x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

World Youth Chess tournament moves on Al Ain tournament

More than 4,000 players from 120 countries vying for honours from today until December 29 at the Al Ain Culture and Chess Club for the World Youth Chess Championship through December 29.

Zain Samer Khalid, 7, left, and Freya Jones, 7, at right, enjoy a game of chess at the Brighton College in Abu Dhabi, the first foreign campus of the well-known British school. Over 4,000 players from 120 countries will descend on Al Ain for the World YouChess Championship from Wednesday to December 29. Silvia Razgova / The National
Zain Samer Khalid, 7, left, and Freya Jones, 7, at right, enjoy a game of chess at the Brighton College in Abu Dhabi, the first foreign campus of the well-known British school. Over 4,000 players from 120 countries will descend on Al Ain for the World YouChess Championship from Wednesday to December 29. Silvia Razgova / The National

The World Youth Chess Championships will see more than 4,000 players from 120 countries vying for honours from Tuesday until December 29 at the Al Ain Culture and Chess Club.

The U18 championship for girls and boys and the U18 open competition are the highlights of the 12-day event, as several young grand masters are seeking to establish themselves before moving to the senior level.

“In terms of the number of participants and countries involved, it is the biggest-ever championship” put on by the world chess federation, Dr Nasser Al Ameri, the manager of the local organising committee, said.

“This championship is also an excellent opportunity for the young Emiratis to pit their skills against some of the best junior and youth players, both in the boys and girls divisions.

“We have more than 80 girls and over 200 boys entered in all age divisions, [from] U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 in the girls, boys and open divisions.”

Al Ameri said the previous championship in Slovenia drew 1,580 competitors from 92 countries. “The UAE have been a major venue for international sports and the youth chess championship is another new addition,” he said.

“It is the vision of our leadership to provide our youth the opportunity to participate and excel in all the sports.”

The championship is staged under the aegis of the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy and the UAE University, in association with the UAE Chess Federation.

“The academy has played a key role in promoting sports among the Emirati women and we are delighted to be part of this youth championship,” said Dr Moza Al Shehhi, a board member of the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy.

“Chess develops the minds and it is very popular among the Emirati youth. This championship certainly will encourage and provide them the opportunity to pit their skills against world class players in their respective age groups.”

The opening ceremony takes place at the UAE University tonight. Matches are played over 11 rounds at the Al Ain Culture and Chess Club starting 3pm, Wednesday.

apassela@thenational.ae

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