August 13th, 2011
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An irresistable offer

chessChennai: The World Chess Federation (Fide) has swung into action following the world championship bid, which Moscow won ahead of Chennai.

The Fide president, who personally met Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa two months ago before Chennai offered to host the Viswanathan Anand-Boris Gelfand match, has written a letter to her, explaining the circumstances in which Moscow won the bid and gave a written assurance that the 2013 match would be allotted to the south Indian city provided the All India Chess Federationn (AICF) extended its bid to the next championship.

This is perhaps the first time that Fide has allotted a world championship to a city without a fresh bid. ‘To our knowledge this is the first time ever that Fide has offered a title match to anyone directly,’ Fide vice-president DV Sundar told media on Aug 11.

It is now up to the AICF to weigh the pros and cons of the new offer and decide whether to go ahead with the bid. Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been successful in finding sponsors, mostly against the run of play when Fide struggled to raise sponsorship for the world championship in the last 10 years.

At times, the federation’s selection of venues has also been mired in controversies but the president’s letter on Wednesday to the TN chief minister shows that he is keen to keep the Indian sponsor in good humour by making the exception to the rule. The special allotment to Chennai was passed by the Fide world board.

’I was informed during my visit (to Chennai) that you (Jayalalithaa) organised the South Asian Federation Games in 1995 with excellent conditions. In view of the great interest and commitment, it would be our pleasure to offer the 2013 world championship match to Chennai. This option may be exercised within three months of the end of the 2012 match in Russiaa,’ Kirsan wrote to Tamil Nadu CM.


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