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India Proposes Delhi as Host for Gukesh-Ding World Chess Championship Match

‘Yashobhoomi’ Convention Centre in Delhi Eyed as Venue

India is gearing up to propose Delhi as the host city for the upcoming World Chess Championship match between reigning champion Ding Liren and Indian prodigy D Gukesh later this year.

The India International Convention and Expo Centre, known as ‘Yashobhoomi’, situated in Dwarka on the Delhi-Gurgaon border, is being considered as the prime venue for the match. Government officials have confirmed granting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the All India Chess Federation for hosting the prestigious event. While Chennai, Gukesh’s hometown and a chess hub in India, seemed like a natural choice, authorities have opted for a ‘central location’.

The bidding deadline set by the international chess federation, Fide, is May 31, with a decision expected in June.

‘Yashobhoomi’, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2023, stands as one of the world’s largest MICE (meetings, incentives, conference, and exhibitions) facilities. With its state-of-the-art infrastructure covering a massive area, it surpasses Bharat Mandapam, the venue for the G20 Summit in 2023.

Fide has emphasized the importance of hosting the match in a world-class venue rather than a standard hotel room. Financial considerations aside, the prestige and facilities of the proposed venue hold significance for Fide.

Following the Candidates tournament in April, Fide issued a call for bids with a minimum total budget of $8.5 million, including a prize fund of $2.5 million and a Fide fee of $1.1 million. The remainder covers costs for anti-cheating measures, broadcast, and technological upgrades. Scheduled tentatively from November 20 to December 15, the championship will be a best-of-14-games affair, with the first player to reach 7.5 points declared the winner.

India has previously hosted the World Chess Championship in 2013 between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, held in Anand’s hometown Chennai. Singapore has also expressed interest in hosting the Gukesh-Ding match, citing its burgeoning chess scene and neutral cultural position. However, concerns over hosting costs remain a factor in their bid.

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