The Olympic champion made a first move of the World Championship

The first games of the World Rapid Championship were played today in Khanty-Mansiysk. The playing hall of the Ugra Chess Academy was crowded. There were not only chess journalists, but also numerous local chess fans, many of whom were young beginners.

A symbolic first move was made by Evgeny Redkin – the Head of Ugra Physical Culture and Sports Department, 1992 Olympic champion in biathlon. In the game between Valentina Gunina (Russia) and Bela Khotenshvili (Georgia) he moved a pawn from d2 to d4.

– Each year we set up a plan (together with the FIDE) to carry out at least one major event in Ugra. A World Championship or a World Cup – something big and prestigious. Women’s World Rapid and Blitz Championships is certainly a major competition, and is a very significant event for us, – said Mr Redkin. – The World Championship is always very attractive for the public. Men’s chess is often considered more exciting, but in my opinion women’s chess is by no means less interesting.

The weather is Siberia prepared a little surprise for the visitors – there is a storm warning is Khanty-Mansiysk! However, already by the end of the championship it should be warm and sunny.