The message reads, in part:
“All these years, your prestigious tournament has been working to fulfil its mission, which is to promote chess, a wonderful and intellectual game. You identify talented children and offer them an opportunity to prove their talent and learn from famous chess masters.
I would like to say that much attention has always been given to chess in Russia, in particular by promoting chess at school. The Belaya Ladya tournament has played a vital role in the careers of many award-winning chess players. It helped them succeed in their profession. It is good that your tournament is growing stronger every year and attracting an increasing number of young participants from around the world.
I wish you success and vivid impressions from this festival and the Black Sea coast of Russia.”
The Belaya Ladya (White Rook) national chess tournament was first held in 1969 and became an international event in 2015. Over 100 teams from 78 Russian regions and 22 other countries are participating in the tournament now underway in Sochi.
Some 50,000 school students under 14 took part in the elimination competitions that were held in their regions between September 2017 and May 2018.