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Chess school opens at Sirius educational centre

May 10, 2016, Sochi

Vladimir Putin has visited the Sirius educational centre for gifted children, where the opening ceremony for the new Chess educational programme took place.

The Chess educational programme is tailored for students of the 5th–11th grades who have shown top results at national and international competitions. Renowned chess masters and grandmasters will help participants in the educational sessions to improve their playing skills. 14th world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik will head the programme.

The Sirius educational centre was created in December 2014 upon the initiative of President Vladimir Putin at an Olympic infrastructure facility in Sochi. Each month, 600 children who have shown exceptional abilities in sport, science and the arts visit the center. Leading teachers from sport, physics and mathematics, chemistry and biology schools, as well as prominent cultural figures train the gifted children.

Remarks at the opening of the Shakhmaty [Chess] educational programme at the Sirius centre for gifted children

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kramnik has just spoken about the traditions of the Russian and Soviet chess school. Indeed, it is an outstanding school. We have given the world outstanding masters, and outstanding grandmasters.

However, here is what is interesting. As you have probably notticed, as we walked along the hall your older comrades showed me an amazing exhibition demonstrating that chess helped people even during the Great Patriotic War.

Yesterday, we marked the 71st anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, and in 1942, when the Battle of Stalingrad was getting underway, a chess tournament began in Moscow. This is simply stunning, incredible, even difficult to imagine. However, it is a fact. People played chess even in besieged Leningrad. This is amazing. However, what does this show? It shows that the country has always given high priority to chess and chess has always helped the country.

Such outstanding modern-day grandmasters as Mr Kramnik, as well as other masters that we have, who will promote chess at Sirius, will, without doubt, help bring out new, outstanding grandmasters. I am sure that they will show their talents at Sirius without fail. I would also very much like for Sirius to produce future world champions.

However, as you know, we have a candidate for the world chess crown, and let us wish him success. (Addressing Sergei Karyakin.) I would like to tell you that everyone at Sirius will be behind you regardless of their sport preferences. We wish you success.

Allow me to declare Sirius’s new area of activity – chess – open. I wish you success!

May 10, 2016, Sochi