Number of games in world championship matches

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Paul Cooksey
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Number of games in world championship matches

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:09 pm

The discussion of the current short match, made me curious about past championships.

The 24 game matches for the period 1951 -> 1972 and 1985 -1990 are still influencing our expectation as to what is normal for a world championship match.

I don't remember ever reading anything about how the 1951 FIDE rules came to specify a 24 game match, compared to earlier short matches, and "first-to" rules between the wars.

Has anyone seen anything on it?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Number of games in world championship matches

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:01 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote: Has anyone seen anything on it? has it that the decisions were taken at the 1949 Paris FIDE Congress.
Match conditions had been decided at the Paris 1949 FIDE congress.[13] The winner would be the first to score 12 1/2 points from a maximum of 24 games, with the champion enjoying draw odds. The time control was 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours, and 16 moves an hour thereafter, with an adjournment to the following day after five hours of play.[13,14] According to FIDE rules, the winner would receive $5,000 and the loser $3,000,[13] but Andrew Soltis maintains that Botvinnik and Bronstein actually got considerably less than this.[15] If the champion lost, he had the right to play the new champion and the winner of the next three year candidates cycle in a three player match tournament for the title. [13,16] The games were played in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Concert Hall under the direction of arbiter Karel Opocensky and controller Gideon Stahlberg. The seconds were Ragozin and Salomon Flohr for Botvinnik, and Alexander Konstantinopolsky for Bronstein.[17] doesn't have a reputation for the most reliable telling of history, but presumably the decisions would have been reported in the magazines of the period. Decision making was sometimes a question of finding out what Botvinnik or the Soviet chess federation would agree to.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Number of games in world championship matches

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:11 am

(15) never happened - Botwinnik twice regained his title (Smyslov, Tal) in a return match one year after the original match. This was then changed so when Petrosian beat Botwinnik in 1963, there was no re-match. When Petrosian beat Spassky in 1966, it was the first time a reigning world champion had won a world championship match since Alekhine beat Bogoljubov (+8-3=15) in 1934 (I think - have I missed something?)

For years, people have claimed that the 1910 Lasker-Schlechter match cannot have been for the world championship as it was only 10 games, but now that matches are only 12 games, it doesn't look so silly.

Except it is silly, 12 is way too few when players are so evenly matched.

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