Warm Welcome for Indians at Khanty-Mansiysk!
By T.T.Lakshmi Priya, Fide Instructor
It was a pleasant evening on Sep 2oth as the domestic Russian flight from Utair Aviation landed at Khanty-Mansiysk Airport. As we started walking towards the baggage conveyors, officials from the Ugra Chess team were awaiting our arrival. We received a warm welcome with traditional folk numbers sung by seasons local artists followed by quick interviews with some local press.
Shortly as we boarded the busses, we landed at Hotel Olympic for our lodging.Hotel’s restaurant serves good European spread to cater to all cuisines and Indian rested well to start the next day fresh to venture out on brief walks around the hotel and rested well until afternoon..
It was entertaining for the Indian players at the Inauguration ceremony of the World Youth Chess Championship 2016 on Sep 21st. Following a 30 min Player’s meeting by the Arbiters with players & officials from all delegations, the program was inaugurated with grandeur.
The Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic. The governor of Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous Okrug Natalia Komarova and the Chief Executive Officer of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Geoffrey Borg declared the championship open. The governor of the region drew the black pawn as part of ‘Draw of colors’ and declared “black as the starting colour for the top board in each category.
The official program was followed by 45 mins of scintillating Russian Music to give us a local flavor
The concert was performed by local artists, an amazing synthesis of a variety of performing arts. The program also included amazing rock music played by a Band from Ugra with traditional Russian Instruments along with an electronic mixture of rock and folk tunes along with very impressive dance performances.
Venue had interesting arrangements of mascot chess pieces walking all over the place for players and guests to click lovely pics with them…The large chess board and pieces was a real attraction for all chess lovers.
The evening was an absolute refresher for all the players who had travelled long to participate in the event. Few players from the Indian team were also interviewed by local press on their experience at Khanty-Mansiysk and on their preparation for the championship.