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.

50 Years of Chess: Dhahran Chess club celebrates anniversary at its annual general meeting and dinner

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

Kids’ winners

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


Recognized Players 

1. Peter Oparin

2. Ahmad Malik

3. Zaid Al Buraiki

4. Shrividhya Prasanna

5. Yarik Golikov


Winners of the Adult Chess Hunger Games

  1. Abdulaziz Alayadi
  2. Vardharaj Radhakrishnan
  3. Ezhil Murugan
  4. Ahmed Salem
  5. Faramak Almassi
  6. Jawad A. Dakhiel
  7. Abdulrahman Al Zuwaid
  8. Krunal Patel
  9. Muthukumar Nagu
  10. Makhayel Al Khaldi

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