Breaking: World Championship 2013 in Chennai?

by ChessBase
4/8/2013 – In August 2011 it seemed settled: the South Indian city of Chennai would host the World Championship match Anand-Gelfand. But then a rival bid by Moscow won the right to stage the event. According to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram FIDE had promised to hold it in Chennai in 2013 – without bidding. The city is now putting up 290 million Rupees for the event.

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The World Chess Championship 2013 will be held in Chennai between November 6 and 26 at Chennai and the state government will allot Rs 29 crore for the event, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Monday.

Making a suo motu statement in the House, she said the championship 2013 would be between World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, winner of the World Chess Championship 2012, and Magnus Carlsen of Noway, who had secured 2,872 points, the highest in the FIDE (Word Chess Federation) rating.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said when the World Chess Federation president Kirsan Illyumzhinov met her in 2011, he had requested her to hold the World Chess Championship in Chennai. She also had agreed to organise the event at a cost of Rs. 20 crore.

“However, it failed to materialise as Russia made the highest bidding for the championship. Since Tamil Nadu came forward to organise the event in 2012, the Word Chess Federation agreed to hold it in Chennai without bidding,” she said.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the international event would further encourage the youth to learn chess and would lead to creations of more and more champions.

Note: The Indian term "crore", which comes from the Prakrit word krodi, is a unit in the numbering system equal to ten million. So Rs 29 crore is actually 290 million Rupees, which at the current exchange rate is around four million Euros or 5.3 million US Dollars.

Looking back

On July 13, 2011 we reported that the Tamil Nadu Government has placed a winning bid for the Chess World Championship match between reigning Champion Viswanathan Anand and Challenger Boris Gelfand. The match would take place in April or May of 2012, the total budget is Rs. 20 crores (= 3.2 million Euros or US $4.5 million at the time).

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in conversation with Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha

But then, in August 2011, we received word that a rival bid from the Russian Chess Federation with a US $2.55 million prize fund has been accepted by FIDE. It was a big disappointment to the Tamil Nadu government, which had bid $2.25 million. In our report we quoted the press release of FIDE, which included the following passage:

The FIDE President, Kirsan llyumzhinov expressed his gratitude to the All India Chess Federation who worked very hard to put in a very competitive bid with the support of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

In view of the commitment shown by the AICF and the appreciation of FIDE towards the development of chess in India, the AICF would be given a first option of three months following the match in Moscow, to make a proposal for the organization of the World Chess Championship Match 2013.

This is clearly what Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram is referring to.


Chennai, which was formally known as Madras, is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a major commercial, cultural, economic and educational center in South India – the "Cultural Capital of South India"– and was declared as the most liveable city in India by the Institute of Competitiveness on account of economic, social, security and medical conditions as parameters. The population is 4.7 million. Chennai is the home town of Viswanathan Anand.

World Championship in Tromsø?

A number of Norwegian newspapers were pushing the idea of staging the World Championship in Tromsø, in the north of Norway. Here are some examples (use Google Translate to read them):

While we really love Tromsø and would give anything to spend three weeks there, we see a small problem with the 2013 World Championship being held in the Arctic Circle. On November 6th there will be five hours and 41 minutes of daylight (sunrise to sunset), on November 16 three hours and 49 minutes, and on November 26 the sun will rise at 11:04 a.m. and set at 11:58 a.m. On November 27, the day of departure, it will not rise above the horizon at all. The next time the people of Tromsø will see the sun is January 15, 2014, when it will make a first 30-minute appearance.

But then again there is the extraordinary pleasure of riding snow mobiles, and Tromsø is a wonderful place to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

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