An Official Request

Время публикации: 27.02.2012 23:01 | Последнее обновление: 27.02.2012 23:08

The organizers of the Grand Slam Masters Final ask FIDE to reconsider the Candidates Tournament dates 

The organizers of the Grand Slam Masters Final have sent an official letter to the Head of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov asking to change the dates for the Candidates Tournament. The FIDE Candidates Tournament is scheduled from October 23rd till November 13th 2012, while the Grand Slam Masters is planned to be held from September 24th till October 13th. The current dates of the Candidates Tournament are inconvenient to Bilbao organizers as well. As the organizers said the letter is backed by Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik. 

Here is the press release we've received (with some insignificant abridgements in the introduction):

Bilbao, 27 February 2012.


The Chess Grand Slam Masters Final organisation announced at the end of 2011 that this year’s edition would take place between 24 September and 13 October in Bilbao. At the moment Magnus Carlsenworld number one and winner of the last Grand Slam, Vladimir Kramnik, who has been world champion and winner of the 2010 Final and Levon Aronian, the current world number two, have all been officially invited to participate in the Grand Slam Final. The three great international masters would also have confirmed their presence at the FIDE Candidates Tournament. If the reported dates are adhered to, only ten days would separate the two maximum level competitions which would seriously harm the Bilbao competition, among others.

In order to avoid this possible clash of dates and thinking about the search for synergies and the common good of the sport, the Chess Grand Slam Masters Final organisation has suggested to the World Chess Federation “that the Candidates Tournament be disputed during the first six months of 2013 as it has a lot more of tournament-free weeks than the second half of 2012." This proposal has the support of “the elite amongst paleyrs and organisations", amongst others, Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik.

Reproduced below is the letter sent to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the FIDE (The World Chess Federation). The organisation of the Chess Grand Slam Masters Final has sent a copy to the World Champion Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik.


To The President His Excellency Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
FIDE World Chess Federation

Dear Sir,

Common sense suggests that the FIDE and the organizers of the biggest private tournaments should work together in harmony to avoid the possibility of a clash of dates. This kind of collaboration is something that takes place habitually with the most important professional sports.  

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen in the world of chess. Since the Grand Slam was created five years ago, the associated tournament organizers have approached the FIDE various times with solid proposals and always with a spirit of cooperation in mind. However, our feeling is that the FIDE sees us as enemies, not as allies. 

Although you visited us personally during the 2010 Masters Final, what is more typical is that the FIDE does not even reply to our proposals. An example of this was a letter respectfully sent to you by the Secretary General of the Grand Slam three weeks ago after the meeting in Wijk aan Zee. In that letter, apart from referring to the Grand Slam Tournament calendar and the dates for the Final, we explained to you the inconvenience of the dates unofficially announced by you for the Candidates Tournament. These dates will seriously harm various big tournaments in general, but our Masters Final in particular.  

So, we appeal again to common sense to ask you to consider the following proposals:

1) As many top class players and organizers have recently expressed, we suggest that the Candidates Tournament be disputed during the first six months of 2013. This period has a lot more tournament-free weeks than the second half of 2013.

2) We propose a meeting of the FIDE with the organizers of the most important tournaments so that, in the best spirit of cooperation, certain dates can be reserved for the top class competitions of the FIDE and for private tournaments. These dates would be the same (or very similar) each year, unless a change of date was applied for with more than one year's notice and with legitimate reason. All the attendees at the meeting would make a commitment to respect this agreement every year.

With hope that we can finally reach a reasonable agreement, I look forward very much to hearing from you. 

Yours faithfully, 

Juan Carlos Fernandez
Tournament Director
Grand Slam Masters Final

(on the photo: Juan Carlos Fernandez and Levon Aronian)


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