The ancient city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is set to host the 2023 FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships from December 26 to 30. This five-day tournament will gather the world's top chess players, vying for the title of the World Champion in Rapid and Blitz across the Open and Women's categories
This December, history and chess will meet in Samarkand, one of the oldest inhabited places on earth. Samarkand was a pivotal city along the historical Silk Road trade route and also holds historical significance for chess: It was in this city where the earliest known chess pieces were discovered in 1977, dating to between the 6th and early 8th century AD.
"FIDE recognizes Uzbekistan's rich chess tradition and its recent emergence as a chess superpower. This dedication and investment in chess led us to entrust the hosting of this prestigious event to Uzbekistan," FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said.
"Uzbekistan will also host the 2026 Chess Olympiad - and hosting such a major event as World Rapid and Blitz will certainly give a boost to preparations," Dvorkovich added.
Uzbekistan has rapidly ascended in the world of chess. In the recently concluded FIDE Grand Swiss, three Uzbek players finished in the top 20, emphasizing the country's strong presence at the top. Notably, the nation claimed victory in the 2022 Chess Olympiad among 188 competing teams and secured the second position in the World Teams Championship after China.
Currently, Uzbekistan has four players in the world's top 100, including Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who in 2021 became the youngest person to clinch the title of World Rapid Champion (at the age of 17).
The upcoming FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Samarkand follows Uzbekistan's successful hosting of Pool B of the 2022/23 Women's Candidates edition in the ancient city of Khiva.
FIDE looks forward to an exceptional event and welcomes players to Uzbekistan!
More details, including information about registration, hotels, and visas, will be published by November 15.
Photo: Ekrem Canli
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