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Interview with FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov
IMG 8540Interview carried out after the Opening Ceremony of the Fondation Neva Women’s Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland, 2nd May 2013

Mr President, today FIDE launched a new series of the Women’s Grand Prix. Can you please tell us something about the series and the organization of the first event in Geneva.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr and Mrs Timtchenko these last few months and discussing several plans or ideas for the development of chess in Geneva and Switzerland. As you know, they initially got involved in chess in the Anand – Gelfand World Championship match in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow last year, and last month they were also a key sponsor and organiser of the Alekhine Memorial in the Louvre in Paris and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg.

We launched successfully the new Grand Prix series for Women in one of the most beautiful cities of the world, Geneva. We were proud to see the great work that has been done by Fondation Neva to promote and organise the event and many top dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. This will undoubtedly be one of the best Grand Prix events that will have ever been organised.
We are impressed with Fondation Neva and they would like to continue to develop their future relationship with FIDE by studying with us how to implement a chess in schools program in the Canton of Geneva.
And regarding the future Women Grand Prix events.
This year we will have another two tournaments. The next one is in Dilijan, Armenia. They are excellent hosts and have shown that under the President of the country and the Federation, H.E. Serge Sargissian, they are committed to supporting FIDE and the Women Grand Prix series. After this we will go to Tashkent, Uzbekistan and we will have the second event in a space of twelve months. The Grand Prix in 2012 had excellent organisation and we expect another superlative  event this year.
Just a few days ago you were also in Zug, Switzerland for the closing ceremony of the Men’s Grand Prix. Can you share with us the plans of the next event?
Today, I can officially confirm that the next Grand Prix will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece between the 21st of May and 4th of June 2013. The location will be the luxurious 5 star Makedonia Palace Hotel in downtown Salonika. This could happen thanks to the active support of the well known philanthropist Ivan Savvidi. According to the wish of Mr Savvidi, an elite chess event is coming to Greece.

As FIDE has its principal secretariat in Athens, we are quite happy to have such an elite event in Greece. Additionally, the Greek Chess Federation is one of the most experienced and organised chess Federations in the world and their involvement in the organisation of the event will be critical to its success.

© FIDE Grand Prix 2013    |    |