Chess

The real reasons behind the World Championship Cycle changes

FIDE Grand Prix is almost collapsing, Montreux has left the series as well

3rd December, 2008

After FIDE has decided to change the current World Championship system and introduce an eight-player candidate tournament, the main question that arose was “why making changes in the middle of the cycle?” Here are some of the public reactions.

As we’ve been unofficially told by a very trusted source, the explanation is fairly simple. The phrase “under changing circumstances” at the beginning of the related paragraph in the FIDE Press Release was a gentle way to say that FIDE Grand Prix model is falling apart. The abrupt cancellation of Doha was only the first domino in the chain, Montreux has left the series as well. The organizers from Switzerland did not provide the prize fund guarantee on time, furthermore, they have openly told FIDE to start seeking the new host for the April 2009 tournament.

With the crippled Grand Prix, where possibly only four tournaments of the planned six would actually take place, and Karlovy Vary are yet to deposit the guarantee by the 15th of December, FIDE decided to step in and regain some of the “sovereignty” over the World Championship cycle. The Grand Prix is under the exclusive control of Global Chess, financed by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and David Kaplan. “In order to eliminate future uncertainties” referred to the possibility that GP won’t be completed, thus the clause of two players from the ongoing series qualifying for the candidate tournament should provide some sense of fairness.

It is very possible that UEP, the company behind the Anand-Kramnik match, will organize both candidate tournament and 2011 World Championship match. The bidding process will be started in a day or two, following the official announcement on the FIDE website.

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