Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to participants in the opening ceremony of the 2015 Women’s World Chess Championship.

The message reads, in part:

“Our country is justifiably proud of its chess traditions and has great experience in organising prestigious competitions of this kind. We will of course do everything possible to make sure that this championship is of the very highest level.

Sochi extends a hospitable welcome today to the world’s best women chess players, who will engage in intense and strong competition to demonstrate their skill, determination and creative ability and show in practice that they have everything it takes to fight for the chess world’s crown.

I am sure that this championship will be a memorable and vivid event that will draw us in with its skilful duels. It will help to make chess more popular here in Russia and around the world.”

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar