Reports | May 28, 2011 21:19

Kazan: the aftermath

The Candidates Maches in Kazan, Russia led to lots of controversy: many chess fans and media criticised both the participants and FIDE for the high number of draws. The subject has led to a verbal dog fight between ECU President Silvio Danailov and FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, while GM Emil Sutovsky, on behalf of the World Championship and Olympiads committee, has sent a questionnaire to the twenty top-rated players.

It's kind of funny that the winner of the Candidates Matches, Boris Gelfand, won two third of the decisive classical games in Kazan. You can probably recall all three easily: Kamsky beating Topalov with Black in a Grünfeld, Gelfand beating Mamedyarov with Black in a Najdorf and Gelfand beating Grischuk with White in another Grünfeld. The 27 other classical games ended in draws. This high number, combined with a few very quick draws in the rapid sessions (especially the 8- and 14-move draws between Grischuk and Kramnik in the QGD come to mind), led to a heated debate in the chess world. At ChessVibes, many reports had 100+ comments and one even 264. What surprised us most was the tone of some commenters, who were really losing their temper and addressed the players aggressively. They, but also some media, might have tried showing a bit more empathy towards the players, who were playing one of the most important tournaments in their career. One that could be life changing, for historical as well as financial value. Great names such as Akiba Rubinstein or Paul Keres never got a chance to play a World Championship match, and that, and nothing less, was at stake in Kazan! Besides, they were not just playing for the prize money in Kazan, but also for their share of the pot at next year's title match. To give you an idea: in 2010 Vishy Anand earned 1,2 million Euros and losing challenger Veselin Topalov took home 800,000 Euros. Think about it. Wouldn't you do everything possible to reach that goal? Even something that sponsors and fans don't like, such as not wasting energy on trying to get through Vladimir Kramnik's bullet proof opening repertoire - something even Garry Kasparov couldn't do? Besides, many of the 27 draws were quite interesting and could have ended decisively. Boris Gelfand said the following during the final press conference in Kazan:

Well, all the players here were strong and it was hard to win. For example, Alexander saved difficult positions against Aronian and Kramnik, while players of a lower level wouldn’t have saved them, and you’d have had more decisive games. You can’t criticise the participants for saving tough positions when that actually bears witness to their mastery. And overall, it strikes me that it’s not important what the result is. The main thing is that the games were interesting. I played 14 games and, all things considered, at least ten of them were very interesting. The draw percentage was high, but to talk about a crisis… Again, it’s like in football: you see that when strong teams play you don’t get a lot of goalmouth action, but when teams in the second league play you can get 5:3 scores, or even more.

It was not just the players, no, FIDE was blamed as well. The system of four classical games followed by a rapid / blitz tie-break was criticised and, well, FIDE is blamed for just about anything these days, even when they organize something reasonably well. The most prolific critic was the President of the European Chess Union (ECU), Silvio Danailov, who used his former campaign website (!) as a podium for the following plea. (It's hard to read his words without thinking about his other job: manager of Veselin Topalov, who was eliminated in the quarter-finals.)

Dear All, I was personally present in Kazan during the Candidates Tournament. These are my conclusions: The current KO system (short matches) for the Candidates tournament is negative for chess. The reasons are as follows: 1. So far we have 27 draws out of 29 games in classical chess, about 95% (!!). Many of these draws were very short – 12,15,18 etc. moves. Even in rapid games we have draws in 8 (!!!) moves. This is shame and disaster for the image of chess and FIDE. The question is, why didn’t the WCOC introduce the Sofia Rules on time? 2. Some of the players were making short draws on purpose, in order to decide matches in rapid chess or blitz. But the point is that if we have WCC in classical chess, why should we decide the matches in blitz? Knowing very well from the past experience that the KO system leads to and tempts with that, why does the WCOC recommend it? 3. The PR results of Kazan are very poor. With probably small exception of Russia, there doesn’t appear any interest from international Press for this event. This also hurts chess and FIDE. Conclusion: The WCOC who is responsible for this system failed, and should resign immediately. The FIDE PB should appoint new WCOC on next meeting in Al Ain in order to avoid before mentioned mishaps and to improve the situation in the future. Best regards, Silvio Danailov President of ECU

Apparently Danailov wrote this text on Wednesday morning, just before the 6th (decisive!) game of the final between Gelfand and Grischuk. Two days later, FIDE came with the following response:

Friday, May 27, 2011 Official response by FIDE to ECU President Dear all, With great surprise we read the announcement of Mr Silvio Danailov on 25 May, accusing the members of the FIDE World Championship Committee as being responsible for the high percentage of ...draws(!) in Kazan. A non-chess reader would really wonder whether the members of the World Championship Committee were the ones playing in the Candidates Matches. Once more Mr Danailov shows no respect to the top players, we hope under his competitive capacity of a player's manager and not that of ECU President. If it wasn't for Mr Danailov 's dual role as President of ECU and manager of top players, no reply would have been necessary to this incredible announcement, as its content speaks by itself for the poor quality of his arguments. Everybody in professional chess knows very well that if two grandmasters desire during the game to draw it, there is no way to force them not to. FIDE has valuated various ideas in the past (for example the "no draw offer before move 30" or the so called "Sofia rule") but the truth is that applying such regulations to a World Championship Cycle needs further input from the top players and their national federations. Mr. Danailov should understand that chess players cannot be whipped to dance to his tune, especially those fighting for the World Championship title. FIDE is in the process of conducting discussions for future improvements on the format of the cycle and the announcement of Mr Danailov came immediately after receiving such a questionnaire (in his capacity as Veselin Topalov's manager) from FIDE WCOC member Emil Sutovsky. A couple of weeks ago Mr Danailov also announced his intention to run for FIDE President in 2014. Seeing the opportunity to promote his own political agenda, Mr Danailov abused his position as ECU President and FIDE's desire for feedback from its top players, to attack through his reply whom he views as "political opponents", instead of participating constructively in the on-going dialogue for the future World Championship cycles. Mr Danailov has not understood yet that he has been elected to the position of ECU President, with a monthly salary accompanying it, in order to serve all European chess players and not only his future political ambitions in FIDE. We therefore ask Mr Danailov to participate in the dialogue initiated by the World Championship Committee in a productive manner as nobody else is sharing his rush to connect everything with the FIDE elections in 2014. We also confirm once more that the interests of all top players are protected by FIDE, of course including those of Veselin Topalov. Best regards, Georgios Makropoulos FIDE Deputy President & WCOC Chairman

The questionnaire that Mr Makropoulos talks about was sent by GM Emil Sutovsky to the twenty top-rated players. Here's the text:

Dear colleagues, On behalf of the World Championship and Olympiads committee ( WCOC ), I'd like to ask your opinion regarding the format of the future World Championship Cycles. As we all know, opinions differ, and it is not easy to find a solution that will satisfy all the leading players. However, we shall try to find a system which will be both professional and realistic. In this regard, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts before the topic is discussed on the next WCOC meeting in the beginning of June and important decisions are taken. As the topic is too complex, I've prepared several questions. It would be nice to have your answers, but of course, you are most welcomed to present your vision as a separate letter. The questions: What is more suitable system for Candidates – matches or double round robin? If the match system is used, what format would you prefer (4+4+6, like in Kazan, 6+6+6, other...) Do you have positive/negative remarks about the format used in Kazan? Should the World Champion's privilege stay intact or should the World Champion join the Candidates in the future cycles? Do you think FIDE should preserve two-year cycle or consider switching to a yearly Championship? I would appreciate having your response before May 30, so that it can be presented on the WCOC meeting. Best regards, Emil Sutovsky

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

LMedemblik's picture

I prefer penalties...

Mark De Smedt's picture

(3. Format of the world championship cycle)

It’s great to see organizers reach out to the public through live broadcasting, press conferences and video coverage. I also love rapid, blitz and blind events, which may actually have the potential to reach a bigger audience than classical chess. But it’s clear that mixing classical chess with quicker formats decreases the possibility of the strongest classical chess player gaining the title.

Therefore, as Jon suggested in the first message of this thread, matches not only need to be longer (I’d suggest 8 games), but in case of a tie both players should continue with classical games until the first non-draw ! Since it’s very hard to find organizers and sponsors for events with an unknown duration, the sudden death games could be limited to a maximum of 4. The lowest rated player would get White in games 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11, giving him a slight statistical advantage because he has the first White in case of a sudden-death tie-break. In turn, the higher rated player would win the match if it still tied after 4 draws in the sudden death games. Rating is a simple, but also a fair tie-breaker. The same format could be used for the title match, based on 12 games, a maximum of 4 or 8 additional sudden death games, and finally rating as a tie-breaker.

The big disadvantage of a tournament is the danger of collusion or even corruption among players. That’s why I consider matches a must at the end of the world championship cycle. If three rounds of 8+4 game matches (with one or more weeks of rest after each round) are not possible in the Candidates, then a hybrid format could be a solution: two quadruple round robins among 4 players (with Sonnenborn-Berger and finally rating as tie-breakers), and both winners playing a Candidates final of 8+4 games. FIDE could save time and money by replacing the Grand Prix Series with Interzonals, for example two 12-player single round robins from which 2 x 2 players would qualify for the Candidates, along with the previous challenger and 3 players who earn their spot by rating. Some 10 spots in the Interzonal could also be awarded by rating, while the other 14 spots could result from continental championships. With the right timing it must be possible to hold such cycles within a 2 year period.

Mark De Smedt's picture

"The lowest rated player would get White in games 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11, giving him a slight statistical advantage because he has the first White in case of a sudden-death tie-break. In turn, the higher rated player would win the match if it still tied after 4 draws in the sudden death games."

I meant that the lowest rated player would get White in games 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 12. Otherwise the higher rated player could play for a draw as White in game 12 (if the match reaches game 12, of course).

Mark De Smedt's picture

(1. Management of the world championship)

Unfortunately FIDE is still highly corrupt, so as a chess fan, first of all I insist on clean money (its origin has to be made transparent), responsible planning (no cancellations or changes during a cycle) and objective rules for the world championship cycle (no wildcards or rules specific to the organizers). We can only get good leaders and a decent image if many chess professionals and amateurs join forces in pursuing these demands.

For the upcoming cycle I suggest lowering the prize money in order to make sure that this time, no planned events need to be cancelled when some unstable sponsor withdraws. In the long run, a better image of chess will attract new sponsors, even if it won’t be for astronomical amounts of money.

Mark De Smedt's picture

(2. Rules for the games)

Apart from the political issues which have always affected the organization of the world championship, I’m a big fan of rules and a format that respect the specific character of chess. We play a game of complete information where the factor “luck” is minimized. It takes some patience and study to understand and appreciate high level chess: playing styles range from very spectacular to slow and subtle, GM or IM commentary is no luxury even for very experienced players, many interesting games end in a draw, and sometimes opening theory is also advanced by games in which an equal position is reached at an early stage.

I agree with those who accept a relatively high drawing rate among top players because it is inherent to the game of chess. The Sofia rule could be successful at an amateur level, but at the highest level I think it will have a rather small impact on the drawing rate. On the other hand, more drastical measures, such as the football scoring system, damage the quality of the game by stimulating players to choose risky moves instead of the best ones, which is quite sad because maybe the most genuine challenge of a chess game, both for players and spectators, consists in trying to get as close as possible to understanding the positions and variations that arise, or could have arisen ! This is why even most amateurs analyze their games after they finish, and it is a crucial difference between chess and almost any other sport (where post-match analyses don’t include complex variations).

What I find more worrying is the fact that computers keep increasing the importance of opening memorization for top level chess. I guess in a few years they will be so strong that we can have them play about 18 moves against themselves (without opening books) and let the human top players face each other from move 19, in a position they’ve probably never seen. A superstrong computer will be able to create thousands of such positions with relatively equal chances for White and Black. Maybe this could be an alternative to Chess 960, where certain players may still gain a significant advantage by memorizing thousands of computer-suggested opening moves.

Finally, I want to plead for time controls that avoid the worst cases of timetrouble and leave a little more room for interesting endgames. The first goal can be met by giving an increment from move 1, and the second goal could be achieved by gradually increasing the rhythm of play instead of suddenly increasing it at move 61. Both can be done without making games last longer: for example 1h10’ + 1’ increment till move 40; 30’ + 1’ increment till move 60; 10’ + 45’’ increment till move 80; 45’’ increment till move 100; 30’’ increment starting at move 101.

john's picture

well thanks for the info, but as a Christian I can tell you that I do not have any interest in browsing any websites that encourage immorality, and do not do so.

help's picture

I don't know if you were joking or not, but that sure was funny as hell.

Thomas's picture

As you already mentioned holiday sites ... : It's possible that john got such ads because he read a recent report here on a tournament in Thailand, and then maybe visited some Thailand tourism sites (even "innocent" ones). Sad but true - I refrain from putting a smiley.

On the other hand, it's tempting (but even further off-topic) to mention immoral things that happened in some Christian institutions ... .

Mejnour's picture

ROFL....he is BUSTED

Mejnour's picture

"As a christian" LOL

Maybe your wife is not christian LOL

The most offended are often the most hypocryte...

hc's picture

@S3:

Huh? Why did you reply to my comment with this.
The very first line of my comment says that not everyone will see the sex-toy ADs that John is seeing. Then I went on to explain why different people see different ADs, it's based largely on sites you have recently visited.

Which is completely hilarious because John started posting on this board with a accusatory, holier-than-thou attitude, when it is very likely that he only has himself to blame.

Just goes to show you that the people who set themselves up to be the morality police are probably the ones doing the "immoral" acts that they are persecuting.

LMedemblik's picture

I do not understand why I get a 0 -6 score. (Till now)
Have you ever typed a text for half an hour and lost it because there was an error message?
Most of the GOOD working scripts will give your text back while browsing.

Vlado's picture

Dear Peter, I think you and Arne (based on previous posts) should change your prejudiced attitude against Danailov.
I do not see how - as you suggest - while reading Danailov's letter, one cannot help thinking about his other job as Topalov's manager. Rather, Danailov one more time expresses the same position which he has been defending for years, namely 'adopt the Sofia rules to make the game more attractive to spectators and sponsors'.
Furthermore, it is a shame that you blame Danailov for something which is only your perception of matters, while taking no reaction against Makropoulos's accusations against Danailov. Yes, please take a look at his letter! It is full of personal accusations without any proof, like:
- Danailov uses 'the opportunity to promote his own political agenda';
- Danailov does this 'to attack through his reply (those) whom he views as “political opponents”, instead of participating constructively in the on-going dialogue';
- and finally, 'Mr Danailov has not understood yet that he has been elected to the position of ECU President, with a monthly salary accompanying it, in order to serve all European chess players and not only his future political ambitions in FIDE.'
All these are insulting personal remarks in revenge for Danailov's pinpointing of an obvious problem. Note that Danailov does not blame Makropoulos but FIDE while what he gets in response is a humiliating letter with personal insults!?!?!
If this letter was written by Danailov and not Makropoulos, I am 100% sure that this site would have made a big story of its pejorative language. But now you are silent. Why?
Good journalists should be impartial!
Regards!

mishanp's picture

"Note that Danailov does not blame Makropoulos but FIDE while what he gets in response is a humiliating letter with personal insults!?!?!"

It somehow feels wrong to defend Makropoulos... but Danailov was very much blaming him and indeed asked him to resign immediately. In such circumstances I think it's fair for Makropoulos to respond in no uncertain terms...

Thomas's picture

You might have a point if Danailov had merely expressed "an opinion" - even then it remains odd that he is both manager of one (European) top player and ECU president for all European chess players.
But he went farther and indeed DOES blame Makropoulos:
"The WCOC who is responsible for this system failed, and should resign immediately."
Chairman of this commission is a certain Georgios Makropoulos (the other members are Gelfer, Bareev and Sutovsky).

Zeblakob's picture

I voted +1 for your post because your idea iz funny.

PircAlert's picture

Reality, I tend to think it is money driven, not hate driven. Too much money oriented will sometime drag you into a sort of hatred. The rest I totally agree!

VladimirOo's picture

I take white and play 1. e4. Then, i need to be prepared for at least (e5, e6, c6, c5, d6, d5, Nc6, Nf6 + incorrect moves where i need to know refutation) over 10 possibilities.
Then after lets say the most flexible 1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 there are at leats (d6,e6,Nc6,a6,Nf6,Qc7,Qb6,b6) eight possibilities i need to know thourougly.
Do i need to count third moves possibilities for black ?

Nowadays, players can learn very deep lines of theory because this over hundred years of play behind them (Morphy, Bronstein, Botvinnik, Nimzowitch, Bogo, Reti etc.). Various set ups, moves, have been tested and refutated. Many lines have consolidated since then.

In Chess960, or Chess100, you would have to all this process from the beginning. Let's take position 55. I play 1.e4. I need to prepare for the eight-ten possible replies of my opponent. And for all hundred starting positions, it would make over 1000 replies i would need to study to depth 5 at least! That means, with modest hypothesis, (10 variations x 5 x 5 x5 x 5 x 5) x 100 = 20000 moves! not only to memorize but to analyse deeply in completely different situations nothing comparable to help remembering and analyzing!

No one will waste such efforts in memorizing endless lines. Better work on middlegames and tactics instead. And you can improvize OTB better since theory won't jeopardize you.

Bartleby's picture

Some 10'000 moves is not out of reach. A theory-heavy Grand Master knows about that much. There will be symmetries, and tons of transpositions. The board won't be bigger, the principles of development will remain. Grand Masters will learn how to reach known positions like they learn technical endgames today. Computer will build up books for each start position. In the end, the preparation would be a little less deep on average, and just more over all.

hansie's picture

Who or what is Rekthna??

Sumit Balan's picture

you dont know Rekthna ???? OMG !!!

ebutaljib's picture

I forgot to add that this system is also more spectator friendly. Because of so many games that are played at the same time (swiss tournament and round robin) the short GM draws are not a problem, becaue spectators always have some interesting games to look at. So they don't feel cheated if some of them end early.

So there is no need for any anti-draw measures. players should be able to make a short draw if they think it benefits them. Afterall the most important thing for them is to progress to the next stage.

RealityCheck's picture

@ PircAlert

The intent of this whole campaign, from the beginning, is to strip the WC Title of all its meaning because the man who won it, and still owns it isn't their man.

The man running FIDE isn't their man either. The same lame tactics are employed against him too.

Their motto: If you can't beat him, cheat him.

Change the rules. Deface the title. Belittle the title holder. There is no boundry to their hate. They love to hate.

We know who they are because we've been checking their act out kind of close.

Werner's picture

The difference is: they do already study hundreds of opening variations. But that's reasonable, because they can steer the way of the game towards what they have studied. So learning some long lines in the Najdorf is okay, if you know your opponent will start 1.e4...

However with 960 starting positions it's not reasonable to learn anything deep for, let's say, position 652, because you have no way to reach this position by your own actions. You probably wouldn't ever get to play it anyway...

Mike's picture

Modern (last two centuries) Society consider Chess valuable because we are now living a technological and capitalist era that need the best and more intelligent brains. Classical chess is the best way to measure the Real, Profound and Powerful intelligence of a Man (or Woman..) and the society knows that. Is that sense, Classical Chess is a Logo or Symbol of Excellence in terms of Deep Intelligence. Otherwise Rapid and Blitz Chess is more like gambling, automated stupidity, lottery or video-game. In fact, people do not respect fast Chess as a demonstration of intelligence. Long Live Classic Chess..!!! Are we now going to transfer the merit and virtue of intelligence to computers???

Thomas's picture

Traditional chess includes many different songs, some songs (=openings) are more popular than others, and this can change over the years - with an oldie (Queen's Gambit) recently again on top of the charts.
Maybe it's all classical music, while Chess960 would also include free jazz and punk rock. Maybe it's all playing the piano - with Chess960 players also have to play trumpet, guitar and violin.

Seriously: As the debate about "excessive" opening preparation (leading to more draws, including rather quick ones) is by no means new and 'a product of Kazan', why isn't Chess960 already more popular? Mainz is/was the only event with participation of strong GMs.
My personal answer: I hardly followed the Chess960 part of Mainz, because in most games I had no clue on what's going on. When following GM games, I want to have at least some idea aboout the position (or at least the illusion that I understand). In my own amateur games, neither I nor the opponent play lengthy memorized lines in the opening - but it helps to know or claim/think to know where the pieces should go, and what are possible plans for both sides.

If Chess960 became mandatory at all levels, I would probably stop playing chess. And for top events, chess might gain some fans (those who mostly care about many decisive results?) and lose others (those who want to understand and appreciate games and don't mind too much if the result is a draw). Live commentary might rely even more on engine evaluations if even strong annotators such as Shipov have a hard time assessing a given position.

Overall, we would gain something but would also lose a lot!?

VladimirOo's picture

The lack of harmony between the pieces.

biffmeatstick's picture

Speaking of harmony, playing traditional chess is like playing the same song over and over and over again. Who here would prefer to have only one song in their music library rather than 960?

foo's picture

correct. One of the main heuristics used

sligunner's picture

Here's a way to stop grandmaster draws:

At move 20 or whenever, if the two GMs want to agree to a draw they refer to the arbiter.

The two GMs then have to continue playing against Rybka. If both games against the computer end as draws, then a draw is the final result. If one GM outperforms the other GM, then he takes the point.

As simple as that.

Will we see GM draws under such a rule? No.

help's picture

You might be interested to know that lots of advertisers on the web these days use tracking and targeted ads.

I'll explain with a simple example: if you have been to a holiday website then on one of the next websites you visit you might see an ad for a holiday agency.

cak's picture

Could you explain further why nobody would do it? Some kind of gentlemen's agreement?

I can see that preparing for specific opponents will be nearly impossible, so you might not have to work so hard between rounds in tournaments and matches. But wouldn't Chess-960 favour bookish types rather than the practical players that we have at the top now? Knowing what to do in critical positions gives a huge competitive edge, no?

bhabatosh's picture

Short draws should be discouraged by some rules , not sure you can have any rule to make the game not "boring" at all.

I think we sometime say the game was "boring' , but I guess players did tried something and both players more or less played accurately to avoid any obvious mistake. We can not curse players for that. in chess number of draws is always high in top level. you have to accept this as part of the game.

Specially in this candidates more or less everyone is very very Strong and highly rated. There is hardly any difference , Even if we had 6/8 game matches I am sure you would still have seen draws. I can not speculate % , but it will happen and it happened in past.

hansie's picture

The draft proposed by me was intended for the players, organisers and die-hard fans. Trust me, it will appear to be fairly simple to even a lay person, if only I re-draft the proposal for the consumption of common public.

Thomas's picture

Both comparisons are somewhat silly IMO:

1) Human vs. computer chess: If you cannot make progress with a bicycle against wind force 10, it's a non-argument that a motorcycle would manage ... . Moreover, computers don't get tired and aren't afraid of taking risks, simply because this term or concept doesn't exist for them. Humans are, after all, human.

2) Chess vs. other sports: Other sports have a defined end of the competition, either in terms of time (a typical football match lasts 90 minutes) or distance (a 10km run is over after 10km). Chess is open-ended in both respects, time (spent on the clock) and distance (number of moves). Hence the possibility to draw by mutual agreement (no need for all games to last 60, 80 or 100 moves) and the 50 move rule to put an end to unnecessarily lengthy games. Let's face and accept it that our game is different from other sports ... .

blueofnoon's picture

1) If the excessive number of draws was the result of tiredness, of course FIDE is responsible for organizing an important tournament with such a stupid schedule.

However, personally I got the impression that 2 rest days after 4 rounds + tie break session was normal at this level. If this was too demanding for the players, then we would need to think again about scheduling of most of the top level tournaments such as Tata, Linares.

For players who don't want to take risks, I would advise the best way to avoid risks is not to play at all.

2) In most of top level tournaments (including this one), the time control is 2 hours for 40 moves each. this means a game should end within 4 hours if it's finished by move 40. I don't understand how "forbid players from agreeing a draw by move 30" rule (for example) can cause to "unnecessarily" long games.

Finally, I would like to ask "super" GMs one very simple question. "On what condition could you play at your full strength, without agreeing a draw in move 20 where even higher rated computers (sorry but this is true) would fight on?"

noone's picture

Yes there would be more lines to analyze but nobody would do it. And I also do not think it would really be worth much either.

gg's picture

Before Kazan Kramnik said the system with minimatches was quite OK, that the matches were pretty long, and that a tournament qualification wouldn't be better. After Kazan he considers round robins better and sees four game matches as definitely being too short and making little sense, as reported by Chessbase. I guess he wasn't the only one to be disappointed by Kazan:

"I personally prefer a round robin tournament ... I think the double round robin is the best system. If the match system is used, there must be definately six or even eight games matches, because otherwise most of the matches might be decided in rapid or blitz, like in Kazan, and it makes little sense"

PircAlert's picture

Yep. And about the other thing of asking Champion to player in Candidates. Wasn't FIDE even more fair in asking all top 64 players to start on equal footing in the FIDE knock out and didn't Anand win it? And didn't then people complain FIDE of diluting the title and that the title should be fought in a title match bout? Why a change now all of a sudden that the champion should play two or more players in matches? Improved chances of dethroning Anand? Is that the intent of this questionnaire?

Simon's picture

I was thinking that in many sports the players compete in several events/skills to determine the champion ( in Gymnastics Vault, Floor, pommel horse, Ring, Parallel bars, High Bar ) and since we seem to go down to rapid events anyway why not make them part of the schedule from the starts?

So we would have 8 players in a double round robin:

14 Games of Classic with 4pts for Win, 2 Pts for Draw, 0 for loss
14 Games of Rapid with 2pts for Win, 1 Pts for Draw, 0 for loss
14 Games of Lightning with 1pt for Win, 1/2 Pts for Draw, 0 for loss

I'm not sure what order the events would be in, perhaps the shorter games first so players would have better chances to catchup with higher pointed slower games later.

maybe make the Classic games worth 5pts for Win, 2 Pts for Draw, 0 for loss to further encourage fighting chess.

Remco G's picture

Or do the rapid/blitz playoff before the match starts, so that the result is known? At least one player would be forced to go for a decision in the classical match then.

hc's picture

@John. Not everyone is seeing those sex-toy advertisements.
This is a pretty recent thing that most browsers support, they programmatically display ADs that they deem appropriate for the user. Different users get different ADs.

How they determine what's appropriate for you is based on sites you have visited in the recent past. BTW. LOL :)

S3's picture

That's nonsense. I never get that kind of adds on vibes.

hc's picture

No. Carlsen said he preferred RR to determine the champion. Kramnik still says that the champion should only be determined in match play.

hc's picture

"Chess is still alive and kicking. Look at the games between computers, most of them are either decisive or fighting draws."

Thank you for pointing this out! If anything computers have saved chess. Things have been getting better with the likes of Fisher/Karpov/Kasparov taking the game to a new level and crushing everyone in sight.
Now computers have taken it to another level still.

The real draw death was back in the days of Botvinnik, and before that Capa. People always have a false nostalgia about the past.

Bartleby's picture

> because it’s impossible to analyse 100 starting positions, never mind 900.

I've heard this argument before but I can't believe it. There will be more lines to analyze and memorize, that's all. Computers don't care about the starting position. Supercomputer access will be crucial to find competitive lines. People will cram as much analysis into their heads as possible, and since they tend to use the same computer programs, they will tend to arrive at similar positions.

Bruce b's picture

So what. In light of the recent Candidate's matches, this is the most interesting thing on a chess news page, keep it!

cak's picture

Why is it impossible to study 100 opening positions? Don't the Grandmasters study thousands of different opening variations already?

Wouldn't Chess-960, if taken seriously, lead to even more opening theory we all have to know before sitting down at the board, no matter if we are serious Grandmasters or club players playing for fun? If say position 342 comes up and I haven't looked at it while my opponent knows what to do, won't he beat me easily?

RealityCheck's picture

@ pircalert

"Suddenly 2 years title span look long when Anand is on the throne??"

I feel you!

Looking back. Kasparov's reign 1985-1995. Oops. Sorry. Don't shoot. The hysterical record (supported by Chessbase GmbH, various journalists, and historians) list him as the title holder up to the year 2000?? Farce.
Forgive me, I forgot to book the inactive years (the 5 years in which he did not play at all) to his account. Garry was so good he was granted a five year (undisputable) extension as title holder.

Bruce b's picture

I say provide financial incentive for lack of easy draws. I don't have details, but reward players for not agreeing to simplistic, short GM-draws.

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