Honorary Doctorate amidst playing a pivotal role in elevating the chess scene globally

EIU-Paris proudly confers the Honorary Doctorate in Business Management upon Abdullah Salem Al Wahshi. Acknowledging his excellence and strategic leadership, Mr. Al Wahshi, CEO of the Asian Chess Federation, has significantly impacted the global chess community. EIU honors his extensive experience and accomplishments, a testament to national and international success.

Abdullah Salem Al Wahshi has played a pivotal role in elevating the chess scene in Saudi Arabia. Here are some of his key contributions:

  • Leadership: As the President of the Saudi Chess Federation since 2018 and CEO of the Asian Chess Federation, he has provided strong leadership and strategic direction for chess development in the country.
  • Increased participation: He has overseen a significant rise in chess participation in Saudi Arabia, with the number of registered players growing from around 2,000 in 2018 to over 100,000 in 2023. This growth is attributed to various initiatives like organizing more tournaments, establishing chess clubs in schools and universities, and promoting chess through social media.
  • Organizing major tournaments: Under his leadership, Saudi Arabia has hosted several prestigious chess tournaments, including the World Rapid & Blitz Championships 2023 in Riyadh, which was the largest chess event ever held in the Middle East. These events have helped to attract international attention to chess in Saudi Arabia and raise the profile of the country’s players.
  • World Rapid & Blitz Championships 2023 in Riyadh
  • Supporting players: He has implemented various programs to support and train Saudi chess players, including providing financial assistance, coaching, and opportunities to compete in international tournaments. This has led to the emergence of several talented young players, such as Ahmed Al-Harthi, who achieved the title of International Master in 2022.
  • International recognition: His efforts have been recognized by the international chess community. In 2022, Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to be awarded a seat on the advisory board of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Overall, Abdullah Salem Al Wahshi’s vision and leadership have played a key role in transforming the chess landscape in Saudi Arabia. He has helped to make chess a more popular and accessible sport, and has laid the foundation for future success for Saudi chess players on the international stage.

 The Asian Chess Federation under the leadership of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Chess Federation and CEO of the Asian Chess Federation, Abdullah bin Salem Al-Wahshi, has taken the sport to the next level. Recently in Aug 2023 he had the honour of crowning the top three winners. Egyptian player Sameh Sadeq secured first place, followed by Saudi player Ahmed Al-Harthi in second place, and Egyptian player Abdulrahim Jamal claimed third place.

The Makkah Chess Championship is part of a series of events organized by amateur clubs represented by the Saudi Chess Club. These events are supervised by the National Portal for Hobbies (Hawi) with the goal of developing the hobby sector, an important aspect of Saudi Vision 2030. This initiative also aims to support amateur clubs in the region in collaboration with the Saudi and Asian Chess Federations and the host, Umm Al-Qura University. Such events contribute significantly to expanding the base of chess players and enabling individuals of different ages to pursue their hobbies.

submitted by Tina Yang EIU-Paris on 18.01.2024

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