A report today in the Indian newspaper The Hindu claims that Chennai will be the venue for world chess champion Vishy Anand's next title defence against Magnus Carlsen.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa of the Tamil Nadu government claimed the match will be held in Chennai between 6 -26 November and the state government will allot Rs 29 crore (approx US$5.3 million) to fund the event.
From The Hindu:
Ms. Jayalalithaa said when the World Chess Federation president Kirsan Illyumzhinov met her in 2011, he had requested her to hold the World Chess Championship in Chennai. She also had agreed to organise the event at a cost of Rs. 20 crore. “However, it failed to materialise as Russia made the highest bidding for the championship. Since Tamil Nadu came forward to organise the event in 2012, The World Chess Federation agreed to hold it in Chennai without bidding,” she said.
Chennai missed out to Moscow on hosting the last world championship match between Anand and Gelfand, despite initially having the higher bid. FIDE's announcement then said that "the AICF (All India Chess Federation) would be given a first option of three months following the match in Moscow, to make a proposal for the organization of the World Chess Championship Match 2013".
The 3 months have passed, so it's not clear how much weight should be given to this promise.
The reaction from Carlsen's friends and supporters quoted in the Norwegian press has been understandably guarded and bemused, preferring that the match be held in a neutral venue - preferably with a cooler climate.
The challenger: Magnus Carlsen (photo: Ray Morris-Hill)
Tromsø in Norway is already set to hold the 2013 World Cup and the 2014 Olympiad, so it might also make a bid for the world championship match, if it can raise the necessary funds.
The company with the rights to the world championship, AGON, is rumoured to want to hold the match in New York. Until FIDE actually make an official announcement, we are probably no nearer to knowing the venue of the match just yet!