After a full day of blitz yesterday, it is time for the slightly slower, yet still extremely exciting – rapid chess! 910 players from 37 countries met in one of the biggest sporting arenas in Poland – Spodek – for a two-day European Rapid Championship.
Official Opening Ceremony of the event started with a concert by a local orchestra, followed by speeches by our guests and partners:
Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Vice President of European Chess Union & FIDE Deputy Chair of Management Board)
Waldemar Bojarun (Vice President of the city Katowice)
Radosław Jedynak (President of the Polish Chess Federation)
Andrzej Matusiak (President of the Silesian Chess Federation)
Łukasz Turlej (FIDE Secretary General)
“Welcome all in Spodek, legendary place for sport in Poland! Just recently we have organized the World Championships in volleyball and today we are very happy to host – chess, the royal game -here. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate organizers for making this event happen and wish all the players best of luck.
I hope that after your games you’ll still have some time to see our beautiful city Katowice. We hope you’ll have lots of beautiful memories from this weekend’s Capital of European Chess!” – said Vice President of Katowice, Waldemar Bojarun.
“As European Chess Union we are really proud to be a part of this event. We are also really happy that the event is being held here in Katowice for the second time in a row, because the level of the organization is extremely high and the atmosphere is truly amazing – so festive! My wish to you is to enjoy, have beautiful games and come back here again to play in the chess city Katowice.” – added Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Vice President of the European Chess Union.
The first seed in the event is David Navara, the winner of the blitz event. He will fight for a double-gold, but his competitors are very strong and certainly as eager to win the title.
You can follow the live broadcast by amazing team of commentators Fiona Steil-Antoni and Piotr Nguyen here: echess.tv