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The current chess situation with respect to naming the real word champion is quite difficult these days. As a consequence, I would like to give the interested reader a quick overview.

The world chess situation got messy as the FIDE WC Garry Kasparov broke away from FIDE to start his own championship matches. In 1993 he won against Nigel Short, in 1995 he beat Vishy Anand and unfortunately for him he lost to Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

At the same time FIDE organized several knockout tournaments to appoint their world champion. In the last knockout tournament 2001 the newcomer Ruslan Ponomariov won after beating Vassily Ivanchuk in the finals.

In 2002 there was a qualification tournament including several top ten players (Morozevich, Gelfand, Adams, Bareev, Shirov, Topalov, Leko and the best German player at that time Lutz) to designate an opponent for Kramnik to defend his title. Kasparov and Anand declined the invitation to participate in this event. Peter Leko won.

About one year later the well known American Grandmaster (GM) Seirawan proposed a unification plan initially starting with two semi-final-match-ups Leko- Kramnik and Kasparov- Ponomariov. However, due to sponsorship problems the Kramnik- Leko match was delayed and is said to take place in October this year. The other match hasn’t taken place either as Ponomariov refused to play Kasparov last year. Rumours said that Ponomariov was afraid of playing the super-strong Kasparov to who he lost twice in Super-GM-Tournaments before (Linares 2002 and 2003)

Now another FIDE knockout tournament is likely to go ahead in the next weeks in Libya to ascertain a challenger for Kasparov. However, due to political troubles players from Israel haven’t been invited yet. Some other top- grandmasters will not participate as well (Anand, Svidler). (participation list)

chess1To sum it up I think that many chess players aren't really interested in a unified title as from a game-theoretic point of view it's better for their reputation that no unified title exists than to be beaten by the new World Champion.
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