Singapore Chosen As Venue For Ding vs. Gukesh World Chess Championship


The $2.5 million 2024 FIDE World Championship between reigning World Champion Ding Liren and his challenger GM Gukesh Dommaraju will take place in Singapore between November 20 and December 15. FIDE announced on Monday that the southeast Asian city-state of six million people had won a battle with the Indian cities New Delhi and Chennai, which also bid to host the match.

When young Indian star Gukesh became the surprise winner of the 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament thoughts immediately turned to a potential match in the new chess powerhouse of India. Already at the 17-year-old’s triumphant return to Chennai, bids were announced, and in the end we’re told that both New Delhi and Chennai were keen to host the match.

No second world championship match in Chennai, at least for now!

Such venues could have been huge for Indian chess, but it’s less clear if home pressure/support would have been a plus or a minus for Gukesh himself. 15th World Champion Viswanathan Anand previously lost the title to GM Magnus Carlsen in their match in Chennai in 2013. 

While Gukesh said he was ready to play in India, Ding, who won the title against GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in a match in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2023, had already voiced concerns about the prospect of a match with huge local support for his opponent. He said he preferred a third country such as Singapore. 

Singapore is said to have submitted a bid on May 31 and was approved after inspections on June 11-12. The 14-game match is slated to take place between November 20 and December 15 this year, with the exact venue still to be determined—FIDE says four venues are being considered. 

Singapore will host the 2024 FIDE World Championship match. Photo: fairmont.com/FIDE.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich commented:

“We are delighted that for the first time in the history of FIDE, a match for the World Championship will take place in Singapore. Not only is Singapore one of the most iconic global tourist and business hubs, but it is also a thriving chess center with great ambitions and talent.”

There was some disappointment from Indian chess fans and players, such as GM Vidit Gujrathi. 

Dvorkovich said of the Indian bidders:

“I would also like to thank the other bidders—New Delhi and Chennai. Both cities are renowned chess hubs with a rich history of hosting chess events, and we are confident we will see major chess events there in the future.”

For Singapore, meanwhile, it’s a huge chance to host the most important event in chess. 23-year-old Singaporean GM Tin Jingyao told The Straits Times:

“For many chess players here, it will be something really special. Because in Singapore, we barely even have any events for chess, let alone huge events like this. So unless you’re a serious chess player and you get to travel overseas for competitions, otherwise, most chess players and fans here have never really been to an international chess event before.” 

We’ve got 142 days to wait! 





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