London Candidates?

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Matthew Peat
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Matthew Peat » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:37 am

It seems strange that there are relatively few bids (2?) given the the number that were touted in the chess press in the last year. I thought the combination of the showcase event of 2012, together with the opportunity to select the wilcard participant,would generate a lot of interest esp from USA for Nakamura and Russia for Karajakin.

If Candidiates tournament is going to be in London it would be logical to have a UK participant to secure local interest. Only Adams would be eligible (they have to be over 2700). If the sponsor is not UK-based I suspect there will be a lot of political manouevring by different federations to secure the wildcard for their man.

The latest from FIDE is that a final decision won't be taken until 29 Feb. Does this put London Chess Classic 2012 in jepoardy if dates/locations are up in the air until that point?

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Adam Raoof
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Adam Raoof » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:40 am

Matthew Peat wrote:The latest from FIDE is that a final decision won't be taken until 29 Feb. Does this put London Chess Classic 2012 in jepoardy if dates/locations are up in the air until that point?
No, but it is important to let the situation resolve itself before making any commitments, I think.
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Mick Norris
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:43 am

"the next Candidates Tournament will be held in London from October 23 to November 13 and it will be organized by Andrew Paulson's company Agon"
and
"the wild card goes to Teimour Radjabov, which completes the list of Candidates:

Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk (all Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) and the loser of the match between Viswanathan Anand (India) and Boris Gelfand (Israel), which will be held in May of this year."

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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:47 am

Mick Norris wrote: "the wild card goes to Teimour Radjabov, which completes the list of Candidates:
I'm not at all in favour of wild card systems for World Championship events - is Radjabov really a better choice than Nakamura? - but if you're going to have one it's best that it wasn't an English player. Sad to say, but we just don't have anybody who can compete at the very highest level these days.

Paul Cooksey

Re: London Candidates?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:54 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Mick Norris wrote: "the wild card goes to Teimour Radjabov, which completes the list of Candidates:
I'm not at all in favour of wild card systems for World Championship events - is Radjabov really a better choice than Nakamura? - but if you're going to have one it's best that it wasn't an English player. Sad to say, but we just don't have anybody who can compete at the very highest level these days.
I agree completely with Jonathan on wild cards, except to say:
1. I do think Radjabov is the best possible choice, since I think he would have been the next on the ratings formula, according to the Kramnik interview in NIC
2. Bad as wildcards are, if they are the difference between a regular candidates tournament in a form like this which I like, and a variable WC cycle, I'll accept them in a heartbeat

We can't call this 100% yet (or even when FIDE confirm it...). But still - YAY!

Ian Kingston
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:02 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Mick Norris wrote: "the wild card goes to Teimour Radjabov, which completes the list of Candidates:
I'm not at all in favour of wild card systems for World Championship events - is Radjabov really a better choice than Nakamura? - but if you're going to have one it's best that it wasn't an English player. Sad to say, but we just don't have anybody who can compete at the very highest level these days.
One imagines (looking at the January rating list) that they've chosen the highest rated player not otherwise qualified, but I could be wrong. It might have been a 'consolation prize' to Azerbaijan after losing out in the bidding process. Topalov might be a little miffed in that case.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:03 am

I suppose we should welcome this, but it would be nice to know what is going on! We are familiar enough with libel tourism (people with virtually no connection to England using the English courts to settle libel suits where the relevant publications also appeared abroad) but now it seems that we have chess event tourism!

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Re: London Candidates?

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:32 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Mick Norris wrote: "the wild card goes to Teimour Radjabov, which completes the list of Candidates:
Sad to say, but we just don't have anybody who can compete at the very highest level these days.
Apart from Michael Adams who won a gold medal on board one of the European Team ahead of Aronian, Topolov etc despite the handicap of having me as his captain, Luke McShane's who had a 2853 performance at the London Chess Classic despite having a full time job, Nigel Short who won Gibraltar not to mention Gawain Jones, David Howell and Matthew Sadler etc

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:43 am

But motivations matters too.

We had an argument on the forum last year when I said that Adams did not seem highly motivated to win the world championship, and some thought that I was insulting him etc (?!). But he seems to have confirmed my impressions exactly in a recent interview (which you can find on his site) when he explains why Gelfand is up there and not he himself.

Again, Short can still put it about, but does he much want to go through gruelling candidate matches? To judge by his recent piece in NIC, no.

It is not a criticism to say that they lack motivation - it is their lives, after all! But it is an argument that we should not be too bothered when the spare candidates slot goes to another.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:53 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote:I suppose we should welcome this, but it would be nice to know what is going on!
...
but now it seems that we have chess event tourism!
The chessvibes report implies that it's some sort of personal whim of Kirsan, to entrust the organisation of what should be one of its major events to a partner unknown in the chess world and with no track record. Whilst "London" in a collective sense has organised with success a number of high profile events, not least the recent London Classics, no local team has been assembled. It remains to be seen who would be prepared to work with this new event manager, particularly as it might involve promoting the FIDE president.

A parallel comes to mind of an organisation flattered by money, entering into a dubious partnership, namely cricket and Stanford.

Graham Borrowdale

Re: London Candidates?

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:15 pm

I am probably uninformed, but I thought the wildcard was to allow the host nation to put their own player forward, assuming they are strong enough. I am sure Bulgaria putting a bid forward would do so in the expectation that Topalov would therefore be nominated, and I notice he is not on the above list. Similarly Azerbaijan with Radjabov I am unclear why Radjabov is now nominated, irrespective of his playing strength.
I also wonder whether this event will capture the imagination of the (wider) English chess public without an English representative.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:24 pm

But that is my point about tourism - are we the host nation in any significant sense?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:32 pm

Graham Borrowdale wrote: I also wonder whether this event will capture the imagination of the (wider) English chess public without an English representative.
Going back in time, we had the 1983 Kasparov-Korchnoi Candidates match (plus Smyslov-Ribli) and the 1986 Karpov-Kasparov. Also the 2000 Kasparov-Kramnik, although that didn't get so much attention, being more noted for journalists being banned.

I expect it will get spectators, although that will depend on where it's held, the price of admission and any parallel side events. The 2000 match didn't attract new players to chess in the way the 1993 match did.

Quite why Kirsan, or Kirsan's mate is suddenly favouring England is a mystery as well. At Federation level, the ECF has been opposed to his presidency whenever there's an election and is also alleged to be party to legal action in CAS.

Graham Borrowdale

Re: London Candidates?

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:34 pm

So a Russian businessman makes the bid, an Azerbaijan GM gets the wildcard, and the event just happens to take place in London, yet no British organisers (seem) to be involved? I suspect there must be more to this than meets the eye.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: London Candidates?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:39 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:But that is my point about tourism - are we the host nation in any significant sense?
I think it's a neutral venue, broadly acceptable to all the players. That's how it worked fifty years ago before Fischer got Candidates tournaments replaced by matches.

The sponsor may have ambitions to increase his exposure in the English speaking world. Kirsan's sudden decision to give the whole series to an untested international commercial partner has more or less thrown out the notion of host nominees.

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