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Salem Abdul Rahman crowned Asia’s Chess Champion

Salem Abdul Rahman crowned a champion of Asia’s Chess Championship in the individual men category,  which closed yesterday at Al Ain Club for Culture and Chess, achieving a milestone unprecedented in UAE Chess,  in the Tournament which was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan the Chairman of the Board of Abu Dhabi Sports, in cooperation with the chess Federation, and the supervision of the AFC for the game, as Salem qualified for this achievement to represent Asia in the World Cup, which kicks off next month in Azerbaijan finals.

Salem won the title on Asia’s Chess after the draw in the last round in front of his rival grand master Indian Fidet Santosh, with international rating of 2644, thus raising Salem’s tally to seven points, by which winning first place deservedly through six wins and two draws, in the tournament which was attended by 172 players from 32 Asian countries. The rest of the results resulted in the international Indian Professor Ganguly coming in second with seven points, while came in from third to fifth place with 6.5 points each from the two Indians Satoraman and Santosh, the Chinese Jianchao, due to the qualification of Salem Abdul Rahman and the Indian Satoraman to the next World Cup, it was decided that the five players to represent the Asian continent in the World Cup, will be the Indian trio Ganguly, Santosh and Lalith Babu, the Chinese Jianchao and the Iranian Parham Mqsodlo.

For his part, the champion Salem Abdul Rahman confirmed that he’s honored to gift this golden achievement to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi and particularly to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and  that’s in recognition and gratitude for his support and encouragement during his career, especially in the last eight years, since his words were always an incentive to him during tournaments, and in critical times, which require the resolve and determination to accomplish the achievement for the country.  The «Golden Boy» stated in the press that he appreciates and values ​​his father’s efforts, the international player Abdulrahman Mohammed Saleh, who taught him the game, treated him as a friend and gave him valuable advice during his Chess career, he also appreciated the support of his chess champion brothers Abdullah and Jassim.

Hisham Tahir the Secretary General of the Asian Federation, and the tournament director and head of the technical staff of the Federation of Chess, congratulates all the associates of UAE sport on this unprecedented historic achievement, which is considered the strongest in the history of men’s chess on this level, he thanked all those who contributed in this achievement, beginning with the player himself, in addition to the efforts of the coaches who led the training, as well as the Sharjah Cultural Chess Club management, and Sharjah Sports Council, and the efforts of officials of the Federation of Chess, and wishing success to Salem’s colleagues In all age groups, both in the sport of chess or other sports, to raise the banner of UAE in various international forums.

On the other hand,  Asian Chess Championship for individual begins today «Alblitz» for men and women, followed by the closing ceremony and the crowning of champions at seven o’clock in the evening. The competitions of the Asian championships include six competitions, including classical, rapid competitions and swift for men and women, in the classic championship each player gets 90-minute of thinking time for the first 40 moves, then half an hour for each player for the rest of the game, with the addition of 30 seconds for each move from the beginning of the match. In contrast the classical championship held nine rounds, according to the Swiss system.

Al Ain «Lucky Charm» for the «Golden Boy»

The city of Al Ain, the capital of the Asian Chess, holds a special place with the Champion Salem Abdul Rahman who confirmed that he’s optimistic a lot playing in the city of Al Ain, since he saw Salem win the golden medal in the Asian Championship under 14 years of age in «Dar Al Zain»2007 , and then winning the singles gold medal in the Asian Club Championship in 2014, then the trio was complete when Salem won Asia’s gold medal for men in 2015, and qualified for the World Cup.

Championship records

The Tournament smashed a number of records, for the number of  players and participating countries, which amounted to 172 players from 32 countries, as well as six referees participation for the first time in the continental championship at such a high level, as well as the tournament saw the participation of the youngest player in the history of the Asian Championship for Women, which was the nine year old player from Turkmenistan, Bagul Aazezova, the AFC and the Supreme Organizing Committee intensified the media coverage, news and images of the Championship on the social network «Facebook», «Instagram» and «YouTube», interviews were published with the most prominent champions and contenders for the championship titles, as it was characterized by unprecedented media coverage, both locally and continental, the most prominent of this continental event in the calendar of the Asian Chess Federation.

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