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39th Chess Olympiad Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 (Opening Ceremony)

39th Chess Olympiad opens with spectacular ceremony

The Opening had Traditional and Modern Dance with a chess theme. Photo © 2010 Albran

The Opening had Traditional and Modern Dance with a chess theme. Photo © 2010 Albran |

A spectacular opening ceremony in the Ice Palace Arena started the 39th World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov declared the games open and there was a video speech from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and a live one from Arkady Dvorkovich. There was a living game which played through the moves of the "Immortal Game" and these pieces later featured in the draw.

Play in Round 1 starts at 3pm local, 11am UK time on Tuesday.

The Ice Palace Arena which hosted the opening ceremony. Photo © 2010 Albran.

The ceremony started with a presentation of the "Birth of the World from Space" which unfortunately internet viewers could not see as it was 40 minutes before pictures came through. After that the pictures were good and the ceremony surprisingly enjoyable. There was chat enabled beside the video feed whose viewership peaked at about 450. Most of those watching seemed to be internet chess journalists!

The Immortal Game is shown using living pieces

The most enjoyable part was the demonstration of Living Chess with a demonstration of the Immortal Game between Andressen and Kieseritzky

Adolf Anderssen - Felix Kieseritzky

London 1851

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 Qh4+ 4. Kf1 b5 5. Bxb5 Nf6 6. Nf3 Qh6 7. d3 Nh5 8. Nh4 Qg5 9. Nf5 c6 10. g4 Nf6 11. Rg1 cxb5 12. h4 Qg6 13. h5 Qg5 14. Qf3 Ng8 15. Bxf4 Qf6 16. Nc3 Bc5 17. Nd5 Qxb2 18. Bd6 Bxg1 19. e5 Qxa1+ 20. Ke2 Na6 21. Nxg7+ Kd8 22. Qf6+ Nxf6 23. Be7# 1-0

The Immortal Game is shown using living pieces

Living Chess. Photo © Europe-Echecs who are on the spot making video reports.

Then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave a pre-recorded message

Video message from the Russian President is broadcast to the Arena. Photo © 2010 Albran.

"Today Khanty-Mansiysk is hosting the representatives of 160 states. The leading world chess players are to perform their professionalism and strong character in the tense competition to be the best. FIDE delegates representing each national chess federation will get together to discuss their burning issues and to elect FIDE leadership for the next 4 coming years. Hosting of such an important sport event once again proves the high reputation of the Russian national chess school.

I am confident that the outcome of the 39th Chess Olympiad and the 81st FIDE Congress will contribute to the popularization of chess in the world and further development of sport alliances as an important part of international cooperation. Let me wish all of you success and all the best"

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made the opening speach. Photo © 2010 Albran.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made a speach in which he gave special thanks to the Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk area Natalia Komarova who seems to have been the main figure in making sure the event wasn't a failure. He also talked about Khanty-Mansiysk's new Chess Academy and the three World Cups they have hosted. The land of Ugura has showed that they love and respect the game of chess.

Natalia Komarova seems to have made sure the Olympiad could take place.

This is the 4th time that Russia has hosted a Chess Olympiad. The other occasions being in Moscow in 1956 and 1994 and in Elista in 1998.

Arkardy Dvorkovich. Now in control of the Russian Chess Federation.

Arkadij Dvorkovich stated that he was glad people weren't scared to come to this most Northerly of places. He finished with "I wish you victories" and the FIDE motto "We are all one family".

Andrei Bukarinov the Mayor of Khanty-Mansiysk also spoke. Finishing with "I declare the 39th World Chess Olympiad Open".

Various Junior Champions brought the FIDE flag into the stadium

FIDE Flag was brought into the arena by various Russian regional junior champions.

The lots are drawn.

The ceremony finished with the drawing of lots and a song about Khanty-Mansiysk.

The Official logo for the Olympiad

Nigel Short campaigning. Photo © 2010 Albran.

The English Team are 12th seeds. Nigel Short is also campaigning for Anatoly Karpov. Here he takes the chance to talk at the opening ceremony.

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