FIDE Confederation Cup for the Disabled People officially started on December 09 with the opening ceremony in the capital of Turkey. The event organized for the first time this year by FIDE with the support of Russian State Atomic Energy Cooperation (ROSATOM) will continue until December 14. Five teams, each consisting of six players with visual, auditory or physical disabilities from four different continents, namely America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, will compete against each other in a friendly atmosphere. To emphasize the Russian-Turkish friendship one of the teams is called Russia-Turkey and as the name implies comprise three Russian and three Turkish players.
The opening ceremony was attended by FIDE Vice Presidents Gulkiz Tulay and Akaki Iashvili, tournament director and FIDE Events Commission Chairman Ozgur Solakoglu and Councilor of FIDE Commission for Disabled Kema Goryaeva. In her opening speech, TCF President and FIDE Vice President Gulkiz Tulay expressed her gratitude to FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and his team as well as to ROSATOM, not only for the organization of this important event in Ankara but also for the FIDE Mersin Chess Festival which took place on Dec 7 with the participation of the legendary champion Anatoly Karpov who gave a simultaneous exhibition to children and analyzed two games of his. After noting that some of the Turkish appointed arbiters are actually disabled Mrs. Tulay praised the unifying, fraternal nature of this event and wished success to all players.
FIDE Vice President Akaki Iashvili also gave a welcoming speech. Mr. Iashvili praised the host TCF for its organizational skills that made it possible to bring together players from 24 different countries in a short notice and emphasized the high level of competition organization in Turkey. The Vice President also noted that chess for players with disabilities is becoming one of the priorities for FIDE and thanked ROSATOM for their very important support which made the event possible. Mr. Iashvili also stressed that FIDE will continue to support TCF as one of its most reliable partners.
After the opening ceremony, the first round has started with two matches: Europe vs. Russia-Turkey and Asia vs. Africa while the American team had a day off.