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

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.

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

Updated 13 November 2019

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

  • Organizers promise this year’s line-up of international stars at Diriyah event will be bigger than ever

RIYADH: The first of the major international music acts that will perform at the Diriyah E-Prix this month will be announced on Wednesday.

There were incredible scenes at the event last year when David Guetta, One Republic, the Black Eyed Peas, Amr Diab, Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo rocked the UNESCO World Heritage site. About 40,000 fans flocked to the Diriyah Circuit, on the outskirts of Riyadh, for the after-race concerts, the first unsegregated music events in Saudi Arabia

The stage is set for even bigger and better things this year, with the promise of another two nights of unmissable music on Nov. 22 and 23 as the E-Prix racing returns.

“If you were one of the 40,000 who were lucky enough to be part of that watershed moment (last year) for the Kingdom, believe me, you have not seen anything yet,” said Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Faisal Al-Saud, chairman of the General Sports Authority.

“Last year we told people before we announced (the acts) they should get their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Once we revealed who was coming, the tickets sold out incredibly quickly. This year will be the same but even bigger, so for music fans who want to enjoy the biggest concerts in Saudi Arabia, the smart move is to get your ticket now.”

The Diriyah E Prix kicks off the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s premier all-electric motorsport series, with a double header of races. It also marks the start of Diriyah Season, a month of sport, entertainment, art, cultural festivities, food and retail experiences. Tickets for the Diriyah E Prix, which include entry to the after-race concerts, are available at