On the occasion of the Arab Chess Championship held in Khartoum, a FIDE delegation headed by its President Arkady Dvorkovich paid a visit to Sudan.
These trips share a common goal: opening doors to state officials and securing their support for our National Chess Federations. This task has always been a priority in the presidency of Arkady Dvorkovich.
The FIDE delegation was received by H.E. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (pictured above), Vice-president of the Republic of Sudan. This was followed by a meeting with the Secretary General of the Sudan Olympic Committee, Prof. Mahmoud Elsir Mohamed Taha (pictured below). The focus of these meetings was to discuss practical agreements that could ensure institutional support towards various chess activities.
“I had promised to visit the country, and now I am pleased to see that our meetings will bring tangible results. Governmental officials have already asked the Sudan federation to provide their development plans for further support,” said the FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich.
The next meetings on the agenda were the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education. Both expressed their interest in hosting Continental and Arab Youth events in the country, as well as introducing chess in education, recognising its value in developing the cognitive and social skills of chess in children.
Hazar Abdel-Rasoul, Minister of Youth and Sports (pictured above), attended both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Arab Championships. In her speech, after welcoming the FIDE delegation to her country, she emphasised the role of the chess championship in strengthening the ties between the ministry, national chess federation and international organisations. “Sports is not only about competition, it is about building relationships. This championship has made us a close family,” said the minister.
The FIDE delegation was also invited by the Ministry of Sports to visit the construction of the “Sports City”. It was decided that this major sports infrastructure project, currently under development, will include a brand new Chess Academy, which aims at getting recognition as FIDE certified academy once it starts operating.
The Sudan Olympic Committee expressed its appreciation towards FIDE as a great partner promoting the Olympic values and highlighted the recent news of chess being included as one of the nine online sports included in the IOC Olympic Esports Series 2023.
Omar Abdalla Omer Deab, President of the Sudanese Chess Federation, made a very positive balance of the visit: “The Arab Chess Championship brought almost 70 players from 19 countries to Sudan. And with President’s Dvorkovich visit, the event and the whole chess community of Sudan got full attention, allowing us to present our achievements and further plans to officials and society.”
FIDE Vice President Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla acknowledged the organisational level of the Arab Chess Championship: “The Sudanese Chess Federation has demonstrated a professional attitude and certainly deserves an opportunity to organise further chess competitions of the Arab Chess Federation.”
Dana Reizniece-Ozola, FIDE Deputy Chair of Management Board, Tshepiso Lopang, President of the African Chess Confederation (ACC), and Sami Khader, FIDE Chair of Trainers Commission, explored the country’s chess initiatives giving lectures to women players and school children, as well as informing organisers, arbiters and trainers on capacity building opportunities provided by FIDE and the ACC.
“We shall work together to open up opportunities for the future life champions with the help of chess, but it is already worth mentioning two immediate results: ‘New Horizon Chess Academy’ will apply for FIDE endorsement, and an agreement has been achieved that Sudan will be represented at the 3rd Online Chess Championship for Prisoners,” noted Dana Reizniece-Ozola.
The Arab Chess Championship in Khartoum came to an end yesterday with a convincing victory of Al Khatib Ahmad from Jordan in the Open section, and Lina Nassr from Algeria in the Women’s section. You can read a dedicated report at this link.