Singapore Beats India To Bag Hosting Rights Of World Chess Championship Final Match - Eastern Mirror
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Singapore beats India to bag hosting rights of World Chess Championship Final Match

By IANS Updated: Jul 01, 2024 6:39 pm
World Chess Championship Final
Photo: IANS

CHENNAI — The World Chess Championship Final Match between India’s D. Gukesh and Ding Liren of China will be held in Singapore between November 20 and December 15 this year, the International Chess Federation or FIDE informed in a statement on Monday.

According to FIDE, the Singapore Chess Federation, supported by the Government of Singapore, has won the bid to host the FIDE World Championship Match 2024.

India’s Gukesh has won the right to challenge defending Champion Ding Liren after winning the Candidates Tournament Canada a few months back.

FIDE received three competitive applications for hosting the World Championship Match — from New Delhi (India), Chennai (Tamil Nadu Government), and Singapore.

After reviewing the bids and inspecting all potential host cities for their venues, amenities, event programmes, and opportunities, the International Chess Federation selected Singapore as the host of the World Championship Match.

However. FIDE is silent on how Singapore scored over India’s two bids on various metrics. It may be recalled India had hosted the World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in 2013 and the Chess Olympiad two years back in 2022. Both these events were held in Chennai while New Delhi hosted a top Grandmasters Tournament for a couple of decades and the FIDE World Championship (knock-out) in 2000.

One of the reasons for FIDE selecting Singapore ahead of Delhi and Chennai could be that China’s Ding Liren may not be comfortable playing in India, the country of birth of his challenger. In World Chess Championships, the views of the defending champion do hold weight in deciding the venue of the match. FIDE also considers the players’ view, in the case of the Final Match, to maintain neutrality. FIDE does pick as host the country of one of the players in case the opponent has no objections and then the Match could be hosted by the birthplace of one of the players — like it happened for the Anand-Topalov Match in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2010 and Anand-Carlsen Match in 2013.

“We are delighted that for the first time in the history of FIDE, a match for the World Championship will take place in Singapore. Not only is Singapore one of the most iconic global tourist and business hubs, but it is also a thriving chess center with great ambitions and talent,” FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said in the statement.

“I would also like to thank the other bidders – New Delhi and Chennai. Both cities are renowned chess hubs with a rich history of hosting chess events, and we are confident we will see major chess events there in the future,” Dvorkovich continued.

“FIDE is genuinely happy to bring the FIDE World Championship Match to Singapore. Chess is not just a popular game and sport; it is often seen as the epitome of the human mind’s ability to think strategically, plan, and foresee. Singapore embodies these same qualities. It’s a great match for the great Match!” FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky said.

“We also expect multinational companies to seize an opportunity and join forces with FIDE and Singapore to make this event truly exceptional,” Sutovsky added.

Singapore’s bid was submitted on May 31, 2024, and the inspection of the venues took place on June 11 and 12. Four possible venues are being considered for the Match, and the final decision on the exact location will be announced in due course.

The FIDE World Championship Match is one of the most important and widely watched chess events globally and held every two years and boasts a prize fund of $2.5 million.

Ding Liren won the title by beating Ian Nepomniachtchi in Astana, Kazakhstan, in April 2023 in tiebreaks. His challenger Gukesh is an 18-year-old who won the Candidates Tournament in April 2024 in Toronto.

The World Championship Match will consist of 14 games. The player who scores 7.5 points or more wins the Match, and no further games are played. If the score is equal after 14 games, the winner is decided by a tiebreak.

By IANS Updated: Jul 01, 2024 6:39:38 pm
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