Representative Image. Express/ Sri Loganathan Velmurugan
Representative Image. Express/ Sri Loganathan Velmurugan (Photo | Sri Loganathan Velmurugan, EPS)
The Sunday Standard

Chess world: Chennai bids for title clash

Swaroop Swaminathan

CHENNAI : CHENNAI has entered the race to host the World Championship final between D Gukesh and Ding Liren. The Tamil Nadu capital is one among three cities-- New Delhi and Singapore are the two other cities -- to have submitted bids to host the prestigious event. The hosting of the event will not come cheap either.

All three bidders have agreed to a minimum guarantee money of $8.5 million (approx Rs 71 crore). What seems interesting is that the newly-elected All India Chess Federation (AICF) that doesn’t have any member from chess powerhouses like TN, has backed New Delhi as the host. Yet, according to FIDE, the TN government was the first to submit the bid to host the event in Chennai.

According to FIDE, Delhi was the last city to bid. Chennai decided to enter the bidding process after FIDE had approached the TN government. According to a top TN official, the FIDE had written to chief minister MK Stalin urging them to bid. The logic behind this is that Chennai had hosted the Chess Olympiad successfully in 2022.

The city had hosted the event in 2013 when Viswanathan Anand faced Magnus Carlsen. Gukesh has had good outings in his hometown during the Chess Olympiad. SDAT member secretary Meghanath Reddy confirmed the development and said the city is bidding independently and has nothing to do with AICF bid. Singapore, because of its neutrality, may find favour, but historically, Chennai has the edge because of its chess legacy. However, it all depends on what FIDE would be looking for while selecting a venue.