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World's best chess players to play for shot at world title at IET London

IMG 1671Opening ceremony report

The long-awaited FIDE World Candidates Tournament 2013 was officially opened on Thursday night by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at IET London, Savoy Place. The tournament's opening ceremony was attended by chess officials, sponsors, and international chess media. Over fourteen rounds, eight of the very best chess players in the world will fight for the right to challenge World Champion Viswanathan Anand in a world title match later this year.

At the start of the ceremony, head of AGON Andrew Paulson presented the specially designed Championship chess set of World Chess, and gave the very first set to Mr. Ilyumzhinov. Designed by Pentagram, the chess set will be available for sale in a number of different editions.

Paulson also pointed out the new design of the playing hall and the ChessCasting software that will be used to transmit the games live to the world. "It's a new design to make more esthetic the experience of watching or being a spectator at a tournament," said Paulson. One novelty is that small interactive tablets will be handed out to spectators in the playing hall which will allow the audience to have a personal experience in the hall while watching the players – something that's unique for any sport. Andrew Paulson also mentioned the special security measures with unique technology, prepared by the organizers, that will be used for the first time at this event.

Before officially opening the event, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov reminded the guests of the long chess tradition in London, where 19th-century players like Howard Staunton, Wilhelm Steinitz and Emanuel Lasker achieved successes. "Over the next three weeks London will be the main chess centre in the world. Attention of millions of chess lovers will turn to London. It's here the challenger for the title of World Champion will be determined. The Candidates Tournament is the main and most expected tournament of the year in the chess world," said Ilyumzhinov.

The FIDE World Candidates Tournament takes place March 14th-April 2nd, 2013 at IET London, Savoy Place. It is sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and organized by AGON and the World Chess Federation (FIDE). The eight participants are Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Levon Aronian of Armenia, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, Alexander Grischuk of Russia, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, Peter Svidler of Russia and Boris Gelfand of Israel. The first round will start Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 14:00 GMT. Games and information can be found at

Report by Peter Doggers
© World Chess Federation 2013    |