The All India Chess Federation (AICF) president, J.C.D. Prabhakar, has hailed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s offer to stage the world chess championship here in November.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of chess players across the country and beyond, Prabhakar, pointed out how the gesture of the CM mirrored her concern for welfare of the sportspersons.
He said Ms. Jayalalithaa had now put the State on the world map by supporting the world championship final featuring the reigning champion from Tamil Nadu, Viswanathan Anand, against Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Prabhakar wondered why the Government of India had not thought of honouring chess and offered to host the world championship.
“By coming forward to stage the event in Chennai, the Chief Minister has achieved something unique.
“Sport in the State has always received excellent patronage whenever Ms. Jayalalithaa is at the helm of the Government,” he observed.
Echoing similar appreciation, FIDE vice-president D.V. Sundar said the entire chess community should express gratitude to the Chief Minister for the magnanimous offer.
“This decision is a big boon for sports in general and chess in particular not only in the State but the whole of India. It is one more proof of the CM’s immense interest in sport and its development. We are deeply indebted to her.”
Enjoying the vacation and time with family, Viswanathan Anand was not immediately available for comment. But the news has reached him.
His wife, Aruna, said on Anand’s behalf,
“We are delighted. The State could not host it last time despite the bid. That there is so much interest in the game is inspiring.
“It will be wonderful for Anand to be playing in Chennai and with all the home support.”