Saturday, April 5, 2008

World Championship cycle

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

TO UNDERSTAND the present situation, the current undisputed Fide world champion is Viswanathan Anand of India.

He became champion in the World Championship 2007 held in Mexico City from Sept. 12 to 30 in a double round robin format versus the following players: Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler, Alexander Morozevich, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, Levon Aronian and Alexander Grischuk. His winning score was nine points out of 14.

However, prior to the match it was decided by Fide that the winner of the tournament will have to play a match with Kramnik, the previous champion (assuming that Kramnik is not the winner).

Here is a brief background. In Elista 2006, the schism, which began with the Kasparov-Short Championship, was to finally end after 13 long years. Bulgarian Grandmaster Veselin Topalov, the winner of the 2005 Fide World Championship in San Luis Argentina was due to play Kramnik, the Classical World Champion, and the winner was to emerge as the single, unified, World Chess Champion. Kramnik won the match.

Fide later announced that future world championships (beginning with the 2008 World Championship) would be decided by matches between the champion and a challenger (no more tournament format).

At the same time, Fide announced that, as compensation for being denied entry to the 2007 tournament, Topalov would have special privileges in the World Chess Championship 2008 cycle. He will play the 2007 World Cup winner Gata Kamsky and the victor will play for the championship against the winner of the Kramnik-Anand match.

Viswanathan Anand will defend his world title against Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn, Germany on Oct. 14th to Nov. 2 this year. The main sponsor is Evonik Industries AG and the prize money is 1.5 million Euros. The contract was signed by both players on Dec. 18 2007.

The Topalov-Kamsky match-up will be held in Bulgaria after the Kramnik-Anand contest with a prize money of $150,000. However, if there is another bidder with a bigger prize money before the April 11 deadline, then it will be held in that winning bidder’s country.

At the same time, Fide instituted the Grand prix events organized by Bessel Kok. The winner of the grand prix events will play the winner of the World Cup 2009 to determine the challenger to the World Champion.

This early, the lineups of the grand prix Events are Peter Svidler, Shakriyar Mamedyarov, Peter Leko, Vassily Ivanchuk, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, Teimour Radjabov, Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Michael Adams, Gata Kamsky, Dmitry Jakovenko, Ivan Cheparinov, Alexander Grischuk, Etienne Bacrot and Wang Yue.

Each player must play in at least four out of six events, which will be held in the following countries: Event 1 April 20 to May 6, Baku, Azerbaijan; Event 2 July 30 to Aug. 15, Sochi, Russia; Event 3 Dec. 13 to 29, Doha, Qatar; Event 4 April 14 to 28, 2009, Montreux, Switzerland; Event 5 Aug. 8 to 24, 2009, Elista, Russia; Event 6 Dec. 7 to 23, 2009, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.

The overall winner will be determined by the points per event computed as follows; first placer 140 plus 40 bonus; second 130 plus 30; third 120 plus 20; fourth 110;fifth 100; sixth 90 with the 14th placer getting 10 points.

The Balbona Kids. The Cviraa chessfest was held in Bohol and the winners in the secondary division (girls) were: First Cebu City with its players Jesa Balbona of USJ-R and Jacel Bucog of UC.

In the elementary division (boys), the winner was again Cebu City and its players were Marq Balbona and Felix Shaun Balbona.

The proud parents of these kids are Cepca member Felix and wife Juliet.

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