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Friday, November 28, 2014

Russian President presides over World Chess Championship Awards Ceremony

Hello chess blog friends, the closing ceremony of the World Chess Championship between Magnus Calrsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India), won by Carlsen 6.5-4.5, took place on November 25th in the Main Media Center in Sochi. For the first time in the history of the World Chess Championships (which began in 1886) the closing ceremony was attended by a head of the host country: the Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Main Media Center and expressed his gratitude to the grandmasters for their high-quality games. 

Vladimir Putin said: “This match between the two strongest grandmasters of the planet has truly become the focal point of the entire world chess championship. Millions of chess fans from all over the world followed it. As I have just been told, this was about 2 million people in over 100 countries every day. I am certain that the honest and fierce struggle of two equal and respectable players has met the expectations of millions of fans across the globe.

Chess is fairly considered an important part of world culture. In Russia it has traditionally enjoyed special respect.

We are happy and proud that the Olympic city of Sochi hosted the decisive match for the world chess crown.

This city is filled with a festive atmosphere of sports and competition, and the participants in this match have demonstrated the same qualities as the Olympic athletes did during the Winter Olympics.

The match to determine the World Chess Champion will definitely serve to further develop chess in Russia and the world at large.

We in Russia have a special love for chess. Let me remind you that this country gave the world ten champions.

We have about 540 thousand people doing this sport, while the number of those who like to spend their free time over a game of chess runs into millions.

Once again, my congratulations to Magnus Carlsen on his outstanding victory! I wish you success!”

The FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov awarded the players with memorable medals, and then crowned Magnus Carlsen with laurels and gave him the Grand Champion's Cup. “You played a great match, – said Mr. Ilyumzhinov to the players. – Millions of young chess fans follow you and want to become great masters someday, just like you. We are grateful to the Russian Government and the Russian President Vladimir Putin for their assistance in organizing the match. The level of organization met the highest standards. I announce the 2014 match closed. The next one, in 2016, will be played in USA”.

After a short concert the Russian President had an informal meeting with Carlsen and Anand. He expressed hope that chess, like other sports, could serve as a bridge between people and countries, and help solving problems not just in sport, but in everyday life and international relations. During the meeting President Putin decided to support another important FIDE event. The Women World Championship will be organized in March 2015 in Sochi.

The closing ceremony was also attended by the former World Champions Boris Spassky and Anatoly Karpov, the Russian Olympic Committee Chairman Alexander Zhukov, and the Russian Sports Minuster Vitaly Mutko.

The World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand was played in the Main Media Center in Sochi. The infrastructure of the 2014 Winter Olympics is actively used for various sports events and managed by JSC "Omega', the World Chess Championship partner. Earlier this year, Sochi hosted the first ever Russian Formula-1 Grand Prix, and the Bolshoi Palace of Sport hosts matches of the local hockey team “Sochi”.

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