June 11, 2014 18:49

Ilyumzhinov: “Anand-Carlsen Match to be Held in Sochi”

The FIDE World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen is going to be held in the city where the Winter Olympics took place earlier this year: Sochi, Russia. This was announced by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov today at a press conference for Interfax in Moscow.

Photo: Russian Chess Federation

The FIDE website reports today that, at a press conference for Interfax in Moscow, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced that the match between World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and the Challenger Viswanathan Anand (India) will be held in Sochi. The dates are 7th November to 28th November of this year, and it will take place on the territory of the Olympic village. Ilyumzhinov also announced the budget: US $3 million.

The website of the Russian Chess Federation gives more details: an agreement was made with the Governor of the Krasnodar Region, Alexander Tkachev and in the next week or two all formalities will be taken care of: FIDE expects to receive a bid to host the match and bank guarantees from sponsors.

Prize fund
It was also mentioned that from the $3 million budget, “one to one and a half million” will be used for the prize fund. 
However, the Rules & Regulations in the FIDE Handbook (in PDF here) speak of a minimum prize fund of one million euros, so right now we're talking about a smaller margin: US $1.35 - 1.5 million. This is one million dollar less than the prize fund of the previous match, which was 1.85 million euros (US 2.5 million).

Andrei Filatov, the President of the Russian Chess Federation, reacted as follows: “Holding in the Russian Federation the most important chess events such as a match for the world title is becoming a good tradition and is evidence of the revival of Russia's status as a chess power. I am grateful to the governor of the Krasnodar Region, Alexander Tkachev, for his willingness to take responsibility for organizing and carrying out the most important event in world chess calendar in Sochi. The Russian Chess Federation is awaiting approval from the sponsors to submit a bid to host the match.”

Anand & Carlsen last November in Chennai

The announcement by Mr Ilyumzhinov makes an end to a period of uncertainty around the upcoming world title match. As reported by Chess.com last month, the World Chess Federation had not received any bids by the extended deadline of 30 April, 2014. The Norwegian Chess Federation had made some attempts to try to get the match to Norway, but no official bid emerged.

Jøran Aulin-Jansson, the President of the Norwegian Chess Federation, said to to Norwegian newspaper VG that, because this is about Russia, nothing is certain yet: “As far as I know they are still negotiating with the players, which can be of influence on this. The situation we have in Ukraine now makes that things may escalate and that for political reasons someone cannot participate. It depends on what sanctions Norway and the EU will impose against Russia.”

The choice of Sochi might be related to a visit to the city by Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, earlier this month. At the Belaya Ladya children's chess tournament Mr Putin met with Mr Filatov and Mr Ilyumzhinov. In his speech he said: “There was a time when chess lessons were held in every school at every district. It is great and pleasant that this tradition is being revived. Chess is the most intellectual sport; we always took the leading positions in all international ratings.” 

After announcing the location for the World Championship, Mr Ilyumzhinov used the press conference to speak about the upcoming FIDE Presidential elections. As the website of the Russian Chess Federation mentions,

In particular, the question was raised about potential violations of the Code of Ethics of FIDE and the United States and the laws of Singapore in connection with the infamous agreement between Garry Kasparov and FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong. According to Ilyumzhinov, this issue is currently studied by the independent Ethics Commission of FIDE, which is soon to deliver a verdict.

Apparently Mr Ilumzhyinov said that the Commission may prohibit Mr Kasparov from participating in the presidential elections, which would mean an automatic re-election for himself. Mr Kasparov's aide-de-camp Mig Greengard tweeted (referring to this leaked document):

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


observer's picture

Well, no certainty over the World Championship wouldn't look too good on Kirsan's resume for reelection, would it? And the last thing Putin wants is to see is Kasparov as FIDE President.

Ilyumzhinov and ethics? Does not compute.

Anonymous's picture

I don´t think that Kasparov is of any interest to Putin.. lol. And many people don´t want to see Kasparov as president of FIDE.

observer's picture

@ Ilyumzhinov agent s3:

Funny, I thought he was not so long ago. So much so, they even locked him up.

And even more people don't want to see Ilyumzhinov as president of FIDE.

Anonymous's picture

Some people are obsessed with certain users in this forum, it seems. Twists their view of reality, hehe.

observer's picture

So it would seem indeed. So much so that you are afraid to use your own handle most of the time, but have to use subterfuge.

JRC's picture

@ observer:

I am no fan of S3, but you yourself need to get a life bozo.

Greco's picture


observer's picture

Interesting algebra isn't it?

Anonymous's picture

Complety agree. Now we are sure there will be a WC match. With Kasparov you know it will soon collelapes and we have no WC anymore.

Anonymous's picture

This is good news for chess. Sochi proved to be a good host city with the Winter Olympic games this year :)

And screw those politicians who always try to throw their political propaganda dirt on sport events.

jimknopf's picture

Putin and Ilyumzhinov: two little dictatorial minds hijacking the chess world and keeping FIDE in oligarchic status. They both are antidemocratic from head to feet, and only know two kinds of elections: none at all (new effort now) or dirty pseudo-elections.

Has anyone heard something more funny than a totally unethic antidemocrat talking of ethics? LOL

And now Carlsen and Anand are misused to keep the dirty oligarch show running as dictator puppets of Russia and FIDE?

Utterly tasteless!

If that happens, I for one will ignore the whole championship and not watch a single game. I don't support people like Ilyumzhinov and Putin.

RG13's picture

Your watching or not watching will not hurt Ilyumzhinov or Putin. If you are a fan of elite chess then you will watch.

x's picture

chess is a dictatorial sport, invented by dictators for dictators

Anonymous's picture

There has never been so many Super GM tournaments.

not important's picture

And what exactly has FIDE to do with those tournaments???

Absolutely nothing!

AAR's picture

Oil rich Norwegians couldn't put up a bid.
Last year they made so much noise on venue selection.

Anyway, a neutral venue is good for Anand.
No home pressure and away from partisan Norwegian media.

Greco's picture


Bronkenstein's picture

Ah, this is getting very, very interesting. The ˝ethical˝ part of story indicates that Kasparov actually has (achieved over or under the table, whatever) some real winning chances.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, but good to hear that FIDE is hoping to ban Kasparov from participating in the election. Here's to another 20 years with the dear leader Kirsan!

Anon's picture

Jøran Aulin-Jansson has already begun arguments to duck the match, either trying to run from the battle or create uncertainties in the Anand camp. Anand should coolly ignore these comments and just focus on the match, which will happen.

jimknopf's picture

Well let's have a look at a worst case scenario:

If Carlsen would really have the courage to reject this setting, and oligarchic FIDE would give the title to Anand without a fight, Anand would become the real pawn sacrifice:
He would lose ALL respect for his great chess career for the rest of his life in the eyes of many, if not most chess enthusiasts, and instead earn utter contempt for good reasons.

And oligarchic FIDE would face a Pyrrhus victory aerning and deserving exactly that degree of contempt. Nearly everybody would continue to consider Carlsen as the real chess champion and Anand as a miserable Ilyumzhinov clown.

Anonymous's picture

What you call courage is pure idiotism. We had that already with Kasparov, nothing good came out of it. One says people should learn from history and not make the same mistakes again.

jimknopf's picture

ANYTHING is better than living under oligarchic autocrats and structures.

Anonymous's picture

Not anything, but in capitalistic systems which we live under oligarchic structures are logical because money dominates and big companies have plenty of it. You have oligarchies basically in every Western country, politicians are puppets which are largely paid by such companies, so what´s the deal? With your logic we should have a match on the moon.

althus's picture

You wouldn't happen to be a fan of the news channel Russia Today, would you?

Just sayin'.

Anonymous's picture

Hm, are news channels some kind of teams I can root for? Please tell me what news channel i should be fan of, I want to know only the truth and nothing else, please provide me such a news channel with the most % of truthful content ever. ;)

althus's picture

---deleted, English please---

jimknopf's picture

S3 (I guess), you will be surprised that this is a point I even agree with you!

In fact I see the biggest threat for democratic structures in the western world coming from more and more oligarich structures in big copmpanies and capitalistic oligarchs, whose behaviour resembels that of Russian oligarchs or Arabian oil barons more and more.

You will never hear me vote in a primitive east-west way. I like Russians as much as I like French or German or British, Italian or US-people etc. But I feel utter conmtempt for antidemoctratic leaders and structures, no matter if in the east or in the west, and no matter if in politics or chess or other sports (Mr Blöatter of FIDE is another utterly ugly example of an oligarch).

But I think - despite capitalistic oligarchs and companies poisoning the western wolrd - we still have ten times more democtratic chances to oppose and speak our minds than under dictatorial antidemocrats like Putin or Ilyumszinov.

Kasparov or a democratic mayor would NOT be arrested here in Germany like in Russia for idiotic reasons, with dirty police forces telling lies about him, which are proved as lies by video content. Putin and his likes have lost ALL credibility over here meanhwile, despite our respect for the Russian people. And the same counts for FIDE unter Ilyumzhinov: no real western democrat can respect this man and his antidemoctratic behaviour for a minute.

Anonymous's picture

Dude, I´m not s3 and I live in Germany too btw.. but nevertheless, you are using the word democratic in every sentence here, can you explain what this democratic behaviour consists of? Because I see some of our "democratic" leaders bombing foreign countries based on faked evidence, supporting terrorists in the middle east and even fascist regimes now. Btw also here in Germany stuff happens f.e. with project Stuttgart 21 when demonstrants were beaten up by police... there are also other examples of their "democratic" behaviour. Get real, we live in as what you said, an oligarchy.

And Putin has actually gained a lot of respect from the people in the past months compared to our Western "democratic" as approval polls showed.

jimknopf's picture

Sorry if you reminded me of S3.

I could answer a lot to what you say. These are well known stereotypes from "Die Linke" here in Germany, who have a shockingly naive and excusing way to interpret Putin's dirty rule, and many of them have very bad roots in former antidemocratic DDR structures.

Hitler got approval for dirty nationalism and chaivinism as well as Putin, and just as the two Bushs did for their antidemoctrativ wars breaching fundamental international rights and rules. I see no reason at all to excuse one dirty antidemcorat by others. But still I insist that we have ten times more chances to resist all that in the west than in China, Russia or Turkey. I will not continue to discuss the basics of demoracy with you in a chess board on the low level you offer.

Back to FIDE: an Ilyumshinov chess world championship, from a president just trying to prevent any real election, performed in Putin Sochi after all what happened, is and stays utterly unacceptable from my view. It's an abolute no go!
I will boycott taking any notice of it, and encourage all my chess friends to do the same.

Anonymous's picture

Guantanamo and support of Islamists by Obama and other Western leaders are good examples to show that no democratic behaviour exists whatsoever...

And also instead of giving a clearing answer to a simple question you accuse me of having a low level and continue with your slogan 'antidemocratic' this and that, without even explaining what democratic behaviour consists of and how it is different from that of our Western leaders as shown by the examples above. This means you have probably no arguments to back up what you say at all.

jimknopf's picture

You could clearly read my disgust of autocratic behavior, no matter if east or west.

But I think it is rather you who can't tell the difference of European countries, where you are not supressed like the whole opposition, arrested (like Kasparov, or a mayor opposing Putin, accused with ridiculously faked evidence) or shot (like Politkowskaja), all just for speaking your own mind.

If you can't see the remaining BIG difference between Europe on one hand and Russia, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Katar etc., concerning basic democratic rights, I am sorry that I have nothing more to discuss with you. If all that is basically the same democtartic level from your view, I see why you might have no problems with persons like Putin and Ilumshinov at all and you could just as well watcxh Russion state TV. ;-)

Anonymous's picture

I read what you write, but you just ignore every fact that you don´t like. We have Spain with unrests and beaten up and arrested demonstrants and also f.e. Greece. There is a BIG difference between human rights (is that what you mean?) even in Europe itself. I try it again what does democratic behaviour mean and additionaly what does Russian state TV show, do you watch it?

Please answer if you have figured out what you were trying to say in your post. ;)

jimknopf's picture

Frankly, If you don't agree that present Russia is something like human rights stone age, compared even to the worst scenarios in western Europe, I don't see enough common ground for discussing single points.

Beyond this principal point, I also see problems discussing all the concrete politcial issues at stake, one by one, in a chess forum. Believe me, I wouldn't avoid ANY subject of this kind or argument in a personal discussion with enough time to talk.

Anonymous's picture

The problem with your principal point is that it is based on double standards and twisted logic. On the one hand you would be willing to shake hands with Obama who has his hands full in blood with supporting Islamist terrorists in the middle -east who murder women and children,while on the other hand you would refuse to shake hands with Putin because a journalist was killed? Just wow.

jimknopf's picture

Now this is utter nonsense and nothing I have ever said.

Anonymous's picture

You implied that by saying you would boycott the match because of Putins, a head of state, policy. This leaved the question where would you like it to take place then? You were speaking of our democratic western world, so I gave you examples of the policy of our Western leaders which aren´t that democratic at all. So back to the chess topic, where should the match take place?

althus's picture

I suggest, a country where you don't go to jail if you dislike the President.

Would you care to narrow down that list any?

Anonymous's picture

@althus: I agree and it should be a country where is currently no war going on, which would leave Russia with Sochi as a possible place for a match. I would like to see one here in Germany, but unfortunately no one gave a bid.

althus's picture

I see you missed the part about "....don't go to jail if you dislike the President."

My name?'s picture

Democracy simply means decision procedure; being democratic or not has nothing to do with the quality of the decision. If all leaders in the Western world had a vote on bombing the Middle East back to the stoneage, the decision per se would still be democratic, if not commendable.

RG13's picture

So if you were an Iraqi you would prefer the chaos and uncertainty that they have there now rather than life under Saddam Hussein?

RG13's picture

@ jimknopf
re: "ANYTHING is better than living under oligarchic autocrats and structures."

So if you were an Iraqi you would prefer the chaos and uncertainty that they have there now rather than life under Saddam Hussein?

Thomas Richter's picture

"If Carlsen would really have the courage to reject this setting" - then he should come up with an alternative setting!? Last time, the Carlsen camp criticized FIDE for giving the match to Chennai without a formal bidding procedure, this time there _was_ a formal bidding procedure.

"... and oligarchic FIDE would give the title to Anand without a fight" - as far as I understand the regulations, Carlsen would be replaced by the loser of the last WCh match (Anand), however Anand wouldn't play against himself but against the runner-up of the candidates event (Karjakin).

Anonymous's picture

Kirsan said in connection to Candidates that it was crucial to get the title back to a Russian player, and now it's just to get Putin to annex some other parts of neighbouring countries, NATO sanctions will have to be followed by Norway and Carlsen, and Karjakin gets the title match :)

jimknopf's picture

Thomas, I think you have a valid argument there, which I admit has to find a proper answer, which I don't have at the moment.

Still playing in Putin Sochi under a FIDE president who just has announced how he is going to try to prevent real elections by more of his oligarch tricks is an absolute no go in my eyes.

I would even prefer a new split of FIDE (which I don't hope will be necessary and I don't want) to ANY more tolerance for people like Putin or Ilyumshinov. We may diagree on this point, but enough is enough from my view. The democratic world can no longer submit to any antidemocratic intrigues, neither in politics nor in chess.

anonymous's picture

"Still playing in Putin Sochi under a FIDE president who just has announced how he is going to try to prevent real elections by more of his oligarch tricks is an absolute no go in my eyes."

Ah, a champion of democracy and free speech, how charming. I take it you will also be calling on fellow Germans to boycott the football world cup in 2022?

observer's picture

Thomas Richter: one of the few in his own country - or in Europe west of Russia - that sympathises with Ilyumzhinov.

jimknopf's picture

observer, it's all not that easy: many Germans including me think that it was NOT okay to treat the Ukraine as if it should be a part of Europe opposed to Russia. Many of us try to treat proper Russian interests with respect and regard much of the US policy around Russia as dirty games which are not ok.
But respecting proper Russian interests is one thing, and accepting Putin's chauvinistic manners and cruel supression of any opposition and free speech in Russia is something else, just as with Ilyumzhinov FIDE. The behavior of these guys is coimpletely intolerable, no matter if for a state, an organistaion like FIDE or getting an chess world championship under their rule.

observer's picture

jim, not quite sure what saying that Thomas sympathises with Ilyumzhinov has got to do with Ukraine, but anyway:

I can understand that Russia has certain interests in Ukraine. Indeed, under some scenarios I could envisage that parts of eastern Ukraine should join Russia if that's what the majority of the population in them genuinely wants to do.
But if Russia wants to play that game, they should equally be prepared to let go areas that do not want to be part of Russia, such as Chechnya and Karelia.

For the rest, I entirely agree with your post.


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