For the first time in Saudi Arabia, the world chess championships kicks off on Tuesday at the APEX Convention Center with the participation of 400 international players.
The world’s top players, including the Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen, have arrived in the Saudi capital to take part. Chess is not very popular in the Kingdom but the Saudi Chess Federation aims to attract the Saudi youth to the game. It also hopes Saudi chess players will gain experience through meeting the international stars.
A sum of $2 million has been allocated for the prizes of the King Salman World Chess Championships, the highest in the history of the Chess Federation.
According to the championship timetable, the opening ceremony will be on Monday, while Tuesday will see rounds 1-5 of the Rapid category. Rounds 6-10 of the same category will be played on Wednesday at the same time.
The World Chess Federation has announced on its website that the dress code for the event will be dark blue or black formal suits, with white shirts, either open-necked or with a tie, for men and dark blue or black formal trouser suits with high-necked white blouses for women. The website added that there will be no need to wear a hijab or Abaya during the games.
Saudi champion Abdurrahman Al-Masrahi, along with Ahmed Al-Ghamdi and Emad Al-Habeeb, will join renowned champions including Magnus Carlsen, the highest-rated chess player in the world and World Champion in classical chess, the incumbent World Rapid and Blitz Champions — Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) — and more than 180 top grandmasters who have confirmed their participation.
Notable entries include world No. 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia, No. 3 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India.
Source: Arab News