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World Chess Championship 2014 (Announcement)

World Chess Championship 2014 to be in Sochi

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov press conference in Moscow. Photo;

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov press conference in Moscow. Photo; |

The FIDE World Chess Championship match between champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger Viswanathan Anand will be in Sochi, Russia 7th to 28th November 2014. There had been two deadlines for bids with no interest expressed.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov held a news conference with Interfax the Russian news agency in Moscow to announce that the World Chess Championship will take place in the Sochi Olympic village (Russian versions of the press conference: Match for the title of world chess champion between Carlsen and Anand will be held in Sochi and another version where Ilyumzhinov says that the FIDE Election Commission is investigating Kasparov and he may not be allowed to run for President) 7th to 28th November 2014 with a budget of $3m. The prize fund of $1-1.5m will be taken from that. [this wasn't clear to me earlier]

The announcement from Ilyumzhinov of a Russian venue hardly came as a surprise after a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the Belaya Ladya (White Rook) Junior chess tournament last week (in Sochi) and support from the Russian Government in the FIDE elections. I had only really considered it would be in Moscow.

The physical Sochi venue will be very nice and state of the art no doubt but controversial due to several political points. The initial reaction from the Norwegian Chess Federation President Joran Aulin-Jansson was that he was "Not convinced it will take place there" . I'm unsure what he means by that as I can't imagine a scenario where it wouldn't happen there as it will surely be too late to change it following the FIDE elections if Ilyumzhinov loses (although Kasparov will clearly have a problem attending if he wins, perhaps part of the point) and I don't believe there's currently a will in the west for sporting sanctions over the Ukraine situation.

Short video extract from the Ilyumzhinov Press Conference in Russian

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