FIDE Women`s Candidates Tournament kicks off in Kazan
The tournament with the world strongest female players competing for a spot in the World Championship match, was officially opened in the Kazan Palace Hotel on May 30.
The spectacular opening ceremony welcomed all participants, journalists, local chess players, guests and officials to the capital of Tatarstan Republic. Victor Bologan (FIDE Executive Director), Mark Glukhovsky (Executive Director of Russian Chess Federation) and Khalil Shaikhutdinov (First Deputy Minister of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan) gave speeches during the official part of the ceremony.
The opening ceremony included choreographic and musical performances that attached a very good mood to the participants and guests of the tournament. The vocal-choreographic composition "World Chess" was performed by "Way from the city" and "WOW" bands. There were performances from Cover-orchestra "Just Brass" and the Honored Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan Aidar Suleimanov. Classical ballet performance by ballet «Allegro» meshed with breakdancing by «Action man crew» in a surprising way. The inspirational video "World Crown", prepared specially for the tournament, was also shown during the ceremony.
Chief Arbiter IA Hal Bond informed the public about the format of the FIDE Women`s Candidates tournament and invited all players to the stage for a group photo.
The drawing of lots ceremony took place one month before the start of the tournament, on April 30 in Moscow and was attended by Arkady Dvorkovich, President of FIDE, and Judit Polgar, the strongest female player in the history of chess and Honorary FIDE Vice-President.
Thus, the following games will be played in the first round on May 31:
V. Gunina – K. Lagno, A. Kosteniuk – A. Goryachkina, N. Dzagnidze – Tan Zhongyi, M. Muzychuk – A. Muzychuk.
The venue is Nogai Hotel (16B, Profsojuznaja St., Kazan).
All rounds begin at 3 pm local time.
The winner of the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament qualifies for the World Championship Match with Ju Wenjun (China), where both players will compete for a total prize fund of €500,000, which is 150% percent bigger than in the previous championship match.
The organizers are FIDE, Russian Chess Federation, Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan, and city administration of Kazan.
The tournament is sponsored by PJSC PhosAgro and Russian Railways.