February 6, 2017, Sharjah, UAE: World Chess by Agon Ltd. today revealed details of the 2017 Grand Prix series and announced that Kaspersky Lab becomes the Official Cybersecurity Partner of FIDE and World Chess, the organiser of the World Chess Championship cycle of events.
The unveiling of the partnership took place at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, the venue for the first Grand Prix in the 2017 cycle.
The venues and dates for the forthcoming Grand Prix cycle in 2017 will be as follows:
-- Sharjah, UAE: February 18-27
-- Moscow, Russia: May 12-21
-- Geneva, Switzerland: July 6-15
-- Palma De Mallorca, Spain: November 16-25
Salem Saleh from Sharjah will become the first Grandmaster from UAE to take part in a World Championship event when he competes in the Sharjah Grand Prix.
In total, 18 players will participate in each Grand Prix and contest a prize fund of 130,000 euros. Players qualify to the Grad Prix series by rating or by being nominated by World Chess by Agon Ltd, with one addition coming from the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) or FIDE.
Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, commented: “I’m very proud that we’re now a partner of the World Chess Championship. The ultimate game of strategy, chess involves lots of excitement and tension too. The top chess tournaments are all about human brainpower – aided today by computer technologies. Some games at the very top level are simply among the top human achievements – real masterpieces. And we’re happy to become a part of this.”
The partnership between Kaspersky Lab, FIDE and World Chess will include complex cybersecurity protection for FIDE headquarters, several national chess federations, chess players competing in the World Chess Championship and the online infrastructure for each tournament. It also includes cybersecurity training for players. Kaspersky Lab’s branding will be visible on all player tables during the matches of the World Chess Championship 2017-18.
Georgious Makropoulos, Deputy President of FIDE, said: “I am delighted that the world’s top players will have the opportunity to benefit from this partnership with one of the world’s leading cybersecurity company. And it is immensely gratifying to see another global brand sponsor our sport.”
Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive of World Chess by Agon Ltd, said: “Chess lives and breathes as IT-related sport, played by hundreds of millions of people around the world. This makes Kaspersky Lab a natural partner to the game as it continues to gain in popularity.”
Kaspersky Lab is the latest global brand to partner with World Chess and follows previously announced agreements with EG Capital Advisors, the asset management group, PhosAgro, the giant phosphates group and S.T. Dupont, the luxury goods company.
Mr Merenzon said: ‘Global businesses are increasingly recognizing that chess as a sport provides a fantastic platform to amplify their brand values to target customer groups in key international markets.”
All the Grand Prix will be exclusively broadcast at www.worldchess.com
The full list of players taking part in the 2017 World Chess Championship Grand Prix series is as follows:
Peter Svidler (RUS), Anish Giri (NED), Pavel Eljanov (UKR), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Levon Aronian (ARM), Ding Liren (CHN), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA), Alexander Grischuk (RUS), Harikrishna Pentala (IND), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE), Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS), Boris Gelfand (ISR), Michael Adams (ENG), Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS), Li Chao (CHN), Teimour Radjabov (AZE), Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS), Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP), Salem Saleh (UAE), Wei Yi (CHN), Jon Ludvig Hammer (NOR), Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS), Alexander Riazantsev (RUS), Richard Rapport (HUN).