Bid process for 2020 World Chess Candidates tournament launched

Bidding has opened for the 2020 World Chess Candidates, the tournament where eight grandmasters play each for the chance of a shot at the World Championship title.
London-based World Chess, official organier of the World Chess Championship Cycle, in partnership with the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the sport’s governing body, has published the “Call of Interest” to find a host for the event.
Chess federations, sport or commercial organisations, cities and countries are all being encouraged to apply.
The winner of the tournament will play against the reigning world champion late in 2020.
The last Candidates Tournament, held in Berlin in March, had a media reach of 1.5 billion people, it is claimed by FIDE.
The online viewing audience reached seven million.
The last World Championship match, held in New York City between Norway’s Carlsen Magnus and Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, in 2016, enjoyed record-breaking coverage with the total media audience for the whole event topping 1.5 billion.
Ticket sales revenue topped $700,000 (£530,000/€600,000).
In a major departure, World Chess is breaking with the tradition of outsourcing the organisation of chess events.
It will instead grant the winning hosting party the position of “National Partner” with specific sponsorship and commercial rights, allowing the event to be more profitable.
World Chess will remain responsible for “look and feel” of the tournament and its digital presence, preserving and developing the brand of chess.
“Chess is a unique sport: it’s both traditional and modern,” Ilya Merenzon, the chief executive of World Chess, said.
“We will be very happy to bring this amazing tournament to a country where all of these attributes shine.
“We are looking forward to working with chess federations, politicians and entrepreneurs to make this event global.”
Visa eligibility, ease of travel, infrastructure, national sponsor interest, media presence and financial conditions will be considered as part of the criteria for suitability.
The deadline for applications will be December 15.

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