We have noted some of the comments related to Magnus’ quick withdrawal from the Grand Prix.

Following an interview with the FIDE President addressing the decision process around the introduction of a new candidate tournament, we find it reasonable to provide some more background info on the withdrawal.

In the days prior to his withdrawal we discussed at length the uncertainty involved regarding the FIDE decision process of changing the cycle as it was clear from the wording of the regulations that the General Assembly could not change these regulations. The final decision on changes to the regulations shall be made by the FIDE Presidential Board.

Upon receiving the earlier reported response from Mr. Mastrokoukos on December 4th, I sent a reply (by e-mail) the same day containing many questions regarding the Grand Prix and the cycle change.

The two first questions were:

“Has the FIDE Presidential Board already finally decided to change the Grand Prix regulations, and if so, can you please forward the new regulations?

If such new regulations are not in place yet, could you please let us know on what basis you have announced the process of staging a bid for a 2010 Candidate tournament instead of the planned match between the GP and World Cup winners?”

Later the same day I was contacted by a senior FIDE Vice President, and I asked him some of the same questions. Below are some excerpts from the discussion we had. (The following is of course subject to my memory serving me right and also my understanding of what was said.)

His first response was that the General Assembly had decided the matter as the GA is the highest authority in FIDE. Upon my reference to the wording of the regulations he agreed that the change had not yet been administratively decided by the FIDE PB and there were no new regulations in place. The FIDE PB would anyhow follow the decision of the GA.

When asked if this meant that there were basically no regulations in effect governing the Grand Prix until the next FIDE PB meeting in March 2009, he said that if necessary this was a formality that could be handled quickly by distributing a memo on the GA-approved-change to the members of the PB for their signature.

When discussing this with Magnus afterwards we had to conclude that either the GA decision should be considered a “done deal”, or we would probably not know the outcome until late March 2009. Neither of these alternatives was acceptable to Magnus, also partly due to the need to respond to other tournament invitations.

Having already missed Nanjing due to the GP Magnus definitely wanted to avoid similar occurrences in 2009.

Henrik Carlsen,
December 17th, 2008
Magnus’ Chess Blog

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