World Chess Championship 2013 at Hyatt Regency Chennai Nov 6-26
"I guess the fact that the preliminary rounds of the 2000 world championship was held at the Hyatt in New Delhi must have titled the scales in Hyatt's favour for the November final," said RR Vasudevan, an international chess arbiter, who witnessed Anand's first world title in Tehran that same year.
Anand beat Alexei Shirov in the final. "The final was played in a conference hall in the centre of the city. That was 13 years ago, and I still remember Anand rushing to the press room to call his family in Chennai to inform them that he had won the title."
Interestingly though, the previous four title rounds that Anand played were the respective city's landmarks - the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow last year, the Central Military Club in Sofia (2010), Bundeskunsthalle museum in Bonn (2008) and the Hotel Sheraton Centro Historico in Mexico City (2007). The Chennai Trade Centre was initially the front-runner to host the final.
"The arrangements have always been of the highest level," said Grandmaster SS Ganguly, who was the only Indian on Anand's team of seconds in the previous three title matches.
Although Hyatt Regency's spokesperson did not give out details, Ganguly said technology-wise the venues have always been high-tech, up-to-date and error-free. "As part of the seconds, our world is completely cut off from that of a spectator. But then, you must also understand that chess has worldwide following on the internet," Ganguly told the ToI.
"Hosting the title round is bound to take the sport to the next level in India, as it will inspire thousands of children to aim higher.
"It will be the first time that most of the current Indian players will get to physically witness a title round, the first time they will get to physically see Magnus Carlsen."
Recollecting his Tehran experience, Vasudevan said Russian Grandmaster Valery Salov was invited to provide live commentary for the title match.
"The hall could hold at least 2000/3000 spectators. That was an amazing experience, the audio-visual and the analysis. The All India Chess Federation and the Tamil Nadu Chess Association propose to have giant screens with live audio-visual feeds at malls and high footfall areas. "The title match has been possible because of the State government's support. I'm sure the organizers will make it an event to remember."