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FIDE World Cup starts on September 9 in Khanty-Mansiysk. Prior to the opening ceremony, its organizers, honored guests, and participants answered questions from the media at the press conference.

According to Pavel Kolobkov, Russian Minister of Sport, Ugra is a territory of chess development: “Not only they organize many events of various caliber, they also actively develop chess at schools. Judging by a number of people actively studying chess, Ugra is one of the leaders in our country. They promote chess among children, which is very important. I am very happy that Ugra is hosting the World Cup”. The Minister added that he frequently visits the region thanks to two kinds of sport – biathlon and chess.

Mr. Kolobkov stressed the importance of preserving winning chess traditions. “In Russia, chess is more than just a sport. We are proud of our champions and their glorious victories. We must preserve this pride and develop this passion. Every year our Ministry together with Russian Chess Federation organizes about 80 major competitions of different level. I am quite happy about our chess development at the moment”, added the Minister.

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, agrees with him. He reminded that Khanty-Maniysk is hosting the Chess World Cup for the fifth time. “On multiple occasions, the region demonstrated that it is capable of hosting a tournament of any magnitude”, said the FIDE President.

“The World Cup is a significant event for the world chess calendar. The lineup consists of the best players of different countries as well as the highest ranked players in the rating list. Don’t forget that the World Cup provides an opportunity to qualify to the Candidates Tournament, the winner of which will challenge the chess crown. Both World Cup finalists will qualify directly, and the bronze medal winner also has a chance, if he is nominated by the organizer. The competition is going to be fierce”, said Mr. Dvorkovich.

Vasily Filipenko, President of the Ugra Chess Federation, said that the region prepared for this important event very seriously, utilizing its vast experience in organizing major sports events.

Boris Gelfand, grandmaster from Israel, always enjoys coming to Khanty-Mansiysk – back in 2009 he won the World Cup on Ugra soil. “If we count days I stayed in Khanty-Mansiysk playing different tournaments, it will add up to three months. Once I even hosted an excursion for other players”, recalled Boris Gelfand. The Israeli grandmaster took part in the very first World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2000 and is participating in the World Cup this year as well.

Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin also took part in the press conference. Mr. Karjakin pointed out that the capital of Ugra is a very special place for him: “I came here to my first World Cup in 2005 when I was just 15 years old.” The Russian also has a World Cup title under his belt – he prevailed in the 2015 World Cup in Baku.

The first round of the FIDE World Cup will be played on September 10. 128 players from 47 countries will compete for the main trophy. The youngest participant is 14 years old, and the eldest is 53.

FIDE World Cup top seed Ding Liren got black at the color draw during the opening ceremony.

Ding and all the players with odd numbers will start with black pieces.

The tournament starts tomorrow. Full pairing: https://khantymansiysk2019.fide.com/en/results/pairings/

Schedule:

Rounds 1-3 – September 10-18

Rounds 4-6 – September 20-28

Final and Match for 3rd place – September 30 – October 4

Rest days: September 19 and 29.

All rounds start at 3 pm local time.

The total prize fund of the tournament: 1,600,000 USD.

The competition is organized by the Government of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, International Chess Federation (FIDE), Ugra Chess Federation, and Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation. 

General partner – Gazpromneft-Khantos LCC.

Official airline – Utair.

Official partners of the competition: OJSC RostelecomUgra Chess AcademyRussian Chess FederationAB InBev Efes and PJSC Rosneft.

FIDE official partner – JSCo “RZD”.

General media partner – News Agency TASS.

Media partners – Match TV, World of Chess social network, OTRK “Ugra”, Ugra-news.ru, “News of Ugra” regional newspaper, “AIF-Ugra” newspaper.

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Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE