The United Arab Emirates Chess Federation

The United Arab Emirates Chess Federation or UAECF was formed in October of 1976 as the primary chess organization of the UAE. The federation’s main goal was to spread and develop the game of chess game as a mental and cultural sport all over the country.

One of the most notable accomplishments of the United Arab Emirates Chess Federation was joining in the chess event at the opposite Olympiad. This event, which was held in Libya, was an opposition of sorts to the FIDE organization of the chess Olympiad in Israel in 1976. In the Israel Olympiad, none of the Arab nations agreed to participate. The turnout of the opposite Olympiad came out surprisingly well, with 45 nations joining in.

The UAECF finally became a member of FIDE in 1977. Shortly after the country’s induction into the federation, the game of chess grew rapidly in popularity across all of the Emirates, and numerous chess clubs were established in Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah Ajman, and Al-Ain.

It was in 1991 that the Sharjah women chess club was established and in the year 2000, another women’s chess club was affiliated with the Dubai chess club. These clubs would later turn out to play an important role in the discovery and training of young chess players in the UAE, with many of the best players subsequently being chosen for the national teams. In the national teams, players were trained under the direct supervision of the head coach of the United Arab Emirates Chess Federation.

Major Achievements of the United Arab Emirates Chess Federation

In the world Championship U-14, which was held in Mexico in 1979, 12 year old Saeed Ahmed Saeed was billed as the “Son of Emirates” bested the competition, and as a resulted was able to achieve international recognition. This marked the first such sport achievement for the United Arab Emirates, and brought the level of chess excellence in the country to widespread international attention. Saeed Ahmed Saeed would later return to the public eye two years later in 1981, and his unique skill was again made apparent by his triumphant victory over the competition in the world title U-14. Saeed was then widely hailed by the Arab media as “The Arab computer”.

The United Arab Emirates Chess Federation and The Arab Chess Federation

The UAECF is actually a member federation of the Arab Chess Federation, which includes 17 member nations that are members of the Arab League as well. Established in July 27, 1975 in Damascus, Syria, the federation was formed with the motto "Arab as one Nation/Pan Arabism" in mind. The Arab Chess Federation’s was formed during the presidency of Nahed El Khany.

The current president of the Arab Chess Federation is Ibrahim Mohammed El-Bannay. Its official representatives are Abd-Ul-Malik Arafat for Jordan, Mohammed Ali El-Mehrezy for Tunisia, Hossam El-Din Menaqly for Syria, Rashid El-Rahmany for Kuwait, Mohammed Mourad Soukar for Lebanon, Mohammed Shokry Shahin for Libya, and Ellowa Ismail Mekkey for Egypt.