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Old August 12th 16, 03:32 PM posted to
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Default World Championship in NY City

After months of delay and much scepticism in some quarters that it would ever happen, the company that holds the marketing rights to the world chess championship will announce on Tuesday that the next title match – between the Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen and the Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin – will take place in New York in November.

The 12-game match will start on 11 November and be played over a three-week period at the newly refurbished Fulton Market building in central New York.. “We are thrilled to hold the championship in such a fantastic venue,” said Ilya Merenzon, the chief executive of Agon, which holds the commercial rights to the world championship. “The location befits the status of chess as one of the world’s fastest growing sports both in terms of participation and commercial appeal.”

Who those sponsors will be is the next critical question. The failure to attract big-name commercial backers has dogged chess for decades, and made the sport financially dependent on oligarchs in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union, including emerging states such as Azerbaijan which have seen support for chess as a source of national prestige. This has led to criticism of cronyism of the World Chess Federation, and accusations that its accounting procedures are at best opaque.

The New York match will cost an estimated $6m (£4.6m) to stage, with the two players competing for a prize of more than €1m (£850,000). The winner of the match takes 60% of the prize fund, while the loser gets 40%.
A source close to Agon said an announcement on sponsorship would be made by the end of the month, but that two seven-figure sponsors were already on board. Getting big-name backers to commit in the long term will be crucial in putting chess on a par with other sports.
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