London to host world chess championship next year

London will host the world chess championship match on November 9-28 next year against current incumbent Magnus Carlsen of Norway, organisers said on Wednesday.

The 12-game match will see Magnus Carlsen defend his title against a challenger to be decided at a separate tournament in March.   -  AP

London will host the world chess championship match on November 9-28 next year against current incumbent Magnus Carlsen of Norway, organisers said on Wednesday.

The 12-game match will see Carlsen defend his title against a challenger to be decided at a separate tournament in March, the World Chess Federation and World Chess said in a statement.

The announcement was made at a reception in London hosted by the 26-year-old Carlsen and former UK finance minister George Osborne.

The last world championship match, which was held in New York in 2016, had a "record-breaking" total global audience of 1.5 billion people, organisers said.

“We know that this city loves chess, most major newspapers run regular chess columns," said Georgios Makropoulos, deputy head of the World Chess Federation, which is known by its French acronym FIDE.

FIDE said Carlsen had "helped transform the profile of chess globally since his crowning moment" in 2016.

“Chess is now the most popular computer game in the world, with a huge online audience in the hundreds of millions, that is growing exponentially," it said.