Karjakin Wins Candidates' 1st Prize And A BMW (Not)

Karjakin Wins Candidates' 1st Prize And A BMW (Not)

| 67 | Chess Event Coverage

Besides the 95,000 Euro first prize, Sergey Karjakin received a BMW sports car at the end of the Candidates' Tournament's closing ceremony.

The closing ceremony of the FIDE Candidates' Tournament was held a day after the tournament ended. Sergey Karjakin was crowned as the winner and received several prizes.

[Update: According to ACP President GM Emil Sutovsky, the BMW i8 (retail price ~$140,000 USD) is only Karjakin's for one month (monthly lease price ~$2,000 USD). "The misunderstanding was caused by the misleading announcement from the BMW representative during the closing ceremony," Sutovsky wrote on Facebook. He said he confirmed this with Karjakin's manager.]

The ceremony started at 6:15 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Central Telegraph building, in the same place where the games had been played. It was held in a great atmosphere, although guests and media representatives had to fight for the best spots and no seats were available. 

The first speech was given by the head of Agon, Ilya Merenzon, who admitted that the organization of the tournament hadn't been perfect. “I'm a little bit dissatisfied with how we did things but we tried very hard,” he said.

Merenzon also referred to their decision to relay the moves of the games exclusively on the official website. “I am grateful to FIDE for supporting this decision and we'll try to make sure that chess benefits from it,” he said. According to Bloomberg, Agon is seeking 20 million rubles ($290,000) in damages from sites that ignored this, such as and

Other speeches were given by presidential adviser Igor Levitin, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the head of Russia's Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, deputy sports minister (and Olympic champion in épée fencing) Pavel Kolobkov, President of the Russian Chess Federation Andrei Filatov, and Chief Arbiter Werner Stubenvoll, who officially announced the final standings of the tournament.

Then the players received their trophies in reverse order of the final standings, with Karjakin getting a warm applause and, besides his glass trophy, a gold medal handed by Ilyumzhinov.

After the anthem of the Russian Federation, Karjakin gave a short speech. He thanked his trainers, sponsors, parents, wife and son, and devoted his victory to them. He also thanked the Russian Chess Federation and the organizers and said: “It's a great honor to represent Russia in the world championship match. I will not only represent Russia but also the place where I'm from, Crimea.”

Karjakin giving his speech, with the other participants and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov behind him.

After that, most of the spectators and media left for the drinks and snacks served outside in the hall. This was a pity for the young chess players who had played chess events alongside the Candidates' Tournament and who received their prizes in an almost empty room.

Karjakin then received a few more prizes as well. First, the managing director of BMW Group Russia Hans de Visser gave him a toy car, a symbolic gesture for the real car that was awaiting Karjakin outside the venue: a BMW i8.

“Many of you have already seen it, but now you know who is driving away tonight with this car,” De Visser said. (In reality Karjakin didn't use the car to get home, but he does have a driver's license!). Karjakin then also received a limited series bottle of Beluga, the vodka brand that sponsored the VIP area of the tournament.

The closing ceremony was posted in full on YouTube.

Below you'll find a few pictures from yesterday.

Vladimir Potkin, one of Karjakin's seconds.
Alexander Motylev was also a second of Karjakin... was Yuri Dokhoyan, the former second of Garry Kasparov.
Karjakin's charming wife Galiya.
Peter Svidler.
Hikaru Nakamura.
Nakamura's second Kris Littlejohn.
Veselin Topalov.
Viswanathan Anand.
Levon Aronian.
Anish Giri and his wife Sopiko, solving puzzles on a chess set.
Paparazzi mode: Sergey and Galiya...
...showing true love!
A final press conference by the winner.


The FIDE Candidates' Tournament took place March 11-29 in the Central Telegraph building in Moscow. The total prize fund was €420,000, sponsored by the Tashir Group. The winner, Sergey Karjakin, has earned the right to play Magnus Carlsen in November in New York. phpfCo1l0.png


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