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Opening Ceremony with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Turkish Media Mogul
Friday, 06 March 2009
satranccalik1.jpgThe opening ceremony of the İş Bank FIDE Women GP was held on the 41st floor of İş Bank Tower with the presence of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, TCF President Ali Nihat Yazıcı and İş Bank PR Director Suat Sözen. Among many distinguished guests including the participants, World Women's Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and journalists, Mr.Ahmet Çalık, Owner of the Board of Turkuvaz Media Group (the second largest media group in Turkey including Sabah Newspaper and ATV) and Head of the Board of Çalık Conglomerate participated to the opening ceremony.

Further details with strong statements of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov, TCF President Yazıcı and İş Bank PR Director Suat Sözen below.


Suat Sözen: "Giving Atatürk's Name is a Big Responsibility for Us"

The PR Director of Turkish İş Bank, corporate sponsor fo the Turkish Chess Federation which gave its name to the super tournament which is held for the second time stated "Last year when we had developed the idea of organizing an international chess tournament for women, we thought we should give the name of the eminent founder of the Turkish Republic and our bank, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to the event who also contributed to women's participation to social and political life in modern Turkey. This brings a big responsibility or us."

 Sözen pointed out that despite it is being held for the second time, FIDE's decision to include İş Bank Atatürk International Women Masters to the 2009/2010 FIDE Grand Prix Cycle is an indication that we achieving our goal of organizing a respected women's super tournament for the chess world."

img_1308.jpgAli Nihat Yazıcı: "FIDE will bring bright future to world chess"

The second speech was delivered by President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazıcı who also is the Vice-President of FIDE.

Yazıcı stated "We could not dream of holding such  an event eight years ago when I first assumed office. This is a proud day for us to hold this event for the second time". He also emphasized the strong cooperation with the corporate sponsor of the federation İş Bank: "We were not planning to raise world champions with the bank when we signed this protocol. We first wanted to improve our base but successes started coming with some World Schools, World and European Youth Championships and of course the European Championship. Now we want to be successful in every category. Our cooperation with bank is strong and lasting. I can even say it will last forever since both parties are amused about the consequences of this sponsorship."

Yazıcı also forecasted a bright future for FIDE, hinting some future projects of the governing body of world chess and praised Ilyumzhinov's efforts for chess.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov States "Center of world chess will be Istanbul"

The last speech was delievered by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov stating the center of world chess is going to be Istanbul for one week. He thanked the sponsor of Turkish Chess Federation, Turkish İş Bank and the Turkish Chess Federation.

After the ceremony there were photo shoot outs and players gave some interviews to the visiting journalists.


Support to Chess from the Media Boss

The special guest of the opening ceremony was the President of the Board of Turkuvaz Media Group and Çalık Conglomerate Ahmet Çalık. Turkuvez Media Group is the second largest media group of Turkey including the newspaper Sabah (third most circulated newspaper in Turkey and ATV among some others). Çalık posed together with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Ali Nihat Yazıcı after the ceremony and then left the 41st floor of İş Bank Towers. 

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Ahmet Çalık

Suat Sözen, Ali Nihat Yazıcı, Ahmet Çalık ve Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov with FIDE Vice-President and technical consultant of the event (draw offers are not allowed) are chatting with Shakriyar Mamedyarov, who has been in the center of disputes about the incident in Aeroflot Open.

A portion of the journalists
...some more...


Women's World Chess Champion Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk was among the honorable guests.
Betül Cemre Yıldız and Turkish National Team Trainer Grandmaster Mikhalchishin

Drawing of Lots

Hou Yifan
Antoaneta("Etti") Stefanova
Maia Chiburdanidze

Shen Yang

Zeiab Mamedyarova

Betül Cemre Yıldız

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Antoaneta Stefanova


Participants in the photo shootout

Report and pictures:Özgür Akman

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