20 August 2022

2022 FWFRCC Kickoff

Last month, in my post Reddit Chess960 (July 2022), it was mainly a rumor:-
'[A] Fischer Random championship will be broadcasted by the end of October. [reddit.com]' • That's great news indeed. I hope we'll be hearing more about the event soon. The Reddit post suggests that the event will be held in Iceland.

As I often do, I interjected a note of caution:-

There's nothing to prevent anyone from touting a chess960 tournament as a 'World Championship'. [...] Let's see how the Icelandic organizers justify their event as a World Championship.

This month it's a reality. The justification as a World Championship is solid as a rock:-

The event is spread over multiple sites/venues:-

  • 2022-08-18: Announcing The 2022 FIDE Fischer Random World Chess Championship (chess.com; FFRWCC) • 'Chess.com is excited to announce that the FIDE Fischer Random World Championship is back, brought to you by the Government of Iceland and the City of Reykjavik! Top players from around the world will compete in a series of classical Fischer Random games for their share of the $400,000 prize fund and the title of FIDE Fischer Random World Champion. • The first qualifier starts on August 22 at 9 a.m. PT (18:00 CEST) on Chess.com. Any titled player can participate in the qualifiers for a spot at the championship, which will happen on October 25-30 in Reykavik, Iceland, and their share of the $2,500 qualifier prize fund.'

  • 2022-08-18: Play in a Chess World Championship (lichess.org; FWFRC) • 'Lichess announces global entry paths to the FIDE World Fischer Random Finals, with anyone eligible for entry, entirely for free. The 2022 edition of the FIDE World Fischer Random Championship will take place this October in Reykjavik, Iceland.'

Note that the three announcements use three different names for the event -- the corresponding acronyms are FWFRCC, FFRWCC, and FWFRC -- so take your pick. I'll pick FWFRCC, which was the acronym I used for the 2019 event:-

  • 2019-12-21: FWFRCC Wrapup • A summary of a dozen posts on the event. 'Dare we call the tournament the first FWFRCC? Will there be a second?'
  • 2022-06-25: FWFRCC PGN • 'The summary post finished with a question: Where are the game scores?'

All three announcements use the same banner/logo for the event, so I assume it's as official as these things get.

The Lichess announcement includes details about the organization of the event, which is already underway on their site. Chess.com introduces the details on a separate page, Fischer Random World Championship Finals Knockout 2022 (chess.com; Oct 25 - Oct 31), which starts in a few days on their site.

Are the rules consistent across Lichess and Chess.com? Experience says, 'Probably not', but we'll find out for sure as the event unfolds. I'm looking forward to everything!


Mark Weeks said...

By the magic of quantum web technology, this post received two comments before it was even written; for details, see


Nic Bentulan said...

'this post received two comments before it was even written'

Lol that was me! XD

Like I said:


MagnusCarlsen will lose to iWesley_So in Iceland 2022Oct #9LX if it were 1v1, but FIDE_chess is scared . Magnus should complain unless e's a coward. Let it be candidates and only 1 winner faces Wesley in #9LX, same as Magnus in chess. #saynoto2900


Yeah well MagnusCarlsen is still a coward. Can't beat iWesley_So 1v1. PATHETIC. All Magnus is good for is openings but sucks at middlegames and endgames. Greatest player currently but TALENTLESS patzer. #9LX #saynoto2900


One could be the greatest player currently but not the most talented currently. Apparently you can be a TALENTLESS patzer who crumbles without opening prep. Like MagnusCarlsen who lost 13.5-2.5 to iWesley_So #9LX #saynoto2900


Nic Bentulan said...

So for you Mark do you accept any new champion ESPECIALLY if it's Magnus if Wesley doesn't get the defend the title 1v1 the way Magnus did the last 4x in world chess championships?

I'm actually a huge n00b when it comes to all these championships not just in chess / 9LX but sports / gaming in general. Here's what I've asked so far about it:






Sure for example national championships and world rapid and world blitz start purely from scratch. And sure ok here Wesley isn't starting completely from scratch. But it's still not a pure 1v1 with the champion against a candidates winner like was the case with Magnus.

But just imagine some idk round robin of Wesley vs Magnus vs Fabi vs Nepo: Let's say Wesley draws with Fabi and then Magnus beats Nepo (and then draws between everyone else). Wesley loses the title without losing a game?

And even worse...let's say it comes to 2 games Magnus vs Nepo and then Wesley vs Fabi. If the Magnus vs Nepo comes 1st and then again say Magnus wins, then Wesley will have to play for a win against Fabi and then risk losing whereas Wesley needn't have lost any games otherwise. Wesley would need to play for a win not because Wesley lost a game but because SOMEONE ELSE lost a game.

Once again, we see how much Magnus is a 'pampered goldfish'. Quote from below



https://imgur.com/a/eNvcAX6 --> https://www.chessgames.com/perl/kibitzing?kid=T78171&reply=73

Wesley So on chessgames.com: Why top kibitzing page after Kenneth Rogoff and the cafe? like 2.5 more than the next entry (magnus carlsen). maybe because of memes?

'He has some very ardent fans, mainly from his native Philippines I think. I get the feeling that when countries haven't had a history of producing elite sportsmen, they really gravitate to the ones which they do produce. For example, Salah's Egyptian fanbase is pretty infamous.'

'On its own, it's pretty harmless. There was a period however, where a section of his fanbase tried to mark Carlsen down as Wesley's big enemy, saying that he only rose to the top because he was a 'pampered goldfish' who got invites to elite tournaments early on whereas Wesley had to face the 'barracudas' in open tournaments. Think that's died down though and when goldfish and barracuda are brought up, its more often in ironic fashion.'


Speaking of 'Magnus beats Nepo':

UNLIKELY! I actually calculated that Nepo seems to be even better than Magnus at 9LX trolololol https://www.reddit.com/r/chess/comments/vy4v1j/whos_the_top_2_chess960_player_magnus_nepo/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/chess960/comments/vsjn9r/draw_rates_among_the_top_4_fide_9lx_players_who/ )

Mark Weeks said...

Re 'Lol that was [you]!', yes, I had made the connection.

Re Magnus as 'pampered goldfish' (your phrase, not mine), the history of the World Chess Championship is full of examples where a player was favored again and again and again. Karpov is a great example. Starting with the forfeit win against Fischer in 1975, he received gifts from FIDE at least a half-dozen times in his career. If I got upset each time this happens, I would have to quit following chess.

The seeding into the last phase of the 2022 FWFRCC is debatable, but it's not the only problem with the organization. While I was writing the post, I noticed several points that are worth discussing, starting with the lack of consistency on the name of the event. I could also criticize how little time there was between the FIDE announcement and the first qualifier, or how there appears to be no single person in charge of the entire competition from start to finish (management by committee?), but those are points which are better explored in a follow-up post.

This is the first significant, top level FRC960 activity (that's an acronym I just invented) since the covid pandemic knocked out the entire world. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. There will be plenty to comment on. - Mark