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MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg has been selected to host the World Chess Rapid and Blitz 2018 Championships this month, the press service of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) announced on Tuesday.

According to the FIDE official website, “the World Rapid and Blitz 2018 Championship is to take place between December 25 (arrival day) and December 31 (departure day), with the prize giving ceremony on December 30 early evening.”

“I would like to thank our partners for helping us in a difficult moment and assisting us with the prompt organization of the championship with a decent prize-money fund in one of the most beautiful cities of the world,” FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said.

“The tournament will be attended by world’s strongest chess players, including Magnus Carlsen,” Dvorkovich said. “Welcome to Saint Petersburg! I wish the participants the best of luck and unforgettable matches.”

The FIDE president also said that the participants of the 2018 World Rapid and Blitz Championship would be playing in the tournament with $1 million in prize money up for grabs.

“The prize money fund of the championship stands at $1 million,” Dvorkovich, who was elected the president of FIDE earlier in the year, told TASS.

Dvorkovich, 46, was elected president of the World Chess Federation during the FIDE General Assembly in Georgia’s Batumi on October 3. He replaced in the post of FIDE president his fellow citizen Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who ran the world’s governing chess body since 1995 being reelected six times.

Ilyumzhinov’s 23-year term at the helm of FIDE is the second longest in the history of the organization. Dutchman Alexander Rueb, one of the founders and the first president, was in charge of FIDE for 25 years (1924-1949).

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