The President also had a separate conversation with President of the World Chess Federation Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
The Belaya Ladya tournament marks its 45th anniversary this year. More than 300 children from 73 teams are competing in the final. The winning team will go to Beijing to compete against China’s top school team.
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Speech at Belaya Ladya national chess tournament for school teams
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, young sportspeople and chess enthusiasts.
It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone taking part in the final of the Belaya Ladya tournament, which is marking its 45th anniversary in the Olympic city of Sochi. I congratulate you on this occasion.
It used to be that every school throughout the entire country played chess. It is wonderful to see that this tradition is being revived. This year is the tournament’s 45th anniversary, and we see that chess is developing ever more actively in Russia.
This is deservedly so. First of all, Russia has a very rich chess-playing tradition. Second, chess is a sport that develops the individual, the most intellectual sport, and we were always at the top of international ratings in this sport.
I am very happy to see that chess is undergoing a revival in schools in particular. I know that everyone taking part in this final has gone through a long series of difficult selection rounds first, and here today we have our very best young chess players.
Once again, I congratulate you all and wish you all success.