FIDE World Championship closing ceremony

7/15/2004 – After the tiebreak games at the FIDE world chess championship in Libya the new champion was crowned in a splendid closing ceremony, attended by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Libyan OC President Mohammed Al Gadhafi (son of Muammar). We bring you pictures and an interview with Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

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The end of a world championship


The setting for the closing ceremony


Libyan folklore for the players and visitors


The hosts: Mohammed Al Gadhafi, President of Libyan Olympic Committee (and son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadhafi), and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of FIDE and of the Republic of Kalmykia


Ilyumzhinov and Mohammed Al Gadhafi pose with the four finalists Michael Adams, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Teimour Radjabov and Veselin Topalov


Two world champions: Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Antoaneta Stefanova


Smiles for the camera: "Kasim" and "Etti"

Pictures by courtesy of FIDE (© FIDE.com)

Portrait of a world champion

Rustam Kasimdzhanov, 24, born on May 12th, 1979 in Uzbekistan, married, one son, Azar, who is nearly two years old and currently living in Germany. Has played chess since he was five years old. First time on the rating list: July 1993 with 2259 points; first time among top 100: December 1998 with 2582 points and 97th place in the World; first time more than 2600 points (2601) in April 2000. Current rating 2640, best rating 2706. Asian Champion in 1998, silver medalist in the World Junior Championship in Erevan 1999, Best results: in the second World Cup in Hyderabad in India 2002, where he qualified for the finals and lost to Vishy Anand 0,5:1,5. Most important tournament wins: Essen 2001 and Pamplona 2002. Hobby: Literature (English and German).

On his preparation for the World Championship
Nothing special, I only prepared for the first round against Alejandro Ramirez. I had to work very hard to catch up with opening theory during the tournament. I took each decision round by round and played lines I had rarely played before, since all my opponents were very well prepared.

On the final against Adams
After Qc6+ in game six I felt it was all over. I sensed that the game was lost when I saw Qc6+. It was incredible, from almost won to almost lost in one move. The quality of chess suffered greatly in the final, the stress that the players suffered cannot be underestimated. I am sure there are no complaints of any quick draws.

His next plans
I will not shun playing in tournaments. I think that the world champion has a responsibility to play as many tournaments as he can during his tenure. This is our legacy. My immediate plans are to go back to my family. Currently there are my mother and brother also in Germany and we will have some quality time together. I will also probably play in the Olympiad for Uzbekistan.

On his match against Garry Kasparov
I will drink a cup of coffee with my friends and we will discuss the plans. I have played Kasparov a few times with disastrous results. I hope this will change of course.

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