FIDE World Team Chess Championships Opened

by Frederic Friedel
6/17/2017 – For the first time the Open and the Women's Championships are being held at the same time, from June 16–27, 2017, in Khanty-Mansiysk, the oil boom town in western Siberia. The opening ceremony took place on Friday, with some spectacular cultural stage presentations, all meticulously documented in an hour-long video you should not miss. We will be covering the event on Playchess – check our "Live Broadcast" list on the right.

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FIDE World Team Chess Championships Opened

The FIDE Open and Women’s World Team Chess Championships is taking place from June 16 to June 27, 2017 (June 21 is a free day) in the the Ugra Chess Academy of the oil-book town of Khanty-Mansiysk, in western Siberia. Ten open and ten women's teams are participating. Games start at 3 p.m. local time – 12 noon CEST, 6 a.m. New York (check your location).

The Opening Ceremony took place on Friday June 16. Above are FIDE Press Officer Eteri Kublashvili, FIDE Vice-President Boris Kutin, the Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova, and the President of the Russian Chess Federation and FIDE Vice-President Andrey Filatov.

The official part of the event was opened by Governor of Ugra, Ms. Natalya Komarova. First the head of the region read out the welcome letter of the President of Russian Federation. Together with Vladimir Putin, she shared the people of Ugra’s feelings about this event: “We are hosting a chess tournament of this level for the first time. The integration of two championships creates fantastic good vibrations for participants, supporters and organizers. We are grateful to FIDE for this decision. I think that you are going to be surprised by our summer that is much warmer than in many European cities of our country. I hope that you will manage to surprise us, your fans, with new combinations, brilliant moves and fine play. Let the strongest win! Welcome to Ugra!”

FIDE Vice-President Boris Kutin also greeted all the teams and their supporters: “I am simply very pleased to say the words 'Welcome to Khanty-Mansiysk' because I have already lost count of my visits here. This is a small city with a great heart! Khanty-Mansiysk is a number one city in the world of chess!"

The President of the Russian Chess Federation, FIDE Vice-President Andrey Filatov, expressed his gratitude to FIDE, Ugra and personally to Natalya Komarova: “Thank you ever so much! I agree with my colleague Mr. Kutin, Khanty-Mansiysk has a great heart indeed. Thank you for your hospitality and all this cordiality we have already felt!”

The national anthem. Click to enlarge and see how many players you can identify

Boris Kutin pronounced the main words of the night: “I declare the FIDE World Chess Team Championships open!”

A final and most expected moment of the official part was the tournament pairing. Actors dressed as shamans of the indigenous northern peoples in the course of their mystical dance passed their main attributes, ten shaman drums, where the numbers were hidden, to other actors dressed as pawns.

Then those souls of chess, as chess theoretician François-André Philidor used to call them, stood in line waiting to be chosen by a representative of a participating team. The number on the national musical instrument indicated the team’s position in the tournament table.

One-hour video document of the entire opening ceremony. Maximize and go to 4:25 min for the unusual drawing of colours, and to 39 minutes for really exciting, exotic stuff.

Teams were arranged as follows (click to enlarge):

R1 pairings: China-Belarus, India-Poland, USA-Norway, Egypt-Russia, Turkey-Ukraine

R1 pairings: USA-Ukraine, India-Georgia, Poland-Azerbaijan, Egypt-Vietnam, Russia-China. The first games of the championships will be played on Saturday, June 17, at 15:00.

Live video feed from the World Team Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk. Maximize for optimum view.

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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