Florencio Campomanes: Let there be an "active" champion every year!
- Mister President, as is known, at the FIDE Congress in Seville there was widely debated an issue about so-called “active chess”. To say the truth, we’ve never known that we play passive one…
- The General Assembly made the decision to hold the World Championship with the time-control of 30 minutes per game for each player. In recent years chess is getting more and more popular. But I think its progress leaves a lot to be desired. It’s frequently said that the pace of life sped up and the rate of learning increased. However, the time for producing the game still remains at the level of the beginning of the century when there was found a sort of acceptable form: 2 hours 30 minutes for 40 moves.
Secondly, a huge army of enthusiasts of the ancient game is out of touch with the sport chess life. There are a lot of reasons for that. First of all, it’s impossibility of regular participation in tournaments which takes much time. Now I’m talking about those chess fans who cannot leave their jobs and families very often for a long period of time. We should think of them and their active playing too. Therefore, FIDE will implement the idea of tournaments with short time control, which suits many players and is sure to get millions of people involved in chess.
- Do you think that (chess)-clock can emasculate the whole creative process? Even today it is not infrequent situation when the outcome of a game, i.e. fight between two brains, is decided more than prosaically – by a flag fall.
- New chess that we are going to develop can by no means replace so-called “big” chess. They will be developing simultaneously. But you must admit that the game of chess draws attention of millions first of all by its sports factor. I also can’t help but mention that chess like any other sphere of human activity is prone to progress.
- Are you not afraid of the possibility for making too rapid breakthrough in active chess?
- Not at all. Though I understand what you are getting at. Every year there will be held the World Championship and calculated ratings of active chess players. Moreover, there will be awarded Grandmaster titles. All this is so attractive for us, chess fans.
- Could you, please, tell us about plans for this year?
- At the end of 1988 we’ll get the first World Champion for active chess. The scheme of competitions is very simple and democratic. In the beginning there shall be held the continental championships. The terms are May to the end of August. The European Championship is going to take place in Xixón (Spain). The American Championship is going to be held in Florida. And the Asian Championship is most likely to take place in the UAE (representatives of Africa will play there too unless somebody on the Continent can organize the tournament). Actually, the World Championship will be held immediately after the Olimpics in Salonica. The representation shall be as follows: Europe – 45 chess-players, America – 25, Asia – 20, Africa – 10. Two places will probably be given to Greece as the organizing country. These 100-102 chess-players play in a Swiss-system tournament eight winners of which then meet in knockout matches. The World Championship Match between two strongest players consists of 24 games with six games up. Thus, by 1990, when Kasparov will have to defend his title, we’ll have already had three World Active Chess Champions.
- By the way, what about top Grandmasters and Masters? Will they be able to take part in a new championship?
- Sure. But I think it’s difficult for them to do because they still have their World Championship and World Cup. World Active Chess Championships should evolve new talents and train people for “big” chess.
Florencio Campomanes: Let there be an "active" champion every year! (published in "64. Chess Review", Vol. 3, 1988, February)