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Opening Ceremony
Beijing-14Beijing in December may bring to mind the image of a cold city with -5 degrees but with its inhabitants ready to stand snow and fire to successfully fulfil their duties. On this evening's agenda two major activities were red-lettered: the opening ceremony of the SportAccord World Mind Games 2014 and the technical meeting for the section dedicated to our beloved sport, chess.


Needless to say that the Chinese organizers didn't fail to accomplish what we all had expected: a beautiful opening ceremony, where all the high-end officials and sportsmen were ready to speak and smile into the cameras, followed by a generous dinner-buffet. The evening warmed everybody up and prepared the neurons of our favourite grandmasters to give their best in the first four rounds of tomorrow. 

All the mind games are represented by their ambassadors and officials

We are proud to have such ambassadors: Hou Yifan and Alexandra Kosteniuk

Nobody can refuse the Chinese treats

In his speech, the SportAccord General Director, the Romanian Vlad Marinescu, highlighted the value of working together

Harika Dronavalli preparing for tomorrow's game by first enjoying the evening.
As all chess players say: one step (or move) at a time!

And the first move in the Rapid event was made with the drawing of lots:

In the first round, both highest rated players in the men and women rapid lists will enjoy the white colour: Alexander Grischuk and Koneru Humpy will face Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Tatiana Kosintseva, respectively. The rate of play will be 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move, so we can count on many worth following time trubles.

R1 Rapid pairings: men

Bo. SNo.   Name Pts Res. Pts   Name SNo.
1 1 GM Grischuk Alexander 0   0 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 9
2 10 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 0   0 GM Aronian Levon 2
3 3 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 0   0 GM Bacrot Etienne 11
4 12 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 0   0 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 4
5 5 GM Radjabov Teimour 0   0 GM Gelfand Boris 13
6 14 GM Wang Hao 0   0 GM Leko Peter 6
7 7 GM Wang Yue 0   0 GM Harikrishna P. 15
8 16 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 0   0 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 8

R1 Rapid pairings: women

Bo. SNo.   Name Pts Res. Pts   Name SNo.
1 1 GM Koneru Humpy 0   0 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 9
2 10 GM Ushenina Anna 0   0 GM Hou Yifan 2
3 3 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 0   0 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 11
4 12 GM Zhao Xue 0   0 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 4
5 5 GM Ju Wenjun 0   0 IM Muzychuk Mariya 13
6 14 GM Cramling Pia 0   0 GM Gunina Valentina 6
7 7 GM Dzagnidze Nana 0   0 GM Harika Dronavalli 15
8 16 GM Khotenashvili Bela 0   0 GM Muzychuk Anna 8

Beijing-8The players seemed to be in a good mood and the highest rated player in the rapid list was no exception
Koneru Humpy

Hou Yifan will never let down a fan, even if they approach her during a tough event

Valentina Gunina pondering over her options as Black against tomorrow's opponent: Pia Cramling

Many anecdotes to share from the latest games

The ever dangerous over the board opponent: Vassily Ivanchuk will face Etienne Bacrot with White
Enemies only during working hours: Antoaneta Stefanova and Elisabeth Paehtz

The games will start at 14:00 Beijing time but with such a lineup though, it is difficult to say which game will be the highlight, perhaps all? 

Official website

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Twitter hashtag: #sawmg14

Text and photos: Alina l'Ami

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