Following the invitation from the Saudi Arabia Chess Federation to participate in their board meeting represented by the new members and as per invitation from Mr Turki Al-Sheikh to meet on the occasion of Riyadh Calendar Chess Championship 2023, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich visited Saudi Arabia.
FIDE President had a chance to check and test the playing conditions of the championship and praised both the venue and the organizers' efforts.
Arkady Dvorkovich used the visit as an opportunity to discuss further chess development in Saudi Arabia, reiterating FIDE's support for children's education, social initiatives, professional chess events and the possibility of hosting the World Teams Championship.
Saudi Arabia has been very supportive of the FIDE Year of Women in Chess celebration by initiating a new tradition of Queens Awards that allows paying tribute to the great personalities in women's chess. Improving gender balance is one of the top priorities for Saudi Arabia and FIDE, which both intend to pursue in their policies and development projects.
When asked about his impressions on the Saudi Arabia Chess Federation board meeting, the future of chess in the world in Saudi Arabia in particular, FIDE President said: "I really appreciated the invitation by the Saudi Arabia Chess Federation to come to the first board meeting. The board members are very active in supporting chess in the country. We, in our turn, are ready to contribute our share to chess development in the country, supporting new initiatives, especially in chess education and training young talents and hosting big international events here in Saudi Arabia. We stimulate professional chess but also believe in the social role of our game in helping disabled and incarcerated people. We are eager to ensure a good gender balance so young girls and ladies can play chess actively. I think we can do all this together here, in Saudi Arabia."