50 Years of Chess
50 Years of Chess: Dhahran Chess club celebrates anniversary at its annual general meeting and dinner
Chess affacciandos celebrate of rebirth in popularity of the game of kings.
The Dhahran Chess Club’s 2022 Annual General Meeting and dinner event was held recently at Salat Al-Khalij in Aramco’s Dhahran community. The occasion celebrated the club’s 50th year of service to the community and its members’ recent achievements.
The full room of club members and their families was testament to the club’s resilience over recent years, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, ably and enthusiastically curated by the club’s board members.
The event was emceed by the 2022 club president, Rowena N. Rahman, who welcomed the guests and introduced the keynote speaker, the 2015 Toastmasters’ world champion speaker Mohammed Al-Qahtani, who works for Aramco’s Industrial Security Department. Al-Qahtani highlighted strategies for members to overcome any self-doubts that may be stopping them from achieving their dreams, or indeed, their passions.
Al-Qahtani spoke about the scale of decisions, noting, “We often fail to follow our passions because we think there is too much risk and not enough chance of success.
“We also use the scale of reward to determine whether the risk is worth it. If we think there will not be a big enough reward, we might not be willing to take the necessary risk,” he explained.
Al-Qahtani addressed the necessity of overcoming self-doubt. “If you want people to believe in you, you have to first believe in yourself. You need to tip the scale in your favor,” he said. “I regret I didn’t start public speaking when I was younger.”
He encouraged the audience to avoid inaction, which he said will only lead to regreat later.
A growing club
Faramak “Frank” Almassi presented the Treasurer’s Report. He discussed the club’s growth, noting that when he first joined, only a handful of people regularly attended game nights but now the club had over 400 active members and supporters.
“The journey matters more than winning or losing,” he said before congratulating everyone who had worked so diligently to make the club successful. Aida N. Rouhana then unveiled the club’s new logo designed by Harshini Murugan, and presented club T-shirts to some of the young chess players.
Hopes for the new year
Incoming club president for 2023, Hongrui Ma, later talked about his hopes for the future of the club.
“Chess is a fascinating game, and the more you play, the more you get hooked on it,” Ma said. “Chess is not just a board game, and is now played by about 700 million people around the world.”
Adding that chess helps promote creativity, social interaction, and problem-solving skills as well as the health benefits from relaxation, Ma highlighted the club’s plans for 2023. Among them are bringing players together from across Aramco and the region for a series of tournaments in locations outside of Dhahran, including in Bahrain.
A great deal of support
Rahman voiced her appreciation for all the club’s volunteers and the continuing support from parents. She recognized the invaluable support the club had received from Aramco’s Central Community Services Department, including from Saeed M. Ghamdi and Rawan Al-Ghamdi.
“Despite all the recent challenges, this club is thriving,” she said, emphasizing the club’s friendly and supportive environment that continues to bring multiple generations of Aramcons together with a shared purpose.
To register for the 2023 DCC membership, click here.
Dhahran Chess Club Awards presented at the 2022 AGM Dinner
Ages 8 and under
Winner: Dani Komati
1st runner-up: Adam Khan
2nd runner-up: Saransh Patel
Ages 9 to 10 years
Winner: Mason Ma
1st runner-up: Yahya Khan
2nd runner-up: Adam Amjad
2nd runner-up: Aleksander Khvastunkov
Ages 11 and above
Winner: Aadarsh Murugan
1st runner-up: Suban Subrahmaniyan
2nd runner-up: Harshini Murugan
1. Peter Oparin
2. Ahmad Malik
3. Zaid Al Buraiki
4. Shrividhya Prasanna
5. Yarik Golikov
Winners of the Adult Chess Hunger Games
- Abdulaziz Alayadi
- Vardharaj Radhakrishnan
- Ezhil Murugan
- Ahmed Salem
- Faramak Almassi
- Jawad A. Dakhiel
- Abdulrahman Al Zuwaid
- Krunal Patel
- Muthukumar Nagu
- Makhayel Al Khaldi