28 February 2017, Sharjah, UAE: VIP guests including Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and participating grandmasters gathered on February 27th at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club to fete the winner of 2017 FIDE World Chess Sharjah Grand Prix at the closing ceremony.
Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla thanked 18 Grandmasters who were competing at the Grand Prix for the prize fund of 130 000 euro. They included Salem Saleh, the first Grandmaster from UAE to compete in an official World Chess Championship event. «I'm pleased to congratulate you all for the end of successful tournament and thank you for your participation and presence in United Arab Emirates and Sharjah City. Wish to see you again!»
Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla himself then awarded the runner-up of 2017 FIDE World Chess Sharjah Grand Prix, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France, world's #5 with silver medal. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was here to award the winner, Russian grandmaster Alexander Grischuk with gold medal and the grand Cup. Both players received luxurious gifts from World Chess Official Writing Instrument, S.T. Dupont.
The winner received a prize cheque of 20 000 euros while his closest chaser got 15 000. The Grand Prix cycle is sponsored by EG Capital Advisors and Kaspersky Lab.
Georgios Makropulous, FIDE Deputy President, said: “I compliment Alexander with the victory and I am very happy about the smooth Grand Prix Series Start. This is a new page in chess history and in collaboration of FIDE and World Chess. I am also proud to say swiss system we used during first leg in Sharjah lived up to our expectations”.
Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess by Agon congratulated the winners: Good to note that Sharjah Grand Prix helped to evaluate chess sport in UAE and was a true kick-off for the 2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series. Now we are eagerly awaiting the next leg that is to be held in Moscow since May 12th.
Amir Kanaan, General Manager in the Middle East of Kaspersky Lab, the official cybersecurity partner of FIDE and World Chess, commented: “The games at this first Grand Prix of the 2017-2018 series were really spectacular and extremely interesting. We hope that chess fans all over the world, and especially in the UAE, enjoyed them, while also remembering about cybersafety.”
The following leg of the 2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix starts in Moscow on May 12th. Chess fans can follow all the action at www.worldchess.com