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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Beijing Chess Grand Prix Opening Ceremony Held

12th Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Latest Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

The opening ceremony of the 5th stage of FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013 took place in the New Century Grand Hotel in Beijing (China) on the 3rd of July. The players and guests were greeted by President of Chinese Chess Assosiation Yang Junan and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: “Generous support by the leadership of the Administrative Center of Cards of Board Games, FIDE Vice President Mr. Chu Bo, Chinese Chess Association and its President Mr. Yang Junan has been key in bringing this event to its realization, to which I’m deeply grateful.”

Yang Junan: “We think that holding FIDE Grand Prix Series in China is not only about the trust of FIDE to Chinese Chess Association, but also will promote the development of chess in China.” After the speeches FIDE Vice President Chu Bo announced the opening of Grand Prix in Beijing. Deputy arbiter Anastasiya Sorokina then proceeded with drawing of lots. She called up the players to come to the table and pick of the Chinese classical figure sculpture with the number inside.

The top seed of the tournament Alexander Grischuk picked number eight and will play against Gata Kamsky tomorrow. Anish Giri chose the number one to play against Sergey Karjakin at the first round.

Also attending the opening ceremony were FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, President of the European Chess Union Silvio Danailov, Director of FIDE Office in Moscow Berik Balgabaev, former world women champions Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, and other distinguished guests. The players list in Beijing is impressive with former World Champion Veselin Topalov trying to repeat his performance in Zug, Switzerland earlier this year and clinching one of the two places for the forthcoming Candidates tournament in 2014.

He will be challenged by several world class players. Boris Gelfand, coming from his recent epic victory in Moscow Tal memorial, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov who has had a very good month of June starting with winning the world Rapid Championship in Khanty Mansiysk. Also not to forget world top ten players such as Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk as well as former Candidates players Vasily Ivanchuk, Peter Leko.

GM Teimur Radjabov has withdrawn from the Beijing Grand Prix for personal reasons and has been replaced by GM Wang Yue from China. The top Chinese player Wang Hao, who placed fourth in overall Grand Prix at the moment, will also play in Beijing.

Time control: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.

The Grand Prix Series consists of six tournaments to be held over two years (2012-2013). 18 top players participate in 4 of these 6 tournaments. The winner and second placed player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in March 2014.

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