Morozevich: "No Grand Prix for me"

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Bad news for Global Chess, the organizers of the new Grand Prix tournaments. In an interview, Alexander Morozevich criticizes the new series and says he won't play.

Morozevich, currently the number four in the world, wasn't in Wijk aan Zee last month and he's not playing Morelia/Linares. Now he has made clear, in an interview with Yuri Vasilyev for Sport-Express, that he won't be participating in the first Grand Prix Series either. Why?
"It doesn't seem attractive to me. You can judge for yourself, but this cycle will take about four years! In 2008, we begin with the qualification for a world championship match that takes place in 2011. This was not even in the times of Smyslov and Botvinnik. Only after the winners of the Grand Prix and the World Cup are determinded, one can play for the title of world champion, a year and a half later. It takes this long before the "subordination" in the chess world may change.

Secondly, the complexity. To reach the final match, the contenders must participate in four (!) tournament in a periode of two years. For leading players, this is a serious infraction of of their individual tournament schedule.

But my decision was definitely influenced by the fact that Global Chess has not yet been able to cope with the organization of the Grand Prix. Grandmasters have to sign a contract to take part in four tournaments of which it's unclear where and when they will exactly be held. In such a situation, agreeing in advance to play, would be a wrong decision, I would say.


As far as I know, Anand, Kramnik and Topalov also declined to play in the Grand Prix. However, my position does not depend on anyone's opinion. I have faced a similar situation before the World Championship knock-out system in Las Vegas in 1999. As a result, I also did not play there."

The qualified players for the Grand Prix were expected to send the document of their signed undertaking (here in PDF) to FIDE no later than midnight, 15 February 2008. Thus far, FIDE has not published a list of confirmed participants.

Vasilyev also asked Morozevich why he didn't play in Wijk aan Zee now also not in Morelia/Linares:

"At the Superfinal in Russia I had a lot of long games so I decided to take some rest in January. And regarding Morelia/Linares, it's different. Having experienced all "flavors" last year, games on different continents, in different time zones and climate conditions, I started to dislike this "splitting". A long flight, and only a three-day break before starting the second half, is not good for my internal rhythm, tone, dynamics. Incidentally, as far as I know, Kramnik and Mamedyarov hold the same opinion."
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