2018 World Championship in London

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Graham Borrowdale
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 pm
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:08 pm
24 games would be better, but the players might get a bit fed up, apart from the expense. Maybe we need a world championship like the 1948 tournament?
I'm wondering if the Candidates Tournament format should actually be the World Championship format. That seems to generate what we want in terms of excitement.
I think the old FIDE already tried this. How many chess fans, deep down, really regard Topalov as a former world champion?

Some people lamenting the old 24-game matches, but I wonder what one of those would look like now? Be careful what you wish for.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:45 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:43 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:15 pm
1 or 2 excellent games out of 5 doesn't sound brilliant to me, but each to their own.
Actually I meant 1 or 2 including tiebreaks. Depending on the definition of excellent, it is still a better ratio than most events in my opinion. But yes, we have different perspectives. I am hoping for great chess, excitement is secondary.

How many games could most players reproduce from previous matches from memory? I think it is usually a handful from each (excluding you, Rogers :-) ) I don't think these day by day assessments matter as much as the assessment of the whole match when it is over.
I'm a bad person to ask, in that clearly I couldn't memorise any of them even if I tried. :P

But yes, we have different perspectives. You're looking for high quality games, whereas I'm looking to watch an interesting sporting contest. The whole format is poor from a sporting perspective; offering the Champion so much protection in the process of determining the new Champion is antiquated, and the final match taking three weeks to play a match between two players isn't much better. The Women's World Championship, with its 64-player knockout format, has been much better from an entertainment perspective.
Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 am
I think the old FIDE already tried this. How many chess fans, deep down, really regard Topalov as a former world champion?
This comes back to a point I made elsewhere - do you consider Stuart Bingham to be a worthy World Snooker Champion? He's won a few other tournaments and been in the top 10 in the world for a few years, a bit like Topalov? Presumably few people would argue that Stuart Bingham or Veselin Topalov were the best player in the world when they won the World Championship, but non-chess sports have no problem in recognising such players as their World Champion.

NickFaulks
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:25 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:45 am
but non-chess sports have no problem in recognising such players as their World Champion.
I would go further and say that "everyone has a chance" is widely viewed as a feature, not a bug.

Look at the excitement which surrounded Leicester City winning the Premier League. In chess, this would have been regarded as proof that the whole system must be rotten and should be revised to ensure that no club from outside London or Lancashire could ever again have a chance.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:25 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:45 am
whereas I'm looking to watch an interesting sporting contest.
I believe it was Svidler who observed of his play off match with Karjakin for the World Cup, that if you wanted to eliminate draws, make sure the players were exhausted.

At 16 games, a match would be the same number of days as the Olympics, although over a longer time period. At 24 it's one day short of the notional length of a five match Test series. Without postponements and at a pace of 4 games a week, a 24 game match would occupy 6 weeks, which is about the same elapsed length of a modern Test series. If that's too long in one place, it could always go on tour.

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JustinHorton
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:30 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:25 am
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:45 am
but non-chess sports have no problem in recognising such players as their World Champion.
I would go further and say that "everyone has a chance" is widely viewed as a feature, not a bug.

Look at the excitement which surrounded Leicester City winning the Premier League. In chess, this would have been regarded as proof that the whole system must be rotten and should be revised to ensure that no club from outside London or Lancashire could ever again have a chance.
Although given the odds against Leicester winning in the first place, and hence the unlikelihood of a similar occurrence in the future, we should perhaps be hesitant about making cases based on statistical outliers such as that.
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JustinHorton
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:45 am

The thing is, this debate as been done to death in the past, and we surely all know by now that to a large degree it is all about traditions, and traditionally some sports decide their world champion in one way, some in another, in some of them it's a big deal and in others it hardly matters at all (or doesn't even exist).

In chess we have (or almost always have had) a champion based on a match between the champion and a challenger, and that's the tradition. But there's more to it than that, because because other ways of deciding the title don't necessarily seem to be available to us. An annual circuit with players accumulating points towards a title? We don't have one one which we can sufficiently rely. A two or three-week knock-out tournament at a single venue? Plausible (and great for rapidplay) but it's not what the players or the fans want and was very widely mocked when FIDE operated that system.

Which leaves us with the system we have, a champion in possession of the title, the search for a challenger and a match to decide. It's pretty rickety and flawed, for all kinds of reasons - the champion may die, or refuse to defend their title, or go rogue, or whatever, the system to decide the challenger can never be relied on and the length of the matches is no longer satisfactory. Most of those problems can be attributed to the absence of money in chess, which isn't a problem ever likely to be solved for any length of time, but which also makes alternative solutions like the annual circuit even less satisfactory.

So what can you do, but stagger on? I'd much prefer a longer match, say sixteen games, but as has been observed above, what this means in post-Soviet circumstances is professionals being asked to play an extra week, and organisers booking expensive halls, for the same money as twelve. Do we think that's going to happen?
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Mike Gunn
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:50 am

Although I prefer the longer format of 24 game matches I can see that it may be difficult to go back to that. My main objection to the current format is that the result of the match can revolve around who gets which colour in the Armageddon game. One way of reducing the random element is to play the match as the best of 5 mini-matches, each to consist of 2 classic games as at present. If the mini-match is tied you have a playoff day to decide the overall winner of the mini-match. Of course if all mini-matches were drawn then one player would still get 3 blacks (as opposed to 2) in the armageddon games but this format would reduce the random element in the existing format significantly.

Under my proposal you would still have a rest day between mini-matches and the overall length of the match is just the same (19 days).

Mike Gunn
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:50 am

Although I prefer the longer format of 24 game matches I can see that it may be difficult to go back to that. My main objection to the current format is that the result of the match can revolve around who gets which colour in the Armageddon game. One way of reducing the random element is to play the match as the best of 5 mini-matches, each to consist of 2 classic games as at present. If the mini-match is tied you have a playoff day to decide the overall winner of the mini-match. Of course if all mini-matches were drawn then one player would still get 3 blacks (as opposed to 2) in the armageddon games but this format would reduce the random element in the existing format significantly.

Under my proposal you would still have a rest day between mini-matches and the overall length of the match is just the same (19 days).

NickFaulks
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:27 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:30 am
Although given the odds against Leicester winning in the first place, and hence the unlikelihood of a similar occurrence in the future, we should perhaps be hesitant about making cases based on statistical outliers such as that.
No, that isn't the point. Leicester's win was fêted because they were 1000-1. Had this occurred in chess, it would have been regarded as even more offensive than Khalifman winning, since I'm guessing his odds would have been shorter than that.

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JustinHorton
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:28 pm

Yes, but even if it happened once it would probably never happen again, so not many conclusions could be draen from it.

Being a football guy myself, I was always quite happy with Khalifman, if only on the grounds that you can only beat the people put in front of you, and that you don't retrospectively judge a competition according to who won it. But I don't think the knockout format is the right one for chess.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:26 pm

Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 am
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 pm
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:08 pm
24 games would be better, but the players might get a bit fed up, apart from the expense. Maybe we need a world championship like the 1948 tournament?
I'm wondering if the Candidates Tournament format should actually be the World Championship format. That seems to generate what we want in terms of excitement.
I think the old FIDE already tried this. How many chess fans, deep down, really regard Topalov as a former world champion?

Some people lamenting the old 24-game matches, but I wonder what one of those would look like now? Be careful what you wish for.
Topalov's title was disputed, however. And most nonetheless regarded San Luis 2005 as a worthy tournament and felt he had more legitimacy than the previous FIDE "knock out" champions. Nobody really challenged Anand's win in 2007 (or Botvinnik's in 1948, come to that)
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John McKenna
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by John McKenna » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:03 pm

For those watching with the benefit of "keenness" it's time to adjust your ex-ray specs.

By the by, it has been said at times - last Saturday for example - by the man himself that 16 is the ideal number.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

LawrenceCooper
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:22 pm

Finally an open Sicilian.

John McKenna
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by John McKenna » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:16 pm

Thanks for that disclosure.

Without "keenness" I'm keen to know the name of the variation - as long as that does not breach any non-disclosure agreements.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Nick Ivell
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Nick Ivell » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:17 pm

Finally we have a game. Magnus could be in serious trouble.

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