After Qatar Masters 2014: interview with GM Mohamed Al-Medaihki

Review games from Qatar Maters Open tournament 2014: Qatar 2014

Official website

Award ceremony. Photo: Official website

After the prestigious tournament Qatar Masters 2014, the tournament director GM Mohamed Al-Modiahki gave an interview for ChessBomb.

Qatar Masters 2014 was one of the strongest tournaments of the year, with over 150 participants and average rating of 2515. We also heard wonderful things about the organisation, the venue, etc., and the players are very pleased. Are you pleased with the tournament yourself?
Yes, I am very pleased with the tournament, and we still receive many emails thanking the organisation team! And I am also very happy with the quality of the games and the performance of the players, we didn't face any problems during the tournament and everything went very smoothly, and as a director of the tournament I couldn't wish for more.
What are your most memorable moments from the tournament?
One of the most memorable moments for me was the success of the opening ceremony as it was very important to have a good start. And the second moment was the same day - when I saw Vladimir Kramnik attending the technical meeting, while half of the participants chose to leave to hotel after the ceremony. Vladimir not only showed his respect to the organisers but was also asking questions and taking part in discussing the tournament regulations.
The tournament had a surprise winner - after a very strong start by Giri, followed by Kramnik, we did not expect this course of events. What do you think about that?
Yu Yangi winning the tournament was a surprise for me, but he is young and talented and as all Chinese players he also works very hard. I had a feeling that Kramnik would win the tournament after he won his game against Giri, but the excitement was there and most important I hope that the fans enjoyed such moments in the tournament.
In the past year we saw many prestigious chess events held in Asia and in particular Arab countries - Qatar Masters, the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Women Grand Prix in Sharjah, etc. Do these events help popularise chess in the Arab world, and Qatar in particular? How popular is chess in Qatar in general?
Yes, we are witnessing more tournaments in the Middle East, especially in Qatar and U.A.E, and I want Qatar Masters Open to be a tradition, we will try to organise it for many years to come.
Chess is not very popular in Qatar yet, but we are trying to involve the young generation in learning chess. We also need to have the attention of the parents, that's why we may think about having some activities during Qatar Masters Open next year. I believe that combining the tournament with different events and entertainment will help to improve chess culture in Qatar.
Best wishes to GM Mohamed Al-Medaihki, all the organisers and participants, and many more chess successes in 2015! We are looking forward to next year's Qatar Masters Open!