Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid fetes chess champions

Players, coaches receive incentives from Dubai Sports Council

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Honorary President of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, recently hosted an awards ceremony and gala dinner to honour members of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club who have won accolades in various national and international competitions.

H.E. Saud Al Abdul Aziz, Secretary General of the Association of National Olympic Committees, and H.E. Ibrahim Abdul Malik, Secretary-General of the UAE’s Public Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, joined H.E. Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Dubai Sports Council, in distributing the awards during the ceremony and gala dinner held at the club on Tuesday (March 14, 2015). They were joined by Ibrahim Al Bannai, head of the Arab Chess Federation and Chairman of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, and Hussein Al Shamsi, representative of the President of the UAE Federation of Chess.

Saud Al Abdul Aziz said the club deserves recognition for putting Dubai and the UAE on the global chess map through its extensive player development programmes and hosting prestigious international tournaments such as the annual Dubai Chess Open Championship, which will be held this year on April 5-16.

The awardees were led by Fide Master (FM) Sultan Ibrahim, who recently won the gold medal in the Under-18 category of this year’s Arab Age Group Championships, Dubai’s top lady chess player Woman International Master Amna Nouman, who led Dubai to the gold medal in last month’s UAE National Women’s Team Championship, and up-and-coming Ahmad Farid, who won the Under-16 bronze medal at the Arab Age Group Championships.

Also honoured at the event were FM Othman Moussa, Najib Saleh, Suhail Tayyib, Nabil Saleh and FM Saeed Ishaq, who won the gold medal at the UAE Rapid Team Championship. Moussa and Ishaq were also recognised for winning this year’s UAE Rapid Chess Championship and UAE Blitz Chess Championship titles respectively.

Others who received awards were Shaimaa Numan, Bashaer Khalil, Mariam Isa, Yasmin Ali, Aisha Jehad, Hind Faraj, Alia Ali Rashid, Shammah, Musa and Jawaher Obaid.

Sheikh Hamdan also recognised the management and coaches of the club led by Managing Director Mohamed Husseiny. The coaching staff who were awarded were senior coach Grandmaster Elmar Magerramov and Women Grandmaster Olena Nachrisova, Sabri Mahaar and International Master Bashir Qudaimi. Sheikh Hamdan also cited the contributions of Yahya Mohammed Saleh, Development and Planning Manager, Saeed Youssef, Players Development Officer, Ibtisam Muhyiddin, Administrative Officer and Ahmed Barakat, Administrative Officer.

“We are grateful to Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Honorary President of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, for being a gracious patron of the club and for his invaluable support to our programmes,” said Al Bannai. “We are also thankful for the support we have received from key government and sporting institutions in the UAE and the region. The government’s support is certainly crucial in realising our vision for chess in Dubai. These recognitions will serve as inspiration, especially for the young players in their quest to join the ranks of the world’s elite chess professionals.”