23 April 2015

FIDE Knockout Events

While I was working on the previous post -- A Partial Interview, with Natalia Pogonina -- I decided to catalog the number of high-level FIDE events that used the knockout format. First there were five World Championships:-

I once summarized these in an About.com post, FIDE World Championship 2004 : Results, without knowing that 2004 Tripoli would be the last such event. After years of criticism that the format was not appropriate for determining a World Champion, FIDE introduced the World Cup as a World Championship qualifier. To date there have been five of these events, with the next scheduled for later this year.

The first of the Women's World Championships to use the knockout format was played concurrently with the unrestricted event, 2000 New Delhi. Five of these events were held as the sole means of determining the Women's World Champion.

Shortly after 2008 Nalchik, FIDE announced that the women's format would change. I documented this in Interview with Makropoulos (November 2008). In a two year cycle, the Women's World Champion would be determined in the first year by a knockout event and in the second year by a match. We are currently in the third such cycle.

For details about the cycles, see my page on the World Chess Championship for Women. When was the last time a women's cycle used the traditional Interzonal > Candidates > Match format?

The 1997 Groningen Candidates Tournament, won by Galliamova, used a double round robin format. This was followed by the 1999 Xie Jun - Galliamova Title Match. Between these events were two forfeited matches: Xie Jun - Galliamova at the candidates stage, and Xie Jun - Z.Polgar at the title stage. I've never documented these two matches on my pages and will do so ASAP.

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