Reports | February 04, 2011 2:51

London withdraws bid to organize 2012 World Championship

London vs FIDE: no love, for the momentChess events organising body Chess Promotions Limited today withdrew their bid to organize the World Chess Championship in 2012. After lengthy negotiations with the World Chess Federation (FIDE), a deadline was set on Saturday 29th January 2011 for a proposal to the organisation. FIDE didn't respond. "The value of the match diminished by the day," said organizer Malcolm Pein.

The chess world learned of the disappointing news from the following press release.

Re: FIDE World Chess Championship London 2012

Chess Promotions Ltd has been in discussions with FIDE since February 2010 regarding the staging of the WCC in London. A € 50,000 deposit was paid to FIDE to secure an option on the WCC 2012 match as negotiations commenced and finance was sought.

Having secured the necessary funds, on July 21st 2010, CPL sent FIDE a formal offer and a detailed commercial contract to stage the next WCC match in London with financial terms similar to the 2010 WCC match at Sofia.

Unfortunately agreement could not be reached in the autumn. Following more discussions in London in January, CPL asked FIDE to accept the offer by Saturday 29th January 2011. No such acceptance was forthcoming. Therefore, with regret, CPL has withdrawn its offer in time for the next Executive Board meeting which starts today in Turkey in order to give the EB clarity and the opportunity to consider alternatives. The timeline to stage a WCC match before the Olympic Games in May 2012 is now too short.

CPL will continue to stage top class events in London. Dates for the 3rd London Chess Classic will be announced shortly. We have registered our interest with FIDE in staging events such as the World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship in London and will continue to work on bringing commercial sponsorship to chess in order to benefit our associated charity Chess in Schools and Communities.

Malcolm Pein
CEO Chess Promotions Ltd.

We couldn't reach a FIDE representative as the FIDE office in Athens was already closed at the time of writing. We did speak to Malcolm Pein on the phone, who was obviously disappointed. "It was a good offer, but apparently not good enough."

Two years ago negotiations failed between FIDE and UEP. The company that organized the 2008 World Championship Match between Anand and Kramnik successfully, withdrew their bid to organize the Candidates event in 2010 (now 2011, scheduled for May in Kazan, Russia) and the World Championship Match in 2011 (now 2012).

Back then, according to UEP, the reason was "due to different agendas relating to organisational sovereignty and commercial rights”. For one thing, FIDE had been unhappy about the visibility of the FIDE logo during the Anand-Kramnik match.

Malcolm Pein couldn't elaborate much about why the current negotiations also failed. "There's not much to add. Generally there are two ways such negotiations can fail. It's either the money, or something in the contract. I can tell you that we completely agree with FIDE about their logo, and we promised them to fulfil their wishes in that respect."

The reason why Chess Promotions Limited withdrew their bid today is a matter of time trouble. The Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in London from 27 July to 12 August 2012, which leaves the organizers of a Chess World Championship match about 15 months.

"Honestly speaking, to organize an event like this properly, you need at least 18 months," says Pein. "15 months is nothing. We had a beautiful venue in mind, but it was running out in that period. The value of the match diminished by the day: the less time you have, the less well you can do it. It's really sad, because the deal was on the table since July 21st."

Pein, who is an International Master, runs the Chess & Bridge store on Baker Street in London, has an online chess shop and supports the popular website The Week in Chess. In December 2009 he also became a chess organizer.

Then, the first and very successful London Chess Classic was held, which saw its second edition in December last year. Pein never kept it a secret that these tournaments were partly meant as a preparation for the 2012 World Championship: "At the beginning I said: let's first show them that we can do a big tournament."

The withdrawal of the bid by Chess Promotions Ltd. has no consequence for the Classic. Pein adds that he keeps his ambitions: "We're planning a third edition of the tournament. Besides, we're still interested in doing a World Championship. Perhaps in rapid, or blitz, who knows. Maybe eventually we'll do a match anyway."

Update February 4, 14:35: don't miss Malcolm Pein's comment below in which he clarifies the situation a bit more: "I had a note from the man himself [Kirsan Ilyumzhinov - CV] just before the deadline but it wasn’t his signature on the contract, so that was it, offer expired. (...) Judging from the horrified reaction, they were not expecting a withdrawal but some people mean what they say. I gave them a deadline and they didn’t meet it."


Share |
Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Chess Fan's picture

Dear Internet,

Chessbase had already contacted the World Champion in transit at Europe to India and here is what he had to say:

"London has been a probable venue for the World Championships since 2009 and the sponsors had shown keen interest in staging the event. I have not been involved in the negotiations so I can't comment on what has transpired. But FIDE is having its presidential board meeting and at the end we hope we will have some clarity on the issue. The World Championships in 2012 would be one of the most closely contested matches, personally for me it would be a very big challenge."

What a class act! That is why he is my "People's World Champion". As I said before, in spite of my respect for whoever qualifies for the 2012 World Chess Championship, WORLD CHAMPION ANAND WILL RETAIN HIS CROWN IN STYLE. You can put this in 12-inch bold print.

Anand's humility will bring his greatest-ever chess talent in full-force in a World Championship, and this is not 1995!

And yes. FIDE will scramble to make London 2012 happen because they would prove Kasparov and Magnus 100% right if they don't. London will accept it as it will be an all-time financial bonanza. One of the greatest World Chess Championships ever, because of the quality of the challenger whoever is selected (think Aronian or Kramnik!).

Just my sincere opinion.

Chess Fan
World Class Azerbajani Chess Master

Average class chess master's picture

Why do you call yourself world class if you are just a master? Perhaps you can learn about humility from your idol.

Chess Fan's picture

Hi Dude,

Are you upset with Anand or with me for your perceiving me to be an Anand's fan?

I would ignore you but the fact that more of the chessvibes readers who I consider well informed and intelligent have agreed with you saddens me as it shows that their focus is on the messenger rather than the message. So, let me clarify this.

I not only have learned humility from my own shortcomings and failures in life, but will continue to keep learning from Anand's greatness and humility also. Anand neither needs my support nor am I his spokesperson.

Why do you refer a Chess Master to be "only" and why can't a chess master be world class? If you want to know, I am not even an official chess master (if you intended to mean it to be a International Master or a International Grandmaster) not have I played chess in public for many many years. I actually do well against strong chess engines if it counts for anything.

This "Azerbajani Chess Master" was a moniker that I picked from someone who was commenting on Amercian political issues in an American national online magazine, starting the comment with "Dear Internet". I found that to be very funny and thought I would use it to maintain a cloak of anonymity and have people just focus on my message. It naturally had nothing to do with arrogance or humility on my part.

How does who I really am matter when I am commenting as one of chessvibes readers and a chess fan? Will it matter more if I tell you that I have a Phd in Physics from one of the most prestigious universities in the US and hence of the world? I am not even from Azerbaijan.

So please take it easy and comment on my subject matter. Regarding my Chess Master skills, I can assure you that Anand and I had a memorable game in an important match that he often referred to when we played as children. I am not going to reveal more of those very precious compliments that I would hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life and it is not for even unintentional bragging in a public forum like this.

If I had focused on chess rather than academics would I have become, by your definition, "World Class" chess Grandmaster? The possibility was there, I would presume. Certainly my GRE scores, my official IQ test scores are more than the Grandmaster required elo of 2500 (after conversion).

Also, my chess idol growing up was Anatoly Karpov, whose style was similar to mine and so, I expect my fellow Chessvibes readers to have greater sense than agreeing with and flagging up such juvenile comments of people like you.

I am going to keep using my moniker so please get used to my "lack of humility" (I am of course, saying this tongue-in- cheek).

Chess Fan
World Class Azerbaijani Chess Master

Chess Fan's picture

Dear Chessvibes,

I do not know what the origin of chessvibes is. I thought it was Dutch, but Peter Doggers who seems an important player(pun intended!), sounds English to me, and I am further confused by my memory of their support for Dalianov for the European Chess Federation Presidency (so is chessvibes East European?)

I know I can Google it and find it easily, but I haven't at this time of writing this email.

Point is, I WANT TO SAY HOW MUCH I RESPECT CHESSVIBES FOR LETTING ME EXERCISE MY FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND SPEECH (just as it says above the comment section, "Speak your mind" and not censoring anything. 100% of what I have said have been published, even immediately, sometimes after legitimate time needed for moderation.

I like free speech and that is what I used to like Amercia and Canada and they still have that TO SOME EXTENT ;-) It is nice to see this what I see to be a W.European chess web site continuing to give more such freedom and due respect for the chess fans to express their thoughts and opinions, whether chessvibes agrees with them or not, as long as the message is not offensive or illegal. Thanks Chessvibes.

I cannot say the same thing about other sites, including my other loved and respected chess site chessbase, where 100% of what I had written hasn't appeared or acknowledged. You seem to need to be some sort of celebrity (like Dr. Nunn, who I admire greatly) or some Dr. XYZ, MD from Kansas or something to be worthy of consideration. Same issue with American websites including huffington post. That aside, I still like the work they do.

Once again, thanks chessvibes.

Chess Fan
World Class Azerbajani Chess Master

Creemer's picture

Peter Doggers is Dutch and so are the origins of this website.

Bert de Bruut's picture


unknown's picture

If Carlsen would not withdraw, London would not withdraw too.


Maybe Dubai? Anyone remembers Linares-Dubai rumours?

Thomas's picture

That was before the economic crisis also affected Dubai. In the same region, the Doha FIDE Grand Prix was also cancelled/moved to another location.

test's picture

London (Chess Promotions Ltd) were willing to do it but withdrew because FIDE did not accept their bid. Read the article.

bhabatosh's picture

you will soon get Nobel prize...

bhabatosh's picture

another bad news in Chess...
As long as FIDE is managed by these morons we will continue
to have this disappointments over and over again...
we should expect nothing but disgust from FIDE.
I wish big organizations i.e. Germany , UK , France , USA , India , China , Norway ,
Dutch walks away from FIDE and forms a Professional Organization. Can someone Screw FIDE ??

LMedemblik's picture

I can not imagine you want to do that because first you pay and then they do not want to bend over....

Gunner Carlsen-Topalov's picture

FIDE is hopeless

I guess Carlsen saw this coming....I guess the FIDE administration is mainly a collection of failed chessplayers....likely there will be no WC match in 2012...

Don Quijote's picture

Carlsen saw this coming? I'd rather say that Carlsen's inexplicable disparticipation claimed it's first commercial pray. The number 1 player and the most marketable player in the world not participation is a huge incentive-killer for potential sponsors as the cycle suffers a loss in credibility.

Remco Gerlich's picture

The sponsor didn't quit because of a lack of incentives, they quit because they sent a complete proposal to FIDE and got no answer whatsoever.

Knallo's picture

Bravo, Malcolm! You did the right thing.

ahg's picture

I really think you're overestimating FIDE. I seriously doubt that they care about people's opinions of them, especially Kasparov's - seeing as how he tried to take Kirsan's seat.

However, surely this collapse will be hurtful to their 20%? That they might be more concerned about!

CAL|Daniel's picture

This is horrible news!

Slayer's picture

It will take place in Khanty Mansiysk, I am afriad...

noyb's picture

How many time does FIDE have to cause failures before the top federations realize they must walk away and form a new organization? SERIOUSLY.

P.S. - Perhaps Carlsen was psychic after all...

lefthandsketch's picture

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will London allow FIDE to have a second shot, or was CPL biding its time waiting for the option to expire because it realized the WCC was a terrible investment? My guess is that it will be played in a Russian town I've never heard of before, and that Kirsan will work out the details regarding finances at the last second.

I love the discussion of the logo in the letter though- very funny.

Cheesus's picture

I propose the following:

World Championship Quarterfinal

8 players: Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik, Karjakin, Ivanchuk, Topalov, Nakamura.

These players will play a double round-robin, in similar fashion to San Luis 2005 or 2007.

The top 4 players will progress to the next stage. If there is a tie for the 4th position, then a playoff will be done over the next two days, with 2 classical games, then if necessary, 2 rapid games, and then blitz games until a player gains a 2 point lead.

World Championship Semi-Final

This will occur two months after the Quarter-Final.

There will be two matches between the top finisher in the Quarter-Final and the fourth place-getter in the Q-F, and the 2nd place-getter and 3rd-place getter. Both of these matches will be 12 games long. If there is a tie, then 4 rapid games will be played, and if still undecided, blitz games will be played until a player gains a 2 point lead. This avoids any silly armageddon playoffs.

World Championship Final

This will occur six months after the Semi-Final.

The winners of the two matches will play a 16 game match, just like the good old Kasparov-Kramnik match. If the scores are even after game 16, then 4 rapid games will be played, then if necessary, blitz games will be played until a player gains a 2 point lead.

Cheesus's picture

Edit: With this system we will have another World Championship cycle finished in 2012.

rockman's picture

If London is not interested, well, you can always count on Turkey. Lol

WhatsNext?'s picture

Looks like we are coming closer and closer to the dead of Fide.

test's picture

One would think so, but the reality is different. In a sane world FIDE would have been dead many many years ago.

calvin amari's picture

Chess Promotions Ltd. has set the standard for world class organization with their London Chess Classic. Their public outreach during that event was outstanding. The Championship predictably gets more attention from the general public (as opposed to devoted chess fans) than any other event (although it likely garners far less attention than it used to, thanks to FIDE's apparent efforts to diminish the title). It would do chess a lot of good if all those folks got to see an event with CPL's characteristically classy and accessible style. Indeed, it would no doubt give the impression that FIDE, which can use all the PR help it can get, is not totally dysfunctional. But alas, FIDE seems to prefer Outer Siberia for its flagship events. One of these days, if only by accident, FIDE will do one single thing properly. That will be a banner day.

S's picture

I don't see why the London Classics should be considered better organized then the Tata tournament, the Tal memorial, or several other tournaments. If there is a difference in outreach it is only in Great Brittain, I'm afraid. As for the coverage (video, commentary, and so on) it was good but nothing new.

calvin amari's picture

The "video, commentary, and so on" obviously was part of the outreach, it plainly extended far beyond Great Britain, and it exceeded that of the other tournaments you mentioned by a safe margin.

lefthandsketch's picture

seriously, you don't see how the london classic was better than tata? did you watch it? from tata we got some videos of the players going over their games a day later- in london, we had live video coverage with multiple personalities and GM's giving fantastic analysis- not to mention filling the downtime with tons of chess ideas and basic traps and hilarious anecdotes. Watching the coverage of the London Classic was so good it actually made me a little sad because it showed me how good chess could be if it were western and if people with deep pockets cared.

As it is, I'm lucky to follow the moves live on a diagram over at chessbomb.

I would pay a premium for a fantastic site with great coverage. There is money in chess, it's just up to the west to wrest it away from the current power structure.

LMedemblik's picture

I found Tata better then London because at least I could see the live games wich in my few is the main thing following chess.
All those high tech video's and other heavy programs overloaded there servers often so following live coveredge was a crime...although..from abroad that is.

LMedemblik's picture

And please...don't wine about my language or faults in this text..It's not editable
and it's not my native language.

LMedemblik's picture

Oh dear..few must be view..that was to bad..sorry for that..

Guillaume's picture

@LMedemblik: I followed the live video coverage of London Chess Classic from Japan. It was impeccable. The issue you had was most probably at your end rather than theirs.
As far as I'm concerned it was by far the best live relay of a chess tournament I had ever seen.

I'd say that's what frightened FIDE actually. The organizers in London were just too good. FIDE must have thought keeping control of the WC title would be way easier with a weak organizer in a small town. FIDE is not interested in either chess, the players or the fans. They just want to keep what they have.

Reality check's picture

I also enjoyed the tournament at Wijk aan Zee - TATA Steel more than the London Chess Classic.

If the LCC is to become #1 it will have to:

1. increase the number of players or, the number of rounds played--
double round robin vs single round robin

2. trash the football scoring system.

3. use classic time controls

Macauley's picture

I produced the live commentary in London. There was absolutely no connection between the live video commentary and the live games transmission. They were on separate network connections.

The amount of bandwidth used to produce the video stream was relatively modest, and the number of viewers of either the video or the live games had no impact on the other service.

Downstream bandwidth (i.e. to the viewer at home) was the responsibility of -- the video host. An individual user's experience may vary based on a number of factors, but close to 100,000 viewers tuned in from 169 countries.

I don't know the details of why the live games didn't work at times, but there were improvements made early in the tournament in response to viewer demand and feedback, so I presume the situation was better as the event progressed.

JM's picture

I agree with you, the livegames in London were almost never working properly. I'm almost certain the problem wasn't at my end, as I usually do not have any trouble watching live chess games during any tournament.

LMedemblik's picture

Thats correct, I had the same experience.
Mr.Macauley is so nice to explain some things but the fact remains that even with improvements like extra links the connection to live games remained bad.
My "live experience" was that when you got to the live games link say half an hour before the start of the games, following them was no problem. However get back in DURING play was impossible for me.
Wether the hosting was done by LCC or another company does not take away the responsability to cover the live games correctly.
It is quit normal these days to receive 100.000 or more requests on a live server.
All in all must be noted that its all free and I certainly believe everybody is doing his very best to present these chess events the best way possible!

S's picture

I think " Amari" was talking about the new standard of "organization". Apparently that is just video coverage now?
In my opinion organization is about a lot more.

As for the cameras- several tournaments in the past have had more live webcams next to their regular "board broadcasts" (f.e. Tal, NH, and Amber tournaments).
Even the live commentary was not new.

So yes, I really don't see why the London Classics, as good as they are, would have been setting new standards in organisation. And I really really doubt there was that much more outreach.

S's picture

p.s. London classics is of course a a much smaller affair than the Tata tournament (f.e.). The latter accomodates and pays 34 Grandmasters and consists of 3 tournaments at the same time on the same location- 5 times the number of Grandmasters in the London classic. It even manages to draw more visitors to Wijk aan Zee than the Classics draw at London. How is that about outreach and organisation. And there are a lot of other great tournaments. So...yes, I was really serious..

On another note, what would you guys prefer. An extra top class player in the tournament or 2 commentators on your video screen ?

S's picture

In that case I can safely assume that you did not look at the live coverage of the NH tournament 2 years back, that you didn't see the webcams on the Tal memorial and that you haven't seen the live commentary on the tournament in Spain ( I believe it was Bilbao).

As for "outreach", of course you can't back that up. I dare say a number of chess tournaments get a lot more visitors.

Thomas's picture

As I wrote before, it's a bit odd and unfair to compare London and Tata. Live video coverage has some added value, but if the downside of it are access problems for the entire webpage, that's a big tradeoff - even if only some people in some countries (how many people followed the event in Japan?) or using some browsers had such problems.

Regarding live commentary: London had live commentary in English, obviously well-suited for everyone following Chessvibes. Tal Memorial and Bilbao had commentary in Russian and Spanish, respectively - also transmitted via the Internet, useless for me but thousands to millions(?) of chess fans could follow it. Tata had live commentary in Dutch - not transmitted via the Internet, either because the global audience is too small or because they wanted to offer something extra to people visiting in person. If you visit: entry was free and the venue(s) are big enough that, to my knowledge, noone was ever refused admittance (even though it could get crowded, particularly on weekends).

Now if anyone suggests that Tata live commentary should have been in English ... it is still a Dutch event in the Netherlands. As far as GMs are concerned: one of the days I visited they had Timman and Sokolov, guess they are second to hardly anyone at the other events.

Cheesus's picture

I'm telling you, all the thumbs down were from FIDE. :S

Myopinioncounts's picture

Chess Promotions Ltd is now being promoted.

LMedemblik's picture be funny...In a richmans world...

Kristian Pade Frederiksen's picture

Around the time of the last FIDE elections last year parallel to the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Malcolm Pein was cited on TWIC for some harsh, personal comments on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. I don't remember the exact wording, but besides saying that he found Kirsan utterly unfit as president of FIDE on the background of his track record , he indirectly accused him of being responsible for politically motivated murders in his home country. He would never even contemplate to shake hands with such a man.

It is clear then that now it's simply payback time. I think Malcolm Pein and the London organizers could have done everything in the world to get the World Championship in 2012, the answer would always have been: No World Championship for you, guys. It's simply the punishment for insulting the emperor, saying out aloud, what everyone else can see, namely that as credibility and personal integrity goes, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is as good as naked in the eyes of a normally informed and objective observer of the world of chess.

This is a real shame and it shows that all the talk of FIDE about promoting chess and attracting sponsors to the best of all lovers of the game are just hollow words: With FIDE as it stands, there is always an agenda that is more important than this, personal agendas, petty considerations and what have you.

I visited the London Chess Classic for three days in December and it was simply the best chess event I have ever attended: Superb venue, superb atmosphere, superb commentators, packed audience, a real chess festival. I'm really glad to hear this tournament continues and I wish Malcolm Pein and the London organizers all the best in future. And by the way, next time you intend to deal with Kirsan's FIDE, remember the words of Brecht: He who wants to have breakfast with the devil will need a very long spoon...

Malcolm Pein's picture

Just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words about the London Chess Classic. As ever on a message board there is a lot of uninformed speculation even if some of it is plausible.

Kristian Pade Frederiksen's remarks about the reasons we didn't reach agreement with FIDE are based on reasonable assumptions and some hard facts, I have certainly said some harsh things about K I but Kristian Pade's conclusion is wrong. I had a note from the man himself just before the deadline but it wasn't his signature on the contract, so that was it, offer expired. They were still keen to do the match in London but the time for talking and negotiating was over. Whatever they think about I have written, the chunky sanctioning fee and the opportunity to be running this event in the shadow of the Olympics whose recognition they desperately crave, was more than enough incentive for them.

Judging from the horrified reaction, they were not expecting a withdrawal but some people mean what they say. I gave them a deadline and they didn't meet it.


Malcolm Pein

PS: I don't usually get involved in forums so please don't respond to me but I hope this information is helpful

Shaun's picture

The truth is everyone was looking to a Carlsen challenge as we have seen Topalov and Kramnik allready. So coming from the UK, I can see that with the withdrawal of Carlsen the whole cycle has less commercial value.
It is Carlsens idea that the World Champion should have to compete every time rather than waiting for the winner of the Candidates cycle-i disagree with this.
The best method is 1 Candidates round robin tournament of the top 9 players by rating and a world title match 12 months later of 16 games.

S's picture

If everybody means everyone below 10 years, then I agree.

Gunner Carlsen-Topalov's picture

FIDE is a disaster

I like the idea that "The best method is 1 Candidates round robin tournament of the top 9 players by rating and a world title match 12 months later of 16 games."

Anyhow anand is so polite he will accept any setup as long as he does not have to qualify for the final

Anyhow to bring in the money and excitement to chess:
I think London should simply host a 16 game match between Anand and Carlsen in 2013 for a "Champ versus the Kid" fight and that New York should host a similar match betwenn Naka and Carlsen for the "Battle of the West" )

If only Bobby was stil alive.....


Latest articles