FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, on Saturday, said he was ready for Garry Kasparov’s challenge for the World chess governing body’s top job.

“I am even willing to quit if I find a suitable candidate who can spend time and energy for the job of FIDE president,” Ilyumzhinov told reporters here. “I am glad, though, that Kasparov, who had broken away from FIDE, has returned to the federation.”

He also pointed out that the rival bodies formed by Kasparov had all ceased to exist. “I am happy that there is only one World championship now, unlike the situation in the past,” he said.

“FIDE is now financially a strong body, which was not the case when I had taken over. I had to fund over $70m from my own pocket for FIDE’s activities,” said Ilyumzhinov.

“Now, I don’t have to do it, as big sponsors are coming forward to work with us. Recently, I was approached by big business groups in New Delhi, who wanted to conduct major chess tournaments.”

Ilyumzhinov said India might get to host the women’s World championship in the near future.

“I was speaking about it to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa the other day,” he said. “We could even have the women’s event in Chennai.”

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