180 players compete in UAE National Day Rapid Chess Tournament

Three-day competition kicks off today at Dubai Chess and Culture Club

Dubai, UAE (November 30, 2016) – More than 180 players representing 24 countries will vie for this year’s 45th UAE National Day Rapid Chess Tournament at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Hall of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

Former world championship contender Grandmaster (GM) Vladimir Akopian of Armenian and Dubai’s long-serving Dubai coach GM Elmar Magerramov of Azerbaijan lead this year’s highly competitive line-up that includes 18 titled players as the tournament’s top two highest-rated participants. They are joined by five other grandmasters – Viktor Moskalenko of Spain, Walter Arencibia of Cuba and Igors Rausis of the Czech Republic.

India sent the largest delegation to the three-day competition with 70 players, followed by the UAE (40 players) and the Philippines (30 players). The tournament has also attracted participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, USA and several Arab countries.

The tournament is part of the club’s activities to mark the UAE’s 45th National Day. A total of Dh22,000 in cash prizes will be up for grabs in the rapid chess tournament with the winner taking home Dh5,000 and the championship trophy. The rest of the top eight players will receive cash prizes, as well as the top UAE players (male and female), top Dubai players (male and female) prizes and top scorers in the under 1800 and under 2000 rating categories.

According to tournament director International Arbiter (IA) Saeed Yousuf Shakari, the tournament is a nine-round Swiss system event with each player allotted a thinking time of 15 minutes plus five seconds per move. The club has also appointed IA Jamal Kassim, IA Walid Abu Obeid of Jordan and IA Augusto Marcel of the Philippines as arbiters.

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