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Gukesh vs Ding Liren in India! AICF ‘seriously’ eyeing hosting World Chess Championship

Gukesh vs Ding Liren in India! AICF ‘seriously’ eyeing hosting World Chess Championship

Whether India lands the hosting rights for the Championship or not, the focus on nurturing young talent paves the way for a more competitive Indian chess scene on the world stage.

India is seriously considering bidding to host the prestigious World Chess Championship match between its rising star D Gukesh and the reigning champion Ding Liren of China, according to the All India Chess Federation (AICF) chief Nitin Narang.

Gukesh meteoric rise puts India in spotlight

This move comes after D Gukesh’s phenomenal achievement at last month’s Candidates Chess Tournament. The 17-year-old became the youngest-ever contender for the World Chess Championship title, sparking a chess boom in India.

AICF keen to leverage opportunity

The AICF, under its new leadership, is determined to capitalize on this momentum. Hosting the World Chess Championship would not only be a significant honour but also a major boost for chess in India.

Challenges regarding World Chess Championship

AICF chief Nitin Narang told The Indian Express there are hurdles to overcome. The estimated cost of hosting the Championship is around $8.5 million (approximately Rs 70 crore). The AICF is evaluating various aspects, including commercial partnerships, logistics, and overall management. Additionally, Singapore has also expressed interest in hosting the event.

Beyond World Chess championship

The AICF isn’t just focused on the Championship. They have unveiled ambitious plans to popularise chess across the country. This includes:

  • Supporting elite players: Top 20 FIDE-ranked Indian players will receive annual cash rewards of up to Rs 25 lakh.
  • Investing in grassroots development: Grants will be provided to establish 20 online chess academies across India, offering free coaching to 320 talented young players under the guidance of grandmasters and elite trainers.

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Bright future for Indian chess?

With Gukesh’s success and the AICF’s proactive approach, the future of chess in India appears bright. Whether India lands the hosting rights for the Championship or not, the focus on nurturing young talent paves the way for a more competitive Indian chess scene on the world stage.

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