European Championship in Dresden starts today

4/3/2007 – The 8th Individual European Chess Championships takes place from April 2nd to 16th, 2007 in Dresden, Germany. It is an 11 round Swiss and has over 600 participants from 43 nations. The games will be covered live on the official site and on Playchess.com. On Monday night was the opening ceremony, attended by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, chess dignitaries, participants – and a tiger!

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The opening ceremony

This was a spectacular held in the tournament venue on Monday evening. With most of the participants already in Dresden most seats were taken, with the prominent guests and FIDE dignitaries in the front rows.


Before the start of the formal ceremony a band entertained the visitors in the foyer


In the front row of the main hall we see FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Prince Alexander of Saxon, FIDE Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili, DSB General Secretary Horst Metzing and Bessel Kok. Behind Ilyumzhinov is his personal adviser Berik Balgabaev.


Greetings for the guests by Dresden's Administrative Mayor Winfried Lehmann


The director of the State Operette Dresden Wolfgang Schaller promised to stage the musical "Chess" during the Chess Olympiad in Dresden in 2008. To prove his point he had singers of his theatre perform some of the arias.

Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don't know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world
In a show with everything but Yul Brynner.

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me.

What's going on around me is barely making sense
I need some explanations fast. I see my present partner
In the imperfect tense. And I don't see how we can last
I feel I need a change of cast. Maybe I'm on nobody's side.

Never take a stranger's advice, never let a friend fool you twice
Nobody's on nobody's side, never be the first to believe
Never be the last to deceive, nobody's on nobody's side
And never leave a moment too soon, never waste a hot afternoon
Nobody's on nobody's side, never stay a minute too long
Don't forget the best will go wrong, nobody's on nobody's side.

No one in your life is with you constantly
No one is completely on your side
And though I move my world to be with him
S till the gap between us is too wide.
Looking back I could have played it differently
L earned about the man before I fell
But I was ever so much younger then
N ow at least I know I know him well


One night in Dresden – ECU President Boris Kutin addresses the audience


He's been taking lessons! FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov speaks in fluent English


The spiritus rector of this event, chief organiser Dr Dirk Jordan


A migical interlude to finish off the evening


The drawing of colours is done by magician Sarasani using two assistants dressed in black and white


After organising the drawing of lots Sarasani suddenly, and to everyone's complete surprise, changed his two assistants into a live tiger


Like to come out and meet some chess people, love? I said "meet", with an "m" in front!!


The MC and Dr Jordan are not so sure about the live, growling tiger free on the stage

Pictures and report by Frederic Friedel

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