FIDE Announces Candidates Tournament

FIDE Announces Candidates Tournament

| 17 | Chess Event Coverage

During the recent chess Olympiad in Dresden, delegates from all the national chess federations attended the FIDE General Assembly meeting to discuss the organisation of chess events and plans for the future; think of something similar to the AGM of a big global company and you get the idea!

A proposal announced at the Assembly by FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov was a change to the current World Chess Championship cycle that will see the introduction of a candidates tournament.

Although this is technically only a proposal, Kirsan Illyumzhinov has already stated that it "will be approved at the next general board meeting".  That's democracy, FIDE style!

The players to be play in the tournament are:

1st and 2nd place finishers in the 2009 World Cup
1st and 2nd place finishers in the curent Grand Prix series
The loser of the upcoming Topalov v Kamsky match
The loser of the WCC match between Anand and Topalov/Kamsky
The highest rated player not already included
A wildcard nominated by the organisers (must be 2700 Elo+)

There are two different formats that FIDE will allow the successful bidder for the event to create.  Either:

  1. An eight player round-robin tournament
  2. KO matches consisting of 4 games for the Q-Final and Semi-Final and 6 games for the Final

The winner of this candidates event would challenge the incumbent champion (Anand, or Topalov/Kamsky if they beat him) in September 2011.

This change has come - typically for FIDE - out of thin air, and it remains to be seen whether or not this will be a positive change.  There is a desperate need for a simple and credible WCC cycle that is fair, widely accepted and is able to attract commercial sponsors.

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