India sits on offer, may miss hosting Anand in world chess final

FP

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) may have let slip an opportunity to bring the final of the 2013 World Chess Championship, which will feature Viswanathan Anand, to India. It would have been the first time Anand, a five-time world champion, played the championship at home.

The AICF did not act during the three-month window provided by international body FIDE to exercise the 'first option' to host the final. Apparently, the officials kept waiting for notifications from different sources.

Tamil Nadu had made an unsuccessful bid to host the championship in 2012. FIDE had appreciated the "commitment", and said: "The AICF would be given a first option of three months following the (2012 championship) match in Moscow, to make a proposal for the organisation of the World Chess Championship Match 2013." The three-month window expired at the start of September 2012.

AICF honorary secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said the federation was waiting for a letter from FIDE. "We are waiting for a written communication. We will forward it to the Tamil Nadu government," he said, adding that they wanted to be certain as they had lost last time.

AICF president J C D Prabhakar said while FIDE had sent a communication, it had been addressed directly to Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. "There is no time frame mentioned (for the bid)," he said.

Interestingly, FIDE vice-president D V Sundar, who was till recently AICF secretary, said the state government doesn't have a role as of now. "It will be the AICF that will place the bid, the Tamil Nadu government is not in the picture at all now... The last time they prepared a bid and it did not happen, and that chapter is over," said Sundar.

Meanwhile, the option to decide the chess hosting rights has passed on to Agon Limited. FIDE has entered into an agreement with it to promote and commercialise the sport.

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