The Opening Ceremony of the first leg of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2019 organized by World Chess took place in the Mansion of Saltykov-Chertkov on May 16. Many celebrities and journalists attended the Gala Event which opened the first tournament of the World Chess Championship cycle 2019-2020.
CEO of World Chess Ilya Merenzon, CEO of PhosAgro and RCF Vice-President Andrey Guryev, and Head of Corporate Sales Department of Kaspersky Lab Evgeniya Naumova gave speeches during the official part of the Ceremony. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich declared the tournament open.
Chief Arbiter IA Laurent Freyd (France) conducted the drawing of lots at the technical meeting before the Ceremony. Four players with the highest standard rating at the beginning of the tournament – Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Alexander Grischuk - had been given starting numbers 1, 16, 9, and 8 respectively. For the purpose of distribution of other twelve starting numbers, the random drawing of lots was made at the technical meeting.
The draw of colours took place at the Opening Ceremony. The rating favourite Anish Giri picked a white (or silver) piece and that means that all players with odd numbers will start the first round with White.
Round 1 pairings:
Giri - Dubov
Radjabov - Nakamura
Duda - So
Karjakin - Grischuk
Nepomniachtchi - Aronian
Wei Yi - JakovenkoVitiugov - Svidler
Wojtaszek - Mamedyarov
Photos courtesy: World Chess and Eteri Kubashvili