Ilyumzhinov: “Magnus can send his proposal to the Presidential Board and FIDE Executive Committee”
Saturday, 15.08.2015 18:51
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has commented on the proposal by Magnus Carlsen to change the World Championship system. Since Ilyumzhinov’s official website gives it in Russian only, Chess-News is providing the English translation:
“I’d like to thank Magnus and give him credit for his courage: among the World Champions, he is the first one to propose restricting his own privileges.
Regarding the World Championship cycle, first the knockout system had been proposed by myself around 20 years ago, at the FIDE Presidential Board in Singapore. We wanted to make chess more democratic, to turn it into a real sport for masses, in which any strong sportsman would have every chance to become the World Champion. The first knockout World Championship, with the prize money of $5000000, has been held in December 1997 in the Dutch city of Groningen, while its final stage has taken place in January 1998 in the Lausanne Olympic Museum.
The knockout system has proved to be dynamic, as well as attractive for organizers and sponsors. However, as we all know, the chess community is extremely conservative. Many people disapproved of this innovation, thinking that it increased the role of chance too much. That’s why we are now using a different system for the World Championship – the title is fought for in the match between the incumbent World Champion and the winner of the Candidates Tournament.
I’d like to mention that Magnus, in accordance with his status, is a member of the Presidential Board and of FIDE Executive Committee. Thus, he can send to his colleagues his proposal to return to the knockout system. If he does so, his proposal will be part of the official agenda at FIDE Congress in Abu Dhabi in September 2015.”