Reports | July 14, 2011 4:53

Chennai bids for Anand-Gelfand match

Chennai bids for Anand-Gelfand matchAfter Moscow FIDE has now also received a bid from Chennai to host the Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match next year. This was announced yesterday afternoon in Chennai by the FIDE President and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State Mme J. Jayalalithaa. Chennai is planning to spend 200 million rupees (approximately $4.5 million).

By winning the Candidates matches in Kazan, Russia earlier this year Boris Gelfand of Israel earned the right to play a World Championship match against the current champion, Vishy Anand of India. At the end of last month we brought the news that the Russian Chess Federation had placed a bid to organize the match in Moscow. Now India has placed a bid too, as was reported today on the FIDE website.

The bid was announced yesterday afternoon in Chennai by the FIDE President and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State Mme J. Jayalalithaa. Chennai is planning to spend 200 million rupees (approximately $4.5 million).

A FIDE meeting with Mme J. Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State

A FIDE meeting with Mme J. Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State | Photo © FIDE

Based on a press release in Tamil, Chessbase writes that the Tamil Nadu Government "has placed a winning bid" which "is likely to go through on July 31, 2011". This is the closing date for bids for the 2012 World Championship Match, so there are still eighteen days to go. A bid from Israel might pop up, an improved bid from Moscow, who knows!?

In any case, the Chennai bid is good news, given the acrimonious withdrawal of the London bid and apparent difficulties finding organisers. There seems to be no reason any more to be sceptical about this title match getting organized.


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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.


ebutaljib's picture

I don't get this bidding procedure in chess at all. A true bidding procedure is when you submit your bid in a sealed envelope and none of the outsiders know what exactly have you offered. After the deadline the envelopes are opened and the best bid wins. Only then it is known what the bidders actually offered. That is the true bidding procedure.

mishanp's picture

Yep, it's odd, isn't it. I thought it was very strange of the Moscow bidders to announce the details ($2 million prize fund) if they wanted to win, though maybe the assumption was that FIDE would let other potential bidders know anyway (or the Moscow bidder, a friend of Gelfand's, just wanted to ensure the match took place and wasn't actually desperate to hold it).

The procedure for deciding which bid to accept isn't clear idea either - or at least Ilya Levitov, a FIDE VP, said he wasn't clear which criteria were going to be used, or who was going to take the decision. Although I suppose it'll boil down to who'll give the biggest 20% (or 30%?) cut to FIDE.

By the way - yesterday Ilyumzhinov also mentioned a possible second London bid (from different organisers) and interest in Minsk:

realitycheck's picture

@ ebutaljib

Glasnost! Perestroika! Two useful russian words that might help make this bidding process more palatable.

Septimus's picture

Well, if you really want to know it goes like this...

The scene is set in my bedroom:
I get to watch the moves live on a huge TV screen with GM commentary of my choice. There is wine and a bevy of beautiful, luscious voluptuous women at my beck and call. I watch the game in peace as I do unspeakable things to my consorts.

Sounds good? Wish it came true. ;)

Chess Fan's picture


I did not say that the World Champion caliber players cannot play 24 chess games or MORE. I was asking what is the ideal number of chess games to determine the best human chess player purely based on chess creativity and talent and not a function of needless mental stamina.

If you have played games at that level (and I have played Anand multiple times) the pressure of playing him once is as much as playing a weaker player multiple times.

I think 12 or 16 games is ideal. 24 may be stretching a little bit at that level and anything more than 24 is be decided on stamina also. For example, I may be able to beat the great Victor Korchonoi playing him for over 100 games (to give an exaggerated and possibly improbable scenario to drive home a point).

To further drive home my point, we saw that after Anand gave away a freebie first game to Topolov, being really better, he was able to come back and win. So, if you can win in 16 games, you would win in 12 games.

That is my analytical reasoning and hypothesis. Please feel free to agree or disagree objectively and politely.

harami's picture

yes, 16 is ideal. It is also long enough to 'produce a better' player, so to speak.

I believe that most of the World Championships results have been decided in favor of the eventual winner by the end of game 16. So it looks good for me, personally.

realitycheck's picture

For selfish reasons, I'd tip my hat to a sixteen game WC match.

Xenyatta's picture

Really? So, all of a sudden modern Chessplayers can't play 24 game matches, since they will get too "fatigued"? In a WC match, they have rest days after every other game. Even frail Anatoly Karpov never seemed to manifest a diminishment in his chess skill and results until after Game # 30 or so...

Fatigue is just an echo chamber "meme" that keeps getting repeated because it is repeated. It's the only possible justification for the chintzy little matches that have become the norm. Shorter matches have become more common because they save the organizer money.

Chess Fan's picture

I think 12 games is adequate and long enough to determine

Chess Fan's picture

I think 12 games is adequate and long enough to determine a human world champion six whites and six blacks should be adequate to correct any misstep due to jet lag, fatigue or even out-of-form, and get back fighting.

I would say 16 is ideal where as anything over that, especially over 24 is more a test of stamina, which does not exactly measure the best chess playing human brain.

So, I wonder what any other world class grandmaster feels and what the fans here feel. Is 12 or 16 the optimal number, or is it 24. Or am I wrong in my presumption.

CAL|Daniel's picture

There never was any reason to be skeptical* about the match being organized.

*This is the correct spelling of the word.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks. Made it 'sceptical' as we usually go for British spelling.

Arne Moll's picture

As always, it's much more interesting to approach spelling issues from a descriptive rather than from a prescriptive way. Then we could note, for instance, that even in modern UK spelling, 'skeptic' is not that uncommon. For example, British scientists and scientific activists tend to write 'skeptic' when they are intentionally referring to the movement of 'scientific skepticism'. Could be just a way of bonding with their US colleagues, of course, but there you go.

Perhaps we should talk about the Chennai/Madras confusion next? :-)

ablos's picture

Right Arne. The spelling issue does merit scant consideration. In addition, this is not the proper way to comment on a high level chess article. We should be thankful that chessvibes or specifically Peter Doggers painstakingly deliver chess news fresh from its source.

George's picture

lil shite crapstens plans of highjacking the world championship and replacing it with his private tourney did not quite work ... lol what a chicken!
It must feel awesome to be malcom pein right now .. NOT

helpmate's picture

Still no legitimate commercial sponsorship as predicted. One bid from a government state and one (perhaps staged) from a Russian oligarch friend of Kirsan, the crook in chief and friend to criminals against humanity. No legitimate commercial interest would touch slimey FIDE with a ten foot pole. And it is a joke to pretend that this will compare with a match in London in the same year as the olympic games.

George's picture

Oh yeah, A chess WCH is only legitimate if it is held in London. Kirsan just rounded up a record sum for a WCH. What the fk are you ranting about? Do you know that there are no sponsors? Are you managing the event. Typical white boy attitude.

Weeping that carlsen dint get a free ticket aye? Next time around he has to contend with a mighty Giri and a more resolute Aronian. And thats just two of them.
Fat chance of seeing him in his fancy tournament.

Awesome job Kirsan!!! Dont let the white bot moaners deter you.

srk's picture

really no need for this.

KingTal's picture

London sux!
I vote for Chennai! :D:D:D:D

noi that van phong's picture

I hope Chennai will be the final choice, and hope that Anand can defend his title in his homeland. Great player Vishy

harami's picture

Good that Chennai bids to host the World Championship.

I can tell you that if people like Vijay Mallya were involved in organising it, it would be better than any thing we've seen in the last decade. One thing is the guy is into F1, breweries, women , and has a flair for brilliant organisation.

Now that the Tamil Nadu Govt. wants to host it, it is a different matter.

The press release in one of the Oldest !, yes oldest scripts known , in Tamil will be hard to understand. This language is hard even for Indians outside Tamil Nadu, forget the Europeans.

The british will suck up to the west once again with their spellings, about which no one really cares..

I can say that Gelfand and his team better be prepared for the weather in summer, Chennai is not easy to live in during that time... :)

hc's picture

>> I can say that Gelfand and his team better be prepared for the weather in summer, Chennai is not easy to live in during that time…

What can you say about having air conditioning? I don't think heat will be much of an issue in a chess match where players are going to be staying/playing indoors, and would likely not want to venture outside anyway even if they were playing in Hawaii.

Do they have AC in Chennai?

foo's picture

yes hc India has AC! and come to think of it electricity too. I think they have some computers as well. what a surprise huh?

sam's picture

"Do they have AC in Chennai?" your question cameout of Ignorance about other countries..and cities.. FYI..Chennai is as big as New York and the population is approx 12 million, which is more than many cournty population. Thetemperatur varies between15-45 (centigrade) through out the year. Most of the time, the matches will be organized in star hotels.

S3's picture

Gelfy played a match in India before, and yes, the heat was an issue back then.

hc's picture

That doesn't really answer my question.
I imagine that AC if available in India, is only available in very select places/luxury places, especially back when the Gelfand match was played.

harami's picture

What is your question? do you expect Gelfand to stay in AC for the whole month?

hc's picture

>> What is your question? do you expect Gelfand to stay in AC for the whole month?

Pretty much yes. I think that's what he would do. It's not like he is going there to go sightseeing. He has a chess match to play, which means: playing, analyzing games, and getting sleep. All of which can be done indoors.

harami's picture

What is your question? do you expect Gelfand to stay in AC for the whole month?

you imagine well, AC is indeed available in India :) , wow so much progress india has made, they even have AC.. lol

hc's picture

Well, ignoring your sarcasm, I'm not at all sure you are correct.
I have been in India ( albeit this was 10 years ago ), and I would say that AC was available almost nowhere. Not in government buildings, office buildings, trains stations, buses, and definitely not in most residences. Only places that had AC were the foreign business and hotel chains.

Some people would add window mounted AC units, but even that was rare, and there's a long way from that and a proper central AC system.

harami's picture

well, if you did not find AC in india, live with it. Don't know what is your work, but sure seems to be not well funded to afford an AC in India.

If foreigners like to see India, better do it the way it is, don't like it, get the hell out of there, don't you agree?

harami's picture

I meant in my earlier post that, Chennai is especially hard in comparision to other India cities. Without an thing like AC, it is very difficult for outsiders and foreigners who come from Europe ( since Europe has much colder weather throughout the year ) to adjust to Chennai in summer.

FWIW, we had an official visitor coming from Europe in my company, and the first thing he did after he landed in the airport, was to seek first aid. His nose started bleeding, we were shocked. It turns out he was not used to the climatic conditions in India and was forced to avoid the afternoon heat.

Fireblade's picture

Yoo man its time to come out from whatever rock you are living under.....Really ! Your question is so stupid even a cave man could answer it !

hansie's picture

Three cheers for Mme. J. Jayalalitha!!!

delfano's picture

i was in chennai last year. amazing place. its like a plave u have seen never before.

I was lucky to visit andaman. (getting permit for nicobar is tough) (an India archipelago). the water was so pristine and clear. If you are going to Chennai, dont miss Kerala.

Chess Fan's picture

Delfano, both excellent suggestions. I do not know whether you are Indian or a Western tourist visiting India, but your suggestions are as good or better than anyone from India.

George's picture

what are you guys ranting about. lets not spoil it for the 'india is the land of snake charmers and elephants' boys here, please

S3's picture

Great to see this news, nice payday coming up for Anand and Gelfand!
And it should silence the silly people who claimed that there wouldn't be any bids. Or those clowns who said that Gelfand wouldn't be a real contender.
It's coming!
Let's see if people like "chessfan" and "frogbert" will retract their words.

calvin amari's picture

My prior prediction: "because the lack of a meaningful candidates cycle leads directly to a cakewalk for Vishy, India will pony up to a sponsorship deal since there is little risk that its native son will not prevail." While, compared with London alongside the Olympics, a match in Chennai can certianly be seen as a perpetuation of the ongoing FIDE geography trivia contest, this is far from a horrible result. Vishy has been criticized for not getting something like this done, and now he has. Given all the time he has spent in Chennai of late, I'm sure he had a strong hand in this and deserves credit. Since Humpy Koneru will also be in a chess championship match, this is prime time for seizing the opportunity to popularize chess in India. I do, however, wonder about the local political blowback if public funds are forked over to FIDE to bankroll Ilyumzhinov's continual efforts to give aid and comfort to mass murders.

realitycheck's picture

@ calvin amari

"My prior prediction, because the lack of..."
Amari, your prior prediction(s) is just as mundane and meaningless as your most recent post. Cheap stick substantial.
Why not you bone-up to your boy, iron a few of his wrinkled white shirts and wait for the next meaningful candidates match that's sponsored by Burger King a legitimate western interest.

For now, leave the fanboy journalism to frogbert and sons.

harami's picture


What does it matter? I don't think you know who Jayalalitha is in Chennai, She is a shrewd operator who keeps coming back to win elections in the murky world of Tamil politics. FOr most people there, her word is their command if i may put it like that.. i don't think people would worry about funds coming from Govt directly.

It is more worrisome for people there to hear other news such as, hidden wealth in jewels found in a temple worth $20 billion ( yes billion !), involving the interevention of India's Supreme court.

max's picture

Big prize fund. They should make the match 24 games to justify it. And no tie breaks - in event of tie, Champ keeps title.

PircAlert's picture

Super!! Chennai Chess Super King Anand will play in Chennai!!

I appreciate the bold step taken by TN Chief Minister JJ to sanction such a huge fund for a chess event. No more bids please! :) or else we will outbid. ;)

rajeshv's picture

Yes, this really is awesome news that any Government body in India took such a bold step. Good for chess, and delighted as a chess fan from the state!

PircAlert's picture


track's picture

the carlsen fans are hiding in their holes

gg's picture

I don't understand the often repeated implication that what the Carlsen fans hope is that he will manage to do a Kramnik and get a title match instead of the winner of the Candidates, it's great news that there seems to be lots of interest in this match. It's a surprise to me since I don't remember the last time, if ever, FIDE had even half the number of interested bidders. To me Anand's previous matches were much more interesting and I'm not particularly excited by this one, but it does seem to be much more attractive to the sponsors.

Excalibur's picture

Be careful there 'track' ; It only takes THAT much to get the inevitable red arrows :)

rajeshv's picture

Yes, Chennai does get very hot and very humid in April/May - the peak summer. But I'm not sure that Gelfand would find it completely opposite to his home conditions. shows averages in the high 90s for Apr-Jun in his home town Rishon LeZiyyon, and humidity close to or above 50% (as high as 78% right now).
I can think of the conditions being quite extreme for people like Kramnik or Carlsen but may be not so much for Gelfand.

As long as he isn't caught unaware of the conditions (which is unlikely), he shdn't have a problem with knowing when to venture out and when to stay in the comforts of his hotel room.

PircAlert's picture

In that case I think towards the end of July or August would be better, climate wise, in Chennai. They should postpone by couple of months.


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