FIDE 2005 World Championship in San Luis, Argentina

4/21/2005 – FIDE's plans for a classical chess world championship seem to have materialised, with the announcement that a sponsor has been found for a one million dollar prize fund. The event will be staged in San Luis, Argentina from September 27 to October 16, 2005. Details.

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The reaction to the report we published yesterday, outlining FIDE's plan for a classical chess world championship with eight selected players brought us a large number of letters, generally poking fun at the announcement. "A snowflake's chance in hell," was the way one reader assessed the plans, a delayed April Fool's joke another.

Well today, just 36 hours after the publication of our report, the World Chess Federation has announced that a sponsor has been found and that there is a guaranteed prize fund of US $1,000,000 available for the double round robin tournament to be held in San Luis, Argentina. The dates for the event are September 27 to October 16, 2005, and the offer is fully covered by financial guarantees and agreements concerning organizational details. The contracts were signed by the Governor of San Luis, H.E. Dr Alberto Rodriguez Saa and the FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Here's the text of the FIDE press release:

PRESS RELEASE – 21 April 2005

The 2005 World Chess Championship
to be held 27 September – 16 October in San Luis, Argentina
under the aegis of the Province of San Luis

The World Chess Federation (FIDE: http://www.fide.com) is pleased to announce that the World Chess Championship Tournament 2005 will take place 27 September – 16 October in the city of San Luis, Argentina under the aegis of the Province of San Luis.

The ongoing bidding procedure concerning the World Championship 2005 has been resolved in favour of the San Luis candidacy, whose negotiation team in Athens exercised the option provided in article 2.5.1 of the official regulations and offered on 15 April a prize fund of USD 1,000,000 (one million) for the event. The offer is also backed by a financial guarantee and an agreement concerning further organizing details has been signed by the Governor of San Luis, H.E. Dr Alberto Rodriguez Saa and the FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

FIDE is positive that the games will be held successfully in San Luis and this year's World Chess Championship will further establish the image of chess as a competitive and educational sport not only in Argentina but in the whole geographical region of South America. Towards this aim, the attractive image and the positive reputation of the province of San Luis are considered as valuable assistance to FIDE’s efforts.

The format of the tournament will be an 8-player double round robin. The total prize fund of USD 1,000,000 will be distributed to the players according to the final standings, as described in the official regulations, with the World Champion receiving the valuable title and the amount of USD 300,000. Together with this event, the total funds raised by FIDE for the World Championships have well exceeded the figure of USD 3,000,000 (three million) for the years 2004 and 2005.

The final list of the 8 world-class Grandmasters who shall contend this year for the ultimate title of World Champion will soon be announced, in accordance with the official regulations of the World Chess Championship Tournament 2005. All relevant information will also be available on FIDE's website at http://www.fide.com


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