FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 - Community Recap

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  • FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 - Community Recap

    The FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 was held for the first time in North America, in Toronto. It was a tremendous success. Tens of millions of chess fans actively followed the event.

    Over 3 million people worldwide followed the final round alone on the direct live feeds across multiple platforms (source: iMotion, the official broadcaster). For context, that is more viewers than the final of the last Stanley Cup (2.5 million viewers). I can now boldly claim that chess is factually bigger than hockey – although it feels like writing in a forum in Morocco that rice is better than couscous :)

    We should collectively thank the Scheinberg family for bringing the tournament to Toronto.

    Heartfelt thanks to Anna Burtasova and Aris Marghetis. The last 6 months working alongside you to plan and organize the event were incredible and an unforgettable experience.

    More importantly, an event of this scale cannot happen without the hard work and dedication of an army of enthusiasts.

    First of all, thanks to the spectators who came en masse to watch the games. The event was sold out with over 3,000 spectators. The fan zone was bouncing by the end of the tournament and visibly brimming with excitement.

    Our chess community owes a big round of applause to the following people:

    - Vladimir Drkulec, President of the CFC, who opened and closed the tournament and was a great help facilitating visas to be delivered on time for the key participants who needed one
    - Mike Blair who was in charge of coordinating and managing the army of volunteers. He was the personification of the god Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders
    - Heidi Gay who was in charge of ticketing and worked insane hours to, among other duties, accommodate people’s preferences, revise their slots and rectify mistakes
    - Keith Denning who was in charge of the logistics and ensuring that the equipment, furniture and material for the tournament were ready at the right time, in the right place for the event to run smoothly
    - Samantha San Antonio who was in charge of transportation for over 70 people between the airport, the venue, the hotels, the rentals, the side events and much more
    - The Chessbrah (Eric Hansen, Aman Hambleton, Jeff Faraji) & Aryan Tari who animated the fan Zone
    - Hari Raghavan who sponsored the Blitz and the Rapid and organized the Rapid event with Ajax Chess Club and its executives
    - Michael Hyatt and Stephen Hewko who organized the side event with Vishy Anand and Alexandra Kosteniuk, plus Michael Sousa and Nemo Zhou for running the event
    - Omar Shah, Alex Ferreira and their team of arbiters for running the giant Candidates Blitz at Annex Chess Club
    - Uttam Dhungel, Riley Khan and their team of arbiters for running the Candidates Rapid organized by Ajax Chess Club
    - Vinod Pury and Jason Slenys for coordinating and staffing paramedics during the event and dealing with medical emergencies and queries

    Also big thanks to all the major chess clubs and chess institutions in the GTA for running side events during the Tournament and/or providing a large number of volunteers: Ajax Chess Club, Annex Chess Club, Chess Institute of Canada, Chess in the Park, Excelsior Chess Club, Heart House Chess Club, the Greater Toronto Chess League, Maverick Chess Club, Mississauga Chess Club, Pub Chess, Seneca Hill Chess Club, Scarborough Chess Club, and Willowdale Chess Club

    This event truly showed the diversity, solidarity and enthusiasm of the GTA’s chess family and beyond. We also had volunteers from other cities in Ontario and other provinces, as well as visitors from all corners the world, as far as New Zealand.

    Close to 150 volunteers ran the event across all shifts and all rounds. Sincere gratitude for investing your time and energy in this journey and making our chess community shine around the globe.

    Below is a tentative list of all the people who contributed to the Tournament. I hope I haven’t missed anyone or misspelled any names (please let me know in private and I will edit the list):

    Abdul Rahman
    Abdullah Caglayan
    Alex Ferreira
    Alex Martens
    Alex Moisseev
    Alex Norris
    Alexander Chavez
    Amirmahdi Hosselnzadeh
    Aman Hambleton
    Aniruddh Aragola
    Anjani Duddukuru
    Anna Gavrileva
    Anson de Peiza
    April Zhong
    Arash Shahi
    Arsenio Gacad
    Artashes Kashishian
    Arya Shah
    Aryan Tari
    Asher Segal-Braves
    Avery Li
    Bator Sambuev
    Binh Son Nguyen
    Bogdan Leonidovic
    Boomba Nishikawa
    Buyi Zhu
    Caitlin Denning
    Carina D'Souza
    Carlos Ribeiro
    Catherine Semianiuk
    Cathy Luo
    Chloe Thibault
    Christopher Li
    Daniel Marchildon
    Daniel Rokhvarger
    Daniel Sirkovich
    David Filipovich
    Derek Jouppi
    Derek Lei
    Dhruv Murali
    Drew Williamson
    Dylan Shan
    Edgar Zapata
    Elliot Tseng
    Eric Lam
    Eric Hansen
    Erik Malmsten
    Ethan Welch
    Ethan Yichen Li
    Faina Poberezhnuk
    Florante Alcaide
    Frank Cheng
    Francis Rodrigues
    Gagandeep Deol
    Gordon Wong
    Grace Miao
    Grace Taylor
    Hancy Jiang
    Haneul Park
    Hans Jung
    Hari Raghavan
    Heidi Gay
    Hugh Siddeley
    Ines Fathallah
    Jaco Uwland
    Jason Slenys
    Jeff Faraji
    Jeffrey Qiu
    Jeffrey Wang
    Jeong Hwang
    Jiwon Chang
    Jonathan Yu
    John Upper
    Justin Li
    Kaiy Cao
    Karina Correia
    Keith Denning
    Kendra Forrest
    Koosha Jaferian
    Kousuke Nguyen-Kawamura
    Kristopher Calanza
    Larry Yang
    Lefan Yang
    Leon Noel Merse
    Leonardo Spallino
    Liam Pham
    Liza Agustin
    Luc Leclair
    Lucas Jacobs
    Lucy Gao
    Lucy Yang
    Luis Lamprea
    Lukianos Chrysochou
    Mahip Singh
    Maksym Sakundiak
    Marco Chirigoni
    Mark Bluvshtein
    Mark Stevenson
    Matthew Monaco
    Max Chen
    Max Manglal-Lan
    Mehar Bala
    Melanie Directo Belcadi
    Mervyn Sit Yee
    Michael Barron
    Michael Stepner
    Michael Streegan
    Michael Blair
    Michael Hyatt
    Michael Sousa
    Ming Chan
    Mykhailo Soroka
    Neerav Mullur
    Neil Goel
    Nemo Zhou
    Nixon Jean Louis
    Oljeg Pajkic
    Olga Mushtaler
    Olya Kaye
    Omar Shah
    Pablo Denegri
    Patricia Gamliel
    Pete Lambert
    Peter Grucza
    Petr Golubka
    Punnawit Payapvattanavong
    Rashid Mughal
    Raymond Gao
    Richard Chen
    Richard Fung
    Richard Lam
    Riley Khan
    Ross Djeddi
    Rymn Wadhwa
    Samantha San Antonio
    Samuel Zheng
    Sarveshwar Senthil Kumar
    Sasha Mitic
    Shankar Balakrishnan
    Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux
    Stephen Hewko
    Stephen Boyd
    Sue Foster
    Tanishq Kumar Dhingra
    Thomas Roussel-Roozmon
    Terry Gammon
    Tony Lu
    Uttam Dhungel
    Victor Rong
    Victor Zheng
    Vinod Pury
    Vladimir Drkulec
    Wesley Russell
    Yangqi Zhu
    Yiguo Gao
    Yilin Li
    Youhe Huang
    Last edited by Salim Belcadi; Sunday, 28th April, 2024, 04:57 PM.

  • #2
    I would include the 8 security guards who were active in controlling the flow of people to the various areas. They were a great help.

    The chessbase India reporter Sagar Shah did a great job of promoting Toronto and hosted two events in Trinty-Bellwoods Park.


    • #3
      What a WONDERFUL post Salim!

      I especially like how you listed all the volunteers, without whom this would not have been possible!

      Toronto, you should feel very proud!


      • #4
        You did miss Patricia Gamliel without whom there might not have been visas issued and we might be reading about what happened in Spain. Also Gary Gladstone who primed the pump and created a favourable impression among the government people that ultimately helped us get the visas.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Erik Malmsten View Post
          I would include the 8 security guards who were active in controlling the flow of people to the various areas. They were a great help.
          That's very true, thanks Erik. They were also very nice and professional. I will try to find their names.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Salim Belcadi View Post

            That's very true, thanks Erik. They were also very nice and professional. I will try to find their names.
            Yes indeed, the hired security was better than regular expectations, their social skills were quite elevated!

            Related to security, volunteer Edgar Zapata deserves extra credit for how he managed a security incident!


            • #7
              Erik Malmsten, Toronto's chess historian, compiled six 2 by 3 foot posters of chess history in Canada as background reading for the event. Topics ranged from The Steinitz - Lasker World Championship Match of which part of the match was held in Montreal, the 1957 World Junior held in Toronto, Fischer-Taimanov world championship quarter final match held in Vancouver, Nava Starr and Top Canadian Women, Tournament of Stars 1979 Montreal, Kevin Spraggett's quarter final and semi-final matches for the World Championship and St. John, 1988, Evgeny Bareev, Canadian Juniors in the news, Canadian Internationals, and Candidates who have visited Toronto.

              Its my belief that Annex Chess Club now has them if anyone wants to see them. Nice to see Canada's important chess history displayed.


              • #8
                Missed out on merch during the Candidates? Candidates merch will be available for sale at the Ontario Open (less than 50 seats left!) and Monday evenings at Annex Chess Club while stocks last.

                Candidates merch still available:
                - Backpacks **NEW** (they did not arrive on time for the candidates)
                - T-shirts (S, M, L)
                - Polo shirt (M)
                - Notebook
                - Autograph cards

                We also have premium World Chess sets available for sale as well as travel sets signed by Anand, Kosteniuk, or Svidler! Some boards have both Kosteniuk's and Svidler's signatures.