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The largest chess club in the World in Sharjah (UAE)
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.

A view of Sharjah Chess Club

The chess club was built in the same style as other buildings in the city

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.

Cultural Center of Sharjah

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

The backyard of the club where the buildings of drivers and buses are located. Every day drivers bring children and coaches to the club

This is how the territory looked like before the chess club was built – pure desert. In this territory next to the building of the club the government plans to make the football field for children. Good physical preparation is a part of success of any chess player!

The largest playing hall in the club which can host more than 500 players

Another hall where 200 players can play

After the chess lessons children used to play here as well

One of the chess coaches Sohib Okla shows some puzzles on the screen

Around 200 children attend the chess club and all of them are boys. The club for girls is going to be built soon nearby. In UAE there is the compulsory schooling for all children aged 6 to 12, with boys and girls being taught separately. At the same time girls and boys can compete together during the chess tournaments

GM Dimitri Komarov, coach of Sharjah Chess Club, who became also famous as commentator of the World Rapid and Blitz Championship, held in Dubai on June 2014

Library with chess and non-chess books

Few chess games with computer

Gigantic chess set for the crowd

Regional Office of FIDE is located on the second floor of the club. FIDE President was one of the honorable guests on the opening ceremony of the Sharjah Chess Club


VIP room for VIP guests

A picture of the member of the club and top-rated player in UAE GM Salem, A.R. Saleh (2591)

Salem A.R. Saleh during the World Blitz Championship, where he showed 2690 performance and climbed from 89 starting rank to 33 place. He scored 100% in the last four rounds crushing four higher rated GM, including Sergey Karjakin.

The President of the Sharjah cultural and chess club Sheikh Saud Al Mualla with his daughter Fatma next to the game between local hero Salem A.R. Saleh and Vishwanatan Anand

Rajai N Alsusi, General Manager of Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club

Pupils and trainers
© FIDE Grand Prix 2014    |    |