FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 opened in Ugra on 5th of June in Khanty-Mansyisk. The opening ceremony was very impressive and hearty in the Siberian way. The cultural center “Oktyabr” has showed the whole chess show for 58 tournament participants, guests, authorities of Ugra and the citizens of  Khanty-Mansyisk.

The show combined two forms of art – performing art and theater. During the show spectators were able to follow a real chess battle of two kings. The organizers were trying to show that chess is not limited to just 64 squares of the chessboard. It is a whole life, where each of us makes his own moves.

18 flags of participating countries have decorated the stage during the show. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the head of the Summer Sports Department of Russian Ministry of Sports Grigory Kabelsky were invited to the stage for the opening speech.

“Chess is special in our country. Millions of people love and play chess”, – said Grigory Kabelsky. He wished all the players to have nice and thoughtful games.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov noted that the capital of Ugra has been holding big international competitions for 8 years. “We can state the fact that today each chess player knows what is Khanty-Mansiysk and where it is. This city has become the center for the chess development”, stressed the FIDE President. He reminded that 2010 Chess Olympiad held in the Ugorian capital is acknowledged as one of the best organized chess Olympiads.

Then the  chief arbiter Andrzej Fillipowicz from Poland was asked to the stage to greet the audience. “It is a great honor to be here in this “chess city” Khanty-Mansiysk. I wish Ugra lots of new big tournaments”, added the arbiter.

To carry out the drawing procedure the chief arbiter invited the Europian Champion of 2010 Ian Nepomniachtchi to the stage. The Russian grandmaster drew the black pawn for top-seeded Alexander Grischuk who is arriving to Khanty-Mansiysk next morning.

After the official part the opening ceremony was followed by a concert performed by numbers of the best city artists.

For example there were opera singers who performed in the modern way, their singing was meant to set the mood for the tournament. Then young dancers from “Barbariki” dance group cheered up the spectators even more.

There was a song about the chess queen, a splendid saxophone playing, video installations, and national traditional dancing.

Blitz and Rapid chess are considered to be outstanding and dynamic chess show. So was the opening ceremony. And the World Championships  are waiting for all the chess players.