Al Bannai: Club remains committed to develop modern and pioneering approach in chess training and development in the UAE
Dubai Chess and Culture Club has received the award of excellence for 2015 from the UAE Chess Federation for its impressive achievements and its pioneering efforts to promote chess and provide world-class training to the youth. According to Ibrahim Al Bannai, Chairman of Dubai Chess and Culture Club, the award was the product of a strong commitment to excellence and an innovative approach in training and developing chess talents in the emirate.
Al Bannai commended players who reaped various team and individual championships from local and international tournaments, which he said was instrumental in the club’s unparalleled success in 2015. He also lauded the coaching staff for providing the best possible training to the club’s elite players as well as students of its chess school.
Al Bannai dedicated the club’s success to the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and patron of the chess movement in Dubai. He further said that the Dubai Sports Council has been the club’s main strategic partner in implementing its training and development programs.
While the club has acquired the services of topflight coaches from around the world, Al Bannai also pointed out that club’s decision to use state-of-the-art technology in chess training and management has played a key role in improving the quality of training of the club’s students and organisation of various chess tournaments and activities.
Chess Academy project
Bannai said the club’s Board of Directors believes that a scientific approach is the only way to ensure the maximum impact of chess on the academic and personal development of students, while helping the club develop a new generation of elite players who can represent the emirate in various national and international tournaments. He said this is the reason the club started a project to open a chess academy two years ago, wherein the club tapped the expertise of world-class coaches, grandmasters and specialists to develop a modern program for chess training and player development. Apart from its own chess academy, the club also reaches out to various schools, child development centres and even companies to provide more specialised chess training for children.
Najib Mohammed Saleh, Technical and Coaching Director, said the players who have won laurels during the past year epitomise the club’s mission of promoting chess excellence, and which has been validated by the excellence award for 2015. He said among the key achievers in 2015 were Fide Master (FM) Saeed Ishaq, who achieved a rare hat trick by winning the UAE President’s Cup, National Men’s Chess Championship and UAE Blitz Chess Championship, Woman International Master (WIM) Amna Nouman, who led Dubai to win the UAE National Women’s Team Championship, Ahmed Fareed, who won a silver medal in the Under-18 category of the first Arab Chess Olympiad and a silver medal on second board at the Asian Cities Chess Championship – Dubai Cup, and Ali Abdul Aziz Al Fahim, who won the gold medal on board four at the Asian Cities Championship.
Saleh said the technical staff is regularly reviewing new concepts and ideas for its training programs for the club’s chess school and for special programs for the club’s elite players, while ensuring that training and tournament participation do not get in the way of the students’ academic studies. He said about 90 per cent of the players training at the club are students from various schools and universities.
Collaboration with schools
Saleh also said that the club has forged a relationship with the Dubai Educational District Schools to conduct various chess training activities in different schools and provide students access to the club’s facilities and monthly tournaments. He said the club is preparing an ambitious project to provide chess training to all schools in the emirate, which will give students a rare opportunity to get professional training without significant cost.
Al Bannai also revealed that following a series of meetings, the board has updated its strategic roadmap for 2015-2020 to be in line with the strategic plan of the Dubai Sports Council, which has been a prime mover in the development of sports and in promoting Dubai as a world-class sporting haven.