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Candidate Carlsen?

The Quick and the Blind
Photo © G-Star Raw

The big sponsorship and media pulling-power of Magnus Carlsen looks to have finally won over FIDE, as they bowed to the Norwegian World No.1's demands to change the format to the 2012 World Championship Candidates rules that clears the way for him to re-enter the fray for a possible title clash.

The 2011 Candidates in Kazan a few months back was settled by knockouts that only served to make a mockery of the system, with many games controversially ending in short draws. Subsequently elite grandmasters supported him by voting for an all-play-all format; now FIDE looks to have succumbed to the mounting pressures by switching back to an eight-player, double-round all-play-all.

The all-play-all format clearly favors Carlsen as his tournament record is peerless while 14 games would give far less chance of a fluke result than four. "If the changes that are predicted come true, I am ready to fight for the World Championship title," commented Carlsen in a statement released through his manager on Thursday. Besides the change to tournament format, Carlsen will also have as a requirement a "waterproof contract", as FIDE was unilaterally changing the terms and conditions for the players with scant regard to their contracts.