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World’s best knights to descend in Dubai for Global Chess League

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Hou Yifan, left, and Magnus Carlsen are among a stellar field for the inaugural Global Chess League.

The Tech Mahindra Global Chess League (GCL) have announced the complete list of players for the upcoming inaugural edition, to be held at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club from June 21 to July 2.

The GCL, in association with the Dubai Sports Council, will feature reigning world champion Ding Liren, the top-ranked chess player and five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, and four-time women’s world champion Hou Yifan, among others.

Grandmaster Liren, said: “Global Chess League appeared to be a fantastic opportunity from the moment I heard about it. Not only is it an interesting format, but also, as an Icon player, I get to contribute to an exciting concept that will change the face of the chess world for years to come. Further, knowing that GCL will see participation from players worldwide, it will be a strong field, and I look forward to meeting all the players.”

A five-time world champion, and the reigning four-time rapid chess world champion, Carlsen’s peak Fide rating has been the highest in chess history. “Chess is played by many people worldwide, but it needs to catch up to other major sports as a spectator sport, and I am optimistic that GCL will contribute significantly to this.”

All teams will compete in a one-of-a-kind joint team format at GCL, with each team consisting of six players with a minimum of two women chess players per team. Besides Liren and Carlsen, four former world champions will add to the thrilling level of competition – 2021 rapid world champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov, 2008 blitz world winner Leinier Domínguez, three-time blitz world champion Alexander Grischuk, and Daniil Dubov (2018, rapid).

The league will also feature top female superstars, including Grandmaster (GM) Hou Yifan, the second highest-rated female player of all time. She was the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of grandmaster at the age of 14.

There will be six teams with each accorded an icon player and two women players in the mixed-team GCL. The full list of icon players is yet to be finalised.

Yifan will be accompanied by WGMs Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Kateryna Lagno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tan Zhongyi, Nana Dzagnidze, Bella Khotenashvili, Nino Batsiashvili, Irina Krush, International Master Polina Shuvalova, and 2018 European women’s champion in rapid chess, Elisabeth Paehtz.

Yifan said, “Global Chess League has already sparked widespread interest. GCL is certain to take the game in new directions and open doors, which have never been explored before. Chess fans all over the world are in for a treat.”

Six U21 players will also compete in the GCL, with the trio of Grandmasters, Praggnanandhaa R., Raunak Sadhwani, and Nihal Sarin, leading the pack of prodigies for India. GMs Jonas Buhl Bjerre, Javokhir Sindarov and chess prodigy GM Andrey Esipenko complete the list of players in the category.

ALSO READ: Anand sees ‘new beginning’ in Dubai with GCL

In addition to the players mentioned above, the GCL will feature several other superstars of chess, including Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi, Gukesh D, Arjun Erigaisi, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Yi Wei, Yu Yangyi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Richard Rapport, Kirill Shevchenko, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Salem Salah.

Jagdish Mitra, the GCL board chairman, said, “Apart from being great players, all of them have been ambassadors for the game in their respective countries and worldwide. With them on board, GCL only adds another feather to its cap in becoming a true game changer for the chess ecosystem by introducing a mixed-team format in chess. This is a true testament to our belief in providing equal opportunities to all, regardless of gender.”

 

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SkyPower and ZETDC Sign landmark power purchase agreements for Zimbabwe’s largest solar project

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In a historic event at the World Future Energy Summit, SkyPower and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) have signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), marking a significant milestone in the development of the largest solar project in the history of Zimbabwe. The agreements pave the way for the commencement of the Green Giant project, set to deliver 500 MW of solar power, capable of energizing approximately 2 million households.

As previously stated by His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe: “My presidential commitment is to enhance our energy sustainability through renewable energy by collaborating with world-class companies like SkyPower. Today’s signing is a landmark achievement for our nation, setting a robust foundation for our sustainable future.”

The signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi was witnessed by eminent personalities including the Honorable Edgar Moyo, Minister of Energy of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Mazemo, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE, Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, Mr. Mazambani Edington Tapera, Chairman of ZERA.

“This is a momentous day for Zimbabwe, demonstrating our commitment to transforming our energy sector and ensuring reliable power for our people”, stated by Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company. Kerry Adler, President & CEO of SkyPower, highlighted the project’s importance, “We are proud to kick off the initial phases of the Green Giant project at this prestigious summit. This partnership exemplifies our dedication to promoting sustainable energy development globally.

Upon completion, this project will stand as a testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to renewable energy and economic growth.”

“The significance of today’s event cannot be overstated. As we align our efforts with global energy transitions, this project underlines our strategy to integrate renewable energy into our national energy mix significantly,” remarked the Honorable Edgar Moyo.

This accomplishment highlights the country’s favorable environment and underscores the exceptional teamwork and dedicated efforts from both parties.

This initiative is expected to boost Zimbabwe’s economy significantly by creating thousands of jobs and fostering infrastructure development. It is aligned with global efforts towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing the quality of life for millions of Zimbabweans.

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Dxb airport issues travel advisory, Emirates suspends travel procedures until midnight

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Dubai International (DXB) is advising passengers not to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary due to the unprecedented weather conditions in the country.In a statement, Dubai Airports said that flights continue to be delayed and diverted. Passengers are advised to contact their respective airlines for the latest information on flight status.

Dubai Airports assures passengers that they are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions.

On the same note, Emirates Airlines has decided to suspend travel procedures for passengers departing from Dubai starting from 8:00 am on Wednesday, 17th April, until midnight on 18th April, due to operational challenges resulting from adverse weather conditions and road conditions.Emirates Airlines added that procedures for passengers arriving in Dubai and transit passengers will continue.

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UAE receives record-breaking rains, highest in 75 years

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The UAE received the heaviest rainfall on record on Tuesday over a 24 hour period.According to WAM, it surpassed all records documented since the start of data collection in 1949.

The downpour impacted numerous regions across the country.The National Centre of Meteorology confirmed that the record rainfall that fell on the country during the 24 hours until 9 pm on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, is an exceptional event in the UAE’s climate history since the start of recording climate data.The centre said that, so far, the highest rainfall was recorded in the “Khatm Al Shakla” area in Al Ain, reaching 254 mm in less than 24 hrs.

It is noteworthy that the NCM’s Shuwaib station had recorded 287.6 mm on March 9th 2016.

This heavy rainfall is an exceptional event in the UAE that contributes to increasing the annual rainfall average in the UAE, as well as strengthening the country’s groundwater reserves in general.

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