|The United Arab Emirates have many landmarks famous all around the world, including the tallest man-made structure Burj Khalifa, the world’s biggest mall, the Dubai Mall, the JW Marriott Marquis, the world’s tallest hotel, and show the remarkable growth of a country as a business hub and tourist destination.
It’s not surprising that the largest chess club in the world is also placed in the UAE.
The Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club was established by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah, more than one year ago and was officially opened on March 28, 2013.
The Sharjah Chess Club covers an area of 34,000 cubic feet, including the main hall which can accommodate up to 500 players.
Besides two huge playing areas there are many class rooms, library, VIP room, regional FIDE office etc. One can find here all possible modern equipment and devises invented in the chess world.
During the last year Sharjah chess club opened its doors to all chess players from all around the world and absolutely ready to host international and national events of all kinds and since the opening of the club the organizers have been checking different formats.
The first international tournament was the Asian Juniors Championship under 20, than the Match between GM Salem and GM Khismatullin took place.
There were also Sharjah international rapid tournaments, UAE Men championship and UAE juniors championship, President Cup.
On April 2014 the Asian Continental Championship took place and about 100 participants were competing, including former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov.
Apart from organizing chess competitions the chess club functions as a chess school for children. Around 200 pupils come here to study chess and there are four coaches working with children in regular basis – GM Dimitri Komarov (Ukraine, FIDE senior trainer), Abdul Kader Rayes, Sohib Okla (both from Syria), Ihsan Jawad Joudeh.
The logo was designed by Emirati artist Hisham Al-Mazloum, who is the head of Arts Directorate at Sharjah’s Department of Culture and Information. It is inspired by the UAE’s traditional cultural identity and features the barjeel (a local word describing a traditional circular wind tower) reflecting its vision of old-world values combined with modern-day norms.
Photos by FIDE Press Officer Anastasya Karlovich