Magnus Carlsen On World Championship Cycle!!

In advance of travelling to the US to prepare for the Sinquefield Cup, I felt it important to share with you something I have been thinking about a great deal: the World Championship cycle format.


I want to preface what I’m about to say with the notion that I have great respect and reverence for all the World Champions that have come before me, and for those that have contributed to the professionalization of chess. The Chennai match against V. Anand and our subsequent match in Sochi were both equally powerful and wonderful experiences. I was amazed by the intensity of the match format, as well as the massive interest from both the media and the public. I know people are working diligently to organize the 2014-2016 World Championship cycle, and I very much look forward to the match in November 2016 against the winner of the spring 2016 Candidates tournament.

Despite this, I have, for a long time believed – and voiced publicly – that there should be a new World Championship cycle system, which is both balanced and fair. Those of you who have followed top level chess closely for years will remember that I openly raised the issue of the privileges held by the World Champion on several occasions, prior to qualifying for the match in 2013.

In short, I strongly believe the chess world should evolve to a more just system. What does that look like? I have long thought that moving to an annual knock-out event, similar to the World Cup, would be more equitable. This change would in effect improve the odds of becoming World Champion for nearly every chess player, with the exception of the reigning World Champion, and potentially a few other top players who would no longer be favoured by the current format. Creating regional qualifying events combined with rating spots, the participation of all the top players in the world and the undisputed World Championship title at stake, I truly believe this would make the World Championship cycle more accessible to everyone.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend FIDE look into modernizing the World Championship cycle format.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree that the Chess World Championship cycle would benefit from a new system?

Chess Club Live Firstly kudos for engaging with your fans on this real issue that goes to the heart of professional chess. We have to agree that making WCC cycles more inclusive is good though difficult but also making it credible also is just as difficult. Why? Well FIDE Knockout tournaments were FIDE’s previous try at making tournaments more inclusive and it favoured very random results but not in a positive way. I think those tournaments were a caricature, a sort of “mickey mouse” tournament version of what you are suggesting. If we can have a WCC cycle that allows young talents like Tari Aryan, Vladislav Artemiev and Wei Yi to compete in a format that allows the more talented, in form and better player to win then I think we will have achieved your vision. Thanks again for your wonderful post. Keep it up. You know we love it when you engage with your fans wink emoticon

Božo Z Viča The system has never been exactly fair, and has always allowed for many weird and unfair things – from giving the shot at the title only to contenders who could afford it (literally, in terms of money) in the beginning, to the current system that prese…See More

Robert Ratsch To avoid the confusion of the past , the world champion should be also the top rated player . So Not knock-out ! That has proven to be a gamble bringing questionable champions to the top. I recommend point system over many tournaments and different modes of chess . This would make sure the top rated player is world champion

Like · Reply · August 11 at 2:45pm

Jacob Aagaard The FIDE president still has a wild card for Baku. Rather than reducing the prestige of the traditional system, you can personally upgrade the prestige of the World Cup by participating.

Like · Reply · 12 · August 11 at 3:36pm

Billy Reed I don’t know Champ, I admire what you are trying to do but don’t agree with it. To me a champion should have sustained superior performance. Not some one hit wonder who rode a hot steak through a knockout round. We would end up like professional boxing when Buster Douglas defeated Mike Tyson and he had absolutely NO business being the Champ.

Like · Reply · August 11 at 4:25pm

The full comment can be gotten on Magnus Carlsen’s facebook page

2 thoughts on “Magnus Carlsen On World Championship Cycle!!

  1. Carlsen is the best and he may be right, the World Champion is suppose to be undisputed and powerful and not just like a movie of far away champions, that people read of; yes, it should truely be a Fist of the lords. fine, its really going to be difficult to get this right anew, as the new system will harbor so many loop holes for corruption, but I strongly suggest, that adding to the old system, the candidate match should allow the inculcation of a network persons representing different continents into its play scheme. I am not saying the current WCC scheme should be eradicated, I strongly suggest the Carlsen sysytem be added to it, having 10 players from the Carlsen system and 10 players from the norm.
    On the other hand, I can’t just help but think that, this whole Carlsen suggestion is more or less like a “MOVE”, however the reasons may be to revolutionise chess in his name or just political mere personal interest. Nonetheless all angles should be looked into on what’s best to make the Chess World Championship Match and Title in best credible from.
    *kudos* to Fide President, *kudos* to The World Champion.

  2. Atleast we get to c more unknown players give these super gms some trouble every once in a while adding colour to d event and taking away d monotony of d same old faces. as a fan of African chess I’ll have something to cheer for in d world games. Welldone carlsen

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