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 Therefore, with regret, CPL has withdrawn its offer in time for the next Executive Board meeting which starts today in Turkey in order to give the EB clarity and the opportunity to consider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.


bhabatosh's picture

Nakamura is no match for carlsen . He is just another top player but
not in the same level as Anand , Kramnik , carlsen ....

Eiae's picture

I guess England didn't vote for Kirsan.

Consider running for FIDE pres, Pein, please...

test's picture

Bessel Kok couldn't do it. Even Karpov and Kasparov in the same team couldn't do it.

The only way to do it is with a truckload of money to buy all the African votes and all the others Kirsan was buying.

test's picture

PS: This is not a proposed solution, it's an illustration of the problem.
If you are not corrupt and have half a brain you know what the solution is.
Or keep burying your head in the sand, your choice.

Chris Price's picture

What happened to the deposit one wonders?

Zojirushi bread machine's picture

Its a pity London didn't work.

I hate to see this match go to some far away ex-soviet state again, sponsored by Kirsan...

fierce badger's picture

the big loser is chess again.. a world chess championship in the Olympic host city ,would have elevated the game ,, switching on more people than Fisher spassky

Fide knows that and doesnt want power to move west
its jobs for the boys in Siberia that counts for them and only that

The Classic was so good , everyone got the vibe that this is how it should be
lots of happy chess players wandering around ..
Classic 10/10 tata 6/10 gib 7/10

WhatsNext?'s picture

Next Fide president election. I would like to see Barack Obama vs Kirsan :)

dat's picture

You can be pretty certain that Kirsan would win by the same margin!

Jay's picture

Although I absolutely loved the London Chess Class commentary from Daniel King et al. and especially from the super GMs after the game, I almost never managed to get the videos to play live. I usually watched it the next day on chessvibes! But it was absolutely amazing to see the Super GMs explaining their train of thought even after one day. Free lessons of chess. Thanks a lot for your cutting edge work Macauley.

Gunner Carlsen-Topalov's picture

Malcolm Pein is a good man. I respect him.

Good men are honest. This is the most crucial quality of a good man.

If a man is deceitful (who in FIDE am I thinking about you may wonder...Kirsan Ilyumzhinov? no), he is not a good man. This comes into play in relationships, chess, and all of life.

russiachessfan's picture

the other side to the story - via a post on by mishanp

This is Ilya Levitov, the man in charge of the Russian Chess Federation (well, apart from Dvorkovich), and now also a FIDE VP:

"London acted strangely. It seems they've lost interest in the match. They could simply have said that, but instead they presented FIDE with impracticable conditions".

I wonder what these impractiable conditions were

Gunner Carlsen-Topalov's picture

On there is no proper mention that London is no longer the venue....but silly notes like "FIDE President congratulates Silvio Danailov", "FIDE President arrived to the FIDE Presidential Board meeting ", "A congratulatory letter of the FIDE President " are highlighted.....this reminds uf dictator states like Egypt and Tunisia...we need a cehss revolution to get a better FIDE leadership

Chessplayers should unite, revolte and remove these clowns

Joe's picture

London? A vibrant and bustling city to hold the world championship? Hell no. FIDE prefers places like Libya and Iraq (almost) to hold chess' most important event. It would even seem they gave more respect to the bidders from these suspect places.

noone's picture

Why are you guys always hating fide without any proof? Just because London send a proposal does not mean it was any good.

Chesslov's picture

It is the other way round, hating Fide (or more accurately its current direction) with too many proofs.

They had one opportunity to give a proof for love, and failed.

Gunner Carlsen-Topalov's picture


the fan's picture

Dear Silvio,

On behalf of the World Chess Federation and on my personal behalf I cordially congratulate you on the election to the position of President of Bulgarian Chess Federation.

The election is the evidence of the high-level of your professional knowledge and administrative competence. I am sure that your experience in Management will continue to contribute to further strengthening the traditionally close and mutual beneficial relations between FIDE and Bulgarian Chess Federation. I hope that under your leadership Bulgarian Chess Federation will be the best federation in the world.

We wish you success in your work, in realization of the sports and social programs of the federation aimed at developemnt and promotion of professional and amateur chess and promotion of health lifestyle.

FIDE cordially congratulates and wishes you success in all your affairs and endeavors as well as good health to you and your family.

Best regards,

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
FIDE President

Silvio will organize the next match.

test's picture

It almost looks as if Ilyumzhinov wrote the above so I checked the FIDE website.
The above is a copy of this article: FIDE President congratulates Silvio Danailov.( Except the last sentence.)


Latest articles