Excerpts from Chessbase :
Why arenít you there, playing in this championship?
Well, basically I disagreed with the idea that Kasparov was seeded to the
final and just decided it wasnít worth playing, that it was no longer a
real world championship and there was no reason to play.
You would have had a pretty good chance, thoughÖ
Maybe, maybe not. But I simply could not take part in the event. In
principle once you take part you accept that Kasparov is rightly seeded
above you and that you donít have a problem with that. Obviously the organizers
committed a lot of other mistakes, especially with regard to
the Israeli players, but well before I knew whether the Israelis would be
allowed to play, or even thought of that aspect yet, I had already made my
Hangin's take :
Vishy Anand could appreciate Kasparov's rights as an ex world champion. Kasparov
has yet to take advantage of his rights as an ex world champion one match
removed from his title. Other world champions have exercised great rights
as ex world champions.
Both Karpov and Botvinnik both had greater rights than
Kasparov ever had. Kasparov
doesnít need to play Anand any longer. Kasparovís great legacy is
already built and he is just putting the finishing touches on it now.
Anand on the other hand might be known as the 2nd best player
never to have won the true world championship.
I believe Anand lost
momentum this year. He seemed to be happy with his 2nd place in
the rating charts, his victory at Corus the last two years, his win over
Kramnik at Cap D'adge for the 2003 rapid world championship, and his
third Chess Oscar. Anand skipped Linares in 2004, a tournament where he
could have proven his dominance over the chosen ones in the reunification
process, namely Kasparov, Kramnik and Leko.
Anand, at 34 years of age, is
at the height of his chess powers. Anand is a very talented player who
excels in rapid and blitz chess. He certainly could have won the FIDE KO
in Libya. He went to the finals twice out of three attempts. Anand won the
FIDE KO in
1997 with just 8 wins against 6 opponents. However he lost the FIDE
Championship match to Karpov in 1998.
Anand also won the FIDE KO in 2001
with just 8 wins against 6 opponents.
passed up on the Brain Games World
Championship against Garry Kasparov in 2000.
Kramnik wisely took up the challenge and is now the current world
champion. Based on how long reunification is taking and the uncertainty as
to when it will finish, Anandís chances to be a true world champion are
waning. Anand needs to be savvier with opportunities to play great
Iíll never understand why players refuse great opportunities to
play Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest player who ever lived. I think
that an Anand victory over Kasparov in a match of significant duration (12
games) would be Anandís greatest achievement. Anand's greatest
achievement is not his 2001 FIDE KO Championship, nor his 2003 Rapid World
Championship. In fact I think Anandís
greatest achievement to date is his loss to Kasparov in the 1995 world
championship match by a score of 10.5 Ė 7.5.
Anand completed the
rigorous candidates process and he should be proud of this achievement and
proud of his loss to Kasparov. During the 1995 world
showed he was Kasparovís equal or better over the first 9 games. After 9
games, Anand led the match 5 Ė 4.
I liken winning the true world championship to
climbing Mount Everest. It's not enough to summit you must make it back
down alive. Many climbers use great energy and desire to make it to the
top, however once at the top they feel their mission is completed and they
collapse on the way down and die on the mountain. I feel thatís what
happened to Anand during the 1995 match, when he took first blood and the
match lead in game 9. Anand fell apart afterwards and lost 4 out of the
next 5 games.
I wish the players would have a greater respect for the
great tradition of chess world championship. It is this tradition of the
man who beat the man who beat the man that gives value to the world
Game 9 of the 1995 world championship match between Kasparov and
Anand was exciting. Anand won this game and took the lead in the match, a lead that he
would soon lose.
Okay, Vishy, but
let us say that one day you become FIDE president, or president of India
or something, and you have to select a format for the world championship.
What would you do?
[Thinks] At the moment
I would have to say that just getting everybody to the world championship
is half the job. It doesnít matter which format you have, the tournament
has lost some of its lustre if half the people are not playing. You have
these knockouts, and Kasparov or Kramnik refuses, or you have some private
events where basically everyone else refuses, and on and on. Let us assume
that in a knockout everybody plays. Then the result at least is valid,
even if not everybody is completely happy about the system. The old
championships were not that fair in themselves Ė I mean the challenger
had to work for three years while the champion just sat there waiting for
him. So we canít pretend we are coming from some Utopia and switching to
the knockout system.
Well, with the old system the champion had to go through the
candidateís process as well. Lets compare the old system by the match
ups they created and the champions they produced.
The old system produced Spassky,
Fischer, Karpov, and
thatís batting 1000
in my book. I call that an utopian system.
Both champion and challenger had to demonstrate their superiority
through strength of play in classical chess. The old system was a
three-year cycle. The challenger gets time to recharge before playing the
champion. The champion has the disadvantage of not knowing whom to prepare
for, while all the challengers can prepare for the champion for three
The 3-year cycle allows the champion to promote the game. Karpov and
Kasparov were excellent examples of great world champions. They played and won many
tournaments around the world. They defended their titles and promoted the
game around the world. In the old system the world champion could not
relax, because he knew the process would produce the best
Lets choose the system
that gives us the best and true world champion.
We have already seen with the many upsets in this current KO that
this format is unworthy of world championship selection. Poor Topalov, who
started the KO with 9.5/10 points, was eliminated because he lost one game
to finalist Ruslan Kasimdzhanov. Thatís a crime. The KO format is a blitz-crazed,
grab-bag process unworthy of classical world championships
I find it
strange that Anand would play in 3 KO without Kasparov with no problems,
but now itís a problem. If Anand had no problem with Kasparov playing
Ponomariov for the FIDE World Championship, why should Kasparov lose his
rights because of Ponomariovís poor decision not to play?
Letís assume you
had to redesign Linares Ė what would you do about draws? Would you
perhaps try to regulate it with the prize money?
That is one
possibility, but in the end I can hardly imagine that losing is ever going
to be more advantageous than a draw. Okay, you can take huge risks, but
then your opponent might try to exploit that. It comes down to something
fundamental. You have to actually redesign the way chess works. We have
tinkered around with quite a lot of different formats. The knockout has at
least that one virtue, that at the end of the day it produces a winner. I
donít know if a blitz game is any more elegant than a tie-break in
tennis, or the penalties or the golden goal in soccer, but at least it
works. Maybe we should take that from other sports, that at the end of the
day somehow you need a winner, one way or the other, even if chess purists
go nuts about the way it is done.
What to do about the short draws
Lets make use of the Fischer rule in the 1992 match against
Spassky. If a game ends in under 1 hour, then switch sides and play again.
Lets take a page from Don Shultz book ďChessDonĒ. Don likes to
split out some of the prize fund into a winning pool. Each player gets
money for each game they won.
Lets change the scoring system. I donít like the soccer system
because chess is not like soccer. In a soccer game no side has an initial
lasting advantage. As Adorjan said recently in chess today White has a
small but lasting advantage. I propose the following system 1.2
points for black
to win, 1.1 points for white to win, and .5 for a draw
Speaking about soccer, how about taking their system of awarding three
points for a win and one for a draw?
possible that it would work, and maybe there would be an incentive to
change your style a little bit and play more aggressively the whole time,
so that over ten or fifteen games there are chances that you will score
many more points. For an individual game, if your opponent is willing to
play some really boring position, if he is going to be really solid, there
is nothing really that you can do. But in the long run it may not be a bad
I believe the soccer analogy is flawed. Lets
change the scoring system. I donít like the soccer system because chess
is not like soccer. In a soccer game no side has an initial lasting
advantage. As Adorjan said recently in Chess Today, "white has a small but
lasting advantage." I propose the following system 1.2 for black to win,
1.1 for white to win and .5 for a draw.