Grandmaster Judith Polgar opens World School Chess Tournament at Expo 2020 Dubai

DUBAI, 25 November 2021 – The World School Chess Tournament was opened by the best international woman player in history, Judith Polgar, at Expo 2020 Dubai, as she moved the first piece across three tables.

Running until Monday 29 November, and featuring 108 young chess players from 10 countries grouped in 12 teams, the young participants are the finalists of the one-year event, which involved 2,600 contestants from more than 54 countries.

Among the 108 players are two of the world’s most promising chess prodigies: 16-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and 15-year-old Dommaraju Gukesh, both from India.

The event was inaugurated by Jose Andrés Torres Mora, Commissioner General of the Spain Pavilion, who said: “Unlike other sports, the loser in chess is the one who learns more than the winner, and we are lucky to have with us today Judith Polgar, the best female chess player in history.”

Before the start of the match, Polgar said: “We are here in a very special place, where Expo 2020 Dubai is treating chess in a wonderful way, and I thank the Spain Pavilion for hosting the tournament.”

“COVID-19 was a turning point for all of us. Congratulations that you managed to keep playing chess during the pandemic. At the end of the match, some will be very happy and others less happy, but this is how chess is and it is a miniature part of life.”

The games are underway at the same time as the World Chess Tournament moves into battle at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai, pitting the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen against the Russian champion Ian Nepomniachtchi.