World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency: philippe moutton

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Showing posts with label philippe moutton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label philippe moutton. Show all posts

Saturday, August 10, 2013

World Chess Championship 2013 Venue: What FIDE, Carlsen, AICF, Anand and Everyone Said!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, August 10, 2013
The World Chess Championship 2013 venue was decided after quite a few twists and turns. There was quite a bit of 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.

FIDE 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 World Champion Viswanathan Anand stating that India had been offered to host the event last year itself when Russia had outbid India for hosting the Anand - Boris Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012 in Moscow.


It was feared that Carlsen's might refuse to sign the contract. According to Carlsen's agent, Espen Agdestein, they were not happy that 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 at a final decision.

There were rumours about a preferred World Chess Championship 2013 venue being New York, Miami, St Tropez, Paris and Tromso. The Norwegian town is already hosting the 2013 World Chess Cup and the 2014 World Team Olympiad.
 
Later, Norwegian Chess Federation president Jøran Aulin-Jansson even sent an open letter as a "formal complaint" to FIDE on the selection of Chennai as the venue for the 2013 World Chess Championship match. The letter called for a "fair and transparent procedure and competition for the selection of the organiser" while emphasising that the letter was not a campaign against the organisers in Chennai.

Soon thereafter, the French Chess Federation approached FIDE to have Paris as the World Chess Championship 2013 venue. "FFE, in collaboration with the City of Paris, on behalf of a group of private companies, is a candidate for organising the World Chess Championship 2013. The presidential office of FIDE, which will meet this weekend, should address the problem of opening a tender for this match. In fact, after the Match was given to Chennai (India), Carlsen and the Norwegian Chess Federation have officially requested that the game takes place in a neutral country," stated a press release supported by Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe and French chess federation president Philippe Mouttou. 
Finally, FIDE went ahead and signed a contract with the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to have Chennai as the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 match. In a press release dated ay 6, 2013, FIDE defended the choice of Chennai as venue stating, "Since the Candidates’ Tournament ended, and GM M. Carlsen became the challenger of the coming World Championship Match there have been several developments, mails exchange between all parties (Carlsen, Anand, FIDE), questions asked, and also speculations. 

"FIDE would hereby like to put forward the current situation regarding this event.

Directly after the 2012 match was awarded to Moscow, FIDE agreed to grant an option to Chennai. The PB and its meeting in Armenia in January decided that FIDE and AGON, who holds the rights for organizing the whole cycle of the World Championship, were advised that India would take up its option organize the World Championship match. This was done on January 24 in Athens, where both parties agreed not to open a bidding procedure, but to grant an option to India, as requested. We should emphasize that according FIDE rules the World Championship cycle is not included in the list of events, for which FIDE is obliged to do so (like Olympiads, for instance). This has been deliberately done, because in many cases FIDE, having the priority in mind to secure the match and the cycle, was ready to give an option or even to grant the match if the proposal was attractive enough.

"Consequently three of the last matches were given to an organizer without a bidding procedure.

"On March 15th India asked to extend the option until April 10th and FIDE agreed to it because it was clear that the bid would be accepted and just needed an approval of the Tamil Nadu State Parliament, a session which took place on April 8th. One could ask why was the extension given to a date when the name of the challenger will be known already, and the simple answer is that FIDE, being convinced that the positive answer was just a matter of technicality, did not want to lose this bid for an alternative that gave no guarantee for a better result or any result at all.

"When the approval of the bid by India was published and FIDE representative was called to formalize it, on April 8th, GM Carlsen’s manager contacted FIDE and asked to have a meeting to discuss this matter before a formal move is done with India.

"Carlsen and FIDE’s representatives met in FIDE office on April 15th, when all claims were brought up by Carlsen’s representatives and were answered by FIDE. Among the points raised and answered we would like to emphasize one and this is the issue which was also raised in media – the question of neutrality. Unfortunately it has always proved difficult to find a sponsor to such a match when the name of the challenger is not known yet. Therefore most of matches in the past were organized in one of the participant’s countries. Consequently both World Champions Anand and Topalov played in their opponent’s country – a natural result of the situation.
"On that day both parties signed a paper whereby it was agreed to give Norway an option to come up with an organizer for half of the match, provided that India would accept such a solution.

"FIDE tried its hardest to convince India to split the match, but they refused India wanted to fulfill what has been approved by the government of the Tamil Nadu State and FIDE had to keep its obligations, and consequently an MoU was signed in Chennai on April 19th. One day later, the FIDE President visited France, where he got a proposal to organize the match in Paris. Mr Ilyumzhinov promised to bring the proposal before the Presidential Board. The French proposal was higher than the Chennai one, with more contributions offered. However, the Board decided (unanimously with one abstention) that FIDE must respect its obligation and thanked the French federation and the city of Paris for their proposal, hoping that there will be another opportunity to have a big event in Paris.

"FIDE has acted with full transparency during the whole process, trying its best to secure the match and standing by its obligations and reputation. FIDE will do everything to secure equal conditions for both players and also will try and still trying to increase the prize fund for the match.

FIDE wishes these two great players a successful match, and is sure that India, the homeland of Chess will bring to the world a fascinating event. Gens Una Sumus."
Magnus Carlsen smiles during a press conference in Oslo. --AP
It was feared, World No. 1 might refuse to play. However, he said he was determined. Carlsen issued a statement stating:

"After qualifying for the World Championship match by winning the London Candidates I have been highly motivated for, and looking forward to the World Championship match against reigning champion V. Anand.
"I’m deeply disappointed and surprised by the FIDE decision to sign a contract for the 2013 match without going through the bidding process outlined in the WC regulations, and for not choosing neutral ground. The bid from Paris clearly showed that it would be possible to have more options to choose from.The lack of transparency, predictability and fairness is unfortunate for chess as a sport and for chess players.

"My team and I will now start preparing for the match. The main thing now will be to come to an agreement with the Indian Chess Federation and FIDE regarding terms and conditions before and during the match. I really hope this process will run quick and smoothly.

"Lastly, I will not let the news from Baku diminish the joy and excitement derived from playing the top level Norway Chess tournament starting tomorrow."

So, Chennai it is - the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 match. Hopefully, no one will be disappointed and the chess world will savour excellent chess from the two of the best chess Grandmasters there ever were in the world. (P.S. Viswanathan Anand, for his part, steered clear of the controversy hinting he was open to playing anywhere.)