The stage is set for the World Championship chess clash between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, to be held on November 7-28 at the Hyatt Regency here. With officials of the world body of chess (FIDE) having completed a final inspection of the venue, the decks have been cleared for the most eagerly-awaited event of the year.
After Norwegian Carlsen visited the city and expressed satisfaction with the arrangements, it was the turn of Israel Gelfer, vice-president of FIDE, to inspect the venue on Friday. Gelfer was satisfied with the hall where the match will take place and with other arrangements as well. This was his second visit to the city. Earlier, he was here to sign the memorandum of understanding between FIDE and the Tamil Nadu government.
D V Sundar, an official of the All India Chess Federation, said elaborate arrangements will be made to publicise the event and since it will be held for the first time in India, the federation expects a huge response from fans.
“Anand has a great following in the city and in the country. But everybody can’t be accommodated in the hall. About 350 to 400 can sit and watch the match. Entry will not be free and tickets will be sold. Schoolchildren can watch the match for free,” said Sundar, who is also a vice-president of FIDE.
“The public and players will be separated by a glass wall. We are also planning to show the games live on giant screens in prominent places in the city in order to popularise the game.”
Gelfer was impressed with the facilities and Chennai’s hospitality. “All facilities at the venue are excellent. We had an inspection of the venue with a player’s representative (wife Aruna on behalf of Anand),” he said.