ACP joins the debate

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
ACPIn a press release today the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) joins the debate surrounding the World Chess Championship cycle. Pinpointing the weak (and strong) aspects of the recent changes, they recommend FIDE "to build a sustainable dialog with chess players, where the ACP could play a role of mediator."
The ACP objects to the modifications imposed by FIDE in the World Chess Championship cycle. The system of the World Championship cannot be changed once the cycle has started. This statement relies on an opinion study made by the ACP among chess players rated above 2700.

Changing the Regulations of the World Championship in progress negatively affected top players who were already involved in the cycle, and eventually led to several withdrawals. The ACP therefore suggests that FIDE regularly consults with top players on all essential questions such as the World Championship.

At the end of November in Dresden, FIDE put forward a new format for the World Championship cycle started earlier this year. The General Assembly approved this proposal. The ACP Board subsequently contacted all players rated above 2700. Many of them eventually sent their answers, while some others expressed their views directly in the press. The whole procedure took a couple of weeks but enabled the Board to determine how the ACP had to react in order to represent top players' opinions in the most objective way.

The ACP draws the following conclusions:

1) The essence of the World Championship is to let all greatest chess players fight to obtain the precious title of World Champion. Changing the regulations once the cycle has started, means changing the qualification process which participants have agreed to go through. Thus, players' rights have been neglected.

2) Considering its pure content, the new system proposed by FIDE has the right to exist. It actually bears a certain resemblance to what has been tried in the past few years. However, the problematic point, which has been contested by numerous players, concerns the selection to the candidates tournament (or matches). The ACP believes that the qualification system has not been worked out in the most adequate way. It is crucial to select players according to the most objective criteria, so that the World Championship can be held at the highest possible level.

Taking into account the aforementioned points, the ACP recommends FIDE to build a sustainable dialog with chess players, where the ACP could play a role of mediator. Consultation and discussion are the key words to lay the foundations for a fair World Chess Championship cycle.

ACP Board, December 16th 2008

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