ZAGREB, 20 July (Hina) – The tournament called “SuperUnited Croatia Grand Chess Rapid&Blitz” within the Grand Chess Tour 2022 kicked off in Zagreb on Tuesday at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
The tournament that will run through 24 July features the world champion, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen as well as Alireza Firouzja, an Iranian-French chess player, Ian Nepomniachtchi, a Russian chess Grandmaster, Wesley So, a Filipino American chess Grandmaster, then Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, an Azerbaijani chess Grandmaster who is a two-time World Junior Champion (2003 and 2005) and a three-time European Team Champion, French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who is currently the No. 1 ranked player in France as well as a three-time French champion, Leinier Dominguez, a Cuban American chess Grandmaster, Dutch Jorden Van Foreest, and Bulgarian Veselin Topalov, who earned the title of Grandmaster at the age of 17.
At the ceremony in the Westin Hotel, PM Plenković said that this was the third tournament of this kind in the Croatian capital.
Chess is a fascinating sport bringing together millions. It is fortunate for Croatia that Garry Kasparov holds its citizenship. This fact also contributes to the promotion of chess in Croatia, he added.
Plenković thanked Kasparov and the organisers for bringing this tournament to Zagreb for the third time.
Recalling that the tournament is taking place in Zagreb against a backdrop of challenging times and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Plenković highlighted that as a wider global contest.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the world in many ways. For years, an amazing intellectual Kasparov has spoken about the noxiousness of the policies pursued by Russia with Vladimir Putin at its helm, and this situation has made it clear, said Plenković adding that “one must be aware of the times and tell the truth at the right time and at the right place.”
The sponsor of the tournament is Croatia’s Tourism and Sports Ministry, with a prize fund of USD 175,000. The winner of the tournament will receive $40,000 and the tenth-ranked player can count on a prize of $7,000.