Image for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Bolstered by the success of Africa Online Individual Chess Championships, the Arab Chess Federation and the Africa Chess Confederation have joined hands to organise the first Arab-African Online Individual Open Chess Championships.
With the participation of more than 2,000 players, the inaugural edition of the first of its kind Arab-African Online Individual Open Chess Championships will begin on Thursday.
The event carries a handsome prize purse of $10,000. The tournament brings together top African and Arab players, who will be competing for the coveted title.
The final of the four-day long competition is scheduled to take place on Saturday. The championship is open for all age groups and players from across 50 countries are taking part in it.
Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, President of the Arab Chess Federation and Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, said: “The club is all geared up to host the inaugural edition of the Arab-African chess event which will see participation of the all the top Arab and African players.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event will take place online from Feb.25-27 with three stages including preliminary, middle and final. The women’s final will take place on Feb.26,” he added.
Hussain Khalfan Al Shamsi, secretary of the UAE Chess Federation, was pleased with the response the championship has evoked from players. “The Arab Chess Federation issued an invitation to all the Arab and African bodies seeking their cooperation and participation in the tournament. They all agreed, which paved the way for hosting the championship.
“The event will also see referees representing both Arab and African countries due to the huge number of participation from both the regions. Besides a $10,000 prize pool, special prizes will also be distributed among the competitors.” The organising committee of the championship consists of Sheikh Saud, Bernard Wangala, Vice-Chairman of the Organising Committee, and Sami Khader Safarini, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Championship.
UAE’s Faisal Mohammed Al Hammadi will be the chief arbiter while Ncube, president of the African Union, will serve as observer of the championship.
Sheikh Saud invited Ncube to visit Sharjah and visit the headquarters of the Arab Chess Federation and Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club last year.
Ncube accepted the invitation and both sides agreed to build a strong cooperation.
Both Sheikh Saud and Ncube also agreed to exchange technical expertise in hosting friendship chess tournaments.
The Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club is one of the biggest chess clubs in the world. Under the guidance and the approval of the club’s president Sheikh Saud, it organises the Sharjah International Chess Academy and participates in a large number of chess and cultural activities in the country and also worldwide.
Egyptian grandmaster Ahmed Adly emerged winner at the first of its kind Arab-African Online Individual Open Chess Championships. Adly, who is second best player in Egypt behind Bassem Amin, overcame Algerian Bilel Bellahcene in the final
The Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club has collaborated with Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) to promote the game in the schools of the emirate.
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