Hi everybody! I don’t feel like keeping a blog due to what happened to me in the last three rounds of the Higher League but I must work off my name at the home page. Drawing calm in the Candidates Matches caused “broad debates in a smoke-filled room” about their future format. Let us talk about it.
In the course of evolution “the Candidates” concept has come to a dead end. “Before Fischer” a Challenger was determined through tournaments but then the problem of possible collusion became very acute and there was time for matches. When a duel for the title of the World Champion lasted 24 games it was still possible to carry out Candidates Matches in 8 games, the more so because their participants got little prize money as things go nowadays. But times change. The major match became twice as short, the same happened to elimination contests.
It turned out that matches in four games with the present tendencies towards a draw end in a tie-break too often making wonder why a Challenger in classical chess is chosen in rapid and blitz.
And again they start thinking of the Candidates double-round tournament as if there were not enough talking about the Grand Prix final stage.
Maybe, it’s time to ask ourselves whether we need a contest which continues during nearly a month and determine not a Champion but only a Challenger. At the same time, the World Championship Match is shorter than the cleanup.
(Of course, in a sense, the elimination contest in any kind of sport is longer then the final match. However, the final contest is always larger-scale than the elimination contest for it. Imagine that instead of the World Football Championship there takes place the similar tournament but only determining a team which is to play the series of matches against the current champion. Who needs it?)
I’d like to propose an absolutely different idea which enables to do without the Candidates contest at all.
I suggest choosing not one but three Challengers who together with the current Champion will compete for the crown duly through the matches. Semifinal matches can consist of 6 or 8 games and the final can comprise 10 or 12 games. (I think the optimal format is 8+10). The Challengers can be the winner of the World Cup, chess-player with the highest weight-average rating for the previous year, and winner of Grand Prix. Two last criteria can raise some questions and I’ll return to them a bit later. Now let me dwell upon advantages and drawbacks of such a Final Four.
As I’ve promised let’s consider “two last criteria” since there are some problems connected with them.
Selection according to the rating inevitably raises the questions, firstly, about the possibility of its purchasing, for example, in national championships and, secondly, about the lack of motivation for a rating leader to take part in the contests. This matter requires improvement and I’ve got several ideas in this regard.
Well, for determining the winner of Grand Prix this Grand Prix should exist that nobody can promise, actually. If it won’t be held we can use the existing tournaments for this purpose. In this case in return for including into the World Championship format the organizers’ freedom of forming the lineup should be restricted. However, I don’t know whether they will agree to this or not. After all, there can be invented another method of selecting the fourth participant.
I’m not sure if this idea will provoke interest. That’s why I won’t develop it as yet and will be waiting for comments.
Bye-bye for now.
What is to be done with the Candidates Matches?