Dubai Open Chess Championship opens tonight
More than 200 players vie for the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Cup
Dubai, UAE (April 11, 2016) – The 18th Dubai Open Chess Championship 2016 – Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup opens today at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club with more than 200 players vying for the top prizes. The opening ceremony will be attended by officials from the Dubai Sports Council, diplomats, UAE sports leaders and representatives from the Arab Chess Federation.
Several players arrived Saturday evening, including the 2014 world girls junior champion Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan, who has been a regular competitor in the tournament. Players from India, Mongolia and China who took part in the recently concluded Asian Nations Cup in Abu Dhabi were also among those who arrived early. A few more top players from Latvia, England and Cuba are expected to arrive a few hours before the tournament starts on Monday.
The total number of players has now reached 206, which is a new record for the Dubai Open. There are 41 countries represented in the event. The field also includes 48 Grandmasters (GM), which is also a new record, eight Woman Grandmasters (WGM), 39 International Masters (IM) and six Woman International Masters (WIM). The nine-round Swiss system tournament allots a thinking time of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move.
Bulgaria’s GM Ivan Cheparinov and Ukraine’s GM Anton Korobov, both with an International Chess Federation (Fide) rating of 2695, are the joint top-seeded players of the tournament. Reigning Asian champion and the UAE’s top player GM Salem A.R. Saleh and Egypt’s GM Bassem Amin, the highest-rated Arab player in the event, will lead the Arab contingent in the hunt for the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and the US$50,000 total cash purse.
Tournament officials, led by chief arbiter International Arbiter (IA) Mahdi Abdul Rahim and tournament coordinator Mohammad El Husseiny, met Sunday to ensure that it’s all-systems-go for Monday’s opening. The group also discussed the anti-cheating measures being adopted by the tournament and checked the equipment to be used to broadcast the games live on the internet. IA Naji Al-Radhi, IA Jamal Qasim, IA Walid Abu Obeid and IA Augusto Marcial will join the officiating team as tournament arbiters.
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