Doha, 1 February 2023 - Qatar Chess Association (QCA) President Mohammed Al Madhahka expressed his confidence on successful hosting of this year’s Qatar Masters, a premier chess tournament which will return to the country after a break of eight years.
The event will be competed by elite players including Norway’s grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, who is the reigning five-time World Chess Champion, four-time World Rapid Chess Champion and six-time World Blitz Chess Champion.
The event, scheduled for October 10 – 20, will carry a total prize fund of $110,000 with $25,000 for the winner.
In an interview with QNA, Al Madhahka said QCA managed to bring the tournament after great effort due to busy International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) calendar.
Al Madhahka said this year’s tournament will be held on a larger scale than the 2014 and 2015 editions of Qatar Masters, hoping the presence of top players will make it a highly successful event.
He said the preparations are underway organisationally, logistically and technically, saying QCA will leave no stone unturned to make this event an unprecedented success.
He said there are many options for the venue including Aspire Zone and Lusail Multipurpose Hall that may host the eagerly-awaited competition.
Al Madhahka added Qatar Masters will grab a lot of attention as the event will take place after the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 and will be followed by the launch of the European Chess Clubs Cup and the FIDE Grand Prix, which carry points for World Championship qualification.
The QCA has been hosting several tournaments this season and Al Madhahka said the staging of such tournaments is part of association’s specific strategy, aiming to develop the game at the Arab, Asian and international levels.
Optimistic about the future of the game in Qatar, Al Madhahka said the Qatar national chess team will compete in the Arab Chess Championship in Khartoum from Feb. 25 to March 5, followed by an international tournament in Iraq.
Al Madhahka who first took over the presidency of the QCA in the General Assembly elections for the 2018-2020 term, said that Qatar maintained its presence in the FIDE Executive Office, with Jo Shen holding the position of financial secretary.
Al Madhahka was elected as Executive Director for International Relations and Hamad Al Tamimi as a Competitions Committee member.
He also unveiled a national plan to develop the game within schools in a bid to inject new blood in the near future, highlighting the recent local tournaments held in cooperation with some partners, especially the Public Cultural Village (Katara), and Abdullah Abdul Ghani Company.