470 players from 54 countries all around the world traveled to the Czech Republic to compete for the title of World Senior Champion.
Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) is a spa town in the western part of the Czech Republic. Over the decades it has become one of the top European spas and visits of the numerous notable figures and rulers only confirm that. Among them there were e.g. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Alfred Nobel, Franz Joseph I, King Edward VII and many others. Marienbad is famous not only for its springs, but also for its architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Czech Republic.
The Town theatre of Marianske Lazne
The opening ceremony was held in the Town theatre. More than 300 people attended this formal start of the tournament and they were more than satisfied with what the organizers prepared. Petr Pisk, delegate of Czech Republic at FIDE, welcomed everyone in Marianske Lazne, then singers of Prague National Theatre Opera Irina Rurac from Moldova and Veronika Eichlerova from Czech Republic singed several songs making this ceremony unforgettable for all and were rewarded with seemingly endless ovation.
Irina Rurac (left) and Veronika Eichlerova
Players were then welcomed also by the mayor of Marianske Lazne Ing. Petr Tresnak, chairman of Czech Chess Federation Viktor Novotny and tournament director Dr. Jan Mazuch. Technical meeting followed, lead by the Chief Arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz, who explained the rules of the tournament which will end after 11 rounds full of exciting games on 30th November.
This year is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Vera Mencikova, the first Woman World Champion. Five women will receive an award at this special occasion in Prague next week. One of these ladies is Hana Modrova who cannot be in Prague next week, because she is playing in the women 65+ years category here in Marianske Lazne. She therefore received this award at the opening ceremony from Mr. Novotný, Mrs. Ladomerska and Mr. Skoloud of SOCRATES 2001.
Left to right: Ing. Petr Tresnak, Viktor Novotny and Dr. Jan Mazuch
With 470 players, this tournament surpassed the previous attendance record of 312 by a lot. And not only quantity, but also quality is present. Notable players are GM Anatoly Vaisser (World Senior Champion in 2010, 2013 and 2014), GM Vladimir Okhotnik (World Senior Champion in 2011 and 2015), legendary theoretician GM Evgeny Sveshnikov and Women’s World Champion in years 1962-1978 GM Nona Gaprindashvili. In total, there are 22 grandmasters, 9 woman grandmasters, 47 international masters and 9 woman international masters in the tournaments.
The organizers have prepared many interesting free time activities including trip to the capitol of Prague and rapid and blitz tournament. You can find more information about the tournament, more than 80 live games, results, photos and many more at www.wscc2016.net.
World Senior Chess Championship 2016 is under the auspices of the deputy mayor of Marianske Lazne Ing. Petr Tresnak. WSCC 2016 is held under the financial support of the city of Marianske Lazne.