Addressing reporters here yesterday, J C D Prabhakar, president, AICF, said 'When we (members of AICF) met the Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa today and came up with the proposal for the World Championship, she agreed in a wink of an eye. This is a historic occasion. The government has sanctioned Rs. 20 crore for the prestigious championship.'
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the world chess body (FIDE) said he is very happy that the State government has accepted to support the championship. Terming the moment 'historical,' he said FIDE is planning to sign an agreement with the government on promoting chess in schools.
'Our target is to raise it (chess playing people) by one billion,' he said. Ilyumzhinov said the bid closes on 31 July, and the decision as to which country will host will be officially announced.
D V Sundar, vice-president, FIDE, said among the main factors that FIDE will look into before deciding on a bid, will be the quantum of prize money, ability of the national federation and logistics that should be acceptable to FIDE.
'With the Chief Minister's wonderful offer, we are confident of conducting it,' said Sundar.
Prabhakar spoke about the growth that chess has made in the last five years.
'We had nine Grand Masters in 2005, now we have 24. We had 28 International Masters earlier, we have 74 now. Indian chess is on the threshold of big things to come,' he said.
The AICF president praised Ilyumzhinov for his dynamic leadership. 'Ever since he took charge in 1995 there has been a lot of activities around the globe. His ambition is to promote chess in schools.
The FIDE president praised Anand for his devotion to chess and for concentrating all his energies only 'on the chess board.'