Reports | December 01, 2011 9:51

Mikhail Gorbachev closes Women's World Championship

Mikhail Gorbachev closes Women's World Championship

Mikhail Gorbachev closed the Women's World Championship match between Hou Yifan and Humpy Konery on Wednesday. The closing ceremony was held in the Presidential Palace in the capital of Albania on the evening of the 30th of November.

Report & photos © FIDE by Anna Burtasova & Anastasiya Karlovich

The ceremony was attended by Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the last head of state of the USSR and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1990 for "his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community". Gorbachev came to Tirana especially for the occasion.

A press conference with Hou Yifan, Rezart Taci, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Mikhail Gorbachev and Humpy Koneru

The legendary politician was invited by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who also held a speech at the closing ceremony of the main women’s chess competition of the year.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Due to the cooperation with Ilyumzhinov and Gorbachev’s devotion to chess in the years of his youth (he learned to play during the Second World War as he said in the speech), the former Head of the USSR agreed to take the honorary position of the patronage of the FIDE’s program “Chess in Schools”.

Gorbachev giving a speech

“The first thing we should always think about is kids, and their education and opportunities”, said Gorbachev at the ceremony.

Toasting on Hou Yifan's World Championship

The distinguished guests, including the President of Albanian Chess Federation and main sponsor of the match Rezart Taci as well as FIDE officials joined Gorbachev and Ilyumzhinov in congratulating the World Champion, 17-year-old Chinese prodigy Hou Yifan, and her challenger Humpy Koneru from India.

Gorbachev giving the prize to challenger Humpy Koneru...

...and of course the most important trophy, to Hou Yifan

Editors's picture
Author: Editors


S3's picture

Good to see how Kirsan is able to get other great people involved with chess, kudos to him.
By the way, his ties with Gorbachev kind of confirm the rumors that the whychess website is (partially) funded by Kirsan or Fide (remember the recent interview with Gorbachev there!?). Yet another great gift of Ilyu to the chess community.

May his reign be a long one.

Me's picture

I heard Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was assuring him meeting with aliens. Maybe Gorbachev met with aliens too ? We never can be sure. At least, it is weird we are alone in such a huge universe...maybe we gonna play chess with aliens some day.

Aingle Pack's picture

So what is the drinking age in Russia. Did the organizer's broke law by handing over the glass to Hou Yifan?

christos's picture

They are not in Russia (and Hou Yifan is not Russian). Why would russian laws apply?

Steve Borsuk's picture

Hello,you guys done wonderful job by sharing this article with us about which we were previously unaware but now we get some knowledge about it.

Latest articles