Interesting story from Bahrain
2009 Arcapita Open (Manama, Bahrain)
There was an interesting story on ChessBase about the Arcapita International Open in Bahrain. It appears many parts of the world are moving forth with their development plans in chess. I actually traveled to Bahrain in 2002 before Kramnik’s match with Deep Fritz. There was a club there on the second floor of a restaurant. It was where the match was played. I played a few games against the national champion Zeyad Janahi. He came out ahead… I was literally a tourist anyway. 😉
What is interesting about this new venue for chess in Bahrain is the amount of support it apparently has. Manama, the capitol of Bahrain, is a nice city and I was able to drive on the causeway until we got to the border checkpoint to enter Saudi Arabia. We went up in the tower and look over the Persian Gulf and over the border checkpoint into Saudi Arabia.
I believe that the Middle East will be the next boom in chess and perhaps African players should try competing there if they cannot make it to Europe. The downside… cost. When I went to Bahrain, it was $US1.00=.375 dinar. Arab nations are famous of hospitality and perhaps they can offer conditions to titled players. It’s a great place to visit and play chess!
Bahraini National Museum
Ritual of Bahraini Wedding (ancient photos)
The washroom of the mosque where Muslims wash before prayer.
Zeyad Janahi playing Daaim Shabazz
while IM Imed Abdelnabbi of Egypt observed.
Not sure if this is a giant kids’ store or a place for amusement and games, but children are considered precious in the Arab world and no quarter is spared for their happiness.
University of Bahrain
Bahrain is an interesting place… stunning architecture! There is a U.S. military base there. I would not have imagined that would have such extensive chess coverage in the newspaper. The chess club where Vladimir Kramnik played Deep Fritz didn’t have many players, but when I got to Bahrain, I contacted the club and they got me in touch with the Zeyad Janahi (above). Looks like Bahrain has come a long way.