Emirati grandmaster wins Riyadh chess championship

Salem Saleh, who is ranked 59th in world, beat more than 100 competitors to take $80,000 prize

The UAE's Salem Saleh celebrates winning the Riyadh Calendar Chess Championship. Wam
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The UAE's Salem Saleh has won the Riyadh Calendar Chess Championship.

The two-day event was held at the weekend by Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority‎ in ‎co-operation with the Saudi Chess Federation.

Mr Saleh, 30, who is ranked 59th in the world and is a Grandmaster, won 300,000 Saudi riyals ($80,000), after his victory over nine rounds.

The Arab chess prodigy started winning professional championships aged only 10, and was named a Grandmaster by the International Chess Federation when he was 16.

Mr Saleh's areas of expertise encompass classical chess, speed chess and blitz chess, all of which have different rules and require different skill sets.

Bassem Amin and Fawzi Adham from Egypt, also Grandmasters, came second and third in the competition, respectively — with prize money of 200,000 Saudi riyals for second place and 100,000 Saudi riyals for third.

Cash prizes were awarded for up to the 10th position, totalling 800,000 Saudi riyals.

Ahmed Al Mehmadi, vice president for marketing and communication of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority, and Abdullah Al Wahshi, president of the Saudi Chess Federation, presented the prizes.

The competition attracted more than 100 ‎players from Saudi ‎Arabia and abroad.

Updated: March 20, 2023, 6:41 AM