Bulgaria is set to make a whopping €3-million bid to host the 2010 World chess championship match between champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Veselin Topalov.
Bulgaria’s pride, World No. 1 Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov met Prime Minister Boiko Borisov on Thursday to discuss the possibility of their country hosting the match.
Minutes after the meeting, Danailov was quoted by noted website Chessdom as saying, “At the meeting, the Prime Minister has guaranteed €3 million for the organisation of the event. The official bid will be sent to the FIDE office by the Bulgarian Chess Federation (BCF).”
The site also gave the break-up of the bid offered by Bulgaria: €2 million for prize-fund, €400,000 for FIDE taxes and €600,000 for organisational costs.
Before the meeting, Danailov had expressed optimism over Bulgaria making a bid for the match, slated for April next year.
“Being a host of such a match is an incredible opportunity for advertisement and PR of Bulgaria. Anand is the sportsperson of the century in India and very popular in all Asia. The matches for the World championship are sports, social, and political events. Hosting such a match can put Bulgaria ahead and will be very positive for tourism and other areas of the economy,” said Danailov.
It may be recalled that last year’s championship match between Anand and Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik was a resounding success. It was the most followed world title match in chess history. Current estimates suggest that each game of the Anand-Topalov match will be watched live by over five million internet users around the world.
So far, neither the All India Chess Federation nor the Indian Government has shown any interest in hosting the multi-million dollar event.
Though FIDE is expecting bids from other countries, Bulgaria has surely emerged as the frontrunner to host the match. It is learnt that its Prime Minister has agreed to head the Organising Committee.
The last date for accepting bids is September 30 and the FIDE is likely to disclose the name of the host latest by October 9.