The night before the tournament began, VIPs and chess stars attended a red-carpet gala, which included a special screening of the new movie “Pawn Sacrifice.” Boris Spassky was the guest of honor.

Among the many attendees were Kirsan Ilyimzhinov, the president of the World Chess Federation, World Champion Magnus Carlsen, former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, and Andrei Fliatov, the president of the Russian Chess Federation.