Carlsen – Karjakin WC match: FIDE/Agon confirms Trump Tower is an option

Carlsen og Karjakin i Wijk aan Zee tidligere i år. Foto: Alina l'AmiCarlsen og Karjakin i Wijk aan Zee tidligere i år. Foto: Alina l'Ami

We are only six months away from the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergei Karjakin, planned to be staged in New York City.

by Tarjei J. Svensen (translations by Jonathan Tisdall)

On April 12 Matt & Patt reported on rumors that there was activity behind the scenes to transfer the match to Russia. Ilya Merenzon, head of Agon, the company that owns the commercial rights to the world championship match, has rejected such speculation.

Can you either confirm or deny that there have been attempts to move the match to Russia?
– Not a single one.

Did Agon get any offers/enquiries to host the match in Russia since Karjakin’s win?
– No, not even information requests. Nothing close to it. Seriously.

Can you guarantee that the match is going ahead in New York as planned?
– Of course.

There is little to indicate that this declaration has had an effect on the rumor mill. Norwegian state broadcaster NRK published an article on April 19 with the provocative title «World Championship match may be moved from New York» where veteran New in Chess journalist Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam was quoted: «I would like to travel to New York. But still I would be surprised if I had to go there for this match.»

Ilya Merenzon under pressekonferansen i VM i Berlin i fjor. Foto: Tarjei J. Svensen

Ilya Merenzon during the press conference in Berlin last year. Photo: Tarjei J. Svensen

The NRK story has attracted enough attention in Russian media circles that FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov felt it necessary to refute the rumors on his own website.

«I hear about it for the first time. The Moscow FIDE office held a meeting on the match yesterday. I do not know who started this hoax but the game will take place on schedule – in New York from 10 to 30 November 2016,» Ilyumzhinov said on his site.

«The Mayor wrote to me that he was anticipating that event. We are considering Trump Tower and a proposal from one of the museums as the premise. We have other available options and they are all in New York,» Ilyumzhinov said.

Agon-boss Ilya Merenzon confirmed to Matt & Patt that Trump Towers is under consideration as a venue but says this is just one of many alternatives.

«We have a short list of venues in New York which exceeds 50 and have a team on-site that looks and is in negotiations with all of them as we are also finalizing the way the championship is going to be produced,» Merenzon told Matt & Patt. «We haven’t zoomed in on one location yet, but Trump Tower is one of them – but one of many.»

The US presidential election takes place three days before the World Championship match starts.

Short and Kirsan assistant in Twitter feud

Former world championship challenger and FIDE critic Nigel Short is among those who have expressed doubts that the match will go ahead as planned in the USA. He pointed out that there are still no details about the match venue, nor has any information emerged about sponsors.

On April 19 Ilyumzhinov was cited by state news bureau TASS that he was in the USA to complete the match deal. This did not match up with the FIDE president’s own Twitter feed that clearly showed him in Russia.

Kirsan’s assistant Berik Balgabaev claimed that the news bureau report was based on a misunderstanding.

When Short posed further questions to Balgabaev he got the reply «It’s not your business». Later Balgabaev completely lost his temper.

In the meantime the chess world awaits detailed announcements from FIDE and Agon. Merenzon would not yet give a definite date for when such decisions would fall.

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1 kommentar på "Carlsen – Karjakin WC match: FIDE/Agon confirms Trump Tower is an option"

  1. Obsicle | 9. mai 2016 på 10:37 |

    Short list that exceeds 50 (possible locations)? Strange choice of words…

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