VIDEO: Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship attracts top players from across the world - GulfToday

VIDEO: Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship attracts top players from across the world

Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, Jamal Issa Al Midfa, Omar Noman Al Ali, Raja’i Noman Al Soussi, Eng. Fathi Afana and Efstratios Grivas and other dignitaries during the press conference.

Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor

Billed as the strongest ever championship in the invitational open category of the game’s history, Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship will get underway from September 16 and conclude on September 25.

The fourth edition of the Sharjah Masters Inter- national Chess Championship will be held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The championship carries a whopping prize purse of $60,000 and will be held under the strict health and safety protocols laid down by the UAE authorities.

Players with an average rating of 2531 and above, as of September 2021 FIDE Rating List, will compete in the event. 41 Grandmasters, two women Grandmasters, 13 International Masters and two FIDE Masters representing 27 federations will battle for top honours on the board.

Such is the level of the competition that Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club’s organising committee had to reject the participation of 80 players as they failed to match the standard.

The tournament will be played on a 9-round Swiss System Type format, with a standard time control of a total of 90 minutes and 30 seconds increment per move starting from move one for each player.

Egyptian Grandmaster Bassem Amin, Iran’s Parham Maghsoodloo, Ukraine’s Pavel Eljanov, UAE’s Salem AR Saleh, India’s B Adhiban, Azerbaijan’s Arkadij Naiditsch, Russia’s David Paravyan, Germany’s Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Kazakhstan’s Rinat Jumabayev are among the top chess players who will rub shoulders during the competition.

Saleh, who won the recently held Master Tour- nament in Switzerland, will spearhead the UAE’s campaign. Besides Saleh, Omran Al Hosani and Ishaq Saeed will represent the country.

The details of the Sharjah Masters were revealed during a press conference held at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club.

The presser was a ended by Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, Chairman of the Sharjah Cultural Chess Club, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the tournament, Jamal Issa Al Midfa, Vice Chairman of the Organising Committee, Chair- man of the Appeal Committee, Omar Noman Al Ali, Tournament Director and, Raja’i Noman Al Soussi, CEO of the club, and representatives of the sponsors.

Sheikh Saud Al Mualla hailed Dr Sheikh Sultan for his unwavering support and his generosity to the club and the players.

He also lauded the support of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salem Al Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

Arkady Dvorkovich, President of International Chess Federation (FIDE),and Lewis Ncube President of the African Chess Confederation, will grace the opening ceremony. The chairman of the organising committee confirmed that the organising event of such a stature strengthens the UAE’s position in general and Sharjah Cultural Chess Club’s abilities to host a big event when the world is reeling under

the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. “Organising such events also aims to provide a great deal of benefit and development for the players of the national team and of the club, a number of whom will participate in the championship,” said Sheikh Saud.

He also thanked the sponsors of the event including Fast Contracting Company, National Paints and Centro Sharjah Hotel for their continuous support to the club.

Jamal Issa Al Midfa, general secretary of the club, said on the sidelines of the Sharjah Masters a Challengers tournament will also take place.

“The Challengers event will see competition between four teams consisting of five players each,” said Midfa.

Omar Noman Al Ali, tournamentdirector, said: “The tournament will be broadcast live on chess24. com, one of the three largest chess internet plat- forms in the world,” he added.

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