International Chess Federation
Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024 02:11
FIDE Candidates 2024: And it’s a wrap!

The FIDE Candidates Tournament, which captivated audiences for three weeks, is in the books. The Closing Ceremony was held at 1 Hotel Toronto, the residence of the players for almost a month.

The ceremony was hosted by the tournament’s Chief Arbiter, Aris Marghetis, and charming Charlize Van Zyl, a familiar face from the FIDE broadcasts, where she conducted interviews, narrated recaps, and captured the event’s essence for viewers worldwide.

The ceremony began with the national anthems of the host country, Canada, and the International Chess Federation. Aris and Charlize then shared some tournament statistics, highlighting the online viewership that reached millions and the full house at the venue, evidenced by the sold-out tickets.

A video recap brought memories of the intense 14-day competition before Vlad Drkulec, President of the Chess Federation of Canada, graced the stage and delivered an inspiring speech. 

“It was quite an eventful competition. I would like to thank all the people who made it possible: the sponsors, the Scheinberg family and FIDE for putting this event in Canada. We are very thankful as it will help us to continue growing at a phenomenal rate. It is the most exciting thing that has been in Canada for a century or even more. We would also like to thank the members of Parliament who contributed to getting all the visas just in time, and also the army of volunteers who made this successful event. We thank all the players for coming to Canada and putting up a spectacular show for the world,” he said. 

Emil Sutovsky, the CEO of FIDE, expressed his gratitude on stage, thanking the Scheinberg family, the main sponsor of the event, chess fans, volunteers and all those who took part in the organization of this celebration of chess. 

“It is a really special moment for me… In January 2023, we announced that the event would go to Toronto. From that moment on, we started to prepare. It was a long, bumpy journey at times, but we are very proud that we managed to pull this event together, and I would like to thank everyone involved. Of course, the Scheinberg family for their continuous support. As you know, they support one major chess event that FIDE hosts every year. The 1 Hotel. It is a really special place, and we all enjoyed being here. I hope we will be here again… I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers. They were numerous. Wherever you were in this competition, you felt this warm attitude. Volunteers played an important role in creating this unique atmosphere; thank you very much.”

The award ceremony then began. The champions, Gukesh D and Tan Zhongyi, were honored with unique trophies crafted from reclaimed Toronto wood, symbolizing their achievement and the enduring connection with the city they’ll carry home. The rendering of the national anthems of India and China honored the winners’ home countries. The ceremony drew to a close, leaving guests to savor the gala dinner that ensued. 

With a mix of celebration and a touch of melancholy, the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 and FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2024 were officially declared closed, marking the end of a remarkable chapter of the World Chess Championship Cycle.