June 27, 2017

Closing and medal ceremonies of FIDE World Team Championships took place in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Ugra chess blockbuster came to its logical end. For ten days chessboard battles have been tying up in knots not only players, but chess enthusiasts all over the world as well. During this time, participants tested both their intellectual facilities and local sweets, made a closer acquaintance of hospitable Khanty-Mansiysk. The only important thing left to be done was to sum it all up and to give awards to champions and prizewinners.

Guests were greeted by fairy-tale organ melodies performed by Irina Plotnikova, and then the officials came on stage. The first to address those present was Deputy Governor of Ugra Vsevolod Koltsov, who conveyed greetings from Natalya Komarova.

“For the last ten days Khanty-Mansiysk was a leading chessplaying site. It figures that this sporting event was highly popular among the supporters. I believe that it is going to give new momentum for this fine ancient game to find its new followers and admirers all around the world. I would like to wholeheartedly thank all those who helped us to hold this event. We are sincerely grateful to all the participants for their beautiful play and all that tension that you would create on the arena of our championships. Your play used to make our hearts beat faster. We hope that, after leaving Ugra, you will carry home with you a bit of out hearts’ warmth along with new emotions, combinations and acquaintances”, – said Deputy Governor of the region.

Speaking on the sources of the Ugorian chess way, the President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov recalled Alexander Filipenko’s unusual presentation. In 2010, first head of the Autonomous Okrug brought to hot city of Al Ain a bid to host both World Cup and Chess Olympiad together with Russian felt boots.

“During those twelve days Ugra had been an epicenter of the world’s chess life. But only 12 years before, in 2005, nobody knew that this land, this beautiful city of Khanty-Mansiysk was going to appear on the chess map of the world and become a center of world chess development. FIDE delegates had to look for location of Ugra in their computers. Today probably every chess enthusiast knows about Khanty-Mansiysk. During this period of time FIDE, in collaboration with Russian Chess Federation and regional government, has staged hundreds of chess competitions on both Russian and international levels. I would like to express my special appreciation to the Governor of Ugra for her everyday support of not only professional, but also of mass and children chess. In 2020 we will all have great pleasure to come to this beautiful and abundant land again”, – said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Addressing chessplayers, President of Ugra Chess Federation Vasily Filipenko expressed his gratitude for “the intrigue, fine play and unpredictable turns in the games”.

“We have really hosted lots of tournaments during the period of our collaboration with FIDE. We try to stage each event on a high level. We are greatly thankful to FIDE for all the warm words about us we have heard today. Our schedule of chess events is already crammed until 2020, and I believe that by next year we will be ready to articulate our new proposals to FIDE”, – surmised the head of the local chess federation.

After the official part, Chief Arbiter Anastasia Sorokina proceeded to the key moment of the ceremony – announcement of the results.

The intrigue in the open section has been alive until the very last moves. After Round 8, team China established themselves as leaders, with Russia trailing by one point. In the thrilling matches on the concluding round China grinded out the victory and Russia was runners-up. Bronze medals went to team Poland.

Russian ladies had practically secured gold for themselves before the final round: all they had to do to become champions was to draw a single game against Ukraine. The home team had coped with their task brilliantly and became winners of the team championship for the first time in the history of chess. At the very last moment team China clinched the second place and Georgia took bronze.

After the medal ceremony Kirsan Ilyumzhinov declared championships closed.

In addition to cups and diplomas, Ugra’s performance groups presented another gift to chessplayers: in conclusion of the evening artists demonstrated great concert program with enormous variety of music styles. The guests had an opportunity to listen to Russian folk instrument bayan once again, to be imbued with sensual jazz sounds performed by Oleg Borovkov. Energetic compositions by the chamber orchestra “Sibir-Brass” were followed by the performance of the “Solisty Ugry” ensemble choir.

FIDE World Team Championships have come to a close, but Ugra does not say farewell to top-class chess, but only goodbye. See you next time!