The Governor of Ugra, who made a symbolic first move of the Women’s World Chess Championship 2012, answered the questions of Anna Burtasova and Vladimir Barsky.

– Natalia Vladimirovna, was it emotional to make the first move?

– Yes, I didn’t expect how emotional it would be. Expectation and excitement of a big competition translates to everyone involved in this responsible task. I felt like I was starting my own game!

– How well do you know chess?

– I love chess players, who are fascinated with this wise game and achieve great results. I respect smart people, and chess players by definition have very organized minds.

– Thank you for your kind words. What is the reason for your region to host major chess events like World Cup or World Championship?

– Being the organizers, we can use our quota to include sportsmen from our region into the major events. During these events the world chess elite lives in our region, thus increasing the prestige of the game. More and more people, and especially children, become interested in chess. And our general goal is to create the best environment for our children, to enhance their development, to make them interested in useful things, to make them moving in the right direction.

This is what popularization means. A well-worn word, but it describes our profit from organizing such events. Each of them improves the image of our region, and this is an important issue as well. We want the world to know about Ugra, to come and meet our people, want them to bring their good will and their investments. Our people are very active and efficient, and every bit of extra help makes us stronger. Such events promote the region very well.

We also create the best conditions for participants and supporters, we want them to like Ugra and like Russian Federation!

– The opening ceremony of the World Championship was very colorful. How did you create the concert program, who worked on it?

– First of all I want to mention that only performers were involved. This may sound unexpected, as Ugra is not generally considered as a center of arts. However, we have many talented and creative people, as try to give them the best opportunity to develop their talents.

Take, for example, the wind band. 2012 was a year of Mariinsky in Ugra: best musicians working for Mariinsky theater were coming to Khanty-Mansiysk for auditions and master classes. They selected a group of musicians who gained some experience in Mariinsky in St. Petersburg and them gave a concert there. I visited it and can tell you that the public accepted our musicians very well and gave the deserved rounds of applause. On December 10th we celebrate the birthday of Ugra, and our musicians will be the main stars of the concert.

We support many cultural projects in the region. People in Ugra willing to develop their creativity should have all the options available. We have an excellent theater and concert hall, a whole factory, as I call it. We support educational institutions such as the Center of Arts for gifted children of the North, and many other schools. We even organize tours for our best performers. We do everything possible for those who want to do arts or sports.

– Do you also organize many festivals and other cultural events?

– There is an annual film festival “Spirit of fire”, a very interesting one. This is another way to tell intelligent and creative people about our region. We are happy to be recognized.

Ugra is a successful oil and gas region, but at the same time we want to develop other areas and create the best working and living conditions for our people. We do everything so they could call Ugra the best place in the world!