by Anna Burtasova
On the 26th of July 2008 the opening ceremony of the “North Urals Cup 2008” took place. The concert hall of Krasnoturinsk was full of warm emotions. The organizers prepared a magnificent concert of local groups for the participants and the audience. Slide shows about Krasnoturinsk, the tournament and the wonderful people living here were demonstrated on screens on both sides of the stage.
The drawing procedure took place during the ceremony. Participants had to choose the box they liked most of all among those that were brought to the stage by girls-drummers. In every box there was a number that would correspond to each player in the tournament table. The Chief Arbiter of the tournament Ashot Vardapetyan announced the results.
They are as follows:
Cramling – Muzychuk
Xu Yuhua – Sebag
Koneru – Stefanova
Pogonina – Ushenina
Andrey Selivanov emphasized that he and Anatoly Sysoev decided to create a women super tournament 6 years ago because there were just a few chess competitions for women and this situation appeared to them extremely unfair.
Participants are glad to come to the hospitable Ural land again. “People here are very friendly and the Ural is the place where I am so lucky”, said the current world champion Xu Yuhua. Answering the question to play with whom men or women is more interesting, Antoaneta Stefanova, who takes part in great deal of men competitions, said that it was easier to play with men. But at the same time she considers victories in women tournaments her main achievements. Anna Muzychuk who on the contrary mostly plays in women tournaments shares her opinion.
Pia Cramling shared her impressions, “It’s my first time here. When I got the proposal to participate in the “North Urals Cup” I didn’t hesitate at all and agreed because it is the strongest women tournament in the world!”
The Russian player Natalya Pogonina was welcomed with a storm of applause. She confessed without false modesty that her aim was to become the first in the tournament. And that’s right! Every sportsman must aim at the best results. Evidently other participants hold to the same opinion. And it means that we are in front of exciting rounds, tense struggle and unpredictable results.
Pogonina and Stefanova
It is indeed the strongest women chess competition. We are surely in front of bright tournament. And it has started!
Photos and report by Anna Burtasova,
Press-attache of the “North Urals Cup 2008”
Quotes from the press conference of North Urals Cup
Alexander Levin, “On behalf of the Governor I greet all the organizers who managed to keep this wonderful tournament at this difficult time. The 19 FIDE category is not the limit for the “North Urals Cup” and we hope that once it will reach the highest 20 category”.
Andrey Selivanov, “This is the main super tournament of the year. A lot of world leading chess players would like to participate in the “North Urals Cup”. This tournament served as an example for many other countries. Now similar competitions are held in Baku and Istanbul. The world championship will be soon in Nalchik. I am sure that the future world champion is now sitting in this hall”.
Ivan Gramatik, “This tournament gave the great impulse to the chess development in Sverdlovsk region”