Chess Is Dying?
World Chess Title seems meaningless now.
Chess as we know it has been fractured a long time ago and the only organization that exists and gives some legitimacy to the title (FIDE) is old, corrupt and not doing anything to save the game. The title should be rightfully won only in a match, preferably 24 games. But FIDE has their series of "tournament world champions". This is ridiculous and tends to taint the title which has descended from Morphy and Steinitz. FIDE, of course was doing what the market wanted - give more chances to more people. However, the champion could not be called a champion because sometimes, he was not even the strongest player at the moment (Ponomariov, Kasimdzhanov etc.). That FIDE has done the right thing for now does not guarantee that they will do the right thing in the future. World Champion Anand simply stuck with FIDE because he could not get guaranteed money in his match negotiations with Kasparov and he thought that FIDE was a better bet.
Another crib against chess is the frequent draws at the top level. It is as if Sampras and Agassi gathered to play the game, and said to each other - "I dont feel like playing today...let's make it a draw and have a beer later". Will tennis fans forgive them for the rest of their lives? No other sport's spectators tolerate the amount of draws that chess fans do. So much that in recent times, a tournament organizer had rules preventing short draws lesser than 20 moves. Of course draw is still a legitimate result in chess and no one can change that. However, what fans want to see is a good fight regardless of the result. A lot of times, top grandmasters get into a very interesting position and they agreed to a draw. This is a questionable behavior, which is another reason why chess is getting killed.
The 2008 world championship in contrast, was short and had almost all the games very hard fought. Even if they were draws and much Kudos to Anand for not "playing safe" and venturing into sharp positions even when he had the title in his pocket (leading by 3 games).Continued on the next page