World chess championship brings the best to Saudi Arabia

The world chess championship is taking place at the APEX Convention Center in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 29 December 2017
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World chess championship brings the best to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, which is being held at the iconic APEX Convention Center in Riyadh, is adding an exciting new dimension to sports in Saudi Arabia.
Grandmasters from 55 countries are competing under supervision of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).
Organized by the Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA), the event opened on Tuesday and will conclude on Saturday.
The venue has been turned into an Arabian mirage, with traditional red Saudi textiles and coverings, and a Bedouin tent with pillows and floor settings.
Arabic coffee is continuously served to eager visitors.
Female chess players are not required to wear abayas, but have opted to wear black or navy suits.
“It’s a well-represented championship, with all continents participating,” FIDE referee Jamie Kenmure told Arab News, commending the “very good turnout at this first world chess event in Saudi Arabia.”
Russian champion Vladimir Fedoseev told Arab News: “The organization committee gave the players a very comfortable and good atmosphere. Saudi Arabia may not have a long chess history, but with this tournament it’s on its way.”
England grandmaster Nigel D. Short told Arab News: “It’s a superbly organized event with exceptional arrangements. The playing hall is awesome, the prize money is fantastic, and the organizer has extended warm hospitality.” The championship “will mark a golden moment for Saudi sports,” he said.
Ukrainian player Kuzubov Yuriy told Arab News: “The tournament is excellent and will be a huge success. Its organization has been perfect.”
When asked if he would like to compete in the Kingdom again, he said: “Yes of course, the organizers have provided excellent conditions for the players.”
Saudi player Afnan Hassan was thrilled to enter the tournament, saying: “I’ve played chess since I was very young, but it’s my first time competing in a world championship.”
The opening ceremony was attended by the GSA’s chairman, FIDE’s CEO and deputy president, and the presidents of the Asian Chess Federation, the Confederation of Chess for Americas, and the Saudi Arabia Chess Federation.


Saudi university launches survey into the effects of women driving

Trainee Maria Al-Faraj practices changing a tire during a driving lesson at the Saudi Aramco Driving Center in Dhahran. Reuters/File
Updated 19 min 40 sec ago
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Saudi university launches survey into the effects of women driving

  • A scientific survey about cars and drivers is being distributed on social media outlets, targeting male and female citizens and residents
  • The data will be analyzed to help make recommendations to benefit the community and the interests of the country

JEDDAH: Researchers will observe and document the effects women driving in Saudi Arabia have on the economy, environment, community and traffic safety. It will also gather information about attitudes toward the change in the law, and the experience of women who get behind the wheel.
With the ban on women driving in the Kingdom due to be lifted on June 24, 2018, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in Dammam has launched a national study titled “The impact of women’s driving on sustainable development and traffic safety in the Kingdom.”
Researchers from the university, headed by Dr. Najah bint Moqbel Al-Qarawi, a professor of geography of transportation, will supervise the project in collaboration with a specialist team from the General Directorate of Traffic.
Al-Qarawi said that a scientific survey about cars and drivers is being distributed on social media outlets, targeting male and female citizens and residents from all parts of society, in cities and villages. The questionnaire will reveal how participants feel about the issue of women driving and the potential effects it will have.
It will also measure the extent of support for the move from men, while women will be asked about their means of transportation and the main problems they face. Women who want to drive will also be asked about driving, training, the process for getting a license, their fears and aspirations, and for suggestions that might make the process easier and more appealing.
The survey will be carried out in two stages, before and after women get behind the wheel.
The data will be analyzed to help make recommendations to benefit the community and the interests of the country.
Everyone who completes a survey will be entered in a draw to win one of several cars from Almajdouie car company.