WWCC R08: Closing ceremony in Tirana

12/3/2011 – The closing ceremony of the World Women's Championship match was held on the evening of the 30th of November. It was attended by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last head of state of the USSR, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for "his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community". Pictorial report.

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The FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship Match between the current World Champion Hou Yifan of China and her challenger, Koneru Humpy of India, was staged in the Triana International Hotel from November 14 to 30. The time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The winner of the ten-game match was the first player to reach 5.5 points or more – which turned out to be the title holder Hou Yifan after eight games. The prize fund was 200,000 Euro, with 60% going to the winner.

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony of the World Women's Chess Championship match was held in the spectacular Presidential Palace in the capital of Albania Tirana on the evening of the 30th of November.


Closing ceremony of the Women's World Championship in Tirana on November 30th


Zooming in: former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev speaking

The ceremony was attended by Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the last head of state of the USSR, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for "his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community". Gorbachev came to Tirana specially for the occasion. The legendary politician was invited by his friend, World Chess Federation (FIDE) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who also held a speech on the closing ceremony of the main chess women's competition of the year.

The distinguished guests, among who were the President of Albanian Chess Federation and the owner of the main sponsor of the match "Taci Oil" Rezart Taci, FIDE officials joined Gorbachev and Ilyumzhinov in congratulations to the World Champion, 17-year-old Chinese prodigy Hou Yifan and her challenger Humpy Koneru from India.


Mikhail Gorbachev, with FIDE officials, sponsors and the players Humpy and Hou Yifan


With the old and new Champion Hou Yifan...


... and her challenger GM Humpy Koneru of India


Mikhail and Kirsan – Gorbachev and Ilyumzhinov


A toast with champagne – In four years she will be able to drink it legally (in the US)


Humpy with her father and trainer Ashok Koneru

Due to the cooperation with Ilyumzhinov, and Gorbachev's devotion to chess in the years of his youth (he learned to play during the Second World War as he said in the speech), the former Head of USSR agreed to take the honorary position of the patronage of the FIDE's program "Chess in Schools". "The first thing we should always think about is kids, and their education and opportunities", said Gorbachev at the ceremony.


Press conference with the players, sponsors and dignitaries


Final group photo: Ilyumzhinov, Yifan, Gorbachev and Yifan's proud mother Wang Qian

Photos and news from Tirana by WGMs Anastasiya Karlovich
and Anna Burtasova, with kind permission of FIDE


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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