The opening ceremony of the FIDE World Cup took place in the Arts Center for Gifted Children of the North on September 9.
It was a colourful and delightful event that thrilled the audience.
It started with a chess-themed laser show followed by “Heart of Taiga” dance performance with the introduction of countries participating in the event.
The protocol part of the ceremony started with speeches by Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.
Pavel Kolobkov, Russian Minister of Sport, greeted everyone in the capital of Ugra and wished the participants of the World Cup exciting games and brilliant victories.
“I am happy that Russia got the right to carry out such a significant event, thus making Khanty-Mansiysk a chess capital of the world. I wish everyone a good contest, and may the strongest win”, said the Minister.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, congratulated the players on the start of the World Cup. He also thanked the organisers – Government of Ugra and Governor Natalya Komarova – for hosting such a prestigious tournament.
Arkady Dvorkovich: “We are all familiar with a wonderful chess tradition of Ugra, the region that organised almost all the most important chess tournaments, including the Olympiad. It is wonderful that this region develops chess for everyone, regardless of occupation or age. Still, everybody loves to watch games of the strongest players, and the strongest players are present here tonight. I wish you excellent play and best of luck, and declare the 2019 FIDE World Cup open!”
2020 Candidates Tournament
Mr Dvorkovich also made a special announcement following the FIDE Presidential Board meeting held on 9th September 2019. The Presidential Board had approved a bid for the 2020 Candidates Tournament from Yekaterinburg and Russian Chess Federation.
Drawing of lots
GM Ding Liren is the highest-rated player of the tournament and he was chosen to carry out drawing of the lots. The Chinese grandmaster picked a black piece. Therefore, all players with odd numbers will be playing Black in the first game of the first rounds.
An art show followed the presentation. It was organised by the Art Center for Gifted Children of North, “Grotesque” Theater of Plastic Arts and Pantomime, “Light It” modern dance studio, and the Youth Theater. The evening concluded with the Million Voices song performed by White and Black chess queens.
A press briefing with Natalya Komarova, Pavel Kolobkov, and Arkady Dvorkovich took place after the conclusion of the opening ceremony.
Natalya Komarova, Governor of Ugra: “The FIDE World Cup is strongly associated with Khanty-Mansiysk amongst the chess community. Four out of nine World Cups took part in Ugra, and today we are starting the fifth one. One can safely call Khanty-Mansiysk home of this tournament. The organisers do their best to make our guests feel at home.
The World Cup is not only a major sporting event but also an opportunity to experience being a part of a large and close-knit chess family. Ugra and chess are inseparable. We wish to present the exciting world of chess to thousands of Ugra people. By 2024 we want 55% of them engaged in various sports activities, under the national project “Sport is the way of life”.
Venue for the FIDE World Cup
The first games of the FIDE World Cup will take place on Tuesday, September 10. The playing venue is the Ugra Chess Academy (Loparev street, 6).