The message reads, in part:
“Young competitors from many countries have gathered here today. I know that they have been through a tough selection process, demonstrated their character, creativity and drive to win, and are ready to meet strong and worthy rivals as equals.
I should note that Russia holds chess in high regard and pays a great deal of attention to building on the glorious traditions of our outstanding masters. The network of chess clubs and sections grows with every year. Major tournaments, some of them international, are held, the principal one being the White Castle open national school competition. That is why more and more children are getting involved in the chess world.
I am sure that Russia, as the host of the world championships, will give participants a glimpse of its chess culture, popularise chess and promote public interest in this game of the mind. They will certainly have time to get to know each other and socialise, and to take in some of Sochi’s Olympic history.”