Egypt’s Shooting Club in Dokki celebrated Egypt’s Chess Open Championship, on 25 November.
The championship was established in this club.
There are around 370 chess players who participated, which makes this the largest level of participation in the championship. In previous championships, there were around 300 players on average.
Bassem Samir won the gold medal. He started playing chess when he was five years old, and his first international success was in 1999 when he won the Arab Championship in Cairo for Under 10s. Among his countless victories was also winning the Mediterranean Championship held in Greece in 2014.
Mohamed Abdel Rahman took second place. He began playing in 2005 and managed to win Africa’s Youth Championship in 2012 and also won the Arab Youth Championship in 2010.
Adham Kandil surprised the audience by grabbing third place. In the international championships he represents Egypt, playing for the group of under 14s. Kandil won the 2015 Arab Championship in Morocco and took second place in Africa’s Championship held in Tunisia and the Arab Championship in the UAE in 2014.
“Before I knew I won, my wish was to get 10th place at the most,” Kandil told Daily News Egypt.
Karim Wagih won seventh place. He won Africa’s Championship for Under 20s three consecutive times in 2009, 2010, and 2011. He won the Arab Championship for Under 20s in 2008, and the gold medal in the Arab Games in Qatar in 2011.
Wagih, Mohamed, and Samir agree that chess players in Egypt do not receive enough financial support from the Minister of Youth and Sports, which includes hiring a foreign trainers from countries qualified in chess, such as Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia.
They said this financial support is also needed to participate in international championships. Ahmed Adly, who won the World Championship for Under 20s, had to pay his own expenses and travelled without the company of a trainer for this championship.
Samir said in order to overcome this obstacle, he resorts to chess websites for practice and training.
Throughout Africa, Egyptian players have been champions for the past eight years, whether in terms of teams or individual players.
During the last Arab Championship for chess in Morocco, the majority of the medals were given to the Egyptian players. The UAE is considered one of the most challenging competitors to Egypt, since chess there is highly financed. The UAE easily hires international trainers from countries, such as Russia that has a long history in chess. Trainers and players from Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan are also highly qualified.
In Mediterranean countries, Egyptian chess player Mona Khaled won the gold medal in the 2015Mediterranean Championship. France and Italy are among the most challenging competitors for Egypt among Mediterranean countries.
Worldwide, Ahmed Adly won the World Championship for Chess for Under 20s. When it comes to world champions, Russia has always had the most talented players, such as Karpov and Kasparov. The US, Europe, and China have started to direct more attention to building their own players’ skill sets.
In terms of the importance of chess, and to improve its situation in Egypt, Head of the Shooting’s Club Chess Committee organisation Gamal Ammar, who is responsible for this championship, expressed his desire to broaden the game in Egypt, since it has many advantages.
“Many Egyptians over 80 years of age play chess. They do not suffer from Alzheimer, thanks to practicing this mental sport,” he said, noting that chess is not an expensive sport as a chess set costs only about EGP 50.
President of the Egyptian Chess Federation and Deputy President of the African Chess Union Hesham El-Gendy said they are willing to introduce chess in Egyptian schools.
“Around 70 countries worldwide teach chess in their schools such as Armenia, Russia, and Cuba. There is proof that chess helps students increase their grades and scores,” he said.
Egypt’s Chess Open Championship 2015’s overall ranking
|1st place under 16s||Marc Yasser|
|1st place under 14s||Khaled Mohamed Amin|
|1st place under 12s||Ahmed Tamer|
|Oldest player participating||Mohamed Abdel Rahman|
|Youngest player participating||Geny Gaser|
|1st place (women)||Mayadaa Al-Gohary|
|Gold Medal||Bassem Samir|
|Silver medal||Abdelrahman Mohamed|
|Bronze medal||Adham Kandil|
|4th place||Aly Yassin|
|5th place||Nehad Niazi|
|6th place||Mohsen Gabr|
|7th place||Karim Wagih|
|8th place||Aly Farahat|
|9th place||Amer Hussien|
|10th place||Abdallah Ezzat|
|11th place||Mohsen Elgabry|
|12th place||Mohamed Youssry|
|13th place||Mahmoud Roshdy|
|14th place||Sayed Barakat|
|15th place||Sameh Sadek|