London Confirmed As Candidates Venue

  • SonofPearl
  • on 3/5/12, 12:49 PM.

fide_official_logo-gens-una-sumus cropped.jpgAfter twitter rumours led to much speculation and an apparent confirmation from FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov, London has now been officially confirmed as the venue for the 2012 Candidates Tournament by an AGON press release which was re-published at the FIDE website.


AGON: Chess Candidates Tournament to Take Place in London from October 24 - November 12, 2012 

Athens/Moscow – March 3, 2012 – After consultations with FIDE, Agon, the World Chess Federation's new partner for organizing the World Chess Championship Cycle, is pleased to announce that the Candidates Tournament will take place in London, UK, from October 24 – November 12, 2012.

Andrew Paulson, General Director of AGON, said, “I am glad to be bringing one of the main Chess events to London and hope that both players and spectators will enjoy it.”

However, the announced dates have been met with dismay by leading players and the organisers of the Bilbao Masters and the London Chess Classic.  The Bilbao super-tournament is due to take place from 24 Sept-13 Oct, leaving barely 10 days for the players to rest, regroup and prepare for the Candidates. 

The London Classic in early December would also be badly affected by its close proximity to the Candidates event, so these two major commercial tournaments would be stripped of their best players if the dates are unchanged.

The Bilbao organisers have already appealed to FIDE to reconsider the announced dates:



The Grand Slam Masters Final considers essential for the future of the professional chess to agree on a calendar between FIDE and the private tournaments
The organization of the Grand Slam Masters Final in Bilbao proposes a meeting between FIDE and the organizers of the main private tournaments to elaborate together a calendar of competitions for the coming years, as it happens in other professional sports. The Bilbao organizers, who are working on the fifth Masters Final, emphasize “the great contribution of the private tournaments, which are doing so much, year after year, to promote chess all over the world”.

FIDE and the top tournaments should work together and harmoniously to decide the tournaments yearly calendar. We are already in March, and FIDE has still not announced officially the dates for the Candidates Tournament. In this respect, several Grand Masters, like current number one Magnus Carlsen and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, have already declared his preference for playing the Candidates in the first half of 2013, when there are enough dates to place it without affecting the top tournaments.

Although the Candidates has not been officially announced yet, the FIDE president, Kirsan Iliumzhinov, said in a recent interview that it will be played between October 23 and November 13 in London. It is true that those dates would not coincide directly with another very relevant chess event. However, the Bilbao organizers announced months ago that the V Grand Slam Masters Final will take place between September 24 and October 13. Sao Paulo, almost with complete certainty, will host again the first half, as in 2011. It is very difficult to persuade any top player to play the Masters Final in two continents, and then the Candidates with only ten days in between.

The organization of the Bilbao Grand Slam Masters Final considers not realistic to block three entire and consecutive months (October, November and December) for the Candidates, like FIDE did in his announcement on November 2011. According to that argument, Bilbao, Moscow and London should be forced to move their traditional dates (as, actually, Moscow did) to some time before the Olympiad in August. It is not so easy to do that, and for Bilbao is just impossible, because if you want to play the Masters Final you have to qualify first by winning one of the Grand Slam tournaments. It is also true that FIDE has changed (delayed) its dates announcements a lot of times during the last 20 years.

The Bilbao Grand Slam Masters Final Bilbao offers its best cooperation spirit in order to place the very top FIDE tournaments (World Championship, Candidates, World Cup and Chess Olympiad) on the best possible dates along the coming years. And expects the same spirit from FIDE to solve the current problem, regarding the 2012 Candidates Tournament.


It remains to be seen whether FIDE will listen to this appeal (it would seem not, since the official announcement was made after the Bilbao letter), but when forces as disparate and influential as Magnus Carlsen and Silvio Danailov oppose the existing dates, the unstoppable force and immovable object meet and something has to give!

What do you think?  Should the Candidates Tournament be moved to a quieter time in the chess calendar to avoid clashing with two major commercial chess events?

7028 reads 25 comments
4 votes


  • 5 years ago


    The FIDE should be picking a better date for this major event...

  • 5 years ago


    Is it posible for the Bilbao Masters and the London Chess Classic people to work around the blundering FIDE? I would like to think someone could dig us out of this mess

  • 5 years ago


    the blue makes this article kind of 3D

  • 5 years ago


    I'm new here, can you show me around?

  • 5 years ago


    Lpndon is an ideal location & yes agree FIDE ( like FIFA ) should stop being obtuse & consult with other organisers for the greater all-round betterment of the game. If they do not they may end up being outmoded & unfit for purpose. Players may then desert FIDE & establish their own organisations as has happened in snooker & other sports.

    Players will follow the money/economics & it would only take one billionaire to step in with financing to bring their monopoly to an end & make them regret being so aloof to the concerns of other parties..

    An example of this would be '' Corgi '' gas-regulation organisation in the UK. After they lost their tender they became '' white-elephant '' body with no useful purpose to fulfill.

  • 5 years ago


    Whose playing ?
  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    stop moaning, you squinny bitter people!! I cant wait to see the worlds top players fighting for the chance of a crack at the world crown all moaners the lot of you stop being so negative!

  • 5 years ago


    F- fatality I- incompent D- demoralizeing E- enterprise

  • 5 years ago


    ok...if that's the way it is, i refuse to play

  • 5 years ago


    It seems like every move FIDE makes, they make themselves look like complete idiots. It must some kind of wizardry that Illyumzhinov is still in charge of such a ramshackle, directionless organisation whose every decision is derided and criticised.

  • 5 years ago


    If they (FIDE) should continue with that plan without any justifiable reason, then it becomes a forced moved without any theoretical backing with no future in it- catastrophic blunder!!

  • 5 years ago


    FIDE deliberatlely clashing with super-tornaments in order to show some sort of political strenght, is indeed an interesting theory...but it is like shooting one's own foot. Clearly, these organisers have made contact with FIDE, and surely FIDE would have responded to them in some form or fassion. That FIDE has now officially stated that "it will not budge"...then, this does in fact bring to the fore a clash between these tournament organisers and FIDE. Will we eventually see more and more financial support for tournaments disappear because of any pending clashes between the two sides? Will GMs withdraw from the Candidates, in favour of winning cash? Or will GMs miss one of the tournaments instead? Another possibility is that GMs decide to attend to all three tournamnets...and let their play suffer (at least they will be well compensated by the attendance fees).

    The chess world will follow this one closely...

  • 5 years ago


    It's hard to assume that FIDE people haven't thought of the idea that there will be opposition from many sides: players, tournament organizers, fans, etc.

    So it must be the case that they intentionally wanted to clash -- likely for some political reasons (including vying for supremacy).  We can't know what those reasons are exactly, but that's the only explanation that makes sense.

  • 5 years ago


    World Chess Championship is a terribly overlong anachronism. It is no longer needed, and sadly, it is no longer valid. Professional golf seems to do fabulously well with its lucrative and comfortably predictable annual multi-tournament format, producing winners who are in peek form. 

  • 5 years ago


    It's a horrible and uncaring decision of the ham-handed sort we used to expect from FIDE before there were many great private organizers who could be depended upon.  Bilbao and now the London Classic are established, it is ridiculous to position the Candidates so tightly between them.

  • 5 years ago


    One would imagine that an organization as big as FIDE would be more proactive, forward thinking, and organised. Clearly, FIDE is in dire need of better management and leadership. The private tournaments do indeed play a big part in promoting the sport, and have been doing so for many years...even though their main focus is to "make a profit". FIDE should shedule it's events in harmony with other tournaments, and this should be done at the end of each callender year for the following year...just as with it's Budgeting.

    As it stands these GMs affected will have to make a choice as to which tournaments they will enter.

  • 5 years ago


    I think they should have a large multi-way blindfold simul ...

    the competitors don't wear blindfolds until after move 10, all the audience wears blindfolds, and every plays each other exactly once at blitz 30 second speed ... the winner becomes the WCC.

  • 5 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    FIDE seems to be extraordinarily short-sighted in selecting poor timing for this event.

  • 5 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    FIDE Vice-President and Chairman of the Russian Chess Federation Ilya Levitov posted this on Twitter:

    As FIDE vice-president I apologize to M.Pein and J.C.Fernández that I can't change the dates of the Candidates tournament. I hope your wonderful tournaments will survive.

    His tweets in Russian were even harsher and critical towards FIDE and Agon.

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