NATALIA KOMAROVA: WE WISH THAT CHESS WOULD TAKE A LEAD IN THE SOCIAL AND SPORT LIFE OF THE OKRUG
The Governor of the Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Ugra Natalia Komarova and the President of the World Chess Federation Kirsan Ilyumzhinov welcomed the participants of the World Chess Cup. After the start of the 1st round they met with the journalists at the press conference.
Natalia Komarova: This year Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug is hosting the most titled Grandmasters participating in such format of the tournament for the fourth time. The fact that the tournament is taking place in the Chess Academy for the first time is symbolic. During a year since it was opened before the World Chess Olympiad, this venue became a base for the preparation of our children, from very small preschool children to teenagers, who sharpen their skills here. We don’t put a full stop now, neither in the chess development not in the chess popularization in Ugra. We wish that chess would take a lead in the social and sport life of the Okrug.
I have no doubts that the battles of the World Cup will be tense. I wish that during these three weeks the amazing possibilities of a human’s mind would be shown in a full sense. That is why I wish victory to all participants. Of course I realize it is not possible, but one should strive for that. I would also like to wish to the journalists to find worthy heroes for their coverage. We will see more interesting reports from the tournament.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Mayor of Khanty-Mansiysk Vassily Filipenko, the Director of the Department of Physical Training and Sport of UGRA Evgeny Redkin and Governor of UGRA Natalia Komarova are watching the game Jakovenko-Salem.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: On behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board let me once again thank the Government and the Chess Federation of Khanty Mansiysk Okrug for the perfect organization of the World Chess Cup. We are coming to this hospitable city not for the first time. I would like to underline that during the last 5 years the new chess capital has appeared in the world of chess. Here people like and recognize chess. For many fans of this ancient game, for all professionals who come here to play in the big International tournaments, Khanty Mansiysk has become not only the centre but only the quality label of the chess tournaments. Hundreds of chess players from 160 countries of the world who took part in the World Chess Olympiad one year ago are still under the impression of the Opening and Closing ceremonies’ level. We have never had such an organization of the ceremonies in the history of FIDE. After the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup the two FIDE Vice Presidents Boris Kutin of Slovenia and Sundar of India have come up to me and marked the highest level of the organization. They have even proposed to celebrate the 90s anniversary of the World Chess Federation in 2014 not in Paris, where FIDE was found in 1924, but in Khanty Mansiysk.
— Natalia Vladimirovna, what do you feel when Khanty Mansiysk is called a chess Mecca?
Natalia Komarova: First of all I feel some worries and responsibility whether everything would go the way we have planned. A joy, for this World Cup is another opportunity for Ugra people to meet their friends, great sportsmen. An interest, for we are curious how everything will go on. Whether we will witness such games which would stay in the memories of chess fans for decades and would become a classic chess heritage? And obviously pride, for our Autonomous Okrug is hosting such honorary guests, good friends.
— Is the «Chess in School» program, which is developing in Ugra, considered successful?
Natalia Komarova: The program has been already implemented. The system and mechanisms to develop it have been created. And now we see good results. More than 16 000 school children study chess on a regular basis. In 42 schools a special subject — chess — is taught for 6 000 schoolchildren. Also children play chess in many chess sections, sport schools. An immense number of the involved people support the program; they create the possibilities to open the new sources of study. We use the most modern possibilities; they study chess via Internet as well. Also a special program for very small children is worked out, for kindergarden children: the dinosaurs teach small girls and boys to play chess. I saw this computer program when visiting one of the kindergardens of the Okrug.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: We see that Ugra supports chess, especially chess for children: in 46 Okrug schools chess is studied for more than 16 000 children. This is a very high percentage. A special thank for the newly built Ugra Chess Academy. Though de juro the Academy has a name of Ugra, but de facto it is an International Academy. For during three weeks all the world chess elite will fight to get the right to participate in the World Chess Championship.
— Kirsan Nikolaevich, three World Cups have been organized in Khanty Mansiysk. The players of the ex-Soviet chess school became the winners. How do you estimate the chances of the Russian chess players this time, also of the Ugra representatives?
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: It is hard to make any prognosis now. We know that Number 1 of the FIDE World Rating List is Sergey Karjakin, chess player from Russia. The Ugra chess player Dmitrty Jakovenko has good chances as well. As we say home helps to win — let’s hope for that!
Press-attache Nikita Kim, Natalia Komarova, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and interpreter Kermen Goryaeva
— Natalia Vladimirovna, how do estimate the preparations for the World Cup?
Natalia Komarova: I would not give any estimation right now. In a week we will be ready to estimate, which assistance we rendered to the organization of the tournament. Today we just hope that everything will be a success. We expected that probably we would face the problems with Internet transmission due to the big interest to the tournament. As long as we were ready to it in advance, we could eliminate these problems right away.Official website: http://chess.ugrasport.com