Monday, August 22, 2011

The WC bidding sequence: Anand vs Gelfand



Who will win the World Championship match?
V. Anand
B. Gelfand
Chess notes

By Harold Dondis and Patrick Wolff

August 22, 2011



It had been assumed that the world championship match between present champion Viswanathan Anand, 41, of India and Boris Gelfand, 43, of Israel, scheduled for next May, would be held in Chennai, India. After living many years in Spain, Anand has returned to Chennai, where he was enjoying a quiet life with his extended family and newborn son.



Anand is the pride of India, a hero in an emerging country. Chennai has experienced very sizable growth and it was expected that it would host the world championship. How else to honor a favorite, famous son?



An option held by a London group for the match had expired and the World Chess Federation (FIDE) put up the event for bids. It turned out, however, that Chennai was bested in its bid by the Russian Federation. FIDE announced that the latter had bid $2.55 million for the tournament, edging out the Indian offer, backed by the Indian Chess Federation and the Indian government, by $300,000. The disappointment in India was no doubt deep, but placated in part by the award of an option for the championship in 2013. The catch: Will Anand still be champion then? He is favored to win, but Gelfand is a veteran with prodigious experience and staying power.



The prize fund (the $2.55 million from Russia’s winning bid) is split 60-40 between the winner and loser of the championship. No matter who is victorious, the money will be a blessing for Gelfand, who has struggled financially over his career.



More here.