Your move, ladies: World chess queen calls for women to get on board

Susan Polgar, the five-time Olympic champion, played against 10 international opponents simultaneously in a two-hour exhibition — and beat them all. (KAUST photo)
Updated 26 January 2018

Your move, ladies: World chess queen calls for women to get on board

JEDDAH: The first woman to break the gender barrier in chess has challenged Saudi women to take up the game.
“Chess is available for everyone,” the Hungarian-American grandmaster Susan Polgar told Arab News. “It doesn’t limit your dress code and your physical strength doesn’t matter. Gender or age are not limitations.”
Polgar, 48, was speaking at an event at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, where she played against 10 international opponents simultaneously in a two-hour exhibition — and beat them all.
The grandmaster, who was ranked the world’s top female chess player at the age of 15, challenged a Russian grandmaster herself when she was 4 years old. She lost — but it was a memorable and educational experience. “Hopefully, I will give the same pleasant lifetime memories to my opponents here, regardless of the result,” she said.
Polgar’s visit comes a few weeks after the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz chess championship in late December, which she described as “a fantastic opportunity.”
“It is fortunate that the government decided to understand the value of chess and support it with the championship last year. This is a chance for all Saudis, including women.”
Polgar, a five-time Olympic champion, believes chess teaches people to be objective and to look at both sides of the coin. “I think a shortcoming in society is that people think too much only from their point of view and don’t look at the whole picture or from the other side’s perspective,” she said.
Entering the male-dominated world of chess was challenging, but it did not deter Polgar. She paved the way for other female chess players by becoming the first woman to qualify for the Men’s World Chess Championship. Initially, she was not allowed to enter, but the World Chess Federation changed its policy to include women.
“I think there are still very few women playing chess and, therefore, there are only a few good women players. If you go to a chess club, you will see that about 90-100 percent of members are men,” she said. Specialized women’s championships can be empowering “as some women don’t feel socially comfortable in the environment — being one of the very few women in a room full of men.”


KSRelief dispatches help for Lebanese medical teams treating explosion victims 

Updated 05 August 2020

KSRelief dispatches help for Lebanese medical teams treating explosion victims 

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has assisted Lebanese medical teams treating victims of the Beirut explosion on Tuesday.

Emergency teams from the Souboul Al Salam Relief Team, which is funded by KSRelief, went from north of Lebanon to Beirut to support medical teams on the ground. 

Another team from Al-Amal Medical Center, also funded by KSRelief, provided emergency health care services and started a blood donation campaign to meet the demand of Beirut hospitals.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

The prime minister of Lebanon, which is already struggling with an economic crisis and battling COVID-19, has made a desperate plea for help following Tuesday’s deadly explosions.
Kuwait said it has delivered medical aid and other essentials by a military plane on Wednesday morning.
The World Health Organization and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies were sending 40 tonnes of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment to Beirut on a flight paid for by Dubai-based International Humanitarian City, a hub for humanitarian emergency preparedness and response, a WHO representative said.
"We are offering medical trauma kits and surgical kits containing things such as syringes, bandages and surgical gowns," said Nevien Attalla, operations manager for the WHO's Dubai hub.

*With agencies