2013 World Team Chess Championship has officially started with the opening ceremony today. After a minute of silence followed by Turkish National Anthem and FIDE Anthem in succession, TCF Vice President Aşkın Keleş came to give the first speech.
Greeting all the participants on behalf of TCF President Gülkız Tulay, Mr. Keleş said that to organize one of the most prestigious tournaments such as World Team Chess Championship for a second time is a great honour for Turkish Chess Federation which has made a name for itself by organizing high quality events. Wishing success to all participants, Mr. Keleş expressed his gratitude for Minister of Youth and Sports, FIDE Presidential Board, Governor and Mayor of Antalya and all others who played a role in organization.
After Mr. Keleş, FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman took his turn to deliver his speech on behalf of FIDE President. Mr. Freeman congratulated TCF for organizing yet another major FIDE event and praised the high quality of former organizations. Thanking the sponsor of TCF, İş Bankası and Ministry of Sports, Mr. Freeman gave an example for the development of chess in Turkey and thus praised the success of former TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici and his successor Gülkız Tulay. Mr. Freeman said that he remembers very well that Turkey got 33. place in 2001 European Team Chess Championship in Leon out of 34 countries and compared it with the recent win against Russian team in Warsaw. FIDE Executive Director ended his words by wishing good luck to all participants.
After the given speeches there followed a folk dance show and drawing of lots by team captains and thus the opening ceremony has ended.