27 April 2019

Roadmap for a World Championship

The previous post, Summer Is Coming, started with intermittent reports of a 'Fischer Random World Chess Championship in the fall of 2019'. It continued,
This was confirmed in an announcement about 'The Fischer Random Chess Championship 2019' (frchess.com), which included a press release, 'Chess.com Announces FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship' (ditto).

In the week since that post, more detail about the event has emerged:-

  • 2019-04-20: The World Fischer Random Chess Championship is now officially recognized by FIDE (fide.com) • 'The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has granted the rights to host the inaugural FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship cycle to Dund AS, in partnership with Chess.com. And, for the first time in history, a chess world championship cycle will combine an online, open qualifier and worldwide participation with physical finals.'

Given Fischer's longstanding opposition to FIDE when he was alive, it's not clear how the world organization can use his name or assume ownership of his idea to 'grant the rights' to a World Championship. I'll leave that discussion to any parties that might have a legitimate claim.

The FIDE announcement also included links to PDF versions of a 'Press Release' and 'Regulations'. A few days later, Chess.com chimed in:-

The qualification process outlined in the second link, the 'Information Guide', is long and complicated. Its basic segments are shown in the following chart.

(Expands by 50%; see the 'Information Guide' or 'Regulations' for an even larger version.)

The three boxes in the top row define three distinct phases:-

  • "Open Qualifier" Phase : For Non-Titled Players
  • "Play-in" Phase : For Eligible Players
  • "Knockout" : 84 Players + 12 Invited Players

The 'Knockout' phase leads to 'Quarterfinal' (QF) matches that will eventually culminate in a 'Final' match. The first 'Open Qualifier' event starts tomorrow, 28 April. These organizers aren't wasting any time!

20 April 2019

Summer Is Coming

During the few short weeks since my previous post, Carlsen Wins Lichess Again (March 2019), the world of chess960 has been bustling with activity. First it had a mention in Lupulescu Wins Reykjavik Open Among 8-Way Tie (chess.com):-
Romanian GM Constantin Lupulescu won the Reykjavik Open with the best tiebreak in a group of eight players finishing on 7/9. The 15-year-old Iranian GM Alireza Firouzja was second. Firouzja had won the European Fischer Random Championship on the rest day. [...] On the rest day, Firouzja had won the second European Fischer Random Championship. This way, he became the first qualifier for a very strong Fischer Random knockout tournament organized in Norway in October, about which Chess.com will be publishing information very soon.

This echoed news from a year ago, when I posted three times about the event:-

Back to the 2019 Reykjavik Open, we had related news about Meetings in Oslo (fide.com):-

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich visited Oslo, Norway and met with the representatives of the Norwegian Chess Federation on April 9th on his way home from his trip to the ongoing Reykjavik Open Tournament. [...] The first couple of meetings addressed issues related to the possibility to organize the official Fischer Random World Chess Championship in the fall of 2019 in Bærum, Oslo, and then a discussion regarding the World Championship match in 2020, where Stavanger will be the candidate city for Norway.

This was confirmed in an announcement about The Fischer Random Chess Championship 2019 (frchess.com), which included a press release, Chess.com Announces FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship (ditto):-

The World Fischer Random Chess Championship is now officially recognized by FIDE and will start on Chess.com. This historic event will feature an online qualifying phase on Chess.com, beginning April 28, and is open to all players. The finals will be held in Norway this fall, with a prize fund of $375,000 USD.

The timeline for the tournament is shown in the following chart.

From Frchess.com

We should see many posts on this blog about the series of events which will span more than six months. What about a follow-up to last month's 'Carlsen Wins Lichess'? If it happens, it won't be soon; Titled Arena Returns (lichess.org):-

After two very successful 960 events, it is finally time to play some proper chess. Position 518, where the starting piece positions actually make sense. The latest editions have been won convincingly by the Doctor. Will he be victorious yet again, or is time for a new king to rise and take the throne? Winter is coming.

Play some proper chess? Positions that actually make sense? Winter is coming? Someone needs to take a deep breath.