Al Ain Classic in December 2015

by Prathamesh Mokal
9/8/2015 – If you wish to end the year playing in a very strong tournament, with many grandmasters, IMs – or simply chess lovers, then from 22nd to 30th December, Al Ain is the place to be. The 3rd edition of the Chess Classic promises to be bigger and better and just like the previous two editions. Al Ain, known as the ‘Garden City’ for its oases, parks and trees, invites you to enjoy its famous hospitality.

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Al Ain Classic

22nd to 30th December

The Middle-East is gaining in popularity as a chess hub, especially with the effort of organisers in the United Arab Emirates. Around every four months, the UAE hosts a very strong open tournament apart from the other World and Asian events. April is the month for Dubai Open, August is usually reserved for Abu Dhabi Open and now since 2013, December brings the Al Ain Chess Classic.

The Al Ain Chess and Culture Club invites you to the Al Ain Classic 2015

The schedule of Al Ain Classic 2015

The prize fund of the tournament gets bigger every year. Compared to 2014 edition the 1st prize has increased by a whopping two thousand dollars, thus surpassing the first prize of the two other strong tournaments held in the Emirates in 2015, the Dubai Open and the Abu Dhabi Open.

Prize structure for the Al Ain Classic 2015

Al Ain has hosted some top class events in the recent past, like the one above

Coming to the annual tournament, the first edition of the Al Ain Classic held in 2013 attracted 35 grandmasters while the number increased to 43 GMs in the 2014 edition.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Asian Chess Federation President, His Highness
Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakbooth Al Nahyan gracing the first Al Ain Classic in 2013

The 2013 Al Ain Classic was held alongside the World Youth Chess Championships and
was won by Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta. The huge trophy eclipses him in this file picture!

The Starting rank (only top twenty) of the 2014 edition of the Al Ain Classic was pretty strong! With the
first prize increasing by 2000 dollars for the 2015 edition the line-up is likely to be even more impressive!

Georgian Gaoiz Nigalidze won the Al Ain Classic 2014: Saif Salem Lekhraibani Alnuaimi,
Secretary General of the Al Ain Chess and Culture Club Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa
Bin Shakhboot Al Nahyan, Nigalidze, Tournament Director Tarek Al Taher

UAE GM Salem A.R. Saleh won the strong rapid tournament that preceded the Al Ain Classic 2014

The five star Hotel Hili Raayhan by Rotana Al Ain is the tournament venue [picture by Amruta Mokal]

About Al Ain

Al Ain is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. It shares its inland border with Oman and is almost equidistant from Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The roads connecting Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the country

There are quite a few tourist attractions in the city of Al Ain. Jebel Hafeet is the second tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates. It is primarily located in the UAE. Although part of it lies in Oman, the summit is located wholly in the Emirates. The mountain rises to 1249 metres above sea (4098 feet) and offers a spectacular view of the city. Jebel Hafeet is also home to a wide range of animals including bats, foxes, and snakes.

A view from the Jebel Hafeet mountain

At the foothills of Jebel Hafeet lies the Green Mubazzarah, a well-developed tourist attraction. At the Green Mubazarrah, hot-water springs gush forth in little streams and form a lake. Swimming pools and jacuzzis are scattered all over the Green Mubazarrah.

The lake formed at the Green Mubazzarah

The Al-Ain Zoo comprises 400 hectares, and is situated on the foothills of Jebel Hafeet Mountain. It hosts various local and exotic animals including the white lion (top left), an animal that is almost extinct.

The Camel Market gives a glimpse of the Traditional Arabic culture.
Some of the camels in it are also bred for racing and are trained at an early age.

The picturesque Hazza bin Zayed football stadium, home of the Al Ain football club

A number of shopping places in Al Ain. Clockwise from top left:
Al Ain Mall, Bawadi Mall, Central Market and Remal Mall.

Apart from these attractions, there are many forts, museums and heritage structures in Al Ain. The temperature in Al Ain in December is usually around 25 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.

So come December, trophies, prizes, norms or experience, whatever your aim, Al-Ain invites you to enjoy its hospitality!


  • For all inquiries and requests:
  • Tournament Director: Tariq Al Taher Mobile: +971-50-6437008
  • Transport; Mr. Louie Al Sabbah – Mobile: +971-50-6656644
  • Accountant – Mr. Esam Amer - +971-50-6810075
  • General Coordinator – Ms. Basma Mustafa - +971-50-9973275
  • Alain chess club +971-37633387
  • Follow on YouTube Alain Classics
  • Twitter handle: @alain_classic
  • For more information on the tournament, such as entry fee and the procedure for Visa applications see also the tournament invitation (PDF).


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Prathamesh Mokal is an International Master and FIDE Trainer from India. He won bronze in the Commonwealth Junior Championships 2003 and was joint Asian Junior Champion in the same year. He got his first Grandmaster norm in 2009 and scored an unprecedented 100% in the FIDE Trainer’s exam in 2012. He is a renowned coach based in Pune, India and he is also a Martial Arts enthusiast with a Black Belt 1st Dan in Isshinryu Karate as well as Matayoshi Kobudo.


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