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Abu Dhabi, FIDE make opening move on 2028 Chess Olympiad

Abu Dhabi, FIDE make opening move on 2028 Chess Olympiad
6 May 2024 13:16

KUUMAR SHYAM (ABU DHABI)

The president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) has expressed his marvel at Abu Dhabi and UAE in extension of their capabilities to host world-class events. His remarks came at Al Hudayriat island in the capital after formalising the agreement to host the 47th Chess Olympiad in 2028, as reported first by Aletihad in December.

"It is no secret that whatever happens in this part of the world is at a grand scale, and we are very confident that Abu Dhabi will host a multi-country event such the Olympiad very successfully," said Arkady Dvorkovich, the FIDE boss, with an air of confidence.

Abu Dhabi beat Genoa in the final round of electronic voting last year with 96 votes to 60 for the Italian city. The Emirate will also host the fourth Olympics for People of Determination and the 98th FIDE Congress in the year of Olympics.

Dvorkovich also hoped that the UAE will shine a light in Asia's dominance in the sport in the coming years.

December's winning bid was prepared by the local chess authorities and Abu Dhabi Sports Council with Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre proposed as a venue, although there was no official confirmation to that when officials attended the contract signing ceremony.

In attendance were Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Shakhbout Al Nahyan, president of the Asian Chess Federation and Al Ain Chess and Mind Games Club, Sheikh Khalid bin Humaid Al Qasimi, president of the Arab Chess Federation and Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, His Excellency Taryam Matar Taryam, president of UAE Chess Federation, His Excellency Hussein Abdullah Al Khouri and Aref Ismail Al Khouri, president and vice president of the Abu Dhabi Chess and Mind Games Club.

Dvorkovich said: "We are proud to return again to the UAE after the 1986 edition, which was held in Dubai. The level of development in this country is amazing, and everything is new and very comfortable. We are confident that Abu Dhabi will be an exceptional opportunity for us around the Olympics."

The tournament, which will be held over two weeks, is expected to witness the participation of 200 federations in the male category, 160 in the female category, and 80 in the People of Determination category. Each team in these categories will consist of four main players and a reserve player.

"The Olympiad is our biggest event," said Dvorkovich, "and we set some very high standards in accepting bids. Before the final stages, Serbia and African countries were interested. We [FIDE] look at infrastructure and administrative abilities, logistics, management capacities, history ... all these are important in making the choice. Infrastructure and logistics are very important and these are stronger in Asian countries. That is why we are looking at Abu Dhabi as premier destination in Asia." The previous edition was held in Chennai, India.

Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Shakhbout Al Nahyan appreciated the support of the wise leadership for the sports sector and athletes, noting that the upcoming Chess Olympiad will receive great interest from all parties, and will benefit from Abu Dhabi's experience in hosting major international events. He added that the Olympiad will witness exciting competitions among all participants, expressing his confidence that the UAE national team will achieve advanced positions.

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