London Calling For The Candidates?

  • SonofPearl
  • on 2/10/12, 10:40 AM.

fide_official_logo-gens-una-sumus cropped.jpgBelieving 'news' that you read on Twitter can be a foolish pastime, so despite days of speculation on the popular micro-blogging site, chess fans and press alike have understandably waited for official confirmation of a remarkable rumour.

Now it seems that the news is official (although no press release is available) - London will host the 2012 Candidates tournament between 23 October and 13 November this year.

The president of the world chess governing body FIDE, Kirsan Illyumzhinov confirmed the decision in a brief interview with the Russian daily sports newspaper Sport-Express. He also stated that the wildcard choice will be Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan. However, the deal that has been struck goes much further than that. It seems that the rights to hold market the next world championship cycle in its entirety have been sold.

So who exactly has bought the World Chess Championship? He is Andrew Paulson, a 53 year-old US entrepreneur from New Haven, Connecticut now working in Russia. Paulson has lived in Russia since 1993 and achieved initial success with the publishing house Afisha.  He is now an internet mogul with SUP Media, a giant online media company based in Moscow, which owns the Russian news site and the social media platform as well as other websites.

Andrew Paulson (picture: James Hill)

Andrew Paulson (by James Hill).jpg


Despite the apparent confirmation from Kirsan Illyumzhinov of London as the venue for the 2012 Candidates tournament, there has not yet been an official FIDE announcement, so the position remains fluid. On the face of it, this is a very positive development. A new financial backer looks like he is ready to fund a whole world championship cycle.  As ever, we shall have to wait and see if the reality meets the expectations. Watch this space, but don't hold your breath!

8421 reads 27 comments
6 votes


  • 5 years ago


    "Shouldn't there be bidding procedures?"

    This is FIDE you're talking about so no rules apply.

  • 5 years ago


    American millionaire living in Russia and bidding for London. Interesting.

  • 5 years ago

    NM GargleBlaster

    I for one think it's great that Lex Luthor has found a new hobby.

  • 5 years ago


    Andrew Paulson? I thought it was going to be Rex Sinquefield! 

  • 5 years ago


    I agree with Chessmarksthespot. Shouldn't there be bidding procedures? I remember an american millionaire/billionaire (can't remember which of the two) wanting to get the WC to America. He was said to have set up the entire Nakamura/Kasparov thing and then host the WC to make Naka World Champion. Is that entire plan just off? Shouldn't it be a free market for the best bidder instead of just giving the cycle AND championship away?

  • 5 years ago


       Yes it's been a wild ride on Twitter and around the internet looking for any source of confirmation about this from FIDE. I noticed the articles this morning on other sites about this ongoing saga, translated some documents and this and that.

       FIDE selling off cycle and championship rights just makes me incredibly nervous. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

       Only time will tell I guess.

       Nice article Ryan!


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