Hangin's take on FIDE's hysterical decision

3/2/2005 - 
    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 Soviet hands.

  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.


FIDE latest Plan - chessbase
1948 World Championship Tournament 
Controversies of the 1948 Style match
How to produce a great champion - The Forging of Iron to steel
A good world championship is like a fine wine - savor it
Hangin letter to Chess Today on the world championship 
Trouble with the reunification -
Hangin's take on FIDE President's recent interview