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Welcome address by Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia
Apostolos TzitzikostasDear friends,

As the Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome all participants to the "FIDE Grand Prix" 2013  in Thessaloniki.

We are happy and honored to be the hosts of such an exceptional sporting event and to welcome the top chess players from around the world in our region. Just as in the case of other numerous sporting and entertainment events held in Thessaloniki and in Central Macedonia, we will do our best to make the "FIDE Grand Prix" 2013 one of the best organized and exciting chess events in the world.

I am certain that the chess fans of Thessaloniki and Central Macedonia will attend and support with enthusiasm the "FIDE Grand Prix". I am also confident that the organizers and the citizens of the City of Thessaloniki will welcome the participants and will provide any assistance needed so that the "FIDE Grand Prix" will be held under the best possible conditions.

Welcome address by Theodoros G. Karaoglou, Minister of Macedonia & Thrace
Theodoros G. KaraoglouI am pleased to welcome to the capital of Macedonia the 12 leading chess players in the world who will compete for the "Makedonia Palace Grand Prix", from May 22nd to June 3rd 2013.

Thessaloniki welcomes another top sports event and a spiritual sport of strategic, tactical and courtesy soul.

I congratulate the organizers for their success to bring to our city for the first time the top 12 leading chess players, proving that Thessaloniki can provide high class infrastructure for such big events.

I wish good luck to all the participants, being sure that the world chess tournament will contribute to the international promotion of Thessaloniki into a very select audience.

Finally, the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace is always willing to support such initiatives that not only highlight the comparative advantages of each region, but also strengthen specific forms of tourism, one of which is sports tourism.

Theodoros G. Karaoglou
Minister of Macedonia and Thrace

Invitation to the Opening Ceremony
chess invitation lowres
Thessaloniki (520 km. north of Athens) is the second largest city of Greece and the most important centre of the area. Built near the sea (at the back of the Thermaïkos Gulf), it is a modern metropolis bearing the marks of its stormy history and its cosmopolitan character, which give it a special beauty and charm.

Thessaloniki, also known as Thessalonica and Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia[3] as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace.

According to the preliminary results of the 2011 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki today has a population of 322,240,while the Thessaloniki Urban Area (the contiguous built up area forming the "City of Thessaloniki") has a population of 790,824;[1] making it the fifth largest and most populated city in the Balkans and the second most populated city that is not a capital, after Istanbul. Furthermore, the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area extends over an area of 1,455.62 km2 (562.02 sq mi) and its population in 2011 reached a total of 1,006,730 inhabitants.
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