A solemn ceremony dedicated to the first Russian Chess Academy was held on September 10 in Khanty-Mansiysk. The ceremony was attended by Chairman of Gazprom Management Board Alexey Miller and Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District-Yugra Natalya Komarova.
While opening a new Sports complex, Alexey Miller granted symbolic keys of the new building to the youngest pupils of Chess Academy. Governor of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District and Chairman of Gazprom Management Board visited a transforming tournament hall and had a talk with the participants of the virtual chess tournament. At the end of the ceremony, Alexey Miller and Natalya Komarova declared the first tournament in the new Academy open.
Alexey Miller stated: "Yugra is the base region for our affiliated entity, Gazprom Neft, holding a leading position in terms of oil production growth rate in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District. Today we are setting a high bar not only in the industrial branch, but also in the social sphere. The Chess Academy is a symbol of stable social and economic development of the region, and it will become a symbol of our new sports victories in the near future". Natalya Komarova, Governor of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District–Yugra, emphasized that opening of the Chess Academy was a milestone event not only for Yugra, but also for entire Russia.
Construction of the Chess Academy was performed under the support of Gazprom Neft within the limits of "Gazprom to Children" Program particularly to coincide to the opening of the 39th World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk held from September 20 till October 3, 2010. Designed under the project of a well-known Dutch architect Erick Van Egeraat, the Complex allows conduct scale chess competitions of both the federal and international importance. Total project investment amounted to about 400 million roubles.
During construction of the Chess Academy with its floor space of about 3 thousand square meters, advanced energy-saving technologies and engineering decisions were used. The Centre represents a three-floor complex consisting of game rooms, a conference hall, a computer centre, and a special transforming hall as well. Up to 300 chess players can take part in the tournaments simultaneously.
During the 39th World Chess Olympiad, the Academy will host the Assembly and the 81st Congress of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
The 39th World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk will break records for the number of participants. This year, the Olympiad will receive 1,376 chess players from 158 countries of the world, 67 foreign and 66 Russian arbitrators, and 1,000 officials and representatives of Russian and foreign mass-media. By the quantity of participating countries, the Olympiad comes in a good third after the Summer Olympic Games and the World Athletics Championship. The Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk will start the series of international Olympic contests to be held in Russia: the XXVII Universiada-2013 in Kazan and the Winter Olympiad-2014 in Sochi.