62 chess players from 18 countries have arrived to Khanty-Mansiysk for FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championships. The traditional opening ceremony took place on the 5th of June. The show combined two forms of art – performing art and theater. During the show spectators were able to follow a real chess battle of two kings. The organizers were trying to show that chess is not limited to just 64 squares of the chessboard, rather a whole life, where each of us makes his own moves. Scroll down for a photo report (click on photos for full size).
18 flags of participating countries have decorated the stage during the show. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the head of the Summer Sports Department of Russian Ministry of Sports Grigory Kabelsky were invited to the stage for the opening speech.
“Chess is special in our country. Millions of people love and play chess”, – said Grigory Kabelsky. He wished all the players to have nice and thoughtful games.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov noted that the capital of Ugra has been holding big international competitions for 8 years. “We can state the fact that today each chess player knows what is Khanty-Mansiysk and where it is. This city has become the center for the chess development”, stressed the FIDE President. He reminded that 2010 Chess Olympiad held in the Ugorian capital is acknowledged as one of the best organized chess Olympiads.
Alexey Putin has emphasized a big value of chess for Khanty Mansiysk Okrug. “More than 23 000 children study chess in our Okrug. We have successful results not only within Okrug but also outside it. That is why we will do our utmost to support chess development in Ugra. It is a great honor for us to host the best chess players and to organize chess events of highest possible levels. We support and will continue supporting this sport”, – Alexey Andreevich concluded.
The chief arbiter Andrzej Fillipowicz from Poland was asked to the stage to greet the audience. “It is a great honor to be here in this “chess city” Khanty-Mansiysk. I wish Ugra lots of new big tournaments”, added the arbiter.
To carry out the drawing procedure the chief arbiter invited the European Champion of 2010 Ian Nepomniachtchi to the stage. The Russian grandmaster drew the black pawn for top-seeded Alexander Grischuk who is arriving to Khanty-Mansiysk next morning.
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Photos: official website