World Chess Championship finals to be held in Iran!!!

The following statement has just appeared on the official FIDE website at

"London, 13 May 2000 (13.05.00)

"The Presidential Board of FIDE at its meeting has just approved that the 2000 World Chess Championship and Women's World Chess Championship will start on Saturday, 25 November 2000, in New Delhi, India, with the final rounds of the World Chess Championship to be held in Tehran, Iran."
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
The FIDE President, His Excellency Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Mark Crowther adds, in "The Week in Chess":

"Should political complications arise because a player comes from Israel there is a reserve venue of Elista. Funding for the match comes from a mixture of sources. PT Ummer Koya of the All India Chess Federation has already secured funds from Iran and hope to have some from India. However FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has agreed to guarantee $3 million."

FIDE is under considerable pressure to hold its version of the World Chess Championship on schedule this year because the Kasparov-Kramnik match for the real world chess championship is scheduled to be held in London in October. If, as expected, FIDE could not hold a world championship this year, it might no longer be taken seriously.

However, the choice of Iran is surprising because not so many years ago Iran dropped out of FIDE and the Iranian Chess Association disbanded. One would like to know why Iran is suddenly coming back into chess in such a big way. It is to be recalled that two years ago FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov indicated that the World Chess Championship would take place in Iraq. This brought a stiff rebuke from the US State Department among others.

The statement that FIDE Vice-President Ummer Koya has "secured" funds from Iran is curious. Grandmaster Anthony Miles has some extremely unfavorable things to say about Ummer Koya in an article published in Chess Cafe at

Essentially, the complaint by Miles is that in view of his prior bad experiences with India, he insisted on being paid upon his arrival in India and Ummer Koya agreed to this. However, after the arrival by Miles in India, Ummer Koya disappeared and did not pay him until long after the tournament had been completed.

One would like to know why it happens that Iran has chosen Ummer Koya of India to communicate its wishes. Cannot Iran send its own representative to FIDE? I was not previously aware that India has such close relations with Iran.

Finally, the chess news sites are reporting that the Iran venue was decided at a FIDE meeting held in London May 14-15. However, the announcement that the event would take place in Iran appeared on the FIDE Web site on May 13.

Sam Sloan

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: