MOU signed for World Championship in Chennai

by ChessBase
4/19/2013 – FIDE, the All-India and Tamil Nadu State Chess Associations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday for the World championship match to be held in Chennai, from November 6 to 26. FIDE vice-president Israel Gelfer said the venue of the championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen would be finalised within 21 days. Press release.

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Press release


A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by FIDE on one side with the All India Chess Federation and the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (as organiser) on the other for the Anand v Carlsen match to be staged at Chennai from Nov 6-26, 2013.

About the contents of the MOU signed, D.V. Sundar, Vice President FIDE said the prize fund will be USD 2.55 million and it will be paid in two parts and that the draft contract will be sent in ten days.

Israel Gelfer (above in the dark suit) arrived in the city on Thursday and thanked the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for showing interest in the superhero Vishy Anand and young star Magnus Carlsen match from Nov 6-26, 2013. After the signing of the MOU, Gelfer and others took questions.

AICF Honorary Secretary Bharat Singh Chauan, FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer, FIDE
Vice President D.V. Sundar, and AICF Rating Officer Venkatachalam Hariharan at the signing

The key signatures from Bharat Singh and Israel Gelfer

D.V. Sundar and V. Hariharan

The memorandum of Understanding (click to enlarge)

Everything signed and sealed...

... and Chennai it is

In 2011, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had bid for the Anand v Gelfand match. Russia put up a higher bid and took the match. India was given the right of first refusal and Dr J Jayalalithaa came forward again to offer Rs 29 Crores and take the match.

Asked about challenges of organising this match at Chennai from the FIDE side, Gelfer said there are many and in general believed all the sides are eager to work these out and make this a great success. The arbiters will be decided by FIDE under the existing regulations.

About possible venues at Chennai, organisers did not reveal any. "I have seen a few places and would decide on the best in the coming weeks," said Gelfer. The Chennai Trade Fair in Nandambakkam (above) is likely to be a frontrunner venue, but no place was officially shortlisted. Chennai is a large Asian city with a population as much as the whole of Israel and had plenty of options for such mega events.

The local organisation has to decide on the price of tickets and it is a long way to go for the match, said Gelfer. When the last match took place in the city, most days saw all seats taken for the Anand v Dreev, World Championship, Candidates Match in 1991 at the Trident Hotel opposite the Meenambakkam Airport in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, earlier known as the Madras State Chess Association and was founded during British India was one of the founders of the All India Chess Federation. It will be the biggest achievement for this association.

Keen to reply to this question , Sundar said many chess events would happen alongside the main World Championship. An International Open, events for Age Groups, Schools, Deaf and Dumb, Blind. India is clearly headed for a chess awakening.

Such a mega event could not have come without support from Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, said Bharat Singh who thanked the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. "I thank FIDE for showing faith in us," concluded Bharat Singh.

Rather than do in a hotel room or in the Federation office I thought signing of the MOU will be best done before the media, said Sundar.

Former National 'A' player V Hariharan, who retired as officer from Indian Bank recently spoke in Tamil language and moved to English for a vote of thanks. If the April 8 press meet was thanking the Chief Minister, this one was about thanking FIDE.

Speaking at the signing of the MOU, 77-year old International Master Manuel Aaron said, "I do not know the organisers of previous world championships. I know Bharat Singh Chauhan and D.V. Sundar and I can say without doubt that this will be the best World Chess Championship match ever."

Having bagged this match, Indian chess is upbeat and at a very high level at the organisational level. Vishy Anand had already taken it to the peak from the players side.

Photos provided by Arvind Aaron, Press Officer of the AICF

According to the Hindu report FIDE vice-president Israel Gelfer, who is also a member of the World championship committee, said the venue of the championship match (between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen) would be finalised within 21 days. “We are considering a couple of venues, and we are discussing them with the players. The final decision will be taken in two-three weeks.”

Carlsen surprised, Kasparov scandalized
Norway’s Magnus Carlsen didn’t seem to have much influence over the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which decided on Friday that he’ll have to play a world championship match on the home turf of his opponent, in India. Carlsen has been fighting the prospect of the world championships being played in India, calling the venue “most unfortunate.” He and his managers contend the event should have gone out to bid, while others have claimed his opponent, Vishy Anand of India, will have a home turf advantage. Former chess champion Garry Kasparov, who has coached Carlsen, has called the prospect of championship play in India a “scandal.” Read the full story (mainly about Carlsen's TIME Top 100 nomination) in Views and News from Norway.

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