Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Sofia!

The venue for the 2010 World Championship match between reigning World Champion Anand and his challenger , Topalov has been confirmed. The host country will be Bulgaria in the city of Sofia. I wondor how Anand feels about the match taking place in Topalov's home country. It certainly will give Topalov some psychological advantage.

There were two other countries bidding to hold the match, Turkey and Singapore. I was hoping Singapore would pull through. It's proximity means that I would be able to attend some of the games. Unfortunately, neither of them could provide the bank guarantee required by FIDE.

Bulgaria did not provide one either due to "technical reason". The Bulgarian Prime Minister presented a letter instead which I suppose is just as good. The prize fund is two million Euros. I am not sure of the details like how much goes to the winner and loser, but two million Euros is a lot of money. No matter how it is cut, even the loser will go home with a satisfied smile.

For this, all chess players have to thank Bobby Fischer, for without him, this kind of money might have been a dream. He was the first chess player to fight for million dollar prize fund in his 1972 match with Boris Spassky. At that time, most people thought he was crazy as this kind of money was never seen before in chess. Fischer should not only be remembered as one of the greats, but also one who really did a lot to alleviate chess to a sport with real money for the top players.


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