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Opening ceremony of Women's Grand Prix in Monaco
The opening ceremony of the first leg of the Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016 took place at the Casino of Montecarlo, in one of the most luxurious private rooms of this centenary institution, next to the playing hall. The event was attended by such honorable guests as Mr. Jacques Boisson, Secretary of State of Prince Albert II of Monaco, the president of FIDE Kirsan Ilumzhinov, the president of Monaco chess federation, Jean Michel Rapaire, and Mr. Andrey Filatov, President of Russian chess federation, amongst other important personalities of Monaco and the chess world.


His Excellency Jacques Boisson welcomed the participants and spoke about the beauty of Monaco and the chess tradition of Montecarlo. He wished good luck to the players and promised further support to chess.


Jean Michel Rapaire went into detail of the rich chess tradition in Montecarlo, and thanked FIDE for bringing this fantastic tournament to Monaco: “The dream came true”, he said. He also expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Van Osteroom, present at the ceremony, for her continued support to chess in Monaco and for donating the beauty prize to the best game. 


Afterwards, FIDE President Kirsan Ilumzhinov welcomed the participants and thanked local authorities, particularly to His Royal Highness Prince Albert II for his support to the event. Ilumzhinov remarked as well that this event will be the strongest female tournament in chess history, and finally declared the event oficially started with the FIDE lema: "Gens una sumus". 

After listening the anthems of Monaco and FIDE, it came the drawing of lots to set up the pairings, where each girl had to open a box, within which a medal with the number was to be found.

GM Yifan Hou drawing her number with Chief Arbiter Anastasia Sorokina

A cocktail followed for all attendees, with a nice and friendly atmosphere. 
Later, the technical meeting took place in the playing hall. The main referee Anastasia Sorokina explained the most important tournament rules, for example, it will not be allowed to offer a draw before move 30. She also mentioned important developments in anti-cheating rules, like the one recently adopted at the World Cup in Baku, by which the players are not allowed to come to the game wearing their own watch or using their own pen, in order to prevent any help from outside.

After a long day, everything is ready to enjoy the games of the strongest tournament ever in female chess history.

Opening Ceremony
Technical Meeting

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