In an apparent bid to placate India after Chennai was deprived of the World Chess Championship match between Vishwanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand of Israel next year, the game's governing body has now offered the 2013 edition of the prestigious event to the city.
In a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said the world body would want All India Chess Federation to host the 2013 match.
"This is to recall that the FIDE delegation headed by President called on the Chief Minister for the organisation of this match at Chennai. The Hon'ble Cheif Minister was spontaneous in giving her consent to organise this match at Chennai and sanctioned an amount of US $4.4 million towards expenses which included US $2.25 million as Prize money," wrote Ilyumzhinov, in the letter released by AICF vice-president D V Sundar.
"However, the match was allotted to Moscow as their bid towards prize-money was US $2.55 million. Impressed by the Chief Minister's love for the game of chess and graciously agreeing to his request, the FIDE President has offered the 2013 match to the All India Chess Federation," the letter added.
The FIDE president said "to our knowledge this is the first time ever that FIDE has offered a title match to anyone directly".
Chennai was tipped to host the Championship Match and the chess fraternity was waiting in anticipation that World champion Anand would defend his title at his home city. The match was later allotted to Moscow, apparently because the Russian capital offered more prize-money.