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Wednesday, 28 Apr 2021 14:10
Ian Nepomniachtchi: To start this tournament was big courage and to end it – an act of heroism



The press conference dedicated to the end of the FIDE Candidates Tournament took place in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The press conference was attended by Andrey Simanovsky, founder and owner of Sima-Land, General Partner of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, President of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation; Leonid Rapoport, Minister of Physical Culture and Sports of the Sverdlovsk Region; Dana Reizniece-Ozola, FIDE Managing Director; Albert Stepanyan, Director of the Candidates Tournament, Executive Director of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation; and Ian Nepomniachtchi, Grandmaster, the winner of the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg. 

Andrey Simanovsky, founder and owner of Sima-Land, General Partner of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, President of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation: 

I am glad that such a significant chess event took place here in Yekaterinburg, Russia. I think it will give impetus to chess development among children and the younger generation. And, of course, the victory of Ian Nepomniachtchi will be the strong stimulus for the younger generation to go into chess. I would like to thank FIDE and the organizers of the tournament for the success of this event. 

Leonid Rapoport, Minister of Physical Culture and Sports of the Sverdlovsk Region: 

I am sure, we have all witnessed a miracle when in the middle of Russia our countryman won the Candidates tournament and now he will be fighting for the crown. We have felt tremendous interest to the tournament from all over the world, as the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports of Sverdlovsk Region was responding to the questions from every corner of the world. I want to thank the President of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation, who has done everything possible, and even impossible, to make this tournament come true. 

Dana Reizniece-Ozola, FIDE Managing Director: 

On the behalf of FIDE I would like to congratulate the organizers, the government of Sverdlovsk region, the Chess Federation of Sverdlovsk region and all the people who have been involved in this tournament with this successful event. They say that the more difficult the victory comes, the sweeter it is. Both Ian and the organizers can be satisfied with that. Those who followed the tournament felt the tension in the air till the very end. The fight was very exciting, tight and dynamic. Together with our chief arbiter, we have calculated that it took in total 75 hours and 40 minutes to play on the chessboard to find out who the candidate will be. But it’s not only the quantity, it’s the quality. We saw that for the first time in the history of the Candidates tournament there was the day, Round 11 when all four games were decisive. So therefore I would like to thank all the players for their great fighting spirit they demonstrated, and also their fair play cause we didn’t have any incidents in the tournament, and that’s great. The tournament was not less challenging for the organizers since it has appeared to be the longest tournament in history – 400 days in total. So I would like to that the organizers and also the sponsors that had allowed this tournament to happen. 

Albert Stepanyan, Director of the Candidates Tournament, Executive Director of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation: 

I would like to congratulate everybody, our country, chess fans from every corner of the world on the finish of the Candidates Tournament. It is especially pleasing that it ends with a victory of a Russian player. I would like to thank FIDE for granting us the right to host this tournament. I would also like to thank all the players for finding the opportunity to participate. There were some difficulties, not everything went smoothly. It’s been challenging, especially the first part of the tournament. It was a rough start, and it was the only international event that was running at that time. Still, players have found an opportunity to come to Yekaterinburg in 2020 and now, in 2021, and I am grateful to them for that. 

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky, official cybersecurity partner of the FIDE World Chess Championship: 

In recent days the chess world’s attention has been on one thing only – the tournament and who will win it. Last year’s lockdowns and the resulting increase in the use of digital platforms only helped popularize the game of chess. And I am sure that the return of 'over the board' tournaments will further inspire chess players to test their abilities in this unique game that combines elements of art, science and sport. And we, in turn, are ready to deliver the cyber-threat protection for players competing online. 

Ian Nepomniachtchi, the winner of the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg: 

I can hardly imagine the scale of organizational activities needed to set up an event like this. I would like to thank the organizers and FIDE. In the current situation to start this tournament was big courage and to end it – an act of heroism. The contribution of everyone involved – from sponsors to volunteers – was very important. Of course, I would also like to thank my team, who deserve this success even more than I do. Their work was left behind the scenes, it’s not the tip of the iceberg, it’s the part that is hidden under the water. I am just moving the pieces. 

More information and full round-by-round reports are available at the official website: https://en.candidates-2020.com

Partners supporting the FIDE Candidates Tournament:

Sima-land, as the General Partner 

Algorand, as the Official Blockchain Partner 

Kaspersky, as the Official Cybersecurity Partner 

PhosAgro, General Partner of Chess Federation of Russia 

Chessable, as Event Partner 

Pine Creek Golf Resort, as event Partner 

Mercedes-Benz Russia, the Official Auto Partner