ASTANA – President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich commended Kazakhstan for the successful organization of the three-week FIDE World Chess Championship at a May 1 closing ceremony, reported FIDE’s press service.
“We are happy that the match was held here in Kazakhstan, the country located between two chess nations represented in this match, and it proved to be a great place,” said Dvorkovich as he thanked the sponsors, local organizers, volunteers, and partners.
The ceremony featured traditional music and dance performances, speeches, and the crowning of new chess champion Ding Liren.
In his welcoming speech, Deputy Prime Minister Altai Kulginov congratulated Ding on his outstanding victory and wished Ian Nepomniachtchi great success in the future.
According to President of Kazakhstan Chess Federation Timur Turlov, the championship became one of the most viewed chess events globally as millions of people tuned in.
“We held more than 20 events during this championship. I want to thank all the organizers – FIDE, our big Kazakh chess federation team – for making these events possible. … Over the past few months and during the championship, we have seen a huge concentration of grandmasters who had a chance to share their experience with Kazakh chess players,” said Turlov.
As part of the ceremony, Turlov presented a shapan, a traditional Kazakh gown honoring a high-profile guest, to Ding and Nepomniachtchi.
Following the time-honored tradition in chess, the new champion was crowned with a green wreath. Dvorkovich presented a gold medal and awarded the cup to Ding.
After the anthem of China, performed on the violin by a solo performer of the Almaty Symphony Orchestra Meruyert Tursunbekova, the new world champion addressed the audience, thanking the organizers, his team, and his opponent for a great event.
“I am thrilled to win the match. It was very tough. I would like to thank the sponsors and organizers, and I also want to thank my opponent, Ian, for being a great fighter and fighting until the very end,” Ding said.
Dvorkovich and Turlov agreed to hold the first World Championship among school students in August in Kazakhstan. The event is expected to bring together young chess players from 50 countries.
The next match for the title of World Champion will be held in two years.