FIDE Candidates – pictures from the opening ceremony

by ChessBase
5/5/2011 – Before every major chess event there is an ceremony for the players, their seconds, for dignitaries, organisers, sponsors and the chess public. It involves music and dance performances, and the drawing of lots. At the FIDE Candidates Matches in Kazan, Russia, we have photographic impressions by Vladimir Barsky, and use the opportunity to present the seconds of the players.

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May 2011
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From 3 to 27 May 2011 the FIDE Candidates matches are being held in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, with eight strong GMs competing to qualify as Challenger for the 2012 World Champion match. Time controls in the four regular games are 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. In case of a tie there will be four rapid chess games, and if the tie is still not broken then up to five two-game blitz matches 5'+3". Finally there may be a sudden-death final decider. The prize fund of the candidates is 500,000 Euros.

Pictures from the Opening Ceremony

By Vladimir Barsky, for the official Candidates web site

A welcome to the guests and to FIDE vice president Ilya Levitov (right)

The players in the front row: Radjabov, Topalov, Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Aronian, Gelfand, Kramnik, Kamsky

The players (see above) stand for the Russian Chess Federation anthem

Vladimir Kramnik, Russia, Gata Kamsky, USA

Chief arbiter Ignatiius Leon (Singapore) at the drawing of colours (for Grischuk vs Aronian)

Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik draws black for his first game

Igor Burshtein, publisher of the Russian chess magazine "64", chatting with the seconds
of Boris Gelfand, Grandmasters Alexander Huzman and Maxim Rodshtein

GMs Elizbar Ubilava and Rauf Mamedov, who assist Shahriyar Mamedyarov

In the foreground on the left: GMs Emil Sutovsky and Andrei Volokitin, who are helping Gata Kamsky. Behind them GM Alexander Riazantsev, who together with GMs Peter Svidler and Etienne Bacrot seconds Alexander Grischuk. And in the background (blue shirt, brown jacket) Sergey Karjakin, who together with GMs Zahar Efimenko is assisting Vladimir Kramnik. For the record: GMs Gabriel Sargissian and Sergei Movsesian are helping Levon Aronian, while Veselin Topalov has GMs Ivan Cheparinov and Erwin L'Ami. Teimour Radjabov came with his father Boris – we do not know who his seconds are.

Regional music and dance are part of the opening ceremony

Traditional Tatar costumes and musical instruments

Giant white king and black queen – created with double-decker artists

In the audience: FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (second from left)

Before he leaves Vladimir Kramnik signs autographs for fans from Kazan


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the server If you are not a Playchess member you can download ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games.

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