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World Chess Championship 2013 (Chennai)

Chennai World Championship bid moves forward with Memorandum of Understanding

The MOU was signed by International Master Israel Gelfer, Vice President, FIDE and on the Indian side by Bharat Singh Chauhan, Honorary Secretary of the All India Chess Federation and by V Hariharan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. Photo © Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.

The MOU was signed by International Master Israel Gelfer, Vice President, FIDE and on the Indian side by Bharat Singh Chauhan, Honorary Secretary of the All India Chess Federation and by V Hariharan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. Photo © Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. | http://www.theweekinchess.com

Chennai is very close to being confirmed as the venue for the World Chess Championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger Magnus Carlsen after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the Summit Hall of Raj Park, in the heart of Chennai. The MOU was signed by International Master Israel Gelfer, Vice President, FIDE and on the Indian side by Bharat Singh Chauhan, Honorary Secretary of the All India Chess Federation and by V Hariharan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association in the presence of FIDE Vice President D.V. Sundar who facilitated the parties and veteran International Master Manuel Aaron. The details of this agreement can be seen in a FIDE report on their Memorandum of Understanding with Chennai. (see image of the agreement below which confirms the dates as 6th to 26th Nov 2013. FIDE need to receive 50% of the money for the match by May 20th). It seems like this venue is very close to being confirmed. Below is a lengthy report by Arvind Aaron direct from Chennai with quotes.

FIDE-AICF/TNSCA Sign MOU by Arvind Aaron

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 10 days.

Israel Gelfer who arrived in the city on Thursday, 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 on questions.

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. Chennai Trade Fair in Nandambakkam 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 entire 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.

FIDE-AICF/TNSCA Memorandum of Understanding

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