ByHT CorrespondentHT Correspondent

Bengaluru: Singapore will host the World Chess Championship match between Ding Liren and D Gukesh later this year, the game’s global governing body Fide announced.

FIDE Candidates 2024 winner Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh. (PTI)

Two Indian cities – Delhi and Chennai – were in the running as well and had submitted bids for the match. While Delhi was proposed by the All India Chess Federation, the Tamil Nadu government sent in an independent bid, offering to host the match in Chennai. Fide however decided to go with Singapore – the only neutral venue bid in the mix.

“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 centre with great ambitions and talent,” Fide President Arkady Dvorkovich said. The match, which boasts a prize fund of $2.5 million, is set to take place between November 20 and December 15, 2024.

Unlike Singapore, both the Indian bidding venues, Chennai and Delhi have hosted the World Championship previously. The Tamil Nadu capital hosted the World Championship in 2013 and the also the Olympiad, more recently in 2022. Delhi hosted the first half of the World Championship in 2000. The final half was played in Tehran where Viswanathan Anand won his first world title.

India hasn’t had a world champion since Anand won it five times. With reigning champion Ding Liren not playing his best chess at the moment, the dominant belief is that 18-year old Gukesh will end the wait and break Garry Kasparov’s record to become the youngest-ever world champion.

Gukesh made history by winning the Candidates Tournament in Toronto in April, becoming the youngest challenger to the world title. At 17, he bettered the record of Kasparov, who was 22 when he qualified for the first time.