Sunday 30 September 2007

Anand wins World Championship Title

By ageeing to a last round draw with Peter Leko, Viswanathan Anand has become World Champion for the second time. In the end he finished a full point ahead former champion Vladimir Kramnik and tournament surprise Boris Gelfand. Full results from chessmexico, as well as FIDE's coverage of the event.
In the end both this tournament, and the San Luis championship event have demonstrated that a title tournament consisting of the worlds best players does attract and hold the interest of the chess community, as well as attracting sponsorship. But as a way of determining the World Champion I still think a match between the reigning champion and a Candidates Tournament winner is still the way to go.
And in a strange way so does FIDE. Even though Anand is the World Champion he still must play a match against Kramnik next year. According to FIDE regulations the match is over 12 games and will be held between May-Spetember 2008. There is also mention of a match between Topalov and the winner of the FIDE World Cup knockout, with the winner of this match playing the winner of Anand-Kramnik.
Of course this could all change (if it hasn't already!) as the rules seem to be merely a guideline to how things happen, easily replaced when a new suggestion comes along.
To this end I'd like to make an old suggestion. As if by accident FIDE have almost arranged all the events to return to the old style world championship cycle. My suggestion is a 3 (or 2) year cycle starting with Zonals (and Continental Championships) which qualify players to the FIDE World Cup (the equivalent of the old Inter-Zonals). The top players of this event qualify for the next World Championship Tournament, although this event returns to it's role as the Candidates tournament of old. The winner of this event then plays the World Champion in a match to determine the title.
But most importantly, once this structure is in place, don't change it! This way sponsors and players know in advance whether the event they are playing in counts for something, rather than the uncertainly that often surrounds FIDE events.


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