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Women's World Chess Championship 2011 (Draw)

Humpy Koneru draws white for game one of Women's World Championship Match

World Champion Hou Yifan shakes hands with challenger Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE.

World Champion Hou Yifan shakes hands with challenger Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE. | http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com

The Opening Ceremony took place at 7pm local time on Sunday 13th November in Tirana, Albania. The main point of interest was the draw for colours. Humpy Koneru drew the white pieces for game one of the match. There was a press conference involving sponsors and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Anastasiya Karlovich, FIDE Press officer reports. Play starts Monday at 2pm GMT 14th November 2011.

Press Conference

Press Conference. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE. http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com

The opening ceremony of the match was held in the beautiful halls of the Presidential Palace. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov declared the event open. The President of Albanian chess federation Rezart Taci, who is the owner of the main sponsor of the event – company “Taci Oil”, welcomed the participants to hospitable Tirana.

A friendly handshake between Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru

A friendly handshake between Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE. http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com

The drawing of the color of the first game was the important moment of the ceremony. The players were offered to choose from two red parcels – Hou Yifan found a traditional souvenir spoon in one of them. That meant she was the one to choose from two other parcels – this time blue ones – that hided black and white queens inside. Defending World champion got a black queen – this means that the challenger Humpy Koneru will have white pieces in the first game.

Humpy Koneru tests the equipment

Humpy Koneru tests the equipment. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE. http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com

The opening ceremony continued with the press-conference of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of Albanian chess federation Rezart Taci, World champion Hou Yifan and challenger Humpy Koneru. After answering the numerous questions of the local journalists, the participants of the press-conference signed the giant bottle of champagne which was immediately opened to celebrate the start of the World championship.

The draw for colours

The draw for colours. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE. http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com

After the opening ceremony World champion Hou Yifan and challenger Humpy Koneru inspected the playing venue and the technical facilities. Both players and the members of their teams checked the lighting and tested the chairs. After long discussions Hou Yifan chose a red chair while Humpy Koneru preferred a blue one. The first game will start at 3 p.m. local time on 14th of November.

The draw for colours

The draw for colours. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE. http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com

The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Anastasiya Karlovich, FIDE Press officer

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