Chennai: There is some uncertainty over Chennai as the venue for the eagerly-awaited World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen after the World No 1 player from Norway expressed unhappiness with the FIDE’s choice of venue.
The FIDE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with All India Chess Federation and Tamil Nadu state association for holding the World Championship match in Chennai, the home city of Anand.
However, it has been learnt Carlsen’s team is apprehensive about playing in Chennai given unfamiliar food and weather conditions as the Norwegian has no experience of competing in hot climate.
The fallout could be Carlsen’s refusal to sign the contract as both players are needed to sign the agreement despite FIDE’s MoU with the TN state association.
According to Carlsen’s agent, Espen Agdestein, what irked the 22-year-old challenger was the way the MoU was signed without following a bidding process as described in the FIDE regulations for the World Championship match.
Agdestein said there should be an open bidding process and a neutral venue for the match and that the world body should have a dialogue with both players before arriving to a final decision.
The MoU, uploaded on the FIDE website, says that the match could be held in Chennai from November 6 to 26.
Chennai had lost out on the last World Championship match between Anand and Boris Gelfand after Moscow offered a higher prize fund of USD 2.55 million to the organisers.
At that time, the FIDE president, Kirsan Ilymzhinov had promised the Tamil Nadu government that the state will get the first preference for the next match.
It has also been learnt that the earlier preferred locations for hosting the match were New York, Miami, St Tropez, Paris and Tromso. The Norwegian town is already hosting the 2013 World Cup and the 2014 World Team Olympiad.
If Carlsen insists on a neutral venue, FIDE may have little option but to move the game out of Chennai.
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