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  • 08 Aug 2023
  • Source : ADSC

More than 1,600 male and female players from 67 countries attend the 29th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the 29th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival with a prize fund of AED 300,000 takes place from 14 to 25 August at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The festival will be held under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and organized and conducted by the Abu Dhabi Chess and Mental Games Club. The competitions are divided into 14 different championships commensurate with the levels and age groups of the participants, led by the Masters Championship.

Participating in the upcoming festival are the top seeded Indian Grandmaster D. Gukesh, and compatriot GM Arjun Erigaisi, the defending champion, and the third seeded Russian GM Vladislav Artemiev.

The local challenge will be spearheaded by the Emirati champion Salem Abdul Rahman, who has won the greatest number of individual chess tournaments in the UAE since 1991.

Most of the UAE players, both male and female, will also participate in the festival, led by Imran Al Hosani, winner of the West Asian Youth Championship, the Arab Youth Championship, the UAE Men's Championship, and the President's Cup.

The competition will be broadcast live via the website of the International Chess Federation, the Asian Federation, and the Arab Federation.

The Referees Committee in the tournament is chaired by Mahdi Abdel Rahim, Chairman of the Referees Committee of the International Chess Federation, and a group of Emirati international referees, including Majid Al Abdouli, Salman Al Taher, Maryam Jihad, Al Arabi Bin Yahya from Algeria, Mehrdad Pahlawanzadeh from Iran, Bogdan Garbia from Romania, Maha Mahmoud from Egypt, and Marlon Conan from the Philippines, in addition to a group of emerging refereeing talent from the UAE.

Hussein Abdullah Al Khoury, Chairman of both the Board of Directors of the Club and the Higher Organising Committee, confirmed that the festival is one of the most important sporting events on the international chess calendar.

It enters its 29th year in this session, having gained international attention befitting Abu Dhabi's expertise in organizing sports tournaments on such a grand scale.

“What we witnessed through our position in the organising committee is a great demand for participation in the festival from the first-class players in the world this year,” Al Khoury said.

“It makes us firmly convinced that we are on the right track, and it is expected that the number of participants will exceed 1,600 male and female players from 67 different nationalities across 14 different tournaments.

“The organising committee took into account the technical skill and age level of the players. It also leads international festivals in terms of the number of participants, surpassing several prestigious international festivals.”

Al Khoury pointed out the Abu Dhabi Festival has reached this high status and achieved the best indicators of global success thanks to the support, interest, and care of the wise leadership, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, may God protect him, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

“Our government and those in charge of the sports sector have spared no effort to support sports, athletes and youth movements of all kinds,” he added.

Al Khoury praised the vision of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and its prominent supportive role in organising international sporting events.

He thanked the distinguished sponsorship of the Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) for the festival, as a national institution that has a leading role in supporting sporting events, as well as the Malabar Gold and Diamond Company, the Nirvana Holding Company, the Reportage Real Estate Company, Mohammed Rasool Al Khoury and Sons, Riviera Water Company, Italian International School, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Emirates Heritage Club, and the Radisson Blu Hotel, which will host the festival competitions.

Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, emphasised the wise leadership’s interest in supporting all sports and advancing its path towards success.

He stressed this as the main impetus for Abu Dhabi hosting and organising several major events and tournaments, including the Chess Festival which has attracted the participation of the most prominent players and Grand Masters.

“I am pleased to take the opportunity to praise the great efforts made by the Abu Dhabi Chess and Mental Games Club in the process of developing the game of chess through a set of plans, programs, courses and hosting, which have achieved the goal for which the club was founded since its inception,” Al Awani added.

“We at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council renew our support for this important and prominent annual event on the agenda of sporting events hosted by the capital, Abu Dhabi, and are proud of its great global value, as it has become the focus of attention of international players from all over the world. We wish success to all.”