World Mind Games take off in Beijing
The fifth edition of the World Mind Games, the second organized by SportAccord, is currently under way in Beijing, China. This multi-sport event includes five mind sports: bridge, chess, draughts, go and xiangqi (Chinese chess). The chess players play rapid, blitz and blindfold.
A scene from the opening ceremony in Beijing | All photos by Anastasia Karlovich © FIDE for the official website
The World Mind Games are a multi-sport event centered on the "gymnasium of the mind". The first edition in 2008 included five mind sports of great popularity and influence worldwide: bridge, chess, draughts, go and xiangqi (Chinese chess). Last year the World Mind Games moved to a new level, being organized SportAccord, the umbrella organization for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as a major organizers of conferences and sporting events.
Like last year (and also in 2013 and 2014) the event is held in Beijing, China. The chess events are under the auspices of FIDE. 32 players (16 men and 16 women) will compete for the medals:
Men: Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Morozevich, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, Laurent Fressinet, Gata Kamsky, Peter Leko, Viktor Bologan, Baadur Jobava, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Wang Hao, Anish Giri and Ding Liren.
Women: Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Humpy Koneru, Zhao Xue, Kateryna Lahno, Viktorija Cmilyte, Anna Zatonskih, Antoaneta Stefanova, Bela Khotenashvili, Harika Dronavalli, Elisabetj Paehtz, Zhu Chen, Pia Cramling, Monika Socko, Elina Danielian and Alexandra Kosteniuk.
As always the players will perform in three different disciplines: rapid chess, blitz and blindfold chess. You can follow the action live here.
|Wednesday 12th December 2012||Opening Ceremony|
|Thursday 13th December 2012||Rest Day|
|Friday 14th December 2012||14:00 - Rounds 1-3 Rapid Chess|
|Saturday 15th December 2012||14:00 - Rounds 4-7 Rapid Chess|
|Sunday 16th December 2012||14:00 - Rounds 1-15 Blitz Chess|
|Monday 17th December 2012||14:00 - Rounds 16-30 Blitz Chess|
|Tuesday 18th December 2012||14:00 - Rounds 1-4 Blindfold Chess|
|Wednesday 19th December 2012||14:00 - Rounds 5-7 Blindfold Chess|
|Thursday 20th December 2012||Departure|
The opening ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Beijing International Convention Center. SportAccord President Hein Verbruggen expressed his gratitude for the warm reception of SportAccord in China’s capital. He acknowledged the sponsors, the local organising committee and all the people involved in the preparations.
Acting Major of Beijing Wang Anshun, Vice-Mayor of Beijing Lu Wei and Deputy Director of the General Administration of Sport of China Feng Jianzhong welcomed SportAccord, players, coaches, referees, and all participants. They underlined the values and importance of SportAccord World Mind Games and wished the event a great success.
The addresses were followed by artistic performances of sand painting, martial arts dance performance, sculpture dance and Peking Opera.
The following photos were all taken by Anastasia Karlovich for the official FIDE tournament website.
World Champions Antoaneta Stefanova and Alexandra Kosteniuk before the start of the opening ceremony
Sophie Leko, Elina Danielian, Anna Zatonskih and Hou Yifan
The different sports are presented on stage, represented by a small number of participants
For chess the players were Kamsky, Leko, Grischuk, Paehtz, Cmilyte and Lahno
The flags of the People's Republic of China and that of SportAccord arrive
Making space for the – always spectacular – Chinese performers:
School visit & simul
Thursday was a rest day for the participants of the Mind Games. On this day a special school visit was organized by SportAccord. The representation of chess went to Dinbgfuzhuang middle school No. 4. where GMs Peter Heine Nielsen and Bartek Heberla, together with officials took a tour around the school, met the pupils and learned about the system of teaching of chess there. Chess has been in the curriculum since 1993 (!) and is taught once a week.
The two GMs gave a simul on 26 boards. One pupil, a 10-year-old girl, defeated Nielsen, who was two pawns up but then blundered a rook. His opponent then changed all the pawns and pieces and confidently mated her GM opponent with rook and king.
A musical welcome for the delegation
Gold and silver pieces for this special simul
The next generation of Bu Xiangzhi's, Wang Yue's, Ding Liren's and Wang Hao's is coming
"Will she checkmate the grandmaster?"
Peter Heine Nielsen congratulating his opponent with her victory
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