Elsewhere on the Web : FIDE World Championship - Introduction

Saturday September 24, 2005

The start of the 2005 FIDE World Championship, San Luis, Argentina has finally arrived. As we mentioned in our previous report on the tournament (Elsewhere on the Web : The Players, 17 September), the first round takes place 28 September. The winner of the tournament will become the next FIDE World Champion.

The eight invited players will play a double round robin tournament, meaning that they play each other once with the White pieces and once with Black. The last round is scheduled for 14 October. In case of a tie for any of the first four places, tiebreaks will be held the following day. The time control for each game is 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves in one hour, then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an increment 30 seconds per move.

The San Luis event is the first in a new cycle of events called the FIDE World Championship 2005-2007. The format is an evolution of the traditional World Championship qualifying cycle.

World Cup • Since 1999, the FIDE World Championships have been conducted as knockout tournaments. The knockout format has not been abandoned, and the next knockout event, the 2005 World Cup is announced for December in Khanty-Mansiysk, a Russian autonomous region in Western Siberia. Sometime in the next two years the top five players from the 2005 World Cup (Khanty-Mansiysk) will join the top four players from the 2005 World Championship (San Luis) to play a series of Candidates Matches.

Last Chance Super Tournament • Before the Candidates Matches are held, the five players finishing 6th to 10th in the World Cup will join five top players seeded by rating in a new event tentatively called the Last Chance Super Tournament. The top three players from this event will also qualify for the Candidates Matches.

Candidates Matches • The 12 players qualified from the three events -- four from the 2005 World Championship, five from the 2005 World Cup, three from the 2006 Last Chance Super Tournament -- will meet in a series of knockout matches. The winner of these matches will become the new FIDE World Champion. • If you're familiar with elimination tournaments, you might be wondering how only 12 players can compete in the knockout matches. Wouldn't 16 players be more appropriate?

In fact, the winner and runner-up at San Luis will be seeded into advanced rounds of the Candidates Matches. The other ten players will compete in the first round of matches. The five winners of the first round will be joined by the San Luis runner-up in the quarterfinal matches. The three winners of the quarterfinals will be joined by the reigning FIDE World Champion, the San Luis winner, in the semifinal matches. Finally, the two winners of the semifinals will meet to determine a new FIDE World Champion.

The new FIDE format promises a steady schedule of top level chess events. The action starts at San Luis!

Index of all World Championship blog posts