0326 GMT July 19, 2019
Addressing the opening ceremony, Ilyumzhinov said, “It was a good news hearing that the Iranian chess federation wanted to host the world championship. Chess is popular in Iran and has a long history in the country. The [prominent] Iranian [ancient epic] poet [Abul-Qasem] Ferdowsi talked about chess in his [masterpiece] ‘Shahnameh’ in the 11th century,” Tasnim News Agency reported.
He added Iran successfully hosted the Women’s Grand Prix last year which was another reason for his happiness upon receiving Iran’s request to host the competition.
Started on Friday, the tournament is currently underway in the Iranian capital of Tehran and will continue until March 5.
Some of the world’s top players have take part in the knockout tournament including Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Zhu Chen (Qatar), Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), Anna Muzychuk, Ju Wenjun (China) and Valentina Gunina.
Sarasadat Khademolsharieh, Atousa Pourkashiyan and Mitra Hejazipour are Iran’s representatives in the prestigious event.