Dubai: Ukrainian Ava Suleimanova was crowned champion as the Second FBMA Blitz Chess Tournament concluded at the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club Sports Hall late on Wednesday.
Held under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of FBMA, and President of the Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain Ladies Club, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Chess and Cultural Club, the tournament attracted a field of 85 players from 14 countries vying for a total prize fund of Dh25,000.
Suleimanova scored 8.5 points after nine rounds, while winning all her matches and earning just one draw against distinguished player, Zainab Al Maamari.
Turkmenistan’s Woman Grand Master (WGM) Mahri Geldiyeva claimed the runners-up spot with eight points, while UAE players Wafia Al Maamari, Rawda Al Serkal and Al Maamari were joint-third with seven points each.
Dr Mai Ahmed Al Jaber, Board Member at Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, promised to pay attention to increasing the number of competitions especially for women in the future. “We need more such events as that will get our women more engaged while having a positive and active role in society,” she said.
Naema Al Mansouri, another Board Member promised unstinted support for such activities. “We do everything we can for all participants, and this shows our objectives and strategies wherein the athlete becomes the centre of decision-making in society,” she said.
Hussain Al Khouri, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chess and Cultural Club, thanked all those responsible for a successful competition. “We appreciate the efforts put in by the academy in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club and the Abu Dhabi Chess Club to successfully organise the second edition of this tournament, that is the first one of its kind this year. We were surprised with the number of participants, especially after almost a year of suspension of all activities around the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Chess and Cultural Club is offering open training sessions for all levels and ages of players who want to learn and develop their chess skills. In an attempt to further assist residents and participants, the registration process can be carried out through the club’s website (abudhabichess.com).
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) is a non-profit Government entity in Abu Dhabi. Established in October 2010, the academy is headed by Sheikha Fatima with the goal of promoting and facilitating women’s sports in the UAE.