Dubai Chess Club starts the year with a bang

Club to host awards ceremony to honour top-performing players

H.E. Ibrahim Al Bannai, Chairman of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, has lauded members of the club who have helped push the UAE to a great start in the international chess circuit this year. Fide Master (FM) Ibrahim Sultan and Woman International Master (WIM) Amna Nouman led the top achievers at the start of the year after winning the gold medals in the Boys Under 18 category and Girls Under 18 category respectively at the recently concluded Arab Age Group Chess Championships in Abu Dhabi. Another Dubai stalwart, Ahmad Fareed Ahli, took home the bronze medal in the Boys Under 16.

Bannai also commended members of the Dubai team that dominated the UAE Elite Team Championship for girls under 20-years old held recently in Al Ain. The club also took the top prize in the UAE Rapid Team Chess Championship, which concluded on January 10 in Sharjah. The Dubai rapid team was bannered by Grandmaster (GM) Taleb Moussa, the first-ever UAE player to be awarded the GM title, and his brother FM Othman Moussa. The event marked the return of both players to official tournaments after being absent from chess action for some time. The rest of the members of the team were brothers FM Nabil and Najib Mohammed Saleh, Suhail Tayeb, FM Yahya Mohammed Saleh, Abdul Karim Al Marzouqi and FM Saeed Ishaq. They were also joined by up-and-coming young players Ali Abdulaziz, Abdullah Ali and Faisal Al Abdouli.

Al Bannai also took note of the club’s active efforts in promoting innovation and creativity in sports, which has been highlighted by a prestigious award conferred on one of the club’s most experienced tournament organisers and arbiters, International Arbiter Mahdi Abdul Rahim. Abdul Rahim recently received the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Creative Sports Award. Aside from Abdul Rahim, WIM Nouman was also one of the top contenders of the prestigious award.

Al Bannai credited Najib Mohammed Saleh, the club’s Technical Committee Head, for his contributions in helping maintain the top form of the players and ultimately achieve excellent results. He said these achievements will from part of the strong foundation that will underpin the club’s mission to pursue greater milestones this year in Asian and global chess competitions. Furthermore, the club intends to take advantage of the many strong international tournaments to be hosted this year in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Sharjah, pointing out that these events will be crucial in the rapid development of young Emirati players and win accolades for the UAE.

Najib Saleh also pointed out that the Board of Directors is fully behind the club’s programme of activities this year, as the Board ultimately aims to achieve excellence and leadership in chess development for the club and the UAE in general.

Meanwhile, Al Bannai also announced a plan to organise an annual awards ceremony to honour the club’s top achievers and benefactors. The date and other details of the awards ceremony will be announced shortly.