Saudi Arabia hosts chess championship

Updated 25 December 2017
0

Saudi Arabia hosts chess championship

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, the world chess championships kicks off on Tuesday at the APEX Convention Center with the participation of 400 international players.
The world’s top players, including the Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen, have arrived in the Saudi capital to take part. Chess is not very popular in the Kingdom but the Saudi Chess Federation aims to attract the Saudi youth to the game. It also hopes Saudi chess players will gain experience through meeting the international stars.
A sum of $2 million has been allocated for the prizes of the King Salman World Chess Championships, the highest in the history of the Chess Federation.
According to the championship timetable, the opening ceremony will be on Monday, while Tuesday will see rounds 1-5 of the Rapid category. Rounds 6-10 of the same category will be played on Wednesday at the same time.
On Thursday, Dec. 28, rounds 11-15 will be played to mark the conclusion of this class. Dec. 29 will be the first day of the Blitz category. Rounds 1-11 will be played on Friday. On the other day, the remaining rounds (12-21) of this category will be played at the same time. After that, the closing ceremony will held be at 8:30 pm.
The World Chess Federation has announced on its website that the dress code for the event will be dark blue or black formal suits, with white shirts, either open-necked or with a tie, for men and dark blue or black formal trouser suits with high-necked white blouses for women. The website added that there will be no need to wear a hijab or Abaya during the games.
Saudi champion Abdurrahman Al-Masrahi, along with Ahmed Al-Ghamdi and Emad Al-Habeeb, will join renowned champions including Magnus Carlsen, the highest-rated chess player in the world and World Champion in classical chess, the incumbent World Rapid and Blitz Champions — Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) — and more than 180 top grandmasters who have confirmed their participation.
Notable entries include world No. 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia, No. 3 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India.


Farasan Islands initiative launched to boost Saudi tourism

Updated 12 min 58 sec ago
0

Farasan Islands initiative launched to boost Saudi tourism

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has unveiled an initiative to develop the Farasan Islands in Jazan and turn them into a unique tourist destination as part of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program 2020.
The initiative seeks to take advantage of the distinct features of the islands, including their abundant coral reefs, captivating beaches, rich cultural heritage, pure waters, unique geographical location, mangrove forests, diverse marine species and rare animals and birds.
SCTH explained that the initiative includes plans for hotels, coastal resorts, marine activities, and recreational and heritage sites.
The initiative is expected to generate an annual revenue of SR531 million ($141 million), and attract 375,000 tourists per year to the islands.
1,760 hotel rooms will be made available and more than 6,200 jobs will be created.