Bulgaria to Host Anand v Topalov

Bulgaria to Host Anand v Topalov

SonofPearl
SonofPearl
Oct 16, 2009, 11:54 AM |
54 | Chess Politics

Today marks the end of the (extended) deadline for bids from potential hosts for the planned Anand v Topalov match for the World Chess Championship.

Although none of the bidders could provide the bank guarantees that FIDE was looking for, the bid from Sofia was backed by a written promise from no less than the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to honour the 3 million euro costs to cover the players' prize money, FIDE's cut, and the costs of actually staging the match.

FIDE decided to accept, probably because they had no other real choice.  Apparently bank guarantees weren't available for "technical" reasons.  I imagine these "technical" reasons might have something do with the world being in the middle of massive global recession!  FIDE's tarnished reputation doesn't help either of course.  What a huge disappointment that even the WCC title match seems unable to find a corporate sponsor.

The 12-game match is tentatively scheduled for April 2010.  Assuming it actually goes ahead roughly as planned (which is by no means certain, yet) it's a massive blow to the defending champion Anand who will have to play in his opponent's home country.  Despite Bulgaria making reassuring noises about ensuring fair treatment and neutrality, it's hard to see how this is remotely possible to achieve in practice.


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