The President of the National Chess Federation of Mexico, Dr. Mario Antonio Ramírez Barajas, together with representatives of the Mexican Government, special guests and representatives of FIDE, inaugurated the U20 World Junior Chess Championship.
The multiple delegations arriving in Mexico City, received the welcoming words of President Mario Ramirez Barajas, President of the National Chess Federation of Mexico. He was joined in the praesidium by the four-time World Women's Champion Susan Polgar, Erik del Angel Landeros, Coordinator of Technical Council for Diplomacy and Sports Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martin Bermudez, Director of the Mexican Olympic Committee, Luis Cámara Patrón, organizer of the "Copa Cámara y Asociados", Amalia Galvan Trejo, Homero Fernandez Pedroza Director of the Cultural Complex Los Pinos, Carolina Muñoz, Chief Arbiter, Klara Kovac, member of the Fair Play Panel, and Allan Herbert, President of the Appeal Committee.
The opening ceremony featured a mariachi music performance, accompanied by a talented folk dance group that did regional dances of Guadalajara, such as the "Son de la Negra" and the famous "Jarabe Tapatío".
"This world-class tournament is very meaningful for all participants of all levels. It is an opportunity and a privilege for Latin America to have a competition of this magnitude in Mexico; it is a sign of confidence and a boost that we must take advantage of to develop our technical level," said President Mario Ramirez about the importance of this tournament. "We are now watching the future players of the world's elite. The youngsters who will replace Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and that great group of top players, are in this tournament today. This is a very important additional value for the purposes of the event," he added.
For her part, Susan Polgar added some welcome words, and the event was officially open.
It was followed by the ceremony of the Ignition of the Aztec Fire, granted by the Pre-Hispanic Dance Group through a cauldron and a dance. The ceremony, a pact celebrated by the Gods to give life to this world in relation to the position opposite to the first step of the sun through the zenith, symbolized the balance and order of the universe.
With the ceremony concluded, President Mario Ramirez invited the players to receive the presents the Organizing Committee had prepared for them.
After the opening ceremony, the organizing committee drew the colours and determined the pairings. The top-rated participants, GMs Hans Niemann and IM Carissa Yip, both from the United States, took part in the drawing lots by choosing a Mexican charro who had a white or black piece on their hats. Both top-seed picked the white pieces.
Official website: juniorchampionship2023.fide.com
Photos: David Llada