Karjakin, Kramnik To Participate In Charity Blitz
Karjakin and Kramnik will play blitz on Saturday in Nice, France. | Photos: Maria Emelianova/

Karjakin, Kramnik To Participate In Charity Blitz

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

Sergey Karjakin and Vladimir Kramnik, both participants in the recently concluded FIDE Candidates' Tournament, are in Nice, France to participate in a one-day charity event that will support the Red Cross.

The "super blitz" tournament will be held tomorrow in the famous Hotel Negresco. It is dedicated to the memory of Alexander Alekhine, who was born 125 years ago. The fourth world champion from Russia lived part of his life in France.

The special aspect of the event is obviously the presence of two Candidates: the 14th world champion Vladimir Kramnik and 2016 runner-up Sergey Karjakin. They have agreed to participate for no fee, since all revenue for the event is going to the French Red Cross. 

The tournament has a €2,000 prize fund and consists of seven rounds of blitz (10 minutes per person). Some 150 chess players are expected to participate. Karjakin and Kramnik will take the role of players and coaches, and Karjakin will also give a simul.

Negresco chess

The famous Hotel Negresco will be the location of the event. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The event is organized by Nouveau Souffle sur nos ČŠIes, a charity that collects funds for victims of hurricanes on French isles in 2017. With this one-day event, the organizers' aim is threefold: remember Alekhine, boost the popularity of chess in Nice and support the Red Cross. asked the organizers a few questions. Spokesperson Anastasiya Khavina replied.

Who is behind this event? 
We are six girls—students of the EDHEC Business School in Nice. For the sake of our first-year business project, we established the charitable association. And the amateur chess tournament became one of the association projects.

How did it start, where did it come from? 
It took us a lot of time to decide about the range of events we would be able to organize. My father, being a Spartak Moscow football club fan, gave me the contact of his friend Mr. Dmitry Mints, who did already a lot to support for chess, and Mr. Karjakin is also a big fan of Spartak Moscow. Karjakin is a wonderful person. You could be just a big sports professional, but Sergey thinks not only about his personal career, but is also doing a lot to promote chess in Russia, trying to revive the lost interest to this sport. Therefore, we thought about a chess tournament with the participation of this chess star. He was interested by the concept, supported the idea and decided to participate.

Beach in Nice, France

The two Russian grandmasters probably won't mind spending some time in Nice, where they also played about a decade ago in the Amber tournaments. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Why is it happening in Nice? 
We are living and studying in Nice. To realize such a business project, somewhere else was quite difficult. The Cote d’Azure attracts a lot of tourists, and has a considerably big Russian community. The great chess champion Alexander Alekhine spent many years of his life in Nice. For this reason, we decided to devote our tournament to his memory. We got in touch with Mr. Herve Ribreau and his chess school Riviera Chess Club. Together, in good cooperation, we hope to make this event unforgettable.

Why Karjakin and Kramnik? What exactly will they be doing?
Mr. Mints helped us a lot to organize the tournament and managed to invite both Mr. Karjakin and Mr. Kramnik. We are happy that they accepted their invitation to take part in our event.

Both champions will participate in the final stage of the tournament. After seven rounds of blitz games, the 10 best players will be selected. The finalists will face each other and the two champions. In addition, Mr. Karjakin accepted our proposal to play a simultaneous exhibition with up to 20 players.

Why the Red Cross?
Red Cross is a renowned international charity association. As I know, EDHEC has been in cooperation with Red Cross for many years. So, from the beginning of our business project we were well supported by representatives of this famous organization. So, we are completely sure that the money we collect will reach the addressees and help the hurricane’s victims.

How can fans support the charity?
We have a page on the Cagnotte Leetchi, where you can make an online donation:

In addition, you can contact us and make the remittance. There are our contact numbers:
+336-23-12-25-70 Anastasia Khavina (Representative of the Association)
+336-52-96-85-83 Herve Ribreau (Director of the Riviera Chess Club)
During the tournament, we will put up a donation box. Everyone that would like to make a donation during the tournament will be very welcome to do this.

The official website of the event is is in Nice, and we hope to bring the games in Live Chess. A report will be posted after the weekend, probably with video interviews with the two super-GMs.

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