As we informed you a few days ago in a preview of the Olympiad the bank of Khanty Mansiysk will prepare a limited edition of a silver coin dedicated to the Olympiad. The inscription will read “XXXIX World Chess Olympiad” and only 5000 pieces will be released. Here is the picture of how the coin will look like.
Note: we have just received an interesting link with a press conference of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the head of Ugra Natalia Komarova, who held a 52 minute press conference this weekend, that can be viewed at this link. It is in Russian, and generally confirms all information that has been published at the preview articles on Chessdom.
Now checked, the playing hall and venue of the event Tennis Sport Development Center is also ready for the Olympiad. The boards are set, clocks are connected, live coverage cables are secured, tables numbered, lightning checked, and the chess pieces are on their places. In the photo from the playing hall below the tournament director Valeri Bovaev is happy with the work completed for the Chess Olympiad 2010.
Exactly 3 hours are left to the spectacular opening ceremony of the most important team event in the FIDE calendar. One hour and 30 minutes is left to the captains meeting. We remind you that games starting with round 1 tomorrow will begin earlier, at 15:00 local time, which is 12:00 CET. All live games with computer analysis can be followed here.
Marlies Bensdorp is also happy about the sunny weather today in Khanty Mansiysk. According to the long term forecast in weather.com, there will be no snow this month. Precipitation days vary with chances 10% to 80%, but the teamperatures will be higher than expected. Can it turn out that the Olympiad in Siberia is warmer than the Olympiad in Dresden?:)
Of course, in case you want to enjoy strong chess and have great winter vacation, you know where to go.
The Denmark player GM Sune Berg Hansen just commented, “So far everything has been better than expected at the Olympic: travel was ok and without any problems, Hotel is fine and we got our keys and single rooms right away – Food is decent and weather is fine (16 degrees or so). Even internet works! Sibiria rocks!”
More news are coming from Khanty Mansiysk and we will be keeping you up to date with minute to minute updates at this page. At the same time another large competition featuring over 750 players started. This is the European Youth Chess Championship, you can view the top games live here.
Just in: the opening ceremony in Khanty Mansiysk will feature a performance directed by Valentina Alekseeva and Alexander Grim (who is famous playing the Moscow Olympiad 1980 symbol – Misha the bear, initially created and drawn by Viktor Chizhikov)
In 1977, the committee organizing the Olympics held a contest for the best illustration of a bear. The judges chose Victor Chizhikov’s design depicting a smiling bear cub wearing a blue-black-yellow-green-red (colors of the Olympic rings) belt, with a golden buckle shaped like the five rings. Misha was confirmed as an official mascot on December 19th, 1977.
Now, 30 years later, the actor impersonating the bear will be part of the opening of the Chess Olympiad. Scroll down for more details of the opening ceremony.
The last major chess competition held in Khanty Mansiysk was the World Chess Cup in 2009. A total of 128 players participated in the event, among them some of the fines grandmasters, that will also participate in the World Chess Olympiad. To get an idea about the intensity of those games, replay them with commentary here. Of course the Olympiad is very different as a type of a competiiton as it is a team event and different sports factors are in play.
A gist of Olympic spirit from the Airport in Khanty Mansiysk, a foto by the local chess federation shows how delegations are met upon arrival.
The pressure for gold is not only on the Olympic champions Armenia and the hosts from Russia. The people and fans of Ukrine are also expecting good performance from the team. In its history the men’s chess team of Ukraine took four Olympic medals – gold (2004), silver (1996) and two bronze (1998, 2000), while last year they missed the bronze in the last round after 3,5:0,5 defeat from USA. This time Ukraine comes with their best players – Eljanov, Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Efimenko, and Moiseenko. (Note, Karjakin is already playing for Russia).
Vassily Ivanchuk is more philosophical on the topic, “Besides professional work, the Olympiad is also a big fiesta. I would like to get the maximum fun from it, communicate with people, and learn for myself what is new and worthy.”
The Chess Olympiad will take place at the tennis complex of Khanty Mansiysk (more about the venue here). Thus Ivanchuk has decided to practice for the Olympiad with tennis. “I do not play professionally, but sometimes I get the ball,” joked Ivanchuk with journalists.
On the other side is Ponomariov, who sees victory as the most important, “For me important is not the Olympic spirit, but the champions one – the most important is victory, not participation.”
Eljanov joked, “Chess part of the Olympic winter games? I do not mind playing in boots, gloves come handy also!”
Just in from Khanty Mansiysk, the theme of the opening ceremony festivities is known – the birth of the world from space leading to chess. The organizers are preparing a special effects show and have been working at the hall all day long.
About 100 scluptors and photographers will participate in a parallel exhibition of the opening ceremony, the theme of which is “In the unity of the family is the unity of the world”. The project needed over 170 days to be prepared and includes 400 works from 70 countries.
International mainstream media have exploaded with publications about the World Chess Olympiad. The articles concentrate around the fact that this is the largest Olympiad ever. Of course each country reports on their own team, as the excitement and expectations are largest in the host country Russia. The governors of the Ugra region have daily meetings with journalists providing updates, Ria Novosti, Interfax, and even the national TV are flooding the media space with news about the importance of the event.
Interesting reports in the mainstream media can be seen in the Chesssdom previews 5 days before the start / 4 days before the start / 3 days before the start / 2 days before the start / 1 day before the start
The players of Russia themselves cannot escape the journalists. In a recent interview Kramnik tried to confirm hte importance of the event for the Russian team, but at the same time tried to modulate the expectations, “Personally for me, it is very important since I am already an old chess player and I don’t know how long I will have the right to take part in chess olympiads. Therefore I want to win. We should admit that our rivals are very strong. The Ukrainian national team will perform with its best chess players, with a rating almost equal to ours. Thus, we have no advantage. The Armenian national team is traditionally strong. The Chinese team is also progressing. In short, it will be a difficult competition. No one can guarantee our victory. In all probability, the outcome will depend on a move to be made in the last round.”
The city of Khanty Mansiysk will be eating and breathing chess in the next days. The streets are branded with bilboards of the Chess Olympiad. More than 800 policement and hundreds of volunteers are employed in the preparations. Even the cafes and restaurants have changed their working schedule and one can read that due to the Olympiad they will be open until they have visitors.
Wether Khanty Mansiysk is ready with the other part of the infrastructure – hotel and playing conditions – the final grade will come from the participants.
Players have started arriving in Khanty Mansiysk. The first team to check in the hotel was Azerbaijan, who came on the 17th of September. Spain is also there after a trip of more than 40 hours, but even harder will be for teams such as Cuba who have to travel 10 000+ kilometers to reach Khanty Mansiysk. More of the teams are still on the way and will be landing according to the charters schedule.
The opening ceremony, including the massive actors meeting and all festivities, will be broadcast live with video at this address. Probably WIndows media player 11 will be needed to watch the show at any browser, we will confirm the information at a later update.
Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia, will have a video greeting at the opening. Part of his speech is already known, “These days in Khanty Mansiysk have collected representatives of over 160 countries. The leading chess players will demonstrate skill and mental strength in the intense fight for the first place. And the delegates will discuss professional issues and elect the leaders of the FIDE for the next four years,” says Medvedev. He continues, “I am sure the outcome of the XXXIX World Chess Olympiad and 81st FIDE Congress will serve the growing popularity of chess, the further development of sports contacts as an important part of international cooperation. I wish you success and all the best.”
The organizers have proposed free entrance for the event and 5,500 spectators are expected today. The traditional dances and opening festivities will be performed by over 1000 actors. 800 policemen will ensure public order in the Khanty-Mansiysk in the days of Chess Olympiad 2010. More details about the organization around the opening were revealed in the preview “3 days before the start” (check the link above).
Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the first day of the World Chess Olympiad! There are exactly 7 hours and 30 minutes to the official start of the opening ceremony, scheduled for 21:30 local time (18:30 CET, 11:30 EST). Until then we will follow for you the news from Khanty Mansiysk live with minute by minute updates.
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