose-lose situation, Carlsen will lose and the chess world will lose.
Well, he does have a point.
This "classical chess tradition" of strongly favouring the holder has possibly deprived some great players of the title over the last century or so, and will surely put an end to ten or twenty year reigns. Which IS a little silly, if you think about it.
I think match play brings out the beauty of chess the most. It's the one special thing we have against other sports/games, the thrilling excitement of a long match where the "challenger" takes on the "title holder."
The football system has resulted in Greece holding the 2004 European title, for example, which was ridiculous in terms of playing strength, in my opinion. Gashimov or Karjakin have decent chances of winning super strong tournaments, be it the candidates cycle, or Corus. Beating Anand in a 10 game world championship match, on the other hand, is substantially more difficult.
"Greece" wouldn't have made it against Anand.
was Carlsen influence by Kasparov about this ?
"Greece" wouldn't have made it against Anand.
Sure. There should be a match/es at the end of the cycle. But the Champion should not be immune from the cycle.
well we need better FIDE then
Crumbs. Is Carlsen becoming the new Bobby Fischer? Fischer became World Champion and wouldn't defend. Now Carlsen is not even stepping up to attempt to become WC. Ironic.
FIDE is always a circus, but if Carlsen thinks he's somehow going to gain leverage or esteem by NOT following the traditional path to becoming champion, I think he's mistaken. I'll never consider him the best until he beats the best, as his predecessors have done for 150 years.
Greece won the 2004 Cup, but in the 2008 organization she had to qualify all over again. That's the point Magnus is trying to make, that the current champion has too many advantages. It would be as if in the 2008 organization greece qualified straight to the final.
PS. Greece actually played good (although defensive) football in 2004, which was a pleasant exception for greek fans.
comparing it with boxing is appropriate. that's one of the most corrupt sports out there.
fide needs to change and the wc cycle needs to change.
that being said, carlsen's decision is not the best way to bring about change.
I like it the way it is and it needs to stay that way. Carlsen better not pull a Kasparov on us and create a new chess association. The way it is now allows for a much better match for the players and spectators. Carlsen will have to accept it, I hope we don't see his talent waste on political disputes.
It may be that some changes to the current system are needed, but I disagree with the notion that chess championship should be modelled on the football championship. I think the result would be that the world's champion title would become fairly trivial and in effect we would be looking at the ratings list to determine who is the world's champion.
I prefer matches myself to determine the champ and not tournaments. Tournaments have produced some very weak "champions" . Perhaps Carlsen just doesnt like his chances in matches with the likes of Topalov, Aronian, Kramnik and Anand ? I think the champion should have perks that others don't enjoy and not having to play in the candidates is one of them.......
I don't even like Carlsen's core idea: A recurring World Champion's Tournament (perhaps like the one that chose Botvinnik after Alekhine's death) -- instead of candidates competing to dethrone a reigning world champion. Botvinnik excepted, Chess tradition is that the World Champion "reigns" until beaten. Stay with tradition.
I think that's very much about it. He is a great tournament player, that's given. So maybe he says, "well, I'm the best in that area, so instead of trying to be the best in match play too, I should try to adjust the competition towards my strengths." I very much hope FIDE, but more importantly, chess fans from all over the world won't give in to that.
I think this might turn out to be the worst "move" of his chess career, because a LOT of chess players/kibitzers prefer the "challenger agaist the title holder match" format to determine the champion, and hopefully that's not very likely to change. Will Carlsen have to suck it up in the future? I hope he does so.
All this letter will do is just allow some fan boys to shout "Hey, the title holder????? That's not the champion, it's magnus the magic boy!!!!!!!!!111111"
Sounds like Kasparov all over again with his PCA stint that he had several years back. I guess he learned a little more from Kaspy. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree it seems.