games: chess

The World Chess Championship is still in a terrible mess. The new formula for the International Chess Federation (Fide) championship is due to start next month, but looks like being without the world's top two players. We'll come back to that in a moment. First some history:

The turmoil began in 1993, when Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov were so irritated at the way Fide was trying to organise their world championship match that they decided to run the show themselves. Their new organisation, the Professional Chessplayers Association (PCA) ran its own world title match, while Fide brought back Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman to contest their now vacant title. From 1993 to 1996, we therefore had two world champions: Kasparov for the PCA and Karpov for Fide. Both champions successfully defended their titles in later challenge matches, and then things got worse for both organisations.

The PCA championship had been sponsored by the computer-chip manufacturers Intel, but their involvement ceased when Kasparov became closely involved with IBM as he played matches with the computer Deep Blue. Without sponsorship, the activities of the PCA became very limited. Meanwhile, Fide had been having its own political problems.

Its controversial president, Florencio Campomanes, had been surprisingly re-elected to his post on the platform of a re-unification match between the two champions. When negotiations broke down, however, he handed over the reins to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov - a fabulously wealthy Russian chess fanatic who also happened to be the president of the autonomous republic of Kalmykia.

Ilyumzhinov then almost created a total collapse of Fide by announcing that the Karpov-Kamsky match would take place in Baghdad, but changed his mind and sponsored it himself in Kalmykia's capital city of Elista. Then he announced his own plans for re-unification of the two titles: the old world championship challenge matches, which had served the chess world well since 1886, would be abolished and an $5m annual knock-out tournament would replace them. Karpov and Kasparov would be seeded directly into the semi-finals.

Both champions announced their opposition to the new format, but Karpov agreed to play, while Kasparov refused. On Kasparov's refusal to play, however, Karpov, as the sole defending champion, was seeded through directly to the final.

This preferential treatment of Karpov, however, has infuriated Vladimir Kramnik, who at second place in the world rankings is three places ahead of the Fide champion. This week Kramnik announced that he will not be competing in next month's new championship. In other words, the schism is getting deeper.

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Web Application Support Manager

    £60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

    ** Secondary Geography Teacher Required In Liverpool **

    £120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

    ** Female PE Teacher Urgently Required In Liverpool **

    £120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

    ** Secondary Maths Teacher Required In Liverpool **

    £120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments