Team Profile

Libya is building quite an impressive resume of chess activity. Under the leadership of FIDE's regional director (Nizar ElHaj), Libya has hosted a number of event including the 2004 African Junior Championship and the recent 2004 FIDE World Chess Championship.

The online coverage of the championship tournament was the best the chess world has seen and the government spared no expense in making it a memorable event. Hopefully, Libya will continue to patronize the growth of chess within the African region. Libya knows a bit about Olympiad events having been the host of the "parallel" Olympiad in 1976.

The country fielded four players in the FIDE championship and three of them are in Mallorca. What is interesting is that Libya has "stacked" their boards in reverse order of the rating. It will be interesting to see how this strategy will fare.

Nizar Elhaj, Mohammed Al Gadhafi and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov before the ceremonial 1st move of the championship. Photo courtesy of

Nizar Elhaj, Mohammed Al Gadhathi and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov before the ceremonial 1st move of the championship. (


Link (very useful!)

Drum Briefs

"FM Sunil Weeramantry: Reflections on Libya," 15 July 2004.

"2004 FIDE WCC - FIDE forges ahead with New Champ,"15 July 2004.

"2004 FIDE WCC - Rustam Kasimdzhanov wins FIDE Crown!" 13 July 2004.

"2004 FIDE WCC - Libya sets high standards for tournament," 9 July 2004.

"2004 FIDE WCC - providing excellent coverage!" 20 June 2004.

"2004 FIDE WCC -
All Chess Roads Lead to Tripoli, Libya," 6 June 2004.

2004 FIDE World Championship

2004 African Junior Championship