Dubai Open Chess Tournament eyes to set new record attendance
Grandmasters sign up for 19th edition of Dubai’s premier chess event
Dubai, UAE: The Dubai Open Chess Tournament–Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup is set to establish a new record in participation as more than a dozen grandmasters (GM) and international masters (IM) from different countries joined several others who have already signed up barely a week after registration opened. Organisers said several more untitled players all over the world have also signed up for the 19th edition of Dubai’s premier international chess event.
With a total prize fund of $50,000, the 19th Dubai Open Chess Tournament is looking to top the more than 190 players that competed in the 18th edition last April. English GM Gawain Jones established a rare feat when he won both the 18th Dubai Open Chess Tournament and the Dubai Open Blitz Tournament, becoming the first person to achieve the feat.
“Dubai’s growing popularity as a leisure, entertainment and sports destination has helped generate strong interest for the Dubai Open Chess Tournament from chess players around the world. Many strong grandmasters want to compete in the tournament and also to explore Dubai,” said Ibrahim Al Bannai, President of Dubai Chess. “It has also helped that many of the world’s best players, including the two hottest players today, current world champion Magnus Carlsen and newly crowned 2016 Grand Chess Tour champion Wesley So, have competed and performed exceptionally well in past Dubai Open editions. This certainly adds to the prestige of the event and also supports our vision to make Dubai a global chess hub.”
Carlsen, the Norwegian world champion who last month successfully defended his world title against Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, became a full-fledged grandmaster after he completed his final norm requirement in the 6th Dubai Open in 2004 at the age of 13.
So, the Filipino prodigy who now plays for the US, became the Dubai Open’s youngest champion when he topped the 2008 edition at the age of 14, just a few months after he fulfilled all requirements to become the world’s seventh youngest grandmaster.
The 19th Dubai Open Chess Tournament – Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup will run from April 3-12, 2017. The tournament offers a cash prize of USD13,000 and the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup to the champion, while the rest of the top 15 players will also receive cash prizes.
There are also prizes for the top three ladies and various rating category champions, as well as for the top Dubai, UAE and Arab players.
Registration is ongoing until March 10.
Players may visit the club’s website (www.dubaichess.ae) to register.