Chess Champion, Al-Zindani, to the YT: Lack of facilities and international participation hinders Yemenis from reaching international levels [Archives:2000/40/Sports]

October 2 2000


Adel Al-Haimi
A few may have heard about Zindan Al-Zindani, only after he achieved spectacular success in the Arab chess championship held recently at Beirut. Zindani confidently moved from one victory to another, beginning from the Under-20 Chess Championship of the Republic in 1997 until he was classified as an international master in 2000.
Congratulating him on this great success, the Yemen Times took the opportunity to have the following chat with him:
Q: Captain Zindan Zindani, the Yemen Times congratulates you on your great achievement in the Arab Chess Championship and would like to know your beginning in brief?
A: While a child, I used to watch my uncle, Mohammed Al-Baiadhi playing with his friends. I was very attracted to it, specially by the silence surrounding the players and the concentration it demanded. I then started playing with young people in my area. Once while I was playing in 1993 with a friend, Mr. Khalil Al-Sobhi was watching me. He liked my ways although I was a beginner. He encouraged me and gave me a lot of books. Moreover, he introduced me to Yemeni chess champions at the time and urged me to interact with them and learn more form them. The credit for my achievement, in fact, goes to him.
Q: What about your local and international achievements?
A: The first achievement was in 1997 when I won the Under-20 Championship of the Republic. After that I won the Presidents cup in 1999 and came first in Al-Haimi Chess Championship in the same year.
In 1996 I was internationally classified during the World Chess Olympiad held in Armenia. I achieved the third position in the Arab Under-20 Championship held in 1997 in Iraq. In the Hussain Tournament in Jordan, 1999 I won the Bronze medal, and the silver in the Arab Clubs Championship held in Dubai in 2000. Recently, I was classified as a chess master after I won the Under-20 Chess Championship in Beirut.
Q: How do you asses the Arab championship and the other Arab opponents?
A: It was the strongest championship ever organized by the Arab Chess Association. All Arab countries took part in it. Thank God that I was able to achieve such a victory.
Q: Since chess depends on talent, what do think hinders Yemenis from reaching international levels?
A: Lack of facilities and international participation.
Q: What is your advice to those talented people who are faced by such hindrances?
A: To try to interact with great players and avoid conceit.
Q: How do you foresee future of sport in general and chess in particular in Yemen?
A: Sports are developing although in a slow pace. As far as chess is concerned, it depends on talents and we have been able to achieve a lot in this sphere depending on our personal efforts.
Q: What are you aspiring for?
A: To reach world chess championship.
Q: Any last word Mr. Zindani?
A: Thank you very much and I hope that the Yemen Times will adopt a whole page for sports including chess activities with a weakly puzzle.