Carlsen Withdraws From Grand Prix

Carlsen Withdraws From Grand Prix

| 16 | Chess Politics

Magnus Carlsen has decided to withdraw from the current Grand Prix series of events.  The full announcement is at his father's blog, here.  Carlsen's decision simply reflects the reality of the situation which he, and the remaining Grand Prix competitors, find themselves in. 

Funding for the Grand Prix events was never going to be easy to secure, and now two of the hosts - Doha and Montreux -  have cancelled.  FIDE's decision to change the structure for the current WCC cycle has also dealt a huge blow to the value of the Grand Prix.

Previously, it was planned that the winner of the Grand Prix would play a match with the winner of the World Cup, with the winner then getting a crack at the World Champion.  Now, the Grand Prix winner (and runner-up) would just take part in a candidates tournament instead.

Playing 6 tournaments just to qualify for a another tournament is a lot to ask of chess players who are busy making a living and have lots of other events they would like to enter.  It's not that the new structure is necessarily a bad idea, but the fact that it has been introduced from thin air, and utterly changes the current qualifying process whilst it is still ongoing.

Will the series survive?  If there are no further withdrawals then possibly it will stagger on.  But the whole concept is crumbling and it seems only a matter of time before it comes crashing down quicker than the oil price.

We will have to see just how many players show up to the hastily rearranged next tournament in Elista, in a little over a weeks' time.

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