Monday, April 21, 2008

Dare we hope?

Has FIDE actually gotten itself in order for the 2008-2010 world championship cycle? The current cycle seems to be in order. The winner of Kamsky-Topalov plays the 2008 world champion (the winner of Anand-Kramnik). I don't think even FIDE can screw that up. But the next cycle appears to be mostly ironed out too.

The Plan
The first FIDE Grand Prix tournament begins today in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Grand Prix is a series of six tournaments to be held over two years (2008-2009) in leading world cities. 21 top world players have been selected to compete in these tournaments. Each player will participate in exactly four of these tournaments. Each tournament has 14 players. The months allocated for the organisation of the Grand Prix tournaments are April, August and December of each respective year. These months have been selected to ensure there is no conflict with any other major event. The winner of the Grand Prix series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the 2009 World Cup in an eight game match to become the challenger to the World Champion in a match to be held in the third quarter of 2010.

Players in the Baku tournament
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2765
2 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov AZE 2752
3 Teimour Radjabov AZE 2751
4 Peter Svidler RUS 2746
5 Sergey Karjakin UKR 2732
6 Michael Adams ENG 2729
7 Gata Kamsky USA 2726
8 Alexander Grischuk RUS 2716
9 Etienne Bacrot FRA 2705
10 Ivan Cheparinov BUL 2696
11 Wang Yue CHN 2689
12 Ernesto Inarkiev RUS 2684
13 Vugar Gashimov AZE 2679
14 David Navara CZE 2672

The other seven candidates:
Aronian Levon ARM 2763
Leko Peter HUN 2741
Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2740
Gelfand Boris ISR 2723
Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2711
Pelletier Yannick SWZ 2607
Al Modiahki Mohamad QTR 2554
(The last two - particularly a 2550 player - seem somewhat out of place in this august company. They - and four of the other players - were nominated by the host cities.)

Next FIDE Grand Prix Tournaments
30th July – 15th August 2008, Soci Russia
13th – 29th December 2008, Doha Qatar
14th – 30th April 2009, Montreux Switzerland
8th – 24th August 2009, Elista Russia
7th – 23rd December 2009, Karlovy Vary Czech Republic

FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2009
Baku Tournament
Mark Weeks website

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