Welcome address by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President
Dear Chess players,
I would like to thank the entrepreneur Mr Ivan Savvidi who has generously supported this Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, Greece through his hotel, the 5 Star, Makedonia Palace Hotel which is so strategically placed in this extraordinary and historic city.
We have reached the fourth stage of the Grand Prix series and the battle for the overall winner is getting more exciting as each event unfolds. Every participant comes to Greece with an eye on the ultimate goal of becoming one of the Candidate challengers for the World Championship title.
There is no doubt that whilst this city has seen a lot of historical developments in the past, once again it is at the centre of world attention as the strongest ever chess event is played out in Thessaloniki.
I am sure that the participants will have a wonderful time in Thessaloniki and we wish them all a great tournament. History is waiting to be made!
Gens Una Sumus