The 2018 FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament Is Underway

The 2018 FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament, the competition that determines the challenger for the World Chess Championship Match set to take place in London in November, started in style today with a special gala at the former ice factory, Kühlhaus Berlin — the perfect place for the ice-cool minds of the world’s leading Grandmasters.

Guests were treated to a variety of iconic experiences to mark the launch of the tournament. The gala took place at a venue unusual for chess — multistorey Kühlhaus Berlin, Europe’s largest ice production factory in 1901. Located at the crossroads of two central boroughs, commercial Mitte and multicultural Kreuzberg, it is an important point for such events as Berlin Fashion Week and Bar Convent.

French painter Thierry Noir, the first ever street artist to paint the Berlin Wall,  presented his iconic artworks inside a huge ice block installed inside the building. The installation set out to remind guests of the place’s legacy, cold-minded nature of chess, and create an edgy atmosphere for the evening.

Musical performance by Madanii, a Berlin-based trio surrounding Iranian-German singer Dena Zarrin, that fuses traditional Persian sounds with contemporary electronica, all synced with lights, immersed guests in vibes of Berlin nightclubs. Madanii plays with conventional and foreign concepts and serves an artistic synthesis of West meeting East.

Guests enjoyed a selection of special edition cocktails created by renowned Moscow mixologist Kennan Assab, who lately featured in Russian Esquire as one of the most talented young barmen. He flew to Berlin straight from the World Chess Club Moscow — so far the world’s only chess club with a bar.

Nils-Philipp Kutzner, a young actor known for “Tom of Finland” was the host of the gala.

Melbourne-born DJ Bell Towers closed the evening with a set, combining esoteric tracks and techno with a delicate grace. Bell Towers dives deep, always retaining enough of a pop element to allow easy entry before mining the depths of emotion through chugging machine rhythms and cunning melody.

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