September 21, 2016

Today, on September’21 the FIDE World Youth U14, U16, U18 Championships 2016 have started. The official Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”. The bright and spectacular show was seen by more than a thousand people. Among them 412 participants of the World Championships, who came to Ugra from 61 country of the world.


The ceremony started with the presentation of the participating countries. Upon its end the official part of the ceremony has begun. The governor of Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous Okrug Natalia Komarova and the chief executive officer of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Geoffrey Borg – who were also among the audience – have addressed the participants of the tournament.


“Khanty-Mansiysk has been hosting many major chess events such as the Chess Olympiad, the World Cup and the Candidates Tournament. But this year which we have declared to be the year of Childhood in Ugra, we are very pleased to see the young chess players here in Khanty-Mansiysk, – said the head of the region. – We are hosting now the most talented young chess players of the world and our goal for the coming days is to show as much hospitality to them as possible. We are thankful to FIDE for giving us the honor to host this tournament. Several preceding championships were held in southern countries of the world. But we are sure that our hospitality will compensate the lower temperature. And I am sure that our hospitality will also motivate you to the victories you’re going to accomplish. By hosting these championships and several coming tournaments we are going to learn from the chess players how to calculate several moves ahead, as this is a great responsibility for us to host the forthcoming Chess Olympiad 2020. I wish all the participants success and all the guests to enjoy this chess festival!”


“I would like to thank the governor for the continuous support of FIDE and chess events in Khanty-Mansiysk, – took the floor Geoffrey Borg. – We feel very comfortable for organizing so many chess events in Khanty-Mansiysk, because they understand everything that goes on in our chess world. We have an experienced team of friends and people working in Khanty-Mansiysk, who know us very well now for over 15 years. Organizing chess events here in Khanty-Mansiysk is a pleasure not a duty. We have a calendar of events for the next 4 or 5 years which is really busy. We start with the FIDE World Youth Championships today and in two-months time comes the final leg of Women’s Grand-Prix series. In 2017 we have the Men and Women World Team Chess Championships 2017. In 2018 comes Women World Championships Knock-out 64 players and in 2019 – World Cup for men. And finally – but, of cause, not literally finally as we will continue to have more events thanks to the generous support of Khanty-Mansiysk government – Chess Olympiad 2020. So I am sure we are all happy to show our appreciation for the governor and the support of Khanty-Mansiysk for all these chess events. I wish you all the best, do what you can to represent your country and to represent FIDE. Good luck to everybody!”


Before the start of the entertaining part of the ceremony the drawing procedure was carried out. The governor of the region drew the black pawn for top players of the championships.

After the official part the opening ceremony was followed by a concert performed by numbers of the best city artists. The event showed the synthesis of different genres of performing arts. The program included some rock music  played by the band from Ugra on traditional Russian instruments. A mixture of electronic and rock music with folk tunes has greatly impressed the audience. The same mixture of styles and genres was seen in other song and dance performances.


To finish the ceremony on the high note the opera singers sang the final song on the show and the master of ceremonies has congratulated the participants and team members with the official opening of the World Youth Championships and wished them a successful tournament!