PhosAgro To Sponsor Carlsen-Karjakin
PhosAgro, a giant Russian producer of fertilizer products, is the first named sponsor for the world championship match in November between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin.
Agon, the company that holds the commercial rights to organize events in the world championship cycle, has announced its first "strategical partner" for the upcoming world championship: PhosAgro. Listed on both the Moscow Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, the company is Russia's top fertilizer producer.
PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev said in the press release: "Sponsorship of this chess tournament is part of PhosAgro’s long-standing corporate responsibility program, which supports education, science, medicine, sports and healthy lifestyles."
"I personally am a big fan of chess and for me it is a great honor to be able to lead a company that has a tradition of supporting the sport. Chess is a great way to improve problem solving and strategic thinking skills, which are key for a fast-developing company like PhosAgro to remain competitive in a global market by always thinking several moves ahead."
Guryev's company also supported the second world championship match between Carlsen and Vishy Anand, in 2014 in Sochi. The main sponsors there were Gazprom and Summa Group.
"The company is the donor of the Russian Chess Federation and had small non-commercial presence there," Agon's Julia Korotkova explained in an email to Chess.com. "They were not sponsoring or financing the match, but they have long tradition of supporting chess in Russia." When PhosAgro debuted at the London Stock Exchange in 2011, Guryev and his family owned a 71 percent stake after the IPO.
Carlsen and Karjakin at the recent Bilbao tournament.
Agon director Ilya Merenzon, who signed the contract together with Guryev, said: "I am delighted that PhosAgro has become a strategic partner to chess as we continue to increase the popularity of the sport around the world. Chess is the ultimate battle of minds; a pure strategic contest for the smartphone generation and is associated with attributes such as intelligence, sophistication and discipline."
PhosAgro won't be the only sponsor. Korotkova: "One more sponsor will be announced soon at the Baku Chess Olympiad, and more sponsors will be revealed closer to the match. There is no general sponsor (taking over the whole event), its a matrix of sponsors."
Earlier this month, Agon announced that the title match will be held November 11-30 in the Fulton Market Building in the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. The restored 19th-century building is located on the East River in Lower Manhattan, close to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The venue will feature dedicated spectator and VIP lounges with panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge as well as retail space, a restaurant, TV studios and more. The players will play in a glass, soundproof room (similar to that which the Masters Final tournament in Bilbao has used) on the second-floor atrium of the Fulton Market.
The playing hall will have room for up to 300 spectators with ticket prices up to U.S. $50. Tickets were planned to go on sale on August 17, but at the time of writing, sales on the official site haven't started yet.
The match will consist of 12 classical games and a possible tiebreak. The exact prize fund has not been announced yet, but it will be at least one million euros (U.S. $1.11 million). Carlsen is the reigning world champion; Karjakin is the winner of the Candidates‘ Tournament which was held March 10-30 in Moscow.