The competition is held by the Russian Chess Federation, the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation and the Zabaykalsky Krai Chess Federation, with support from the government of the Zabaykalsky Krai. The competition partners are Norilsk Nickel and the Baikalsk Mining Company.
A pre-start press conference was held at the Monblan hotel on the same day, attended by Zabaykalsky Krai Governor Konstantin Ilkovsky, the Russian Chess Federation’s Executive Director Mark Gluhovsky, and the reigning champions of Russia, Igor Lysyj and Valentina Gunina.
“In my opinion, there exist two great games in the world: chess and football, and the former is also a low-cost sport affordable for everyone,” said Ilkovsky. “I am really glad that Russia’s best players will play chess in Zabaykalsky Krai during the next two weeks. Holding such large-scale sports and cultural events makes the region open and recognizable, and attractive for investors. It is very important for the region that, after the tournament ends, the winner will say, ‘I won the Russian championship in Chita.’ In addition, this is an excellent opportunity to introduce this intellectual game to children and young people, which will probably help them fulfill their potential and become successful in the future.”
The region’s head thanked the Russian Chess Federation for the opportunity to hold the competition in Chita and expressed gratitude to its partners, the Baikal Mining Company and Norilsk Nickel.
Gluhovsky thanked the government of Zabaykalsky Krai and Governor Ilkovsky for the Superfinal’s excellent organization. “I am sure that both the players and the event’s guests will appreciate the huge preparation work done by the region’s government and the Organizing Committee,” he noted.
The RCF executive director also elaborated on the tournament’s rules, the opening cultural program and the free day’s program for children.
Russian Champions Valentina Gunina and Igor Lysyj answered journalists’ questions about how they had been preparing for the country’s most prestigious tournament, whether they had any special pre-start superstitions, what they were planning to do on their free day, and whether they had ever played chess versus a computer.
Lysyj praised the excellent accommodation and food, a tradition at all the events organized by the RCF.
The Superfinal’s gala opening took place at the concert hall of the Zabaykalsky Krai Philharmonia, where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s welcome address was read to the tournament participants, organizers, and the audience. Governor Ilkovsky and RCF Executive Director Gluhovsky delivered welcoming speeches to the audience.
Musicians, ballet dancers and singers entertained visitors with beautiful performances. Pianist Ram Urasin, People’s artist of the Republic of Tatarstan and the winner of many international competitions, performed on a Zabaykalsky Krai stage for the first time.
Chief Arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky conducted the drawing of lots. The 2015 World Archery Champion Tuyana Dashidorzhieva and the winner of the European Archery Championship Galsan Bazarzhapov were invited to participate in the procedure. The chess players chose squares on the demonstration board, and then the archers shot at the targets located there. As the arrow hit the target, a plate with the starting number fell out of it.
The drawing produced the following results:
1. Alexander Motylev, 2. Ildar Khairullin, 3. Vladislav Artemiev, 4. Ivan Bukavshin, 5. Sergey Karjakin, 6. Evgeny Tomashevsky, 7. Dmitry Jakovenko, 8. Denis Khismatullin, 9. Igor Lysyj, 10. Nikita Vitiugov, 11. Daniil Dubov, 12. Peter Svidler.
1. Valentina Gunina, 2. Alina Kashlinskaya, 3. Anastasia Savina, 4. Olga Girya, 5. Alexandra Kosteniuk, 6. Kateryna Lagno, 7. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, 8. Anastasia Bodnaruk, 9. Evgenija Ovod, 10. Marina Guseva, 11. Natalija Pogonina, 12. Alexandra Goriachkina.
Thus, the pairings in the first round are as follows:
Motylev – Svidler, Khairullin – Dubov, Artemiev – Vitiugov, Bukavshin – Lysyj, Karjakin – Khismatullin, Tomashevsky – Jakovenko
Gunina – Goriachkina, Kashlinskaya – Pogonina, Savina – Guseva, Girya – Ovod, Kosteniuk – Bodnaruk, Lagno – Kovalevskaya
The games will be played at the Megapolis-Sport Youth Palace. The rounds will begin at 15:00 (10:00 Moscow time), while the last round will start at 13:00 (08:00 Moscow time). The playing days are 9-14 and 16-21 August. A day off will be provided on 15 August. The tournaments’ total prize fund is 8 million rubles.
On the free day, simultaneous exhibitions will be held in Chita. Fifty young chess players from the Zabaykalsky Krai will cross swords with famous grandmasters: Evgeniy Najer, Sergei Rublevsky, and Evgenij Miroshnichenko.
A press conference will be arranged on 9 August at 15:30 at the Megapolis-Sport Youth Palace, where the Russian Chess Federation, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation, and and the Zabaykalsky Krai Chess Federation will present the Chess in Schools project, a new one for the region.
As has become a tradition at these tournaments, the organizers are preparing an extensive additional program for chess lovers of any age.
The Russian Chess Federation’s official website will have online and video broadcasting, and well-known grandmasters will commentate the games both in Russian and in English.
The tournament’s official website: http://ruchess.ru/
For more information, please contact: Eteri Kublashvili, +7-905-791-76-51, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Elena Fedorova, 8-964-470-06-06, e-mail: email@example.com.
Information for the media:
The Russian Chess Federation (RCF) is a public non-profit organization that brings together individuals and chess federations of republics, regions, federal cities, autonomous regions and districts of the Russian Federation. The mission of the Russian Chess Federation is to promote and popularize chess in the Russian Federation. the RCF was founded on February 15, 1992. It organizes the annual Russian Children’s Championship, the White Rook tournament among educational institutions, the Russian championship and other chess competitions. In 2012, the Chess in Museums program was launched in Russia at the initiative of the RCF.
Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation. The family of Elena and Gennady Timchenko has been doing charity both in Russia and abroad for more than 20 years. In late 2010, the Timchenkos founded a charitable foundation, which was called Ladoga until September 2013, in order to achieve long-term progress in philanthropy. Today it is named Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation (the Timchenko Foundation), and its program portfolio includes all the areas of family charity. The Timchenko Foundation focuses on promoting active longevity, developing sports and culture and aiding families and children. These strategic initiatives aim to provide a systemic solution for Russian social problems. The Foundation’s official website: www.timchenkofoundation.org.
The Zabaykalsky Krai. The history of the region as part of Russia dates back to the journey taken by the Cossacks from Peter Beketov’s hundred in 1652-1654, when they built the famous Nerchinsk settlement. The Zabaykalsky Krai was established on 1 March 2008 by merging the Chita Region and the Aginsk Buryat Autonomous District.
The region is the eastern economic, geopolitical, and historical outpost of Russia. Its southern and south-eastern border is also the Russian Federation’s border with Mongolia (863 km) and China (1095 km).
An important milestone in the Zabaykalsky Krai’s history was the exile of the Decemberists to this place starting from 1826, which is when the first data about the development of chess in the region dates from.
The region is a multiethnic land shared by Russians, Buryats, Ukrainians, Tatars, Byelorussians, Evenki, and other peoples.
The Zabaykalsky Krai is among Russia’s oldest mining regions and boasts vast mineral and commodity resources. It is among the leading Russian regions in terms of uranium, silver, copper, fluorite, tantalum, titanium, lead, gold, tin, and coal reserves. It also features many mineral deposits, including the Udokan copper deposit, the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world.
The region also has a considerable tourism potential: the flora here is comparable to that of Southern Crimea, Moldova, Transcaucasia and the Amur basin. The region has plenty of mineral water sources (about 300, with a different chemical composition and temperature, and most of them have medicinal properties) and thermal sources, competing with the Carpathians, Southern Crimea, Caucasus, and the Black and Baltic Sea coasts.
There is also a unique place near Chita ― the Pallas mountain (1236 m), which is the starting point for as many as three great rivers: the Amur, the Lena, and the Yenisei.
Official website: www.забайкальскийкрай.рф