FIDE President returns chess to popularity

The World Chess Championship ended in Khanty-Mansiysk recently. Russia men's national team won silver and was defeated by women’s, which became the winner for the first time in history.

For a long time, FIDE hatched the idea of gathering strongest chess players under the flags of their countries. Despite the chaos of the 1990s and a sharp decline in interest in chess, the Russian team was still quite competitive.

In total, the men's team has six victories, which is far ahead of its competitors. It is worth noting that Chinese are trying to intercept the initiative. They won the last two championships.
An appropriate response was given by representatives of the women's team. Girls participated in similar competitions since 2007. Russian women, who could not win gold four times, played perfectly this time and did not leave the rivals a chance to win. They met with the main competitors -- Ukrainians in the final 9th round. They could achieve a total success by ending one game with a draw. Team leader Alexandra Kosteniuk did it first. Ekaterina Lagno had also agreed on draw. The brilliant performance of the team was stressed by Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya, who forced opponents to admit their defeat.
"China and Russia dominate women's chess," said head coach of the Russian team Sergei Rublevsky. "The key match with the main rivals took place in the first round. Apparently, by that time, the guests from the PRC did not get used to a new climate, thus, the opponents won convincingly enough, which influenced the result. After that, there were tough plays against Georgia and Ukraine. I would not like to single out anyone; we all have a team goal to achieve. Girls perfectly helped each other.
It is worth noting the excellent organization of the tournament, especially considering that FIDE decided to unite men's and women's championships for the first time. The organizers had a double work burden but the capital of Ugra coped with that difficult task most efficiently.
" Khanty-Mansiysk was the centre of the world chess life for 12 days," said President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. "Over the past 12 years, FIDE, together with the Russian Chess Federation and the regional leadership, held hundreds of competitions of various levels in Ugra. They support not only professional tournaments but also mass and children's chess. In 2020, we would be pleased to come again to this beautiful and fertile land to enjoy the rivalry of participants of the World Chess Olympiad."
As far as success of the women's team is concerned, we may add that the girls are not going to stop there. According to Sergei Rublevsky, after the World Championship, his players aimed to victoriously play at the European Championships. One could hardly doubt it after the gold medals won in Khanty-Mansiysk.
Chess slowly but surely regains its former popularity. Each victory becomes an additional reason to remember that this game requires not only the ability to calculate several moves ahead, but also inspiration.