Dubai: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Honorary President of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, recently hosted an awards ceremony and gala dinner to honour members of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club who have won accolades in various national and international competitions.
Saud Al Abdul Aziz, Secretary General of the Association of National Olympic Committees, and Ebrahim Abdul Malek, Secretary-General of the UAE’s General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, joined Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Dubai Sports Council, in distributing the awards during the ceremony and gala dinner held at the club last Tuesday. They were joined by Ebrahim Al Bannai, head of the Arab Chess Federation and Chairman of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, and Hussein Al Shamsi, representative of the President of the UAE Federation of Chess.
Saud Al Abdul Aziz said the club deserves recognition for putting Dubai and the UAE on the global chess map through its extensive player development programmes and hosting prestigious international tournaments such as the annual Dubai Chess Open Championship, which will be held from April 5 to 16.
The awardees were led by Sultan Ebrahim, who recently won the gold medal in the Under-18 category of this year’s Arab Age Group Championships, Dubai’s top female chess player Amna No’man, who led Dubai to the gold medal in last month’s UAE National Women’s Team Championship, and Ahmad Farid, who won the Under-16 bronze medal at the Arab Age Group Championships.
Also honoured at the event were Othman Moussa, Najib Saleh, Suhail Tayyib, Nabil Saleh and Saeed Ishaq, who won the gold medal at the UAE Rapid Team Championship.
Moussa and Ishaq were also recognised for winning this year’s UAE Rapid Chess Championship and UAE Blitz Chess Championship titles respectively.
Others who received awards were Shaimaa Numan, Bashaer Khalil, Mariam Eisa, Yasmin Ali, Aisha Jehad, Hind Faraj, Alia Ali Rashid, Shammah, Musa and Jawaher Obaid.
Shaikh Hamdan also recognised the management and coaches of the club led by Managing Director Mohammad Husseiny.
The coaching staff who were awarded were senior coach Grandmaster Elmar Magerramov and Women Grandmaster Olena Nachrisova, Sabri Mahaar and International Master Bashir Qudaimi. Shaikh Hamdan also cited the contributions of Yahya Mohammad Saleh, Development and Planning Manager, Saeed Yousuf, Players Development Officer, Ibtisam Muhyiddin, Administrative Officer, and Ahmad Barakat, Administrative Officer.
“We are grateful to Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Honorary President of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, for being a gracious patron of the club and for his invaluable support to our programmes,” said Al Bannai.