World Championship closing ceremony in Moscow

by ChessBase
6/1/2012 – On Thursday, a day after the after the end of the playoffs, the closing ceremony of the World Chess Championship was held – with champions, dignitaries, sponsors, laurel wreaths and trophies. We have videos and pictures of the the festivities. Also statics of the Championship as a media event, which was so successful that the Russian Chess Federation is considering a repeat.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The World Chess Championship 2012 was staged in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, between the current World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India and the winner of the Candidates tournament Boris Gelfand of Israel. The match was over twelve games plus tiebreak, and lasted from May 11 to 30. It was won by Anand in the tiebreak. The prize fund was US $2.55 million, the winner getting $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1.02 million (40%).

Closing ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship

The ceremonial closing ceremons took place on 31 May in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery.

The establishment date of the Tretyakov Gallery is generally considered to be the year 1856. It was then that Moscow's noted art collector, merchant and industrialist Pavel Tretyakov (1832-1898) acquired his first paintings by contemporary Russian artists and set himself the goal of forming a collection that could develop into a museum of national art in the future. No such museum existed in Russia at that time. The overwhelming majority of paintings by Russian artists was dispersed among numerous private collections; a few – the most famous and officially acceptable – found their way into the Imperial Hermitage and the museum of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.

Tretyakov State Gallery – use your mouse to explore the location or click for a larger map

Today the State Tretyakov Gallery is the national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the greatest museums in the world. It is located in one of the oldest directs of Moscow Zamoskvorechye, not far from the Kremlin. The Gallery's collection consists entirely of Russian art and artists who have made a contribution to the history of Russian art or been closely connected with it. The collection contains more than 150,000 works of painting, sculpture and graphics, created throughout the centuries by successive generations of Russian artists. Russian art works, ranging in date from the 11th to the early 20th century, are on the show in Gallery's historic building on Lavrushinskiy Pereulok.

Attendees were first treated to a documentary film about the match showing video highlights from the games to the accompaniment of an inspired Denis Matsuev.

Video stream of the closing ceremony of the World Championship

You can maximise this report and watch it in HD. It contains scenes
from the past three weeks of the World Championship in Moscow.

The ceremony was hosted by Russian Chess Federation Chairman Ilya Levitov, with the opening speech being given by Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Alexander Zhukov.

Russian Chess Federation Chairman Ilya Levitov, also the main organiser of the event

Speech by Alexander Zhukov

Alexander Dmitriyevich, 56, is a Russian economist and politician, member of the State Duma (1994–2004). He is the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation since 9 March 2004. He is also Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Irina Lebedeva (above), General Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery was next to take the stage, and was followed by a speech from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (below).

It was then time to invite the participants in the match – Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand – onto the stage.

The Indian grandmaster was awarded the golden Championship Trophy by the FIDE President... well as another equally beautiful trophy from the Tretyakov Gallery

Note that all the games are engraved in the golden cup

Kirsin Ilyumzhinov also presented both players with FIDE medals

The match winner was also crowned with a champion’s ribbon and a laurel wreath

This was followed by a speech from the initiator and sponsor of the match, Andrey Filatov. He presented a painting by Yury Krotov as a gift to the Tretyakov Gallery. The painting depicts Denis Matsuev playing at the opening ceremony in a packed Vrubel Hall.

A second painting, depicting Anand and Gelfand at war over the chessboard under
the watchful eye of the “Seated Demon”, was presented to the World Champion.

Alexander Zhukov then invited journalist and television presenter Sergei Makarychev
to the stage and awarded him an honorary title in recognition of his services to culture.

This was followed by Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand stamping envelopes
issued by the Ministry of Communications in honour of the match.

The closing ceremony was followed by the final press conference of the World Championship and featured both grandmasters, as well as the Chairman of the Russian Chess Federation, Ilya Levitov, and the initiator and sponsor of the match, Andrey Filatov.

Before the press conference got under way, commemorative pens were awarded to the four journalists who wrote the best articles about the Tretyakov Gallery and the relationship between chess and the world of art. The images on the wooden part of the pens were produced by Veronika Chibisova and other artists and Palekh miniature experts.

Relaxed at the press conference: Boris Gelfand and Vishy Anand

At the press conference, Anand and Gelfand talked about their
meeting with President Vladimir Putin that morning.

The grandmasters also answered many questions about chess
and other things, including their backgrounds and even football.

Andrey Filatov (above) explained that he had kept a close eye on every game and also stated that his childhood dream to take part in the World Chess Championship had come true, even though it was as a sponsor rather than a player.

Ilya Levitov expressed his satisfaction with the organisation of the match and did not rule out the possibility of the Russian Chess Federation once again putting in a bid to host the World Championship if one of the three Russian participants in the Candidates Tournament emerges victorious.

All photos by Eteri Kublashvili, Vladimir Barsky and Alexey Yushenkov

World championship match by the numbers

The match for the title of FIDE world chess champion generated considerable interest from chess fans and the media. On some days, the auditorium’s 400 seats were unable to accommodate all the people who wanted to watch the game. As part of the children’s programme, 20 sessions were held involving some 500 young chess fans. The sessions were hosted by former world champions.

More than 400 journalists were accredited for the match. Two television companies, NTV+ and VGTRK (the Russian 24 channel) covered the events of the match on a daily basis. All the main Russian television stations worked at the match along with representatives of several major global television companies – the BBC, France Press, Associated Press and others.

The official tournament website received some two million unique visitors during the tournament and more than six million hits. A video broadcast of the match, which was not only available on the official website but also on other Internet resources, was viewed by approximately three million people. An average of 200,000 users watched each game online using the video broadcast. The most entertaining game came on the final day of the match, when an all-time high of more than 50,000 simultaneous connections to the server were registered.


The games were broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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.

Copyright ChessBase

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register