FIDE has come up with a new proposal to get
reunification untracked. FIDE wants to host a 500k tournament. This time
they call for a double round robin tournament consisting of the
following players: Kramnik, Anand, Kasparov, Kasimdzhanov, Adams, Topalov,
Leko, and Morozevich. The winner would be world champion. I would like to
see a tournament with these players. However I don't think this proposal
will be put into action. I have the following issues with it.
1) Well I doubt very much Kramnik would risk his title in
such an event. After all Kramnik just finished playing a 14 game match
with Peter Leko. The prize fund there was 1.6 million dollars.
2) What about other deserving players such as Judith Polgar,
Shirov, Svidler, Bacrot, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Bareev, Dreev, and
Ponomariov. The cut off should be at the 2700 rating.
3) You can't be come a world champion by winning a tournament.
FIDE held such a world championship tournament back in 1948. It was held
after World Champion Alexander Alekhine died. The tournament consisted of
5 of the world's best players Botvinnik, Euwe, Reshevsky, Smyslov, and
Keres. Each player played 4 games against each opponent. Mikhail Botvinnik
won this tournament and became the 6th world champion. This method was ok
for its time. It was right after World War II, much of Europe was still
decimated. Transportation was slow. This tournament/match had its share of
controversies. It was rumored that the Soviet players, Smyslov, Botvinnik,
and Keres ganged up on Reshevsky. The goal was to keep the title in
Moreover, I would be worried that players would gang up on Garry
Kasparov and conspire against him. It gives players out of contention too
much spoiler roll power. Now I think this could be a good interzonal
tournament. Where the top finishers play short candidate matches against
each other. That would be ok. The last man standing plays Kramnik for the
world title. I thought Corus 2005 would have been a great interzonal. By
having the top finishers qualify for candidate matches, you reduce the
power of the spoiler.
4) Peter Leko said it best, prior to the start of the 2004 World
Championship. He said that in a tournament, we (Kramnik and Leko) don't
have to beat each other to win it. But in a world championship match, we
have to beat each other. Leko is right. It is entirely possible that
Kramnik, Leko, Kasparov, Anand could win this tournament without defeating
any of the top seeds. The championship could be decided by whoever wins
more games against the bottom seeds of the tournament. This is no way to
decide a new champion. A top player must become champion by defeating
other top players.
In closing, since the Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov will not occur,
I have to agree with the 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik's opinion
that we should start the next cycle. I think it is time for the ACP to
step up to the plate and take over the world championship process. ACP
should allow FIDE to be included in the plans. Also FIDE seems to want to
hold quick easy events to produce a world champion. This is not the
best way to handle a world championship. A world chess championship
process is like a fine wine. You have to savor it. Lets start anew
and do it right this time. Lets investigate using the old style system
that produced great champions like Spassky, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov.
The time for a quick fix is over. Lets produce a champion that all the
players and fans can respect and enjoy. It's time to go back to
matching the best against the best of the rest.