The grand opening of the 5th Russia–China Junior Match of Friendship will be held on July 15 at 10,00 in the dance hall of the Sanatorium “Katun” in the balneological resort town of Belokurikha, Altai Krai, Russia. The play’s venue will be at the conference hall of the Sanatorium “Siberia”. And finally, all organisers and participants will reside in the newly opened four-star Hotel Zhemchuzhina Belokhurihi. The big attraction besides the match between junior teams of Chinese and Russian youngsters, however, will be the two-day (July 15–16) clash of genders between four-time Women’s World Chess Champion 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) and Russian Grandmaster Nikita Kirillovich Vitiugov, with the time control of 15 minutes per player plus 10 seconds per move. On July 17, finally, there will be performed simultaneous exhibitions by 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán), Vitiugov, and Mikhail Robertovich Kobalia.
Finally, Saint Petersburg’s Grandmaster won’t have regrets, whatever it ends up being: “I look forward with great interest to the match with 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán), the strongest female player in the world, well known for her lively style of play. The match format is not the most scientific one, but any experience, even if far from classical chess, it’s fine for me. However, I’d say that another reason and perhaps the main reason why I gladly accepted the invitation to play the ‘Match of Friendship’ is the unique nature of the Altai Krai, renowned all around the world. I plan to devote all my free time to visit Belokurikha and all its neighbourhoods”, Vitiugov said.