Topalov plays White in game 1 (UPDATE)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Opening ceremonyVeselin Topalov will start with the white pieces on Saturday in game 1 of the World Championship match against World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Yesterday the opening ceremony and drawing of lots took place in Sofia, where ChessVibes has arrived! Update: some photos of the venue added.

After an inspection of the playing hall and testing of the chairs and conditions, on Wednesday evening the official opening ceremony of the 2010 World Championship match took place in Sofia. Besides the players, Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and his assistant Berik Balgabaev were there, and more than 20 TV cameras and about 100 journalists attending.

At that time, yours truly was at Eindhoven airport for one of the very first flights that took off from there after the volcano ash problems. I guess I was very lucky!


There were hardly any planes to see in the sky this week...


...and so until arriving at the airport I wasn't sure if I'd fly...

departures Sofia, or not to Sofia...?


Looking good so far!


Hm, that must be my queue...


Indeed, it looks like we're going!


And yes, this plane actually took me to Sofia, where I arrived late last night.


The park right in front of the venue


The church just behind the venue


The Central Military Club, where the match will take place


The view from the park


It's impossible to miss what's going to happen here in the coming weeks

We thank Chessdom for the following information and photos. They have been very helpful so far in allowing material to be reproduced by other media, who haven't been able to come to Sofia yet.

The opening ceremony started with a minute of silence in the memory of the former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. It was followed by speeches by Boiko Borisov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, the Ambassador of India, and the FIDE President.


Kirsan Ilyumzhinov | Photo © Chessdom

This was followed by a promotional video of India, and short movies about Anand and Topalov. Then the players were invited onto the stage, where Chief Arbiter Panaqiotis Nikolopoulos explained the regulations and performed the drawing of the lots. Topalov picked the white pieces for game one. He will also have White in the last game, as after six games the colours will be reversed.

Drawing of lots

The Chief Arbiter showing the name of Topalov | Photo © Chessdom

Updated schedule

April 24 – 17.00 EEST (14.00 UTC) - Game 1 April 25 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 2 April 26 – Rest Day April 27 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 3 April 28 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 4 April 29 – Rest Day April 30 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 5 May 1 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 6 May 2 – Rest Day May 3 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 7 May 4 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 8 May 5 – Rest Day May 6 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 9 May 7 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 10 May 8 – Rest Day May 9 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 11 May 10 – Rest Day May 11 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 12 May 12 – Rest Day May 13 – Tie breaks

Boiko Borisov, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Veselin Topalov | Photo © Chessdom


Viswanathan Anand, Aruna Anand, the Ambassador of India (and we assume his wife sitting next to him) | Photo © Chessdom


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