The decks were cleared for Chennai to host this year’s World Chess Championship match when on Monday, Magnus Carslen, the contender and world No1 from Norway, accepted it as a venue albeit with reservations.
Carlsen will play defending champion Viswanathan Anand in the November 6-26 tie that has been allotted to Chennai by Fide, chess’s world body.
Carlsen wanted the match at a neutral venue and asked Fide to go for competitive bidding to choose the city. But with Fide ignoring his demand, a complaint by Norway Chess Federation and a better bid from Paris to sign a contract with the All India Chess Federation (AICF) in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday, Carlsen and his team were expected to mount further pressure on the world body.
However, though the 22-year-old challenger on Monday expressed disappointment with Fide’s decision, he said he “will now start preparing for the match”.
“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,” Carlsen was quoted as saying in the popular chess website www.chessdom.com.
While the world will be waiting with bated breath for their epic encounter, Carlsen and Anand will meet in what could be a fascinating dress rehearsal in the Norway Chess 2013 Tournament, a super meet in the Stavanger region from Tuesday.