India likely to bid for Gukesh’s world championship match

There is nothing called home advantage in chess. However, if things go according to the plans of the All India Chess Federation (AICF), the world championship match between D Gukesh and Ding Liren of China might take place in India. This match will be played in November. Hosting rights will be awarded by FIDE, the world body, through a bidding process.

Gukesh became the youngest winner of the Candidates meet in Toronto recently to secure a title clash with Ding, the defending champion. “The AICF will try to host this match in India. It’s too early to say which city,” former AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan told RevSportz. He is a member of the FIDE executive board and the chairman of its advisory board. RevSportz tried to contact the AICF president, Nitin Narang, and secretary, Dev Patel, but they were not available for a comment.

“Because the general election is going on, it’s difficult to specify when exactly, but the AICF will definitely bid for the match. The participants being from India and China, it is unlikely that there will be many other bidders. The details can be provided by the AICF,” said Chauhan, who was the tournament director of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai in 2022.

Chennai was also the host when Viswanathan Anand lost his world champion’s crown to Magnus Carlsen in 2013. However, this match is not always staged in the country of one of the participants. The 2014 duel between Anand and Norwegian Carlsen took place in Sochi, Russia. Carlsen played his other three finals in New York, London and Dubai. All these were neutral venues.

Gukesh, who turns 18 next month, became the second Indian after Anand to qualify for the world championship match. He won the Candidates with nine points from 14 rounds. Gukesh and other members of the Indian contingent were received at the Chennai airport by Chauhan and other officials on Wednesday night/Thursday early morning.