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Salalah emerge champions in club chess championship

Build-up for World Amateur Chess Championship in November


The sixth edition of Oman General Clubs Chess Championship concluded with an exhilarating display of skill and strategy. Salalah Club (A) secured the championship title at the main hall of the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher after eight days of intense competition among 28 teams representing 22 clubs.

The event, held under the patronage of Mohammed bin Hamad al Shueili, Deputy Head of the Support Unit at Asyad Group, and Ahmed bin Darwish al Balushi, Chairman of the Oman Chess Committee, committee members, parents and club representatives were present to witness the climax of this enthralling competition.

Salalah Club's triumph in the ninth round secured them the coveted championship title, reclaiming their position after their defeat in the fifth edition to Masairah Club. Ibri Club (A) demonstrated their prowess by securing the runners-up position and Masairah Club seized third place, rounding off the top three positions.

Mohammed al Shueili and Ahmed al Balushi honoured the winners for outstanding performances of both teams and individual players. Salalah Club (A) was honoured with the championship title and gold medals, while Ibri Club earned silver medals for their second-place finish. Masairah Club (A) claimed the third place with bronze medals. The competition also acknowledged the efforts of Salalah Club (B) and Masirah Club (B) who secured fourth and fifth places, respectively.

World Amateur Chess in November

Following the crowning ceremony, Mohammed al Shueili, stressed the importance of the championship in invigorating the game across various clubs in Oman.

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He praised the extensive club’s participation, noting, " the honourable rivalry displayed in this game that aids players' intellectual and concentration development."

The championship featured diverse player categories, encompassing youth and adults. Notably, foreign professional players joined the event for the first time. The OCC and participants underlined the importance of this inclusion, which elevates competition and boosts the global ranking of local players. Al Shueili commended clubs' contributions in supporting the game, particularly as Oman prepares to host the World Amateur Chess Championship in November, an opportunity to train national team players and prepare for forthcoming contests.

Ahmed al Balushi, lauded the championship's high skill level, affirming, "We express gratitude that the championship was successful. Clubs' preparations, combined with the recruitment of professional, national and foreign players, amplified competition and yielded an impressive performance standard." He clarified that the addition of foreign professionals positively influenced the international ranking of Omani players, thereby enhancing their position.

The championship format included four primary players and one substitute player from each participating club. Notably, select clubs were allowed to incorporate foreign professional players, raising the level of competition and enriching the experience for both players and spectators. The championship registered 14 professional players representing seven clubs from India, Egypt, Jordan, the Philippines, Turkey, and Yemen.

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The championship employed a classic chess league format across 9 rounds, granting each player 90 minutes with an additional 30 seconds per move. The event offered a genuine platform for respectful competition among clubs, facilitating the advancement of local players, particularly in the general category. This progression aimed to secure elevated positions in international rankings, cultivate experience and foster the trust of national team coaches. The ultimate goal is to uncover promising players and integrate them into national squads, in preparation for representing Oman in upcoming international tournaments. Among these, the World Amateur Chess Championship, scheduled for November in Muscat, stands out. The committee aims to involve a substantial number of Omani players to attain improved international standings and accolades.

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