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June 1, 2024

Delhi Joins the Race: Competing with Chennai and Singapore to Host Chess World Championship

Delhi has officially entered the race to host the World Chess Championship match between India’s D. Gukesh and China’s Ding Liren. This move follows a strong endorsement from the All India Chess Federation (AICF), which has criticized the Tamil Nadu government for unilaterally promoting Chennai as the host city without prior consultation.

On Saturday, Emil Sutovsky, CEO of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), confirmed that Delhi, along with Chennai and Singapore, has submitted a bid to host the much-anticipated match scheduled for November-December this year. According to Sutovsky, all three cities’ proposals meet FIDE’s established criteria.

“Three bids to host the FIDE World Championship Match-2024. Chennai, Singapore, New Delhi (in order of submission). All meet the criteria,” Sutovsky announced on ‘X’, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The FIDE Council is expected to deliberate on the bids next week, with representatives from each bidding city invited to present their case and address any questions. A final decision will be made later this month.

“Next week FIDE Council to discuss it — representatives of the bidders invited to share details and take questions. Final decision in June,” Sutovsky added.

The Chennai bid was spearheaded by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, while the AICF has put forward New Delhi as its candidate. Notably, it is uncommon for two entities from the same country to submit separate bids for the same event, adding an unusual twist to this competition.

Nitin Narang, President of the AICF, emphasized that the federation has secured a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Indian government for New Delhi’s bid. He pointed out that the Tamil Nadu government had not coordinated with the AICF before submitting their bid for Chennai.

“The Tamil Nadu government never consulted the AICF or had any conversation with us about it (Chennai as venue), nor do they have the NOC (from the Government of India) for it,” Narang stated.

“The New Delhi bid happens to be from the AICF, with the NOC being given by the Government of India,” he added.

D. Gukesh, a prodigious talent from Chennai, secured his position as the youngest-ever challenger for the world title by triumphing at the Candidates Tournament in Toronto this April. The excitement around his match against Ding Liren has further intensified the competition to host this prestigious event.

FIDE has outlined specific criteria for bidders, including a budget of Rs 85 million (approximately Rs 71 crore) and a facilitation fee of $1.1 million (approximately Rs 9 crore). The tournament is set to last 25 days, with regulatory approvals to be finalized by July 1. The total prize money, increased from $2 million (approximately Rs 17 crore) in 2023 to $2.5 million (approximately Rs 20 crore plus), underscores the event’s significance.

India has previously hosted the World Chess Championship in 2000 and 2013. In 2000, Viswanathan Anand won the first of his five world titles in a tournament format featuring 100 players, defeating Alexei Shirov in the final. However, in 2013, Anand lost to the then up-and-coming Norwegian challenger, Magnus Carlsen.

As the FIDE Council prepares to make its decision, the competition between Delhi, Chennai, and Singapore is set to intensify. Each city brings unique advantages to the table, and the final choice will significantly impact the global chess community and the future of the sport in India.

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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