However, IM Malcolm Pein wrote on Twitter that the Russian Chess Federation is refusing to approve the tournament, as required by the Russian laws. Pein continued – “I say bring it to London”.
FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg stated:
RCF sent a letter some time back to FIDE saying that the event in Chelyabinsk was not sanctioned by the RCF. In the meantime, FIDE assigned the World Championship Cycle to AGON who attempted to resolve the impasse with the RCF, apparently without success.
If the event is cancelled in Chelyabinsk then AGON will program it in a European capital or city in line with their other plans.
Andrew Paulson of AGON said for Chessdom:
FIDE has been trying to resolve this situation for months. I am not involved, but from what I understand Levitov and Dvorkovich informed local Chelyabinsk officials that they were not to work with us, and sponsors that they were not to pay the €300k promised, and I was even told that it would be a criminal offence if we held an event in Russia.
A completely confusing situation for a foreigner! Therefore, as time is getting short, to avoid conflict and scandal, I decided to hold the event at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand and try to find sponsors in London. We will be making the formal announcement this week; my apologies to the Players for the confusion.