Over 200 chess players from 17 countries taking part in Saudi chess tournament

The tournament will be played in nine rounds according to the Swiss System. (SPA)
Updated 16 March 2019
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Over 200 chess players from 17 countries taking part in Saudi chess tournament

  • The tournament is open to men and women, with a total cash prize of $40,000

HAIL: The first Hail International Rapid Chess Championship, organized by the Saudi Chess Federation and the Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry, started Friday under the patronage of Hail Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saad bin Abdul Aziz.
More than 200 local and international chess players from 17 countries are participating in the four-day tournament.
The governor of Hail said the event was the outcome of government efforts to engage all provinces.
“The Kingdom is making great strides in organizing various international events with participation from around the world, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is continuously pushing the country forward to occupy a distinguished position in every international sphere. We aspire for the success of these opportunities and hope that they all contribute to Hail’s success.”
The tournament will be played in nine rounds according to the Swiss System, whereby players are never eliminated but are instead paired in every round against someone with the same or similar number of points in the tournament. The winner is the player who earns the most points by the end of the tournament.
Abdullah bin Marzouq Al-Adim, vice chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers and chairman of the Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the idea for the championship was suggested by a Hail local. He added that more than 14 international champions, including some from Hail, were taking part. “The participation of local champions is in itself a gain for the province. The Hail International Rapid Chess Championship was adopted by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to occupy a place in the international calendar.”
He thanked the governor for his support.
The tournament is open to men and women, with a total cash prize of $40,000, according to information posted on the World Chess Federation website.


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 7 min 42 sec ago
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Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.