Chennai: Holder Viswanathan Anand will clash with Boris Gelfand of Israel for the 2012 World Chess Championship title, which will be held in India for the first time.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has accepted a proposal to conduct the event either in April or May next year during a meeting with World Chess Federation (FIDE) president Kirsan Illyumzhinov, here on Wednesday.

This is the first time that India would be hosting the prestigious tournament, which would be held at a cost of around Rs 20 crore, a state government release said.

During the meeting, Illyumzhinov mooted the proposal to conduct the games in Chennai to which the Jayalalithaa agreed, the release added.

India is ranked seventh in the world, and of the 24 granmasters in the country, 24 are from Tamil Nadu.

Illyumzhinov told reporters that Moscow along with Chennai had bid to host the 2012 championships, but said a formal announcement (about Chennai hosting the event) will be made by July 31, 2011.

Heaping praise on Anand, Illyumzhinov said the Chennai-born star had dedicated a lot of time in popularizing the game and said he was a 'true symbol' among youngsters and looked forward to more people taking to chess inspired by him.

"He is a brilliant player," he added.

All-India Chess Federation President JCD Prabhakar said Jayalalithaa had instantly approved the proposal to conduct the Anand-Gelfand clash in Chennai next year and thanked her for allotting Rs 20 crore for this purpose.
   
(Agencies)