Women's World Chess Championship Match: opening ceremony Print
Monday, 14 November 2011 06:33

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 Taçi, who is the owner of the main sponsor of the event – company "Taçi Oil", welcomed the participants to hospitable Tirana.

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. 

The opening ceremony continued with the press-conference of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of Albanian chess federation Rezart Taçi, 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.

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

Opening ceremony

Drawing of the color

Traditional souvenir spoon


Signing the giant bottle of champagne

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of Albanian chess federation Rezart Taçi

Hou Yifan (CHN) and Humpy Koneru (IND)


IA Panagiotis Nikolopoulos, Chief Arbiter of the Match

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich

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