Dr Sheikh Khalid Bin Humaid Al Qasimi; Eisa Hilal Al Hazami; Issa Ataya and other dignitaries during ceremonial start of Alef International Chess.
Considered as one of the largest chess events in the Arab world and Middle East, organized by Alef Group in cooperation with the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, began with the participation of more than 1,000 players from 25 countries and will continue till Dec.18.
Dr Sheikh Khalid Bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club; Eisa Hilal Al Hazami, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council,
Issa Ataya, CEO of Alef Group, and members of the board of directors of the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club were present during the opening day of the Alef International Chess Olympiad.
Alef International Chess Olympiad comprises various tournaments that includes a large group of grandmasters, promising players, and amateurs, in addition to the participation of school and university students, and young club players.
Dr Sheikh Khalid revealed that the Alef International Chess Olympiad will witness the holding of four different tournaments.
“The first tournament is the Superstar Tournament, with the participation of four grandmasters: Chinese Yu Yangyi, Sanan Sjugirov, Indian Nihal Saran, and Emirati grandmaster Salem Abdulrahman. It is organized according to the full league system in two rounds, home and away, in three of the game systems: classical, rapid, and blitz, and the prize money is Dhs120,000.
“The second tournament is the Open Star Chess Tournament with an open participation for everyone and will be attended by 500 players, and the National Day Tournament with the participation of 80 citizen players. The Olympiad will conclude its competition with the Future Tournament, with the participation of 400 players from sprouts, juniors, and players from state schools, and it will be held on December 16, 17, and 18.
“The Olympiad will also witness the holding of many cultural and community events and activities within the state's celebrations of the "52nd National Day," which will coincide with the date of the Olympiad, which aims to highlight the tourist and civilizational aspect of the emirate and the role of Sharjah as the capital of Arab and Islamic culture,” he added.
Issa Attiya, CEO of Alef Group, said: “Our vision at Alef Group stems from encouraging friendly competition and creativity among young people, and this is developed through the Alef Chess Olympiad in partnership with the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, where the group is committed to organizing events that enhance the unity of the community and promote happiness in Sharjah. ”
Top Grandmaster and Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club player Salem Abdulrahman Mohamed Saleh left the UAE on Monday to participate in the Prague International Masters Championship.
The camp, which started on March 25 and will continue till April 8, is being organised by the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, in cooperation with the Chess & Culture Club for Sharjah Women and Sharjah International Chess Academy.
The Executive Committee of the Arab Chess Federation thanked UAE Chess Federation for its unwavering support during its virtual meeting headed by Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, President of the Arab Chess Federation.
The 10-round main event matches Moroccan super featherweight Jaouad “The Moroccan Bomber” Belmehdi (19-1-3, 9 KOs) against the No.1 ranked Ghanaian and African star, undefeated Alfred Lamptey (13-0, 9 KOs).
The visitors finished on 13-2 in their second innings with nightwatchman Nathan Lyon not out six and opener Usman Khawaja on five after Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne departed cheaply.
Dr Amina Al Marzouqi, Vice Chancellor for Student and Branch Affairs, stressed the importance of organising this marathon to promote healthy habits and encourage university students to practice regular sports.