World Chess and FIDE today announced that PhosAgro and Vimpelkom, two of Russia’s largest and best-known companies, have become official partners to the Moscow Grand Prix.
The commercial partnerships were announced at a press conference this morning at the Telegraph Building in Moscow, the venue for the Grand Prix.
Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive of World Chess, said: “I am delighted to unveil Vimpelkom and PhosAgro as partners to the Grand Prix. Their involvement further underlines the fact that the commercial potential for chess as a sport continues to grow.”
PhosAgro sponsored the 2016 World Chess Championship Match in New York in November, while Vimpelkom has not sponsored chess before.
Artashes Sivkov, executive VP for corporate business development, PJSC VimpelCom said: "Sport plays an important role in solving problems of social and economic development, as it is a special socio-cultural sphere that positively influences the most important indicators of the well-being our country. Participation of the country in international competitions and sports achievements contribute to the development of international economic relations and useful cooperation, and chess is most closely connected with the long-term strategy that is so close to business ".
Andrey Guryev, Russian Chess Federation Board of Trustees Member, CEO PJSC PhosAgro, said: “PhosAgro has been the general partner of the Russian Chess Federation for seven straight years. The philosophy of chess and the development of PhosAgro are similar in key ways. Both are based on strategic thinking and the desire to calculate every move in advance in order remain one step ahead of the competition. These skills help us to maintain leading positions in the commodity markets of 100 countries worldwide, including our priority Russian market.
We care about the future of the Russian school of chess. We have put great effort into making chess popular in the regions where we operate, we open chess classes in the schools and pre-schools that we support, and we fund the training of teachers in the field of chess.
We already have established a tradition of supporting World Chess Championship matches that take place in Russia, for example, in Sochi in 2014. We also support matches with Russian grandmasters, as we did in New York in 2016, where Sergei Karyakin, who is here today, played a truly exciting game.
Therefore, we are pleased to be an official partner of the Grand Prix stage here in the heart of Russia, and we hope to see our grandmaster participate in the match for the title of World Champion next year!”
The top ranked player in the Moscow Grand Prix, which runs until 21 May, is world number five Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.
Hikaru Nakamura, the 7th strongest player in the FIDE rankings and five other top 20 players will also contest for the first prize of 20,000 euros in a field of 18 competitors. The full list of players is available at www.worldchess.com.
The Grand Prix returns to the Telegraph Building in central Moscow, which previously hosted the 2016 Candidates Tournament won by Sergey Karjakin of Russia. Spectator tickets are available at ponominalu.ru.
Chess fans who are unable to attend can follow every game online. A live video broadcast of the tournament, including expert commentary, costs just $10 and is available at https://worldchess.com/gp2017/
The tournament, a nine round Swiss contest, also features Hou Yifan, the world’s leading female player. It is the second of four Grand Prix in 2017 and follows the Sharjah Grand Prix in February, which was won by Alexander Grischuk, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a three-way tie.
The whole of the 2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix cycle is sponsored by Kaspersky Lab and EG Capital Partners.