Saudi woman emerges victorious at chess tournament in Riyadh

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A Saudi woman chess player has emerged victorious in the Kingdom Chess Championship, which was held in Riyadh during the last five days.

Dalia al-Shamry, who was among 300 participants, has been playing chess since she was 10 years old.


Al-Shamry told Al Arabiya she learnt the tricks of the game from her father who was passionate about chess. “He was always keen to make me play games that foster intellectual and personal skills, like Sudoku.”

Al-Shamry said she started professional practice for the championship a year ago. “I joined tournaments like Jeddah Chess Championship, in which I won the first place, and qualified for The Kingdom Chess Championship.”

This was the first time that the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Olympic Center witnessed participation of female chess players.

Commenting on this experience, al-Shamry said: “It was a dream of mine to participate in the first chess tournament. Among 30 female contestants, I won the first place.”

Calm and focused

She said she believes a chess player should be focused, calm and able to resolve problems.

“A player has to think carefully and strategically of the moves before playing as winning the tournament depends on the accumulation of points,” al-Shamry said.

The female player not only practices the game for three hours daily with family members, she also plays chess on the internet.

“Saudi women are able to succeed in various fields including sports. So, after those fields became available to females, all they need to do is work hard and follow their dreams,” Al-Shamry said.

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