The opening ceremony of the second leg of the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix series took place in Belgrade

The second leg of the 2022 Fide Grand Prix series has officially opened in Belgrade, Serbia. Over the next 14 days, 16 of the world’s best players will attempt to progress through the 2022 GP series in hopes of securing one of the two spots leading up to the Candidates Tournament.

Photo: Mark Livshitz (FIDE)

The opening ceremony took place in the ballroom of the venue “Dom Grade” – an impressive building from the 1920s, which once housed the Serbian Royal Guard. The guest list included prominent Serbian chess personalities, athletes, senior officials and business representatives, and many journalists were present.

The host of the evening, Dragan Lazic, President of the Serbian Chess Federation, reminded the guests of the long tradition of chess in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia and the great popularity of the game in this part of Europe.

“The Serbian public is looking forward to seeing some of the best chess players in the world again,” Lazic said.

The President of the Serbian Chess Federation also underlined that chess is a game of peace and that “in these complex and difficult times, we must all remember to act in the spirit of FIDE’s motto: ‘People Una Sumus’ – ‘We are one Family'”.

FIDE Vice President Lukasz Turlej noted how popular chess is in Serbia and also reflected on the country’s rich chess history.

“We appreciate the number of people who play chess in Serbia and we are happy that such a big and important event is organized in this country.” Turlej expressed his gratitude to everyone who contributed to the organization of this event and wished the tournament participants “a wonderful start”.

The speeches were followed by a remarkable short video covering the history of chess in the former Yugoslavia. The video included never-before-seen footage of famous players attending tournaments and events across the former Yugoslavia. The video will also be broadcast on Serbian national television which will broadcast daily reports from the Grand Prix. After the opening ceremony, the guests were invited to attend a reception where they discussed chess and pairings for the first round, which were determined by the draw organized by chief referee Nebojsa Baralic more early in the day.

Round 1 pairings:

Pool A:
Alexander Grischuk (Russia), 2764 – Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), 2724
Etienne Bacrot (France), 2642 — Sam Shankland (USA), 2708

Pool B:
Pentala Harikrishna (India), 2719 — Nikita Vitiugov, (Russia), 2726
Anish Giri (Netherlands), 2772 — Amin Tabatabaei (Iran), 2623

Pool C:
Richard Rapport (Hungary), 2763 — Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia), 2704
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (India), 2727 — Alexei Shirov (Spain), 2704

Pool D:
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), 2761 — Alexandr Predke (Russia), 2682
Yangyi Yu (China), 2713 — Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), 2767
Complete pairings for the pool stage you can find here.

About the 2022 Grand Prix Series:

The three-tournament series that will run from February to April features 24 of the best
top Grandmasters competing in two out of three events. To make the series more exciting with
a minimum number of draws, FIDE and World Chess have changed the format from
previous events. In this series, each event consists of a group stage followed by a knockout
semi-final and final.

Two Series winners will qualify for the Candidates Tournament later in the

  1. The price for each event is 150,000 EUR, an increase of 20,000 EUR compared to

The second stage of the FIDE Grand Prix will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Belgrade
(Vladimira Popovića 10) from March 1 to 14. Heats start at 3:00 p.m. Belgrade time.

Games will be streamed live on worldchess.com.

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