Last month, in Zonal Qualifiers C12, I developed a technique of documenting the qualification paths for the early World Championship cycles. The following chart shows that technique applied to the preceding cycle.
The first two columns are from the ZQP (zonal qualifying paths) data that I described in the C12 post. The last two columns are from my own pages. The zone numbers 'z01' etc. correspond to my page (C11) 1978-1981 Zonal Cycle. The last column is a code for the two interzonals that were held during the cycle:-
There are two gaps in the data. One is for Mecking; the other is for Sunye Neto. I'll follow those up another time.
I've decided that the format of the data in the chart is sufficient for new zonal pages on my World Championship site. See the table at the bottom of the index page, World Chess Championship Zonals, for cycles C13 (1984-87) and after.
The information about the next cycle is scattered across different documents and, although it's consistent, I couldn't find a single document pulling everything together. [...] There might be a basic document that I've overlooked.
The most important document for understanding FIDE's current direction is the FIDE Handbook. Here's a copy of the World Championship section where I've highlighted the women's events in red.
There are four parts:-
07. Regulations for the Women's World Chess Championship Cycle 08. Regulations for the FIDE Women’s World Championship Match 2019-20 09. Regulations for the 2019-2020 Women's FIDE Grand Prix 10. Rules for the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament 2019
The first part should cover the entire cycle, but it describes the former system of a knockout championship alternating with a match.
07. Regulations for the Women's World Chess Championship Cycle
1.1. The Women’s World Chess Championship shall be organised annually and qualifying events include the following: National Championships, Zonal Tournaments, Continental Championships, FIDE Women’s Grand Prix and the final stages, the Women’s World Chess Championship Tournament in even years 2018, 2020 etc. (64-player knock out system) and the Women’s World Chess Championship Match (10 games, 2 players) in odd years 2017, 2019, etc.
2. Qualifying events for the Women’s World Chess Championship Tournament (knock out system)...
The other documents describe a future cycle. For example:-
09. Regulations for the 2019-2020 Women's FIDE Grand Prix
2.8. The two players who score the most number of cumulative points in WGP Series qualify to the FIDE Women Candidates Tournament to be held in the first half of 2021.
The next Women's World Cup is scheduled for Minsk, Belarus, starting September 2020. How many players will qualify for the 2021 Candidates Tournament? My guess is two, along with the loser of the forthcoming title match, a couple of seeds based on rating, and an organizer's choice.
The announcement of the women's candidates tournament changed a cycle which was already in progress, a rookie mistake. Where is the follow-through describing the next cycle? Note that the the women's events are not the only problem in the handbook, which currently describes two candidates tournaments in the main WCC cycle.
05. Rules & Regulations for the Candidates Tournament of the FIDE World Championship cycle 2016-2018 [...] 12. Regulations for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020
Conclusion:Communication is not the strong point of the current FIDE management. The former FIDE management, despite their many shortcomings, did a better job of documenting their decisions.
The information about the next cycle is scattered across different documents and, although it's consistent, I couldn't find a single document pulling everything together. The subdomain for womenchess.fide.comis also hopelessly out of date. I'll come back to this at the same time I update the other data -- PGN and the Index of Women Players-- for the Kazan Candidates event. There might be a basic document that I've overlooked.
I was pleased with the correlation between my data and the ZQP [zonal qualifying paths] data. It was even better than I had hoped for and confirmed my belief that the ZQP data is an excellent source of info on the early FIDE zonals and interzonals.
That gave me a green light to proceed with the earlier World Championship cycles, C01-C12. An overview of C12 is shown in the following chart. It lists the players who competed in the three interzonals for that cycle.
The 1st & 3rd columns are from the ZQP data. The 2nd & 4th columns are from my own pages. The 2nd column shows in which interzonal the player participated and corresponds to the following list:-
In the previous post, Zonal Qualifiers C01-C16, I started working with a summary of the qualifying paths from the zonal stage to the interzonal stage for the earliest World Championship cycles. On top of zonals, these paths included other means of seeding players into the Interzonals, like rating. To facilitate comparison, I created a table which is also shown near the end of today's post.
The table shows my count of the number of players who participated in the interzonals for C01 through C16. [...] The last column shows the number of players documented in the zonal material that I'm using as the base for this exercise. The table gives me a guide for further work on this particular project. [...] The new data lets me complete C01-C12 and also lets me doublecheck C13-C16.
The cycles C13-C16 took place during FIDE's darkest days. Let's have a recap of the interzonals that spanned nearly a decade.
C13 unfolded during the uncertainty of the first three Kasparov - Karpov (K-K) matches, when the continuity of the previous cycle (C12) had been disrupted and had entered uncharted territory. For C13, FIDE scrambled to organize something resembling a traditional cycle. There were three Interzonals that eventually led the way to the fourth K-K match.
C15 saw the introduction of a single interzonal tournament using a Swiss system format instead of the traditional round-robin format. The cycle would eventually lead to the schism between FIDE and Kasparov, with two parallel World Championship matches.
The following chart is taken from the previous post, 'Zonal Qualifiers C01-C16', and highlights the four cycles featured in today's post. The counts show the approximate number of players who qualified into the interzonals for those cycles.
I compared the lists of players from my record of interzonals and the summary of zonal qualifying paths (ZQP). After identifying differences in the spelling of players' last names (needs more work to establish the accepted spelling) and accounting for the order of Asian names (like 'Qi Jinguan' and 'Jinguan Qi' in C13) I worked out the reason for the different numbers.
In C13 and C14, a total of four players were missing from the ZQP lists. C15 matched perfectly. C16 was due to a mismatch between my page on 1993 Biel and my Index of Players(they should also match); the ZQP data was perfect.
All things considered, I was pleased with the correlation between my data and the ZQP data. It was even better than I had hoped for and confirmed my belief that the ZQP data is an excellent source of info on the early FIDE zonals and interzonals.
The current FIDE World Championship cycle is slowly getting into gear, so I'll fill the idle time with another crack at Small Projects for 2019(January 2019):-
The first two of the actions on that  'Projects' post are still open [...], while the second required permission to reuse published material. This permission was granted recently: 'If you'd like to quote my zonal material, that's fine.'
That second action is a continuation of Zonal Qualifiers C01-C12 : Archive.org(June 2017), where I took 'the first steps for documenting the interzonal qualification process in C01-C12'. The numbering C01, C12, etc. is a convention I use to identify the different World Championship cycles that have taken place since 1948. According to that convention, we are in the 29th cycle or '2019-20 C29'. The complete cycles C01-C14 are documented on my page, Index of FIDE Events 1948-1990.
The table on the left shows my count of the number of players ('Plyrs') who participated in the interzonals for C01 through C16. The column 'Evts' (events) shows the number of interzonals that took place during the cycle. The column 'ZQP' (zonal qualifying paths) shows the number of players documented in the zonal material that I'm using as the base for this exercise.
The table gives me a guide for further work on this particular project. Ideally, 'Plyrs' should be equal to 'ZQP', although even when it is there might be a mismatch between the names of the players.
I've already documented the qualifying paths for C13 through C28, as shown at the bottom of the page Index of Zonals. The new data lets me complete C01-C12 and also lets me doublecheck C13-C16.
I finally decided against doing this because of a key difference: the first page covers exhibition matches, but the second is for a World Championship title match. Before I do any more work on the 'Pre-FIDE Events', I'll try to address another item on the list of Small Projects for 2019(January 2019).
Following-up the previous post on FIDE's new management, FIDE Maps the New Cycle(February 2019), we find that FIDE has pressed ahead with its plans. In this post I'll cover announcements related to various aspects of the World Championship. The first batch all appeared around the same time. (Links are to Fide.com.)
2019-03-07: Press release on the PB meeting in Astana 'Thanks to the experience gained during the last World Championship match, the Global Strategic Commission [GSC] proposed a few modifications to the rules. These were extensively discussed by the Presidential Board and a final decision will be taken soon. The rules of the Candidates Tournament will be similar to previous cycles, but it has been decided to increase the prize fund from 420.000 to 500.000 euros.'
That last link, an interview covering several talking points related to the World Championship, took place at the same time as the PB meeting in Astana.
AD [Arkady Dvorkovich]: We are working on the World Championship Cycle. The Regulations of the Title Match and the Candidates Tournament will soon be ready for publication, which will naturally launch the bidding procedure for these events. [...]
YP [Yannick Pelletier]: A few significant modifications have been brought to the formula of the World Championship cycle. What impact will they have in your opinion?
AD: First of all, we are improving the visibility of our tournaments. The new "Grand Swiss" will be spectacular and attractive. This event opens the door to the Candidates Tournament for all young and talented players who have not yet made it to the Top-10. And it also represents an opportunity for all participants to improve by being confronted directly with world-class players. Moreover, we have reformed the Grand Prix Series. For the first time, tournaments will be staged with the knockout system, as in tennis. We are expecting to arouse interest from sponsors and journalists through this new format. All participants will be motivated to fight until the end, both for the qualification spots and for prizes in each event and the overall rankings.
Another aspect I would like to broach is the importance of side events at such tournaments. Starting with the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in St Petersburg, and also here in Astana, we are making a point of cooperating with local organizers to have a program of parallel activities, like simultaneous, events for kids, blitz, etc. I consider it crucial to open the doors of a top tournament to all levels of chess players and fans, and thus to avoid seclusion. It improves the image of chess and attracts attention.
YP: A last question related to the World Championship cycle, which has been sent to me by Mr. Leonard Barden, emblematic figure for chess in The Guardian: What has been done to try and build a friendly relationship with Rex Sinquefield and Garry Kasparov, since it is clear that an agreement could bring major benefits to chess?
AD: I met Rex Sinquefield for the first time during the opening ceremony of the World Championship match in London and our short discussion was very friendly. Actually, my colleague of the management board Director General Emil Sutovsky has had intense consultations with Sinquefield’s team of the Grand Chess Tour, including Garry Kasparov, in order to adjust the tournament calendar. They have increased the number of events this year, so that coordination with the World Championship cycle was essential.
All tournaments now have their place in the calendar 2019, and we basically avoided clashes of the main competitions, except for November which was completely unavoidable. But the smooth cooperation with the Grand Chess Tour allowed to minimize the damage for the players. Indeed, providing for the satisfactory distribution of all participants in the events of both cycles was fundamental. Both sides are happy and continue to work effectively. FIDE has big expectations for the upcoming World Championship and I hope that we will receive competing bids from many countries.
Of the 35 PB decisions, I counted five related to the World Championship. Note the new African zone.
2019-03-13: List of Q1 2019 Presidential Board Decisions Q1PB-2019/17 To approve the regulations for the 2020 World Chess Championship Candidate Tournament. Also to set a recommended prize fund of 2 Mln Euro for the Title Match. Q1PB-2019/18 To approve GSC proposal to ban draws by mutual agreement before move 40 in Candidates and World Championship Matches starting 2020. Q1PB-2019/19 To approve GSC proposal in regards to the tie-break criteria for the Swiss-system events of the World Championship Cycle. Q1PB-2019/25 To confirm the new Addendum to the Agreement with World Chess., approved by absentee voting in January 2019. Q1PB-2019/32 To approve the African continental report and the creation of the zone 4.5 with further ratification by GA.
The following announcements were accompanied by PDF documents giving details.
2019-04-19: FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament 'Please find below the updated version of the Tournament Regulations in accordance with the decision of the FIDE Presidential Board as well as the current ranking of top 120 players by average rating as per April 1, 2019.'
2019-04-26: New regulations for the World Championship matches 'FIDE has approved the regulations for the World Championship Match 2020, as well as for the Women's World Championship match 2019-2020. The bidding procedure will last three months. [...] Apart from the technical and format changes in both cycles, the main novelty respect to the past few years is that FIDE is again in charge of organizing the World Championship match. After having delegated this responsibility on a third party company for the past few editions, a top priority for the new leadership under Arkady Dvorkovich's direction was to regain the commercial rights over its flagship event. The approval of these regulations marks the completion of this plan.'
In the last day, two more announcements further separated current FIDE management from the previous administration.
According to the previous post, 'FIDE Maps the New Cycle', we will see two events in May: (1) the first event of the new Grand Prix tournaments, in Moscow; and (2) the Women’s Candidates Tournament in Kazan, Russia. All eyes will be on FIDE to see whether it can execute its plans as smoothly as it announces them.