Letter from Mikko Markkula, Chairman, FIDE Qualifications Commission

Dear Mr. Sloan,

The decision about new time limits was not made in Istanbul. According to the FIDE statutes, only the General Assembly can change title regulations, and only on recommendation by the QC.

As to the new times, my opinion is that it should be only the recommended minimum, not mandatory for all tournaments.

The new times are within the limits of rating regulations, but they are not valid for title purposes according to the present version of the title regulations.
Mikko Markkula
Mikko Markkula does not like to be photographed due to the fact that he fears assassination plots arising from the fact that it is he who basically decides who gets the grandmaster title and who does not get the title. Nevertheless, I was able to get this photograph of him from a distance in Istanbul. Photo by Sam Sloan

There was a discussion in the Dortmund meeting to allow shorter times be used for titles, down to 4 hours for IM, 5 hours for GM norms, in both cases assuming that the game lasts 60 moves.

Having said all above, I do not mean that I am against shortening the minimum times. I fully agree that to get the chess more attractive for the media, we have to go to shorter times, although it means obviously some more blunders and worse quality in the games. Personally, I do not want to watch a game that lasts 7 hours and 55 minutes, as the longest game in Istanbul was. Compared with other sports, like basketball, hockey, etc. chess is different in that sense that chess gets more interesting after thorough analysis of the game, in other sports the live action is the most interesting part.

Regards Mikko Markkula (Finland)

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