Турнир претендентов 2020
MARCH 16, 2020
Precompetition press-conference of FIDE Candidates Tournament took place in Yekaterinburg
March 16, 2020, Yekaterinburg. A press-conference dedicated to the FIDE Candidates Tournament, which takes place in the capital of Sverdlovsk Region from March 16 to April 4, was carried out today in the building of the Sverdlovsk union of journalists.
This is one of the key chess competitions of the year. Famous grandmasters Fabiano Caruana (USA), Ding Liren, and Wang Hao (both from China), Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Kirill Alekseenko (all from Russia), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), and Anish Giri (Netherlands) are participating in the event.

It is the first time that Yekaterinburg hosts such a prestigious tournament, which draws enormous public interest. Chess enthusiasts from all over the world will be following this event, which is going to determine a challenger for the reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway).

The press-conference was attended by Alexey Orlov, the First Deputy Governor of Sverdlovsk Region, Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, Anatoly Karpov, 12th World Chess Champion, Deputy of Russian State Duma, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Chess Federation of the Sverdlovsk Region, Andrey Simanovsky, President of Chess Federation of the Sverdlovsk Region, Marina Usova, Head of Corporate Sales of Kaspersky, and one of the tournament participants, the Russian grandmaster Kirill Alekseenko.

Alexey Orlov, the First Deputy Governor of Sverdlovsk Region:

"It is an honor for Sverdlovsk Region to be picked to host the FIDE Candidates Tournament. The region prepared for the event thoroughly. We are doing our best to carry out the competition at the highest level and with maximum safety, which is required today."

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, thanked the leadership of Sverdlovsk Retion, Chess Federation of Russia, and all the partners that helped in organizing the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg:

"This is a huge event not only for chess world, but for sports in general, because almost all international sports competitions are cancelled in view of the Covid-19. When FIDE decided to hold this tournament within the previously announced time frame, we took special attention to minimizing health risks for the participants and everyone else involved. We cleared all the health safety issues including medical screenings and tests with the Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), and the Ministry of Public Health. We took precautionary measures, following recommendations by WHO, IOC, and Rospotrebnadzor. The participants, media, organizers, and spectators will be separated, and the latter will not be permitted to enter the playing hall. We expect these measures to be sufficient for the players' safety, bearing in mind that this is not a mass event."

FIDE President added that the previously planned mass side events were canceled, and announced a trilingual broadcasting – in English, Russian, and Chinese.

Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Champion, shared his vast winning experience:

"In order to win such tournament, one needs energy, health, and calm nerves. Tournament-specific preparation and general opening knowledge are needed, too. The participants of this event won many tournaments during their careers – they are truly cream of chess world."

The great chess player told about the history of chess development in the Urals. "We have never had such a high-level competitions in Sverdlovsk Region or in Yekaterinburg. However, the Ural chess school has been developing rapidly in the recent years, and the Chess Federation of the Sverdlovsk Region in now one of the most active in Russia. I believe this tournament will be held at the highest level. The player have ideal conditions, they will live and play in the same hotel", said Karpov.

Andrey Simanovsky, President of Chess Federation of the Sverdlovsk Region:

"We never had an event of this magnitude in our city. I think it will give a good impulse to promoting chess in the region. I became a president of the regional chess federation rather recently, but already recognized how exciting the chess world is, and how many extraordinary people are here. In my opinion, chess is the most peaceful, intelligent, and prestigious sport."

Mr. Simanovsky also showed medals that will be awarded to the winners of the Candidates Tournament.

"Our work in the information security industry is very similar to chess game. It represents constant confrontation and requires strategic thinking. In cybersecurity the ability to defend is crucial, every detail matters. In chess also one wrong move can change the course of the game. Therefore, Kaspersky is the official cybersecurity partner for FIDE World Championship. We are happy to be involved in such mind sport which cannot be imagined without the use of computer algorithms, " comments Marina Usova, Head of Corporate Sales, Kaspersky.

W. Sean Ford, COO of Algorand, sent a message to the participants:

"As one of the leading blockchain organizations, we are honoured to join a lineup of other industry leading partners in supporting chess," said. "We look forward to being a part of the Candidates Tournament in Russia, where chess has been a longstanding tradition and produced some of the most skilled chess players in the world."

The official opening of the tournament will take place on 16th March at 7 PM at the Congress Centre – Ekaterinburg Expo. Before the beginning of the ceremony, between 6:15 and 6:45 PM, members of the media will be able to meet with officials and the participants.

Grandmaster Kirill Alekseenko:

"This is my debut in a competition of such caliber. First of all, I am very grateful to Sima-Land company and Andrey Moiseevich Simanovsky in particular, and to FIDE for getting an opportunity to play in the Candidates Tournament, a tournament of the utmost importance for every chess player. Naturally, I will be playing for a win, as only the first place gives a chance to challenge Magnus Carlsen."

The first round will be played on March 17. Pairings:

Vachier-Lagrave – Caruana, Ding Liren – Wang Hao, Giri – Nepomniachtchi, Grischuk – Alekseenko.

The match days: March 21-23, 25-27, 29-31, and April 2-3. Rest days: March 20, 24, 28, and and April 1. The beginning of all rounds will be at 4 PM local time, except for the 14th round, which will start at 3 PM local time.

The venue is Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg. The prize fund is 500,000 Euros.

The organizers of the FIDE Candidates Tournament are the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) as well as the Government of the Sverdlovsk Region and the Chess Federation of the Sverdlovsk Region.


Sima Land - the title sponsor of the FIDE Candidates Tournament

Algorand - official blockchain partner

Kaspersky - official cybersecurity partner

Mercedes-Benz Russia - official auto partner

PJSC PhosAgro - General partner of the CFR

Pine Creek Golf Resort and SILA International Lawyers - partners

Official website https://en.candidates-2020.com

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