SHARJAH, 28th February, 2017 (WAM) -- VIP guests, including Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the FIDE President, and participating grandmasters, gathered on 27th February at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club to crown the winner of the 2017 FIDE World Chess Sharjah Grand Prix at the closing ceremony.
Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla thanked 18 Grandmasters who were competing at the Grand Prix for the prize fund of 130,000 Euros. They included Salem Saleh, the first Grandmaster from the UAE to compete in an official World Chess Championship event.
Sheikh Saud then awarded the runner-up, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France, the world's number 5 player, with the Silver Medal. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov awarded the winner, Russian Grandmaster, Alexander Grischuk with the Gold Medal and the Grand Cup. Both players also received luxurious gifts.
The winner received a prize of 20,000 Euros while the runner-up received 15,000 Euros. The Grand Prix cycle is sponsored by EG Capital Advisors and Kaspersky Lab.
Georgios Makropulous, FIDE Deputy President, said, "I compliment Alexander on the victory and I am very happy about the smooth start to the Grand Prix Series. This is a new page in chess history in collaboration of FIDE and World Chess. I am also proud to say that the Swiss system we used during the first leg in Sharjah lived up to our expectations".
The next leg of the 2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix series starts in Moscow on 12th May.