World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: k murali mohan

advert by Google

.
Showing posts with label k murali mohan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label k murali mohan. Show all posts

Friday, November 8, 2013

Few Takers for Paid Tickets to Anand vs Carlsen World Chess Championship in Chennai

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Friday, November 8, 2013
Not even 100 tickets for first game sold until Friday, while 6,000-odd people attended Thursday inauguration ceremony, writes Arundhati Ramanathan in Live Mint.




Chennai: When World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and his Norwegian Challenger Magnus Carlsen face each other in the opening game of their much-hyped 12-game world chess championship match on Saturday, they will be playing before a packed audience.

But very few among the spectators would have bought their tickets—although the cerebral sport is more popular in Tamil Nadu than nearly anywhere else in India.


Tickets for the match aren’t selling, said an official in the organizing committee, asking not to be named.

The 435 square metre hall on the ground floor of Hyatt Regency Hotel in central Chennai, where the match is going to be played, can seat as many as 350 people.

But not even 100 tickets for the first game had been sold until Friday—a far cry from the 6,000-odd people who turned up for the inauguration ceremony on Thursday. Then again, most of them were schoolchildren, ferried to the venue at the insistence of the state government—the principal sponsor of the event.

To be sure, chess is not a spectator sport and the pricing of tickets is steep: Rs.2,000 each for every game, going up to Rs.26,000 for a premium seat for all 12 games, compared with Rs.500 for a season pass for the just-concluded cricket Test match—Sachin Tendulkar’s penultimate—between India and the West Indies at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Conversely, the Eden Test was sold out, though the stands weren’t full.

“Steep, is it?” said Bharat Singh Chauhan, chief executive officer of the All India Chess Federation (AICF), referring to the ticket prices. “But for such matches in Europe, people pay up to €200 (or around Rs.16,800, a game).”

Organizers had to give away most of the tickets to government officials, sponsors and chess play ers—both local and foreign—he added.

The organizing committee decided to keep the ticket prices high because the venue cannot hold too many people and a lot of chess players from India and abroad were expected to gatecrash the event, said another AICF official, asking not be named.

However, those who cannot afford tickets but want some of the atmosphere of the venue, can go to the hotel and watch the games on giant screens installed outside the playing hall, he added.
In fact, people don’t need to step out of their homes at all to watch Anand and Carlsen play, state-run Doordarshan will telecast the games live, and the organizers will be streaming them live on the Internet at chennai2013.fide.com.

For some chess aficionados, however, Anand playing at home is too big a sporting event to miss.

Vijay Narayanan, a former chess player and an automobile engineer who now works in Chandigarh, is visiting his hometown specially to watch his childhood hero Anand defend his title against the world’s highest-ranked chess player.

“Anand can’t lose in Chennai,” said Narayanan, who may stay on till the end of the event if the local hero wins.

There should have been many more spectators such as Narayanan, considering India is home to no less than 35,221 internationally rated chess players—more than any other country. A large number
of them are from Tamil 
Nadu, where the sport has been included in the compulsory curriculum of state-run schools.

Of the 34 Grandmasters in India currently, 12 are from Tamil Nadu.
The popularity of chess in Tamil Nadu can be traced back to the 1960s, when Manuel Aaron became India’s first International Master and the national champion. The sport grew in popularity after Anand won the world junior championship in 1987 and became the first Indian to secure the Grandmaster title the next year, said K. Murali Mohan, a former general secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.

Even so, the popularity of chess in India remains confined largely among active and former players, having failed to permeate to the masses, even in Tamil Nadu.

* Sachin Tendulkar posts