Gukesh won't challenge Liren on home turf; Singapore wins bid for World Championships match

FIDE Candidates 2024 winner Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh poses for photos after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, in Chennai, Sunday, April 28, 2024.
FIDE Candidates 2024 winner Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh poses for photos after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, in Chennai, Sunday, April 28, 2024.

New Delhi | India's efforts to secure a home World Championships match for D Gukesh came to nought with Singapore pipping Delhi and Chennai to claim hosting rights for the premier chess contest which will pit the youngest Challenger in the history against defending champion Ding Liren from China.

The Tamil Nadu government and All India Chess Federation (AICF) had submitted separate bids to FIDE, the world chess body.

The match, which will offer a prize money of USD 2.5 million, will be held between November 20 and December 15 this year.

"After reviewing the bids and inspecting all potential host cities for their venues, amenities, event programs, and opportunities, the International Chess Federation has selected Singapore as the host of the World Championship Match," FIDE said in a release.

The 17-year-old Gukesh had scripted history by winning the Candidates Chess Tournament in April to become the youngest ever Challenger to the world title, bettering legendary Garry Kasparov's 40-year-old record.

"We are delighted that for the first time in the history of FIDE, a match for the World Championship will take place in Singapore. Not only is Singapore one of the most iconic global tourist and business hubs, but it is also a thriving chess center with great ambitions and talent," FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said.

"I would also like to thank the other bidders – New Delhi and Chennai. Both cities are renowned chess hubs with a rich history of hosting chess events, and we are confident we will see major chess events there in the future," Dvorkovich continued.

FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky said," Chess is not just a popular game and sport; it is often seen as the epitome of the human mind's ability to think strategically, to plan, and to foresee. Singapore embodies these same qualities. It's a great match for the great Match!"

"We also expect multinational companies to seize an opportunity and join forces with FIDE and Singapore to make this event truly exceptional," Sutovsky added.

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