Candidates Tournament 2020

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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:37 pm

"ultimately withdrawal was his own decision. Nobody else made him do it."

Repeating myself here, but while I think that this must be right as far as it means he is now excluded from playing in the current cycle, it really should not mean that he is not entitled to compensation (and I expect he will get some, when things have calmed down). Surely when he qualified for the candidates there was an implied term that the tournament would be organised in a basically competent fashion and this has clearly not happened. Playing such an event was his entitlement but was never made available to him. Others could have acted likewise, but chose not to and they might or might not have waived certain contractual rights by playing, but that is neither here nor there in the case of the one who did stand by his rights.

Shirov's position was different in many respects, not at least the highly precarious nature of the PCA and any contracts with it.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:45 pm

Yes, expecting some financial recompense is reasonable I agree.
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NickFaulks
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:48 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:45 pm
Yes, expecting some financial recompense is reasonable I agree.
Except they're not going to offer him anything that he would regard as more than just pocket money.
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Chris Rice
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Chris Rice » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:49 pm

Long interview with Anish Giri discussing the Candidates tournament. Some takeaways:

Did you have any doubts about whether or not to take part in the Candidates Tournament?

I had no choice. Naturally I want to fight for the World Championship. There were worries about catching the coronavirus in the airport. We tried to be as cautious as possible: keeping a distance, wearing a mask. Whether to play or not was never a question.

You could have withdrawn, like Teimour Radjabov.

Why withdraw? It’s my life, my career. Qualifying for the tournament isn’t easy – it happens once every two years. I don’t want to give anyone else my place.

When you arrived in Yekaterinburg you didn’t need to go into quarantine?


No. At that point only the Chinese were in quarantine. They simply checked us for the virus.

How much did that tournament differ from all the others you took part in?

Greatly. It was impossible to miss it. There were special safety measures and few people around the tournament. During the games there were just two people in masks in the playing hall. They served us food only in our rooms. They said it was better not to go to the restaurant at all. Twice a day we were checked by a doctor. That didn’t particularly bother me. At some point I got used to it. And in general, eating in the room is pretty convenient. You save a heap of time. We were careful when he went walking. You try to cross the street when you see some person at a distance. It was unusual.

Tell us about the day when the tournament was stopped.

It seemed to me that the tournament organisers were in constant contact with the authorities and everything was going according to plan, but the tournament ended surprisingly chaotically. On the day of the 8th round my coach was called by a girl from the organising committee.

It was 12 o’clock and the game was supposed to start at 4pm. It seemed to me that she was calling because the day before I’d accidentally missed one of the doctors’ checks and I thought she wanted to tell us off for that. I didn’t hear what my coach was saying to her. Then he told me the tournament is over and we need to go home. “You’re joking?” “No”.

The problem was that they told us that the next day airspace was going to be closed. We needed to find tickets. I was afraid that there simply wouldn’t be any, but we were lucky. We managed to buy them right away and the flight was leaving in 2.5 hours. We had to pack up all our things quickly and take a taxi. Then it turned out that the others hadn’t managed to buy tickets. A new charter was organised for them that night. We decided not to rely on fate and buy them ourselves.

It was a very dramatic change of circumstances. Until twelve we were preparing for the game. I had to play with Black against the leader, Ian Nepomniachtchi. It was a very important game for my tournament situation. We had to analyse a lot of opening variations. However, unexpectedly, I had to pack.

How did you react to that news?

Not positively, to be honest. Firstly, buying tickets is an unpleasant procedure. You have to fill out your name, surname, passport details, find a credit card, enter all the codes. Doing that quickly is even more unpleasant. And then you have to pack things which are scattered all around the room. I don’t like to do that anyway, while here it was in such a rush.

Secondly, I wasn’t glad that the tournament was over.

I thought it should be held until the end given all the safety measures that had been taken. At that moment it seemed to me as though they’d abandoned me. Then I thought a bit and understood – the organisers had no other option given the unpredictable problem with the closure of airspace.

Right now you quite often hear the question of what to do about Teimour Radjabov? To continue the tournament with him or not?

Teimour believes that his rights have been violated. If he’s included and someone else is excluded then that will violate the rights of someone else. If everyone plays then the question arises: how many points do you give Teimour? If you give him a lot then that violates the rights of other players, if you give him few, then his rights. If the tournament starts afresh then that’s unfair to the leaders and helps those who find themselves at the bottom of the tournament standings. One way or another, someone has to be harmed.


How do you feel about the idea of playing the tournament to the end online?

Strangely enough, I heard that proposal. It seems to me that it would be totally weird. In order to avoid cheating you need someone to come to our homes. That’s not very good, considering the current situation. Even if some observer comes then the cheating control will nevertheless be weak and inadequate. I’ve never played serious games online. In general it’s not done.

Online you can play blitz, at most rapid, but not classical chess. I think it’s too radical. No-one will start doing that.

NickFaulks
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:00 pm

All entirely sensible.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:39 pm

I think we are going to see some "experiments" with classical chess online in the next few months.

(though the Candidates would be a stretch, i agree)
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Chris Rice
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Chris Rice » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:51 pm

MVL interview with the Times of India:

" I understand those who think the tournament should never have started. Generally, this seemed possible and I thought the tournament could even end. Obviously, conditions were not ideal for anyone. But from a strictly health point of view, there was no more risk for players during the tournament than anywhere else. I'm even taking a lot more care now in France! The only criticism I can do to the organizers is about the opening ceremony with over 1000 people. Of course, with the information that came to us over the days, we think the tournament shouldn't have started.

The advantage was that I was fresh, available and ready to work chess again. The hardest part was coming back in the tournament conditions. This is what I managed to do and started to be optimistic. I could see my brain was working! My fear was that the level of preparation of others could be really higher than mine. And actually it wasn't. Then it became clear that I was much cooler than I was in 2019 because I played much less.

With respect to the Mamedyarov's request to be restored and to play a 9-player tournament during his reboot, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave said: I think it's just too late. I understand his situation and I understand his frustration. It's very unfortunate for him, but we can't start a cycle now.

We will never know what would have happened if the tournament had continued. Just gonna make sure I'm ready when the tournament starts again. After that for sure, with the momentum I had, if I had kept the level of game I had in the first half of the tournament, I had a good chance of winning it. So I'm going to make sure to arrive next time with this same level of play. "

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JustinHorton
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:06 am

Chris Rice wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:51 pm


With respect to the Mamedyarov's request to be restored
Eh
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Chris Rice
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:26 am

FIDE round-up article on the first half of the Candidates. No mention of Radjabov getting back into the cycle or compensation for him but plenty of patting themselves on the back for the great decisions made in the name of chess.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:17 am

"FIDE immediately sorted out travel for both players and staff, by purchasing tickets"

Is this entirely compatible with what Giri says above?

I am not seeing anything much about the opening ceremony.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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NickFaulks
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:25 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:17 am
"FIDE immediately sorted out travel for both players and staff, by purchasing tickets"

Is this entirely compatible with what Giri says above?
I think so. Giri says that FIDE promised to get them out, but he decided to get his own tickets just in case. In the event, those who weren't able to find tickets did leave on the FIDE charter flight.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:28 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:17 am
"FIDE immediately sorted out travel for both players and staff, by purchasing tickets"

Is this entirely compatible with what Giri says above?
The tournament was called off at about 1200 local time on the day of Round 8.

Some people, including Anish Giri, immediately rushed to buy tickets, which seems to me to have been a perfectly sensible course of action. Andy Howie was another who did so.

For others, FIDE sorted out arrangements for a charter flight later the same day.

There are many reasons to criticise the FIDE administration about this fiasco, but their actions once they had taken the decision to abort the event do not seem to me to be among them.

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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:29 pm

Peter Doggers article which is a compilation of views from the players (and Carlsen) all of which we've seen apart from those of Alekseenko who was interviewed by Sport Weekend and said he didn't have any problems with the health and safety measures during the tournament. Specifically he was quoted as saying "I can't say that it distracted me from chess. Everyone understood that precautions were necessary."'

About Radjabov, he said:

"One of the options is that Radjabov receives a wildcard for the next Candidates Tournament, which is due to take place in 2022. In general, this is logical. Now, you cannot include him instead of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave for the second half!"

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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:43 pm

As you'll recall the ACP did write to FIDE during the tournament with concerns about whether the players should be there at all and wanting to make sure they were looked after. GM Colovic has given a personal view on his site musing on what FIDE are going to do next. The following passage was particularly interesting:

" The situation with the players is also an interesting one. There were two, Radjabov and Wang Hao, who expressed their concerns before the event – Radjabov even acted upon them and withdrew. There was Grischuk who openly said during the tournament that he didn’t want to be there and play, the atmosphere being “sick”. There was Caruana who in an interview said that it’s impossible not to follow what’s happening in the world. There was Nepomniachtchi who really got sick (though not from corona). There was Ding Liren who played awfully and didn’t say a word about his quarantines. There was Alekseenko, who is sponsored by a Russian company and couldn’t say anything. And there were Giri and Vachier who basically said they didn’t care and were concentrated solely on themselves. It’s interesting that even Magnus Carlsen expressed a similar view – the world may be falling apart, but you’re there to play and win, so do that. Get rich or die trying I suppose.

This is nothing new in the chess world. Every man for himself. I wonder what would have happened had they coordinated before the tournament. Perhaps finally we would have had “power to the players”? But we will never have that.

Radjabov’s decision to withdraw was justified in hindsight, but that is a different can of worms with no solution that is acceptable for all. I wonder how FIDE and the public will handle that one."

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Re: Candidates Tournament 2020

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:08 am

Ian Rogers on Twitter:

"The Dubai 2020 Expo is to be delayed for one year, meaning the venue for the 2020 World Chess Championship match is gone. But perhaps this simply provides an extra year for the challenger to World Champion Magnus Carlsen to be found."

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