Khaled Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi (centre), Saeed Yousuf Shakari (left), and Othman Musa are seen during their press conference.
A total of 170 players representing 47 countries will battle for top honours at the 23rd edition of the Dubai Open Chess Tournament. Hosted by the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, the prestigious tournament will take place from May 27 to June 4.
The details of the tournament were revealed during a press conference held at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, which was convened by Khaled Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi, Chairman of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, in the presence of Saeed Yousuf Shakari, Secretary General of the club and tournament's technical director; Othman Musa, head of the club’s technical staff and director of the tournament; and tournament's general coordinator Mohammed Al Husseini.
Khalid Bin Zayed praised the important role played by the Dubai Sports Council, headed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in creating opportunities for the club to excel and succeed through the council’s continued support and sponsorship of the club’s activities.
He added that the club's technical staff has been directed to work on developing the tournament and putting forward new ideas that would develop the skill level and international rating of local talents, and give them an opportunity to compete with some of the best players from around the world.
For his part, Musa, the tournament director, explained that the club is all set to host the tournament in accordance with the highest international standards.
He explained that the club has been preparing for the event for the past few months and that the organizing committee is fully committed to maintaining the tournament’s high standards in line with its reputation as one of the largest and most prestigious long-standing tournaments in the Middle East.
He also revealed that for the first time in the history of the Dubai Open, the tournament will be divided into two categories: the Masters category for players with an international rating above 2200 and the Open category for players rated below 2200.
This allows for more competitive games and exciting action in both categories and gives greater opportunity for players aspiring to obtain international titles in the Masters category.
The competition features 170 male and female competitors from 47 different nations, including 109 players who have won international titles. They are led by 52 Grandmasters (GM), 19 International Masters, 11 Fide Masters, three Women Grandmasters (WGM), and three Women International Masters (WIM).
The organizing committee also announced a total prize purse of $52,000 to be awarded to the top 10 players in both categories.
The Masters category champion will receive $12,000 and the championship trophy, while the Open category champion will receive $2,000. Special prizes will also be awarded to two rating category winners for both the Masters and Open events.
Shakari said that the participation of players from 47 countries across the world is testimony to the strong reputation that the tournament has enjoyed over the years.
"The tournament has been a particularly favorite destination of many of the world’s most talented young players, who have eventually become national, continental, and even world champions," he added.
With 26 players in both categories, India is sending the biggest contingent this year, followed by the UAE with 21 players and Egypt and Russia with nine players each.
Topping the list of players is the Chinese grandmaster Yu Yangyi with a rating of 2729, followed by India’s GM Arjun Erigaisi (2701), Russia’s GM Alexandr Predke (2685), and Iran’s Mohammad Amin Tabatabaei (2677).
Reigning Dubai Open champion Aravindh Chithambaram from India, meanwhile, returns this year, seeking to score a rare back-to-back championship.
Many of the world’s biggest young talents are also competing this year, including the American Abimanyu Mishra, 14, the youngest player in the history of chess to be awarded the international grandmaster title. Mishra secured the GM title in 2021 when he was just 12.
Other young players to watch out for are second-seed Arjun Erigesi (20 years old) and Russia’s Volodar Murzin (17) and Artem Uskov (13).
Further underlining the diversity of participation, Shakari revealed that the oldest participant of the tournament is Englishman John Bennett (70 years old), while the youngest is the Syrian Rami Talab, who is only 10 years old.
The Organizing Committee has appointed International Arbiter and Lecturer Mahdi Abdulrahim, Chairman of the Rules Commission of the FIDE and Chairman of the Arbiters Commission of the Asian Chess Federation, as head of the arbitration team.
This is the tenth Dubai Open tournament where Abdulrahim will serve as the chief arbiter, as he holds the distinction of having officiated the most Dubai Open tournaments.
The international arbitration team includes Jamal Qassem, Mohamed Abdullah, Majed Al-Abdouli, Salman Al-Taher, and Hamad Al-Shezawi.
The tournament’s two highest rated players and sixth-round co-leaders GM Alexandr Predke of Russia and GM Arjun Erigaisi of India drew their game, ensuring both players remained in the lead with six points each.
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.
"After two seasons in the French capital, Leo Messi’s adventure with Paris St Germain will come to an end at the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign," PSG said in a statement.
The event featured a diverse group of emerging talents and classified athletes from prestigious clubs and academies giving excellent performances eyed enticing prizes worth more than Dhs1 million.
The four Emirati players, Abdullah Ahli, Abdullah Abdulaziz Abdullah, Fares Aljanahi and Salem Alhouli, will join a distinct team in the unique global championship.
Top-seed GM Yu Yangyi of China scored an emphatic win in Friday night’s seventh round to grab a share of the lead with defending champion GM Aravindh Chithambaram of India, who continued to struggle pulling the trigger in another promising position. Yu and Chithambaram now have 5.5 points from seven games,