Invitations were sent to the following players. Russian-speaking ones: Ilya Shikshin, Svetlana Shikshina, Alexander Dinershteyn, Maria Zakharchenko, Mateusz Surma, Andrii Kravets, Artem Kachanovskiy.
And apart from them: Ali Jabarin, Pavol Lisy, Tanguy Le Calvé, Fan Hui, Diana Koszegi, Li Ting, Catalin Taranu, Guo Juan, Antti Törmänen. 16 invitations in total.
Eventually all 7 EGF professionals and Alexander Dinershteyn agreed to play. Everyone else refused. And that was such a great chance to compare the strength of professionals who had never played each other in person. So, for instance, we will not know how strong Maria Zakharchenko from Ukraine is right now. Her EGF rating is 2158 and last time she played in a rated tournament was in 2009.