Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen sign contract for World Chess Championship match
DC | S Sujatha
Chennai: After a delay of two months and the inclusion of an illness clause in the terms and conditions, World No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway and five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand of India signed the contract on Tuesday for the world chess championship match that is slated to take place in Chennai from November 7 to 28 this year.
“For the first time in a world chess championship match, we have introduced an illness clause that states that a player can take two days off if he falls sick,” said a source, who added that the players were expected to sign the contract long ago.
“Mails went back and forth between the players, organisers and Fide before it was finally settled on Tuesday.” It may be noted that after Fide signed an MoU with the All India Chess Federation and the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association for staging the world chess championship match in Chennai, it was feared that Magnus Carlsen might still refuse to sign the contract as he had expressed unhappiness with Fide’s choice of venue.
Carlsen’s agent, Espen Agdestein, then said that there should have been an open bidding and a neutral venue for the match. Carlsen even requested Fide to conduct half the match in India and the remaining in Norway. However, Fide after failing to persuade India to share the match plumped for Chennai, citing the option of first right of refusal given to the south Indian city after it had lost the bidding to Moscow for the 2012 World Championship.
Carlsen is visiting Chennai next week to inspect Hyatt Regency, the venue for his match against Anand. During his maiden trip to India, he is scheduled to play simultaneous chess with young players at MOP Vaishnav College on Monday . The Norwegian may meet the Tamil Nadu chief minister on Tuesday before he flies back home on the same day.
It may be noted that Viswanathan Anand’s wife and manager Aruna has already inspected the tournament venue.