Mikhail Gorbachev closes World chess championship match Hou Yifan – Koneru in Tirana Print
Thursday, 01 December 2011 05:26
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The closing ceremony of the World Women's Chess Championship match was held in the spectacular Presidential Palace in the capital of Albania Tirana on the evening of the 30th of November.
The ceremony was attended by Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the last head of state of the USSR, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for "his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community", who came to Tirana specially for the occasion.

The legendary politician was invited by his friend, World Chess Federation (FIDE) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who also held a speech on the closing ceremony of the main chess women's competition of the year.
Due to the cooperation with Ilyumzhinov, and Gorbachev's devotion to chess in the years of his youth (he learned to play during the Second World War as he said in the speech), the former Head of USSR agreed to take the honorary position of the patronage of the FIDE program “Chess in Schools”. “The first thing we should always think about is kids, and their education and opportunities”, - said Gorbachev at the ceremony.

The distinguished guests, among who were the President of Albanian chess federation and the owner of the main sponsor of the match “Taci Oil” Rezart Taci, FIDE officials joined Gorbachev and Ilyumzhinov in congratulations to the World champion 17 years old Chinese prodigy Hou Yifan and her challenger Humpy Koneru from India.


In the morning of  November, 30 FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Honorary Patron of "Chess in schools" project Mikhail Gorbachev arrived to Tirana, capital of Albania. The day program of the visit included meetings with the representatives of the Government of Albania. FIDE President and Mikhail Gorbachev met with the Speaker of Parliament Josefina Topalli and Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

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Mikhail Gorbachev delivering the speech.

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Mikhail Gorbachev and Hou Yifan

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Mikhail Gorbachev and Humpy Koneru


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Mikhail Gorbachev and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

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Left to right: Women World Chess Champion Hou Yifan, President of Albanian chess federation and the owner of the main sponsor of the match “Taci Oil” Rezart Taci, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Mikhail Gorbachev, Humpy Koneru



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Left to right: Mikhail Gorbachev, Speaker of Parlament Josefina Topalli, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

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Meeting with Speaker of Parlament Josefina Topalli.




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Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Mikhail Gorbachev, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov


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Meeting with Prime Minister Sali Berisha.




 
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