Dubai Expo hosts the World Chess Championship

i24NEWS

3 min read
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan makes the starting move of game five between Norway's World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen (R) and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, during the FIDE World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 1, 2021.
AP Photo/Kamran JebreiliSheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan makes the starting move of game five between Norway's World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen (R) and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, during the FIDE World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 1, 2021.

Competitors at the World Chess Championships are playing for a grand prize of $2.5 million

The Middle East’s Gulf region is increasingly becoming the preferred site for global sporting competitions.

“Dubai is a base of many sports… of course chess will be special in this tournament,” Dubai Sports Council Secretary-General Saeed Mohd Hareb told i24NEWS.

This week, the World Chess Championships is taking place at the Dubai Expo, featuring a showdown between the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen from Norway against a Russian grandmaster. 

Competitors are playing for a grand prize of $2.5 million.

“In order to study chess, you need to have good trainers, and the possibility to participate,” said Emil Sutovsky, an Israeli chess grandmaster.

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Sutovsky explained that ever since the sport of chess was pushed by the Soviet regime as a political agenda, "people from countries that are not traditional chess countries can come as players.”

Among those countries is Israel, whose junior team did not reach the final phase of the chess tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) continues to encourage new competitors.  

There is “social chess, including chess for the disabled, chess for refugees, for inmates, for kids with autism, and bringing chess to more women players,” FIDE President Arkadi Dvorkovitch told i24NEWS.

Chess, with a 1,500-year history, is now recognized as a sport that could possibly join the Paris 2024 Olympics.