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Opening press-conference
Sunday, 10 June 2012


On 10 June, 2012 luxurious Korston Hotel of Kazan hosted the opening press-conference for the 4th stage of 2011-2012 FIDE Women Grand Prix, which saw presence of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Minister on Affairs of Youth, Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Rafis Burganov, and FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg.

“I would like to express our sincere gratitude to FIDE, - Rafis Burganov had the floor first, following the host right to open the press-conference, - The second year in a row Kazan has been staging top-level chess events. We are likely to realize Ostap Bender’s dream soon, having the world’s chess capital in our country. We believe, it will be not somewhere in Vasyuki, but in the 1000-years old Kazan city”.

“I’m joking, of course, however there is a good share of earnest in my statement, - went on Tatarstan sport Minister, - “The 12 chairs” had just Ostap’s wish to relies the dream, and we have got a well-built soil for promotion and development of chess in our region, planted by our grandmasters. I’d like to remind you, that this year we are celebrating 100th anniversary of our unique chess-player, founder of the Republican chess school Rashid Nezhmetdinov. This remarkable event was considered by FIDE when they were examining the candidate-cities bidding to stage the competitions. Organizers have set a special prize for the winner of the current tournament to honor the anniversary”.  

“The second year in a row, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan is hosting one of the most significant events, - remarked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. – A year ago we were celebrating Boris Gelfand as a winner of the Candidates Matches, by the way he has recently lost to Viswanathan Anand from India in the match for the world chess crown. I guess, he lacked “kazylyk”, Tatar national dish made of horse meat, to beat Anand, - he added with a smile. However, in case he won, Kazan could rightfully had their share in this success. I’d like to thank the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan for the all-round support to chess, making it possible to develop three major constituents: sport, science and art”.

“We have been collaborating with the sport ministry of Tatarstan for long, - confessed FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg.  - Much efforts were taken to carry out the tournament concerned, and I believe it will be in line with the top international chess tournaments scheduled to take place in Kazan within 2011-2013. The Candidates Matches opened the series in 2011, followed by the Women Grand Prix in 2012 and now we are enjoying a good prospect of the chess tournament of the Kazan 2013 World Summer Universiade”.

 To crown the press-conference local journalists took the floor to ask the sport minister on his opinion of the Tatarstan women chess select team results.

“Ladya” returned back its champions title, which is pretty promising, - Rafis Burganov answered with a pride. – It was a good team work, which was the result of high-qualified work of sportsmen together with the support of the Government our Republic with the personal contribution of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and Advisor to the Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev. Thanks to their support we have found resources to build a strong professional team in our Republic”.

“This is a good start indeed, - the Minister concluded. – However we are looking forward to have our men’s squad  returned to the leading positions, which they have lately enjoyed”. 

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