AICF submits bid to host World Chess Championship in Chennai

World Chess Championship

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has officially submitted a bid to host the World Chess Championship in Chennai. This prestigious event is scheduled to take place from November 20 to December 15. The championship will feature a face-off between the young Indian prodigy D Gukesh and the current world champion Ding Liren from China.

D Gukesh, a 17-year-old chess sensation from Chennai, has recently become the youngest challenger to the world title by winning the Candidates Tournament. This achievement has spurred a renewed wave of interest in chess in India. Gukesh, who five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand has mentored, bettered Russian legend Garry Kasparov’s 40-year-old record to become the youngest Candidates champion.

AICF’s bid for the World Chess Championship

The Tamil Nadu government has officially submitted the bid to host the championship. If India wins the bid, AICF will have to shell out close to Rs 71 crore. The criteria outlined by FIDE for a prospective bidder for the 2024 edition is a budget of $8.5 million (Rs 71 crore approx) and a facilitation fee of $1.1 million (Rs 9 crore) for the global body. The total prize money awarded by FIDE would be around $2.5 million (Rs 20 crore plus) after the fund was increased from $2 million (Rs 17 crore) in 2023.

India has a history of hosting the World Chess Championship, with the country hosting the event in 2000 and 2013. In the 2000 edition, Viswanathan Anand claimed the first of his five world titles by winning the event played in a tournament format with 100 players. Anand defeated Alexei Shirov in the final. However, in 2013, Anand lost to Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen.

The FIDE Council will make the decision on the hosting rights after the deadline and following due procedure. As of now, India is the only country to have submitted a bid. However, the deadline for submitting bids is May 31, and Singapore is expected to enter the race, although they have not yet officially submitted their bid documents.

Hosting the World Chess Championship in Chennai would be a significant milestone for India. It would not only boost the popularity of chess in the country but also provide a platform for young talents like Gukesh to showcase their skills on home soil. The anticipation is high, and the chess fraternity in India eagerly awaits FIDE’s decision.

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