Archive for May, 2016

Working with Boris

May 9th, 2016 No comments

Boris and I are getting close to finishing the second book. Maybe 4-5 games more. We have already done quite a bit of stuff for the third book as well. Maybe we will march on and finish it quickly!? Anyway, the second book will be out at the end of August.

Boris is a very giving person, as you can see from his interviews with our friend Sagar Shah for ChessBase India, here and here. A lot of the time, our recordings are full of stories that are not suitable for publication. We entertain each other, basically. Those of Boris’s stories that I can pass on will make it into the book. So here is one of mine:

A few years ago I had an Indian grandmaster visiting for training in Scotland. After a few days of Scottish summer weather he asked me: Tell me Jacob, is this the monsoon?

Categories: Authors in Action Tags:

Knock-Out World Champions?

May 3rd, 2016 45 comments

Last week’s poll question was ‘How important do you think physical fitness is to your chess performance?’ The readership wisely chose to avoid extremes, with the calm “Somewhat significant, but not a top priority” the winner, followed by “don’t be hungover” in second.


This week my topic is about World Championships and how to award them.

In the men’s (Open) side, the knock-out event is called the World Cup, while to be World Champion nowadays, you need to win a match. But the title ‘Women’s World Champion’ is awarded for both the knockout and match events. In a ChessBase interview, Hou Yifan suggested the Women’s format should change to match the Men’s, and only award the title of Women’s World Champion to a match-winner.

In her own words: “The main reason why they want to stick to the current system is the fact that it is easier to find sponsors if you call the knock-out tournament “World Championship”. If you called it “World Cup” it would be extremely difficult to find sponsors.”

That sounds good, but on the other hand, the match format means Hou Yifan is “seeded” into the final, while in a knockout she would start on level terms with 63 other women.

So my question is: Is it reasonable to award the title of World Champion after a knock-out tournament?

Yes, No and Other should cover most people’s views, with the comments box available for explanation. Maybe you prefer neither matches nor knock-outs, and want a tournament as in San Luis 2005?

Categories: Polls Tags: