Riga Grand Prix Opens in Grand Fashion

The Opening Gala for the Riga FIDE Grand Prix took place in the famed  House of Blackheads in the Riga Old City. Celebrities, chess and city officials and players took part in the red carpet ceremony and celetrated the second leg of the 2019 – 2020 World Chess Championship cycle. 

The Opening, under the theme of Black and White, took place in the famous Blackheads House, the former residence of the Presidents of Latvia. This historic venue was decorated with the Grand Prix design. 
The building is instantly recognizable and it is one of the most photographed sites in the country. 
Celebrities and officials took part in the red carpet event
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich with his family
Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the organizer of the Grand Prix Series. During his speach, Merenzon said that Riga is one of the most attractive cities for sports organizers.
16 players after the drawing of lots ceremony. They will start their first game on July 12. The Grand Prix is taking place in the National Library, another iconic buidling in Riga.
Themed bar and amazing cocktails were provided by the Official Supplier of the VIP Program, Beluga. Cocktails also featured the famous Riga Balzam.
Ksenia Perepelkina (Beluga), Alexandra Galkova (Prytek), Dmitry Vasiliev (Krok), and Nadia Panteleeva, head of partnership for World Chess
Dmitry Mints (EG Captial Advisors), Andis Å teinmanis (Kaspersky), Arkady Dvorkovich (FIDE President), Ilya Merenzon (World Chess), Aris Ozolins (Lativan Chess Federation) on stage 
Peter Svidler is waiting for the color draw
Anish Giri, the highest-rated player in the tournament, is choosing the color (it’s Black)

The Riga Grand Prix will be held in the National Library of Latvia from July 12 to 24. Making the series even more exciting, each tournament will have a knock-out format, starting with 16 players.