World Rapid and Blitz starts today

6/6/2013 – “Just two days ago we closed the FIDE Grand Prix in Greece," said FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, "and today we are opening the World Rapid and Blitz Championships.” It was at the opening ceremony in in Khanty Mansiysk (Russia), where 62 players from 18 countries are gathered for a five-day event in the spectacular Ugra Chess Academy. Prepare for some fast and furious action.

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The FIDE World Rapid Championship 2013 and FIDE World Blitz Championship 2013 are being held in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) from June 06 to 10, 2013. The total prize fund of the championship is 400 000 U.S. dollars, which also shows the high status of the tournament.

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Khanty-Mansiysk is an oil boom town, located on the eastern bank of the Irtysh River, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) from its confluence with the Ob. Population: 80,000.

The event is being held in the Ugra Chess Academy (6a Loparev St., Khanty-Mansiysk), which is located in the city center. This unique three-level building, which has no sharp edges, was designed by the famous Dutch architect Erick Van Egeraat and constructed using modern energy conserving technologies. The games will be held in the tournament hall on the first floor.

The hall, in which numerous international congresses and forums take place, can be transformed and changed in size due to the innovative construction. Apart from the tournament hall the Ugra Chess Academy consists of classrooms for children who are keen on chess, computer classrooms for holding the Internet tournaments, a cozy café and a hall decorated with pieces of art regarding chess.

Immediately after the end of the championships Khanty-Mansiysk will bring together about 200 participants of the international conference “Chess education – an important resource of the world system of education.” 30 leading experts in chess education from eight countries (Sweden, Latvia, Armenia, Brazil, Israel, Serbia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan) will hold master classes in Ugra.

The official tournament hotel is the Olympic, 45 Engels St., Khanty-Mansiysk

The participants

62 players from 18 countries are competing in the Fide World Rapid & Blitz Championships, including representatives from chess powers such as Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Israel, India, the United States and Armenia. There are also players from Iran, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Spain and other countries. More than thirty players are from Russia, among them the clear favorites of the tournament: the current world champion in blitz Alexander Grischuk, Jan Nepomniachi and Sergey Rublevsky. An interesting participant: the 14-year-old prodigy from Omsk, international master, chess rising star Vladislav Artemyev.

Opening ceremony

All participants, guests, as well as locals from Ugra gathered for the Opening Ceremony on June 5th.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told the press that today FIDE and its activities have been going on far better than in 1995, when he started his work as a head of the organization. Nowadays big chess events take place everywhere in the world almost every day. “Just two days ago we closed the FIDE Grand Prix in Greece, and today we are opening the World Rapid and Blitz in Khanty Mansiysk,” said the FIDE President.

The Vice Governor of Ugra Alexey Putin emphasized the value of chess for the Khanty Mansiysk Okrug. “More than 23,000 children study chess, and we have successful results not only within the Okrug but also outside it. That is why we will do our utmost to support chess development in Ugra. It is a great honor for us to host the best chess players and to organize chess events of highest possible levels. We support and will continue supporting this sport.”

Here are some photos of the festivities at the opening ceremony.

Video from the opening ceremony

Watch the action live on video (with commentary) here

Links

The games are being broadcast live on ugrasport.com and chesstv.com (live video), and on 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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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