Jack Rudd Reflects On His Trip To Qatar
The 4th Mindsports World Chess Championships
There are times in your life when an interesting idea comes up and you just have to go with it. Such was the case when Keith Arkell mentioned to me that he was playing in a chess tournament in Qatar, and asked if I’d like to join him. I could easily have said no – I had no experience of visiting Qatar or any other Asian country, this was my first encounter with the MindSports Academy, there were other tournaments in which I was vaguely interested with which the event clashed – but something told me that this was an event I wanted to be a part of, and so I signed up and went in with optimism.
Said optimism turned out to be completely justified. The Marriott Marquis hotel was one of the best I’ve ever stayed in; Keith and I felt wonderfully looked after there. Qatar Airways lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s top airlines. And the convention centre at which the tournament was held provided excellent playing conditions; it’s not often that you get a venue with as much space in the playing area. Such are conditions in which I thrive, and thrive I did; a rating gain of 27 points and finishing in the prizes in all five events was just what I had been looking for.
Above; Group picture after the last day of Chess Tournaments.
The only slight downside to the event – and this is something not totally within the organizers’ control – is that the overall strength of the main tournament made it very unlikely that anyone would achieve a title norm. I suppose this is the natural consequence of holding a tournament in what is effectively a new market with very few rated players; the next edition of this tournament – let’s hope there is one – will probably include a number of players who gained FIDE ratings at this one.
I look forward to playing in more MSA events in the future, and will happily do what I can to help boost entries to them.