Magnus Carlsen Suggests a Return to the ‘Ilyumzhinov System’

The World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen has made a surprising announcement.  The Norwegian has suggested the return of the knockout system for establishing the world’s best chess players. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has declined this proposal under pressure from leading grandmasters.
The world rankings leader has published an appeal to FIDE on his Facebook page asking them to change the system that establishes the World Champion. Carlsen wrote that it would be “fairer".  He considers "an annual tournament based on the knockout system will be similar to the World Cup."

According to Carlsen, this setup will increase the chances of "almost every player" becoming a Champion and make the Championship series "more accessible."
The Norwegian’s proposal to return to the pre-existing system is astonishing. The idea of the whole World Championship under the knockout system, in which the winner is determined after several rounds of play-offs, was the key element of the FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s initiative in the mid-1990.  It was his belief that the Championships would make chess more democratic and would have added entertainment and commercial appeal.
During five Championships, this idea was implemented. However, the ‘Ilyumzhinov system’ immediately came under sharp criticism from many G.M’s who thought the most significant title could be won by chance because of the "lottery" nature of the system.
Under their pressure, FIDE, in the middle of the last decade, abolished the knockout system and resumed the traditional Championship cycle.  Where the winner of the Candidates Tournament of 12 games earns the right to challenge the current World Champion to determine the winner of the title. The Championships using the knockout system was then changed into the World Cup in order to establish the qualifiers for the Championship cycle.
Magnus Carlsen, who won his title in 2013, belongs to the supporters of the classic system.  He has criticized the format of the Championship cycle before, calling it "unfair", but has never suggested reviving the knockout system.  Moreover, Carlsen has systematically ignored the World Cup Championships.
Ilya Merenzon, CEO of Agon and owner of the commercial rights to the Championship cycle tournaments said, "Magnus Carlsen’s statement is, in fact, being discussed by the whole chess community."  He noted, “Carlsen was the first of the Grandmasters who was courageous enough to limit his own World Champion privileges."
However, Merenzon has stressed, "current proposals for the existing system of establishing the Winner of the FIDE World Championship is ongoing. The main event for the title will be in the United States."

Aleksey Dospekhov