The opening ceremony of the European Individual Women Championship took place in the Zeugma Museum on the 2nd of March 2012. The event was attended by such honourable guests as FIDE Vice-President and President of TCF Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici, Secretary General of the European Chess Union Sava Stoisavljevic, players and other official guests.
Before the start of the opening ceremony the President of TCF Ali Nihat Yazici and the President of Gaziantep metropolitan municipality Dr. Asım Guzelbey answered the questions of the journalists during the press-conference.
Players, officials and guests raised up during the National Anthem of Turkey and the EU anthem.
Ali Nihat Yazici delivered his speech during the opening ceremony and welcomed all guests and players: "I'm very proud to host all of you here in Turkey again during another important event. This city is very familiar with chess, and the governor and municipality are giving us their huge support. Chess is one of the leading sports in this town. You might have heard about our policy to organize the tournament in different places, but not only in Istanbul, Izmir or Antalya, in order to promote chess all around Turkey. There are many different historical places in Gaziantep and today we gathered in the Zeugma museum. I only would like to warn you – this city has one of the best kitchens in the world, so you should be careful with you weight (laughs). Silvio Danailov, the President of ECU, sent his best regards and best wishes to all of us. I'm sure we'll have strong and tough competition here. We already have 2 WGM players and there is a new target for Turkish women players – we want them to qualify for the World Chess Championship. 40th Olympiad will be organized in Istanbul and I'm very proud of my government and my nation, who provides such a great support to chess. This Olympiad will be probably the last event of my TCF presidency career. I hope to see all of you there again..."
The Secretary General of the European Chess Union Sava Stoisavljevic:
"I would like to greet all of you on behalf of ECU. I'm sure we will witness great performances on the chess boards during the next days here. I also hope the new chess stars will be born here as well. I was in Gaziantep few months ago and had a very constructive meeting with representatives of TCF and municipality. I'm sure this championship has chance to become one of the most successful events. Beside of providing the highest prize fund in the history of all European Chess Women events, I'm sure TCF and municipality will do everything they can to offer the best conditions for the players."
The President of Gaziantep metropolitan municipality Dr. Asım Guzelbey
The Deputy Governor of Gaziantep: Nihat Kaynar
The President of Gaziantep metropolitan municipality Dr. Asım Guzelbey makes the symbolic first move in the game Savina – Muzychuk.
A handshake between rating favourite Anna Muzychuk and Anastasiya Savina
The opening ceremony included musical performance.
After the opening ceremony players were offered non-alcoholic drinks. Armenian players: Elina Danielian, Lilit Mkrtchian and Lilit Galojan.