Moscow, November 11, 2019
The Russian Chess Federation called for a press conference today, at their headquarters in the historic building at Gogolevsky boulevard, to announce the exact dates and details of two of the highest-level events that this country will host along 2020: the Candidates Tournament and the Chess Olympiad.
The speakers were the former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, the FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the President of the Chess Federation of Russia Andrey Filatov, and the Head of Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation, Andrey Simanovsky. Also present were FIDE's Director-General Emil Sutovsky, and Chief Executive Officer of RCF, Mark Glukhovsky, who conducted the press conference.
Andrey Simanovsky started by thanking FIDE and the RCF for choosing Ekaterinburg as a host city for the 2020 Candidates tournament. "We have everything to make it a great event and will try our best to deliver”. The exact dates were confirmed: the event will take place from March 15 till April 5.
Arkady Dvorkovich expressed his satisfaction with this bid: “We are happy to continue our cooperation with the Chess Federation of Russia and are thankful to them and to Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation for their bid. Today, on behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board I’m glad to sign an official agreement to host this key event in Ekaterinburg. This tournament will decide who will face WC Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship match that will take place in November 2020.”
Andrey Filatov also thanked the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation "for their interest and constant support of chess in Russia". He continued: "It’s a pleasure that we have trust from FIDE to organize such an important event. The decision to host this event in Russia guarantees that there will be a Russian player participating. We’re still considering different options on how we’ll choose a Russian wild-card, but it will probably be a match or match-tournament with Kirill Alekseenko, third-place finisher in the Grand Swiss, taking part in it."
As a member of the Organizing Committee, Anatoly Karpov added: "I’m regularly visiting Ekaterinburg and I admire how the city has recently flourished. Ekaterinburg has all the needed infrastructure to organize the best Candidates’ tournament in chess history. I’ll be there myself taking part in the event’s cultural program".
Regarding the Chess Olympiad, the most important novelty is that this competition, one of FIDE's flagship events, will grow even further with the inclusion in the program of the first Chess Paralympiad. The idea, championed by Nigel Short during the presidential campaign last year, received appreciation by Arkady Dvorkovich and all the FIDE team, and is now becoming a reality.
This growth will imply that the Olympiad will have two host cities instead of just one, as it was initially planned. "The main host city will be Khanty-Mansiysk, that will host the FIDE Congress, the first-ever Chess Paralympiad, and other official events. The dates are moved a little bit, and the official opening will take place in Khanty on July 29", explained the FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich. "To make this great event more visible and accessible for the spectators, the joint decision made by RCF and FIDE is to hold the main tournament in Moscow, from August 5 to August 17", he added.
Khanty-Mansiysk has a long tradition hosting sports events for the disabled, having organized in recent years the IPC world championships 2011, the 2011 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships, the Deaflympics 2015, and the International sledge-hockey tournaments "Ugra Cup" 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. The FIDE Commission for the Disabled and the Ugra Chess Federation will work together in this new and exciting project.
This will be the 44th men’s Chess Olympiad (the first one took place back in 1927 in London) and the 29th women’s Chess Olympiad. Moscow has hosted the Chess Olympiad twice, in 1956 and 1994 and Khanty-Mansiysk once, in 2010. The schedule for the Chess Olympiad will be as follows:
July 29 (Khanty-Mansiysk)
The opening ceremony of the Chess Olympiad
July 30 – August 4 (Khanty-Mansiysk)
Chess Paralympiad, FIDE Congress and General Assembly
August 5 (Moscow)
The opening ceremony of the Moscow leg of the Chess Olympiad
August 6-17 (Moscow)
August 17 (Moscow)
The closing ceremony of the Chess Olympiad
About the Candidates tournament:
The Candidates tournament, in which eight top grandmasters will contest for the right to challenge the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway), will take place in Yekaterinburg from March 11 till April 5. Four participants are already known: Fabiano Caruana (USA), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Ding Liren and Wang Hao (both China). Two other participants will be determined following the results of the Grand Prix Series; one slot will be granted to the player with the best average rating in 2019. The eighth participant will be nominated by the organizers.