The final leg of Grand Prix is declared open

The final leg of Grand Prix is declared open

The final leg of FIDE Grand Prix was opened today in the chess capital of Russia – Khanty-Mansiysk.

The top grand masters of the present, officials of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), regional authorities, amateur chess players and their parents have gathered today in the building of Ugra Chess Academy – an architectural miracle of Siberia.

«Very good players are participating in this tournament. We are very happy to be back in Khanty-Mansiysk as this city is hosting main chess tournaments since 2005. I would like to greet everybody here and to thank the regional authorities for making this happen», — said the FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg in his greeting speech.

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The deputy director of the department of physical culture and sport Igor Krutko has greeted all the guests in the most chess-loving city of Russia. In his speech he stressed the attention on the fact that Ugra is the territory of sport and underlined that the region supports the idea of including chess in the program of the Olympic Games. «Not long ago we were hosting the Winter Olympics and they were conducted on the highest possible level. We would like chess to become a part of the Olympic Games. In this case chess players from Ugra will also be representing Russia on the main sport competitions in the world», — said Igor Krutko.

«Here, in Khanty-Mansiysk we try to do our best to support FIDE in its program «1 billion people playing chess» — the number of chess players in the region is constantly growing. Such tournaments like stimulate the development of this sport in schools. I wish all the athletes to have interesting games and let the strongest of you win!», — said the mayor of Khanty-Mansiysk and the president of Ugra Chess Federation Vasily Filipenko.

According to the results of the drawing procedure the following will be playing in the first tour of the final leg:

Grischuk – Svidler, Jakovenko – Giri, Jobava – Tomashevsky, Karjakin – Nakamura, Caruana – Dominguez, Gelfand – Vachier-Lagrave.

The current leader of the overall standings of the Grand Prix Series Evgeny Tomashevsky from Russia has shared his emotions about the forthcoming games.

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«This tournament is very interesting, not only by its participants but by its organization as well. The fact that I am the current leader puts more psychological pressure on me, but it also helps to recover after the games more quickly. I think that all pre-start worries will not be important soon and the tension will be growing from one game to the other and prevail among all the feelings», — said Evgeny.

In the end of the opening ceremony the main trophies of the tournament – the Big and the Minor Cups – were presented. The awards were presented by the head of the Jewelry House “Lobortas” Igor Lobortas. This company has designed and made the exclusive trophies that will soon be awarded to the winner.