No Bids Yet For Anand-Carlsen Rematch

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 06.05.14, 09:44.

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is stil looking for a host city to organize the second world title match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen. The match is scheduled for November 2014, but on the deadline of April 30th, 2014 FIDE had not received any bids.

It's a disturbing and perhaps unique situation for the chess world, at least in the past few decades: there are no bidders for the next World Championship. One week ago a brief note was posted on the FIDE website about the Anand-Carlsen rematch:

FIDE has not received any bid by the deadline of 13.00 GMT of April 30th, 2014.
A further announcement will be made by FIDE in due course.

FIDE Secretariat

Mid-March FIDE had extended the deadline by a month and a half. Back then FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet:

“There are probably many who wait and see how the Candidates’ Tournament goes, and if one of their players will play the World Championship match.”

In the mean time Viswanathan Anand has won the Candidates’ Tournament convincingly but now, in early May (and six months before the match should start!), the situation hasn't changed.

This can hardly be the fault of the players, or chess itself. Mr Freeman made a somewhat controversial statement when he said in March (in the same Dagbladet article):

“If we have not received any bids within the new deadline either, we just have to recognize that the product is not marketable enough.”

Update: After seeing this article Mr Freeman told “I believe my comment was that the match was not marketable enough with such a prize fund, obviously it is marketable.” Note that the bidding rules do not require a minimum prize fund, but the fund of the previous match in Chennai is mentioned: 1,850,000 Euros.

Update 2: The Rules & Regulations in the FIDE Handbook (in PDF here) do speak of a minimum prize fund: “13.1 The prize fund of the match, provided by the organizer, should be a minimum of 1,000,000 (one million) euros, net of any applicable taxes.”

With a World Champion who models for G-Star, from a country where TV stations are fighting for the rights to broadcast his tournaments, and with an Indian challenger who is one of the most successful sports stars from his country, it's hard to believe Mr Freeman.

Espen Agdestein, manager of World Champion Magnus Carlsen, said that he is “not surprised” that there are no bidders yet. He told

“In my opinion the reason is twofold. The first is time frame that FIDE operates with, which has has been extremely short, so it has been very difficult for potential organizers to organize a bid.

Second, we know from the last match that the global interest is huge, but the commercial concept of a WC match has not been systematically developed. I think FIDE needs a new approach to selling the match. You need to look to other sports and how they commercialize big global events. The chess match is defined, but the package around and how to present it is not.”

Aruna Anand, wife and manager of Challenger Viswanathan Anand, also gave a statement to

“As soon as Vishy won the Candidates, FIDE has been in touch with us and updated us on the bids. In the past a bid had always been confirmed  along with the match announcement. FIDE will revert back to us after their world championship committee reviews the situation and decides on plausible bidders.

For us personally, we are looking forward to the match. Winning the Candidates was definitely a morale booster for Vishy and he will soon start his preparations for the match. When and where should get cleared up soon.”

Only a year after the match in Chennai, a new bid from India seems unlikely. And although the popularity of chess is rising fast in the country of Carlsen, a Norwegian bid might be complicated because two major events are already scheduled for 2014: the Norway Chess tournament in June and the Olympiad in August.

Nonetheless, as Norwegian newspaper VG reported last week, the federation has made some attempts to try to get the match to Oslo. According to VG, they worked together with an events company and a communications agency, and intended to go with a budget of 40 million Norwegian Krone (4.85 million Euro / 6.76 million dollar). Without any bids so far, the Norwegians might have some extra time to attract commercial sponsorship?

“FIDE is currently examining all possible solutions, including (another) extension of the deadline or direct negotiations with organizers of the contesting duo,” Mr Freeman told The Times of India last week. “It is a situation which has occurred in the past with other World Championship events and were positively resolved.” 

FIDE's optimisim might sound surprising to some, since the World Championship is not the only official event that is lacking sponsors. The FIDE Grand Prix Series is also in serious danger. Whereas the first two Series were held over six events, FIDE was forced to shrink the third Series to only four tournaments. Meanwhile, the first tournament, scheduled for May 2014, has been quietly removed from the FIDE Calendar

Garry Kasparov, the Challenger of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at the upcoming FIDE Presidential elections, once again used social media to blame his opponent. On Facebook Mr Kasparov wrote:

“A young charismatic world champion in Magnus Carlsen and a popular veteran from India , Anand, looking for revenge, but no bids to host this match at all! What a shame. Chess does not have a "product problem." It has a Kirsan's FIDE problem! Chess is popular at the grassroots level and in education and has a great reputation with politicians and businesses, that is, with potential sponsors. And these sponsors are eager to support chess when approached by professionals. The common denominator of the problem is today's FIDE, which has none of the transparency and long-term planning required to deal with serious commercial sponsorship.”

The published dates for the 2014 World Championship match are 6-25 November. With exactly six months to go, the World Chess Federation is getting into time trouble.

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  • vor 2 Jahre


    The problem with the WC is that it's just between 2 competitors, the current WC and the winner of the Candidates. I believe the Candidates Tournament should be eliminated all together and have the World Championship played in the round-robin style of the Candidates with 12 competitors. The current WC would recieve automatic entry and the other 11 spots would be decided much like the Candidates participants are chosen. That way there would be 6 games going on at one time, which is a lot better for viewership, and the daily point fluctuations would make the Tournament far more interesting. Also, it's more likely that the winner wouldn't be decided until the last 1 or 2 matches.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    Norway must pay $10 billion and host the event..What a fuss Norway made the last time around..this time they are taking Magnus for granted...Magnus will defect to another country if Norway does not pay up ;-)

  • vor 2 Jahre


    The World Championship should take place in Norway this year, to be fair.There is huge interest in Norway, so it is a logical choice. I am surprised no bid from Norway has been submitted yet.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    It is better to compare Kasparov with Nero.

    The Roman emperor burnt Rome to get the artistic inspiration.

    Kasparov has many times tried to destroy FIDE to let him act at his whims.

  • vor 2 Jahre



    Your exact quote was "Kasparov will be hard to handle, with a one man "Hitler"platform: Everyone is required to become a chess player, by the age of six in this world!"

    Hitler's platform was what? I am guessing his platform wasn't chess related. I am also guessing that Hitler wasn't disappointed that all Jews, gypsies, and other people weren't living up to his chess standards, so the only resolution was the final solution. 

    Kasparov's platform you asserted is "everyone is required to become a chess player, by the age of six in the world!" Good grief.

    Again, you compared Hitler--who murdured 6,000,000+ people--to Kasparov, an arguably narcissistic person. My logic is failing because you used the fallacy of appealing to authority as a way to argue that historians would agree with your logic? Huh? I bet those same historians wouldn't commit such a simple fallacy...
  • vor 2 Jahre


    @chessdogblack I would give you an 'F' for writing "Its obvious that he wants the employment, money and prestige to aid his former status as a world chess champion." because you used the word 'obvious' and showed no proof.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    Incompetancy of FIDE aside, how can you expect a sponsor, city etc. to plan this massive of an event every year? In this case, they litterally had 6 months to plan. That is absolutely crazy. If FIDE wants a World Championship match every year, the time table for bids etc. needs to be much longer. This year's of course can't done that way but future years can.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    I am not supporting any candidate (Kasparov vs Ilyumzhinov) but if I were an investor, I would probably wait to see who wins the FIDE election, and what the policies are going to be before making a commitment or bid.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    Maybe investors are not investing because of the risk or uncertainty in the leadership of FIDE. The Ilyumzhinov vs Kasparov battle is very heated and an investor would be afraid to make a commitment if he or she is not certain what the policies are going to be if either candidate wins

  • vor 2 Jahre


    St. Louis would be a good choice.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    The championship cycle will go back to every two years. The next matches after 2014 are scheduled for 2016 and 2018.

    Oh, and about pretty girls making moves: that way we would only see two girls. Why not have 32 pretty girls, who are the pieces on a giant chess board? Wink

  • vor 2 Jahre


    I'd also say that Kirsan should step down, if it was not Kasparov aspiring for the presidency.

    This would be the most inadequate and narcissistic sports union president ever. He'd start with claiming himself the world champion.

  • vor 2 Jahre



          I mentioned this idea a while back, as have others. The title "World Champion" just doesn't have the clout it had a few years ago, thanks to digital technology, the internet, wireless communication, etc. Live ratings and blitz games get most of the attention, and understandably so. There are so many different sources for chess information, that one particular player versus one other particular player for 'all the marbles' just seems out of place, almost absurd. And, yes, it's getting to be a bit of an anachronism. Even if, at the moment a player is crowned "WC", he or she is theoretically the best in the world, that'll be old news in a few days or even hours. Computers will dissect and trivialize all the games, millions of people will themselves try out any new ideas from the contest in thousands of games played online, and within a very short time, the actual games and their contribution to the evolution of chess will be just a footnote. Most people already thought Carlsen was the best player in the world quite a while before he actually became champ. 

         I love the idea of a "World Champion" and a World Championship Match, with all the ceremony and history. But that's just because I'm an old coot who grew up with that stuff. I think the lack of bidders is due to the simple lack of interest. Most people thought the Anand-Gelfand match was a 'mis-match', that Boris got there by some kind of a fluke in the system. And Anand-Carlsen, in the minds of many, was a foregone conclusion. People just can't get too worked up about this thing anymore. I'm sorry to say this, but I suspect the concept of the 'World Championship' is headed for the ash-heap of history........

  • vor 2 Jahre


    This is the age of the internet..Classical Chess doesn't sell anymore. They should conduct side tournaments in blitz and rapids and invite exciting players to drum up interest in sponsorship.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    There are just too few spectators of chess and prize funds of millions are just ridiculous.

    Carlsen and Anand should not be so demanding at the prize fund. I know my digital watch can beat them both and I don't give a f*** about who is stronger of them two.

  • vor 2 Jahre

    An intersting article about possibly eliminating the idea of world champion, which I think has some fair points.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    What were they getting, like 250 million views a day for the last WC?  It can't be very hard to turn that kind of interest into something extremely profitable.  

  • vor 2 Jahre


    What a shame!!! This World Championship Match is probably the most exciting one held in the last few years and there is no bids! I agree with Kasparov. This is absolutely failure of FIDE that has failed to attract any sponsor. FIDE people have proved in the last few years that they do not care as much as they should about popularity of chess.

    Besides, what really confuses me is that why it is so difficult to see that Kasparov is the best option for FIDE presidency. He knows both chess and politics very well. Besides, he is a kind of celebrity with a lot of connections out there. He can absolutely change the future of chess. This is becoming more of a personal issue rather than a professional one.  

  • vor 2 Jahre


    I suppose a key question would be: "Did they request bids from anyone?  And if so, who?"

    This is clearly an 'organizational' problem ... seems potential sponsors may not be very excited to work with the current organization?  A shame, really.

  • vor 2 Jahre


    Sometimes Journalists make news out of a non-issue... real "news" is hard to come by.

    April 30th is an abitrary deadline creatd by FIDE, but it means nothing in of itself. A 6month pre-contract for a hosting city and sponsors is a bit much for a chess match. Give me a budget of $1,200,000 and I can organize that match in 10weeks - this is not a world cup here. The hosts and sponsors want to make sure there is enough publicity before they commit. Carlsen makes $2,000,000 a year from his sponsors with Microsoft giving more than half of that, so sponsorship won't be a problem.

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