The press conference of the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at the 5th stage of FIDE Women Grand Prix tournament in Mongolia was held on July 29 at the Presidential Residence near Ulaanbaatar. FIDE also was represented by FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong and Vice President Geoffrey Borg while Mongolian organizing Committee was represented by Minister of Education, Culture and Science Yondon Otgonbayar and President of Mongolian Chess Association Suuri Enkhtsag. Journalists from the Mongolian main TV broadcasting and newspaper media were present, as well as representatives from foreign Embassies to Mongolia.
The press conference was opened by Minister of Education, Culture and Science Yondon Otgonbayar:
- I wish to express my gratitude to all ladies and gentlemen for coming here. The most outstanding 12 players from 8 countries, including Mongolia, France, Qatar, Turkey, China, will be competing in this round-robin Grand Prix tournament. This 5th Grand Prix tournament in Mongolia features the highest ranking players in the world including 4 world champions. Mongolia is represented by grandmaster Munguntuul.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov expressed his gratitude to Mr. Otgonbayar for all support and assistance in the organizing of the event and emphasized a high level of the participants:
- It is a great pleasure for me that this tournament of the Grand Prix series is being held in this wonderful city of Ulaanbaatar. The previous tournament was held in Armenia in Europe, now Grand Prix continues in Mongolia in Asia and will be concluded in South America in Chile. As the President of FIDE, I would like to emphasize that in regard of level of the participants, this tournament is the highest ranking in the history of women’s chess championships and tournaments. In this tournament 4 world champions will compete simultaneously, including the famous and legendary world champion Maya Chiburdanidze. The present highest ranking player Humpy Koneru from India will participate as well. It is also a pleasure to note that a Grand Prix international tournament is being held for the first time in Mongolia.
- What category belongs this tournament?
- There are no categories in chess, however this tournament is graded as 2487 which is the highest possible rating in women’s chess.
– How time will be controlled in this tournament?
– The time control we are applying is the same for the Grand Prix, that is 90 minutes per 40 moves.
– Mongolian National TV reserved the right to broadcast this tournament and we are proud to have such a great event in our country. How countries apply to host Grand Prix?
– For organizing events of such great magnitude, countries have to submit a formal application to FIDE, and the Presidential Council will consider this application, vote and make the final resolution. Last year we received an application from Mongolian Chess Association. During my meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Mongolia, a wish was expressed to stage a major chess tournament in Mongolia, and I duly accepted. As a Kalmyk of Mongolian stock, as the President of albeit small Republic of Kalmykia and as President of FIDE I could not but agree to fully support this idea of our Mongolian brethren in blood and believes. I believe that by this decision we accomplish two important tasks. From one side, we discover this wonderful country of Mongolia for the world of chess. We will broadcast this tournament via Internet and millions of chess fans in the world can watch live this tournament. After all FIDE has over 170 member states so millions can receive information on this tournament by visiting the site ulaanbaatar. mongolia. grand prix. This site will contain info not only on the tournament progress but also info on Mongolia, its people, history and culture. Therefore, the site will serve as a promotional vehicle for Mongolia. On the other side, staging this tournament will attract young people and children of Mongolia to the world of professional chess.
– We heard that foundation for the Chess Academy will be laid today. How is this project founded?
– FIDE has a project to open chess schools in various countries and Mongolia is included in this project. For implementation of this project we had and have commercial partners. The Chess Academies are being planned as a commercial project, therefore we have agreements with local businesses and commercial structures. FIDE is a commercial organization and last year’s financial crisis has somewhat affected our and our business partners’ interests. Nevertheless, we did not stop our project, it just slowed down.
– How is this Grand Prix tournament financed?
– Government is providing approximately 100,000 euros. Of course, it is not sufficient, so we sought for private sponsors. And with help of numerous local businesses now we are sure that there will be no obstacles in successfully completing this Grand Prix tournament.