ASTANA – Kazakhstan is focused on advancing chess in the country, aiming to double the number of chess players in the nearest future, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a May 2 meeting with new World Chess Champion Ding Liren, runner-up Ian Nepomniachtchi and President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich, reported the Akorda press service.
“More than 200,000 people play chess in the country. This figure should at least double with the help of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation and FIDE. Chess will see significant growth in the country,” said Tokayev.
The President congratulated Ding on becoming the world champion in a close chess battle and expressed his respect to Nepomniachtchi for his mastery.
China’s grandmaster Ding thanked Tokayev for the invitation.
“We are very pleased to meet you. I am thrilled to win and participate in this tournament. I enjoyed the game a lot,” he said.
Russia’s grandmaster Nepomniachtchi noted the great interest in chess in Kazakhstan.
“I thank the organizers of the match, and thank the country. I see that the country’s interest in chess is constantly growing. With the new leadership of the federation, you are moving in the right direction,” he said.
Dvorkovich expressed gratitude to the Kazakh President for the warm welcome, noting the effective development of chess due to state support and financial assistance.
“Over the past seven months, Kazakhstan held five world championships. We see the popularity of chess in Kazakhstan. The numbers are impressive and will be even higher,” said Dvorkovich.
According to Dvorkovich, FIDE plans to host the first-ever World School Championship in Kazakhstan this summer, in which representatives from at least 80 countries are expected to participate.
Following the meeting, the President wished the chess players luck in reaching new heights.
Ding became the new world chess champion after he defeated Nepomniachtchi in the FIDE World Chess Championship final game of the tiebreak on April 30.