06.09.2005 Mikhail Kobalija gives his view

What do you think about the cooperation between the ACP and FIDE? What is the prospective of such cooperation?

This is a work in a right direction. It is easier to break than to build – we have to cooperate. There are many unsolved problems right now: time control, world championship structure, etc. Everything must be clear and straight, especially for sponsors. If there is no clarity, nobody will give money.

Should the ACP Tour be included into the world championship cycle in some way? What pro and contra arguments should be considered to make a decision?

The ACP Tour just turned one year of existence. The top eight were determined, but they did not play the final. If this system settles down, we could return to the idea of including the Tour into the championship cycle. Why not? There is a number of players allowed to participate according to their FIDE ratings. But some of them simply do not play any chess! Now there is a rule: you don't play for some time, you are out. Well, alright, one plays in a single tournament and gets his rating back. This is not fair! Such a situation is impossible in a professional sport. Try not taking part in the ATP Tour for a year, and you remain with zero. This is why I consider the ACP Tour as more democratic system. If someone can play many games – well done! Isn't chess sport? Yes, it is. I see no reason to be against the idea you asking about.

Are you comfortable with the present situation with two official time controls? Which one do you prefer?

First, this question should be addressed to the organizers. They have their own considerations. For example, playing two games a day. If one is forced to play two 7-hour games straight, one would just die. Of course, the current situation is not an optimal one, but it is better to have two controls than, say, three. One can get used to two controls.

Should the compromise control, suggested during the FIDE-ACP meeting (1.40/40, 30 min RG, +30 sec per move) be tested?

The idea is not bad, but it has to be tested, and I think supporters of both alternative controls will object it.

What do you think about possible introduction of a new title that surpasses a GM title? Which criteria should be used to determine 'super-GMs'?

It seems unnatural. First, we have a number of more urgent problems. Second, there is no such classification in tennis, for example. In Russia in any sport there are master of sports, international class master and honored master titles. More complicated title system is only in chess, and I see no reason for complicating it further.

This article is published with permission of Association of Chess Professionals

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