- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 29, 2017

London will once again host a world chess title match as organizers announced Wednesday that Norwegian champion Magnus Carlsen will defend his title against a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the British capital in November 2018.

FIDE, the international chess federation, and World Chess, the London-based company with the rights to organize the title match, said it will be again be a 12-game match. Mr. Carlsen needed a rapid-game playoff to defeat Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin in his last title defense in New York City in 2016.

The 26-year-old Norwegian has held the title since 2013, and will likely be favored again in London. Play begins Nov. 9 and runs through Nov. 28.

Two American grandmasters, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So, will be in the eight-player field for the “candidates” tournament in Berlin in March to determine the next challenger. No U.S. player has held the title since Bobby Fischer was stripped of his crown for refusing to defend his title in 1975.

It will be the fourth time since 1986 that London has hosted the game’s most prestigious match. Longtime Russian world champion Garry Kasparov lost his title to compatriot Vladimir Kramnik in a London match in 2000. Mr. Kramnik will be the oldest contestant in the field in Berlin to select Mr. Carlsen’s next challenger.

The championship match will have a total prize fund of $1.18 million. More details on the match can be found at https://worldchess.com/.

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