It was the second World Rapid Chess Championship organized by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, that believes that rapid chess has drama and suspense that would work well on television. In contrast to classic chess, rapid chess players have seconds to consider their next move, thus making the game exciting and interesting to watch. Former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov saw rapid chess as an "excellent way to get to know another chess player." The 2013 Rapid Chess Championship brought together chess players from 18 countries, and was followed by hundreds of thousands of chess fans from around the world.
Khanty-Mansiysk was chosen as the host city for the tournament because it is known for organizing successful major chess events; the city also boats excellent competition facilities, the Yugra Chess Academy, designed and built as a world-standard competitive chess venue. The Chess Academy was designed to look like a giant space station by Dutch architect Erik Van Egeraat. The main competition hall can be transformed into different shapes and sizes to accommodate different competitive events as well as chess classes for children.