The world’s top 10 chess players from 2017 were crowned in London today, the second-ever major tournament to be held in the capital.
The event was held under the auspices of the International Chess Federation and the world governing body, the World Chess Federation.
The top eight players from the last major tournament, in 2018, won the championship, with the finalist, Russian chess icon Garry Kasparov, beating the top-ranked American.
The event has been organised by the Chess Federation of Russia, a non-profit organisation with no commercial ties to any country, including Russia.
Its main mission is to encourage, support and nurture the development of chess in Russia.
For more than a decade, the world chess community has been celebrating the game in Russia as a great sporting and cultural phenomenon.
The Russian Federation has won three world titles in the past 10 years, the last two in 2013 and 2015.
The world has seen a resurgence of chess-related events in the country, particularly in the winter and summer months, with concerts and other sporting events being staged.
“It is a huge honour to be part of this prestigious event, and I am very excited to see the games from all the countries participating,” Kasparos first-round opponent Alexander Grischuk said in a statement.
Russia’s first-place finish was also a record, as was the fact that only the best players from all countries took part in the tournament.
“Our country is very proud of the success of the chess programme in 2018,” said Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, in a written statement.
“This is a major achievement for us and for the entire chess community.
It was a huge opportunity to bring chess to people of all ages, from everyone and nowhere, and to have a tournament that will be very well-attended by a wide audience.”
Russia has also produced some of the biggest stars of the sport, including world champion Magnus Carlsen, world No.1 Magnus Carlsten, world champion Veselin Topalov, world number one Hikaru Nakamura, and world number three Anish Giri.
The last major chess event held in Moscow, held in 2011, was won by world number four Garry Kasprzak.
In 2018, Kasparovic defeated the Russian No.6 Rubinstein, while Kasparovich defeated his compatriot Carlsen in the quarter-finals.