Reports | April 30, 2013 14:17

Espen Agdestein: "We expect a bidding process"

Espen Agdestein: "We expect a bidding process"

Espen Agdestein, the manager of Magnus Carlsen, still expects that FIDE will open a bidding process for the Anand-Carlsen World Championship match. In a telephone conversation with ChessVibes, Agdestein reacted to a recent interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. "It seems FIDE is trying to fix a mistake by making another mistake."

At the beginning of this month the All Indian Chess Federation (AICF) announced that they had come to an agreement with FIDE to host the World Championship match. This was possible because FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had promised the Indians to hold the match after they lost the bidding process of the Anand-Gelfand match to Moscow, in August 2011.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that the match would be held in Chennai between November 6 and 26 and that the state government would allot Rs 29 crore (290 million, about 4 million Euros) for the event. Ten days later FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the AICF.

Meanwhile FIDE has also published the rules & regulations for the match (PDF here) which includes the following: 

In the case whereby the organizer has put forward a bank guarantee, the following deadlines shall be strictly adhered to: 50% of the Prize Fund to be paid into the FIDE account before 31 May 2013; the balance of the Prize Fund and all other financial obligations must be paid before 31 August 2013.

Last week Magnus Carlsen's father Henrik, who was a guest at the Alekhine Memorial, told Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, the editor of New in Chess, that they are not happy with these developments. According to Henrik, both players should have equal rights and opportunities, and therefore it's important to consider alternative proposals.

The upcoming match is of great interest, it should be an important step in the promotion of chess all over the world. Why such haste with the memorandum?

wondered Henrik Carlsen, who expressed confidence that FIDE would still start a bidding process for the various candidate cities.

Yesterday, in an interview with Sport Express, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that FIDE had not received an "official protest" against the venue, and that there have been "no bids other than Chennai". This prompted us to contact Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein.

I wonder what Mr Ilyumzhinov means by "official". We sent letters, and we spoke to them. Just before Magnus and I went to New York, I was actually in Athens [at the FIDE office – CV] with my lawyer and there I talked to FIDE representatives, for example Georgios Makropoulos and Israel Gelfer. We made it very clear that we are not happy with the procedure. We were very surprised when FIDE made an agreement with Chennai right after the Candidates' Tournament. Of course they have not received a bid other than Chennai yet, because there hasn't been a bidding process! There should be.

Magnus Carlsen and Espen Agdestein at the Candidates' Tournament last month | Photo Ray Morris-Hill

Agdestein understands that the whole situation is the result of the bidding process for the Anand-Gelfand match, back in 2011. Moscow got the match, and Chennai was promised to hold the next one.

This is wrong of course. And now it seems that FIDE is trying to fix a mistake by making another mistake.

Although the Carlsen team has expressed in the media that Chennai might not be ideal for Magnus, Agdestein wants to emphasize that it's not specifically about Chennai, but about the process.

We are against this procedure. We know that other cities are also interested. To have an open bidding process is better for the players, for FIDE and for chess in general. If Chennai would win such a bidding procedure, it would be much easier for us to accept it.

Agdestein told us that he is confident that FIDE can be convinced to start a bidding procedure.

We hope so. In fact we expect that.

In an interview for Russian TV, Vishy Anand has stated that he's not against playing in Chennai.

I never played in my home town. It would quite nice and I hope it compensates for the extra pressure that comes with playing on home soil. It would be nice, once in my career, to have such a big match at home.

The current status is that this sensitive subject will be discussed at the next FIDE Presidential Board meeting which takes place 5-6 May in Baku Azerbaijan. To be continued!

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.


fuzzylogic's picture

ok when carlsen get qualifies(?) next time let him demand on bidding process,let fide invite kraminik to play against anand this time.

pito's picture

fuzzylogic = RealityCheck ?
Same lack-of-logic anyway.

RealityCheck's picture

@pito Back off! Your comparison lacks substance.

fuzzylogic's picture

if you really understand the meaning of logic ,u should argue based on reasoning .your statement lacks valid reasoning to support your argument(lack of logic),so you are WRONG!!!.

FIDE is sole authoritative for administration of chess and policy making/implementation.

Magnus and his team are there to play chess ,they should leave the policy making/implementation to FIDE and play chess and try to beat anand in the currently provided system.

System cannot be changed for the individual rather individual has to adapt to the system.You can't change the system unless you are part of it.

BTW there is no connection with RealityCheck ID.

Ricitos's picture

I think the whole problem is that there is no system to adapt to...

Niima's picture

There will be a bidding process and most likely another city will win.

GuyFawkes's picture

Why Fide President K.LL. promised the indians to hold the match after they lost the bidding process of the Anand-Gelfand match to Moscow? In my eyes if they lost so they lost. Lets start a new bidding process rigth now!. There are plenty of countries and privat investors who wants to be in here. Let us have a little of transparency please!.

Thomas Oliver's picture

"There are plenty of countries and privat investors who wants to be in here."
This is always claimed, but is there hard evidence that anyone not only "wants" but is actually able to hold the match and spend a few millions on it? A Dutch newspaper column actually mentioned New York, Miami, Paris and St. Tropez - rumors (spread by the Carlsen camp?) or genuine interest?

Potential non-Chennai organizers could contact FIDE even if there is no formal bidding procedure - which actually seems unclear as the "Rules and Regulations" document has Article 15 Selection of the organizer: "Any federation that is a member of FIDE or any sponsor may bid for the World Championship Match (FWCM)."

Alternatively or additionally, a potential organizer can also contact, for example, Chessvibes - who would/should publish this as a top story (more important than yet another Carlsen TV appearance ...) IF it is serious, i.e. includes at least tentative evidence that they have what it takes (money-wise and some other aspects).

Ricitos's picture

Carlsen protests the lack of an open, predictable, and transparent process. If it is true, like you hint, that Chennai were the best alternative, they would win such a process. If they were not, they would lose. Surely, you agree?

Ricitos's picture

Surely, you agree that if Chennai were indeed the best organizers, they would win an open, transparent, and fair bidding process. There is simply no reason for not having such a process. The Carlsen camp simply points this out.

Thomas Oliver's picture

I do not necessarily agree that "the best organizer" would win a bidding process, be it already because 'best' is always subjective. What's best (in general terms, not only in this particular case)? Highest prize fund, no matter where the money comes from? Most media attention - even if it's primarily about one of the players, and not too much about chess itself?

The Carlsen camp didn't simply "point this out" (lack of a formal bidding procedure) but makes it rather clear that Carlsen doesn't want to play in Chennai - hinting (maybe translation issues from Norwegian) that he might refuse to play there.

As to the bidding procedure for the previous WCh match: It doesn't deserve a beauty prize, but in May climate might have been an issue in Chennai (November is a different season). And the Moscow organizers did an excellent job in terms of venue, quality of live commentary etc. . It remains to be seen if an alternative organizer for the Anand-Carlsen match can offer neutral and genuine chess coverage, as opposed to Carlsen hype.

Ricitos's picture

The criterions for what 'best' means, should also be public knowledge and open for debate. Now we don't know anything. If Moscow won the last match after the bidding round was closed, I don't think they should have organized the match, regardless of their competence.

The same goes for the former WC cycle. Perhaps the Kazan knock-outs were the best way to determine the challenger, but the rules were changed mid-cycle. The World cup winner was supposed to face the winner of GP in a match. The lack of rules is a profound problem, IMO.

bondegnasker's picture

Is there any hard evidence that Thomas Oliver actually believes the things he writes? We shouldn't start listening to him if he doesn't even means what he is saying. Of course, there might be reason to think that he wants to believe the things that he writes (judging by the fact that, admittedly, he does spend a lot of effort to get his (alleged?) points through), but wanting to believe something and actually believing it are two different things. Mind you, I'm not saying that whatever Thomas Oliver writes here is just meaningless and endless rants, I'm merely pointing out the distinct possibility that it MIGHT be the case, and that IF it were so, it is not at all certain that our time were best spent reading his commentaries.

Sergio's picture

I think it was promised to them to give them some comfort since they didn´t get it last time. I think last time they got cheated, when Russia came with a higher offer after the official bidding proces closed. To say the least it was vague how the match ended up in Russia.

Ricitos's picture

If they were promised the match, the deal should have been signed way before the candidates. This process is just very odd...

Anonymous's picture

FIDE has a lot to answer for in this process. I fear they won’, because someone high up in the system has something to hide. However, they should be forced to answer these questions:

- Who negotiated, approved and signed the deal with Chennai in the first place?

- What’s the business reason dropping a bidding process that should be financial beneficial for both the players and FIDE and wanted by the challenger?

- Deals should be balanced. I assume Chennai could say no if they did not what to call the option. Could FIDE?

- How could FIDE evaluate the market value for a match without knowing the challenger?

- What benefits/value did FIDE get by signing the option without a bidding process, i.e giving the free option to Chennai? It’s more than 6 months to the match, so it could not be time. Several other cities have signaled interest, so it could not be lack of other bidders.

- If FIDE considered the deal with Chennai so good for chess why have an option at all?

- Did Chennai accept the option before or after the 3-months period they were given by FIDE?

- FIDE must have known that Chennai accepted the option sometime late 2012. Why did not the players and the press get the same information before the tournament in London?

Unfortunately, FIDE won’t answer, so they only solution is to get rid of the current management as soon as possible. When is the next election?

Jan 's picture

Why can't fuzzylogic learn proper English before he opens his mouth? He may also want to look up the proper spelling of his idol's name!

fuzzylogic's picture

if you don't understand what i have posted, why the hell r u responding to my post ?

Anonymous's picture

They just looked at his performance in Alekhine and decided to give him a break until the next candidates.

fuzzylogic's picture
fuzzylogic's picture

@Jan Sorry i couldn't abuse you in this forum ( as per their chessvibes terms).Still iam not done, please provide me you private mail do so that i can respond your post.

Mart Smeets's picture

Oslo would be a nice succesor to Reykjavik 1972.

Björn's picture

What about... Reykjavik? :-)

Septimus's picture

I hope the match eventually ends up in Chennai. If Anand can play in Bulgaria without a fuss (despite the utterly disgraceful behavior of Danilov and co), Carlsen should not be complaining. Less politics more chess! This is my opinion as a Carlsen fan.

calvin amari's picture

The was a bidding process for that match. Moreover, given the potential disadvantages of playing in his competitor's home court, Anand was given veto power over the venue. He chose to accept the venue but he was given a choice.

noyb's picture

Typical FIDE bumbling. After decades of scandal, you'd think players and federations would just walk away from FIDE and start over.

Anonymous's picture

Everyone loves FIDE is the plain truth. Why? Because everyone - is FIDE.

Anon's picture

How much money is reasonable to invest in a WCC match?

wakominov's picture

We need ( I meant its needed) all the money needed to reach them!!! I mean the little green men... all this FIDE thing its just an excuse... a propaganda to gather conducts on all nations with the eventual "try to take over the world" a la Brain'.

Pamela Anderson's boobs 's picture

It's simple, if Magnus plays in India he will lose and won't be the world champion :(

But if Magnus plays somewhere else, like the USA for instance, then he will be the world champion! :)

Blonde's have more fun boys ;) wink wink!'s picture

There is no process at all because FIDE has been corrupt for almost 20 years.

AAR's picture

Yet to see any other city showing interest to hold the match with a higher prize money than Chennai - not even oil rich Oslo.

chessizen's picture

I think India, for having given birth to one on the most important chess genius I have bee given the luck to see merits to organize this WCC, by the way Carslen's recent attitude shows that he is trying to write his history a little bit 'aside' from the board

RealityCheck's picture

Carlsen openly scorns the privileges of the reigning world champion yet scrounges every vantage point that he himself might profit from.

Carlsen's credibility would be better off without this two faced approach.

GuyFawkes's picture

@ RealityCheck Go Away.

AAR's picture

Nicely put.

PS: I follow the game not the player.

Bartleby's picture

I think FIDE plays a double game here: First cash in on Chennai for keeping the promise. Then give in to the outside pressure, open up the bidding process, and cash in again. Along the way, make promises to all sides, to be able to repeat the game in the next cycle.

redivivo's picture

What FIDE explicitly said was that Chennai had three months to make a bid after Anand-Gelfand, but the bid came first ten months after that match. So in that respect the promise should no longer be valid, not that anyone will care much about that.

Chess Fan's picture

Chennai would be a fantastic place to host this world championship and everyone would be treated very well. It would be a thing of pride for them to host this fairly and by their very nature would treat Carlsen's side like royalty. But I can also understand team Carlsen's desire to have the match anywhere else. Hope when the match happens, wherever, everyone is happy, and chess is the only issue to focus on.

killabeechess's picture

this not at all about Carlsen or Anand but about fide. Of course there should be a bidding process everything else is just ridiculous! I would be happy if they changed the management of fide entirely.

Follow the rules's picture

Fide has clear rules to follow. And now they don't follow these rules when they don't have a bidding process for the Anand-Carlsen World Championship match. Fide chess rules must be followed also by the Fide President...

Septimus's picture

"We expect a bidding process..."

NO. You are expected to STFU and play. Your federation should be the one raising these questions (via the ECU).

redivivo's picture

"'We expect a bidding process...' NO. You are expected to STFU and play"


ll's picture

chess is run like boxing again...

gb's picture

Corrupt or not FIDE may be, but the players should just play. You do not hear footballers complaining about the location of the World Cup, although the bidding process for that has often been thought to be corrupt. And why should the Snooker World Championship be in Sheffield, England every year?
As the last poster said, this is not boxing. Remember what happened last time the two players decided that the world championship was their own private property?

redivivo's picture

"Remember what happened last time the two players decided that the world championship was their own private property?"

Today's players have lost all sense of decency and put Fischer in the shade. Asking for the bidding process to be held according to the rules?! Shameful! The players should just play how and when and where they are told and not bother about rules.

R's picture

Anand has been champion since 2007 and never once was the match held on his home turf. Now, after seven years, you have a match in his home turf and Carlsen and his team start whining. Carlsen should have instead been inspired by what Anand did when he played Topalov in Bulgaria for the 2010 chess championship.

Steve Borsuk's picture

Hello,you guys done wonderful job by sharing this article with us about which we were previously unaware but now we get some knowledge about it.

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