Chennai: In an apparent bid to mollify India, the International Chess Federation offered Chennai the 2013 World championship title match after the 2012 edition between India's defending champion Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand of Israel surprisingly went to Russia.

It was a case of few dollars more that left the All India Chess Federation (AICF) red in the face after its Russian counterpart outbid to host the 2012 world championship between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel.
AICF was left squirming as its bid of $2.25 million was topped by Russia's $2.55 million.

Last month, FIDE president Kirsan Illyumzhinov met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who on the spot assured the government support, the total cost being $4.4 million.

It was virtually taken for granted that India's bid would win the day until the FIDE received a reportedly revised Russian offer a minute (11.59 pm) before the July 31 deadline expired.

The startling development came to light only Thursday, a full 11 days later, when a newspaper report broke the story regarding the change of venue and a possibility of the Indian bid being leaked.

The AICF released a copy of the letter dated Aug 9 that Illyumzhinov had written to the Chief Minister informing her of the change of venue.

The letter is basically a sugar coated pill as it lavished praise on the chief minister for her "spontaneous offer" to host the 2012 match and her keen interest in sports, but said the title match was awarded to Russia after evaluation of the two bids.

AICF president JCD Prabhakar, himself an MLA, said he was disappointed at the outcome, but did not wish to comment on the FIDE decision.

FIDE vice-president DV Sundar, in an emailed message gloated that the World governing body had directly offered a title match "for the first time ever" and said the AICF will bid for the 2013 tie only if Anand wins the 2012 title bout.

(Agencies)