Graz, Austria, looks like the site for this year's world chess championship match.
According to a report published yesterday in the daily newspaper. Politika, in Belgrade, world champion Anatoly Karpov said he would prefer to play in Graz. His challenger, self-exiled Soviet grandmaster Victor Korchnoi, had said earlier that he preferred to play in Graz.
Official confirmation of the playing site must be made by the International Chess Federation after conferring with both players.
Karpov's statement to Politika was his first firm indication that he would in fact play against Korchnoi. After Korchnoi's defection from the Soviet Union, the Soviet Chess Federation established a policy that Russian grandmasters to win the right to challenge Karpov.
If he had refused to play, the world champion would have lost his title by forfeit.
The Austrian Chess Federation and other interested parties in Austria have pledged to supply a purse of $675,000 for the match. Representatives of this group visited Karpov at Bugojno. Yugoslavia, where he is playing in a tournament, and secured his agreement.
The time of the match has not yet been determined, but it is expected to be held next summer, probably beginning in August. If Korchnoi has been doing his homework, he may try to have the match begin in July. Karpov has lost only five games since becoming world champion three years ago, and three of those have been lost in the month of July.