Morocco Chess Week 2024: global success of the 3rd edition of the event

Morocco Chess Week 2024: global success of the 3rd edition of the event
Morocco Chess Week 2024: global success of the 3rd edition of the event

Placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco Chess Week (MCW) is now an unmissable event for chess enthusiasts. It is organized by the Casablanca Stock Exchange, Casablanca Events & Animation and the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation.

This year coincided with the centenary of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) which selected Casablanca as the central point of its festivities in Africa, but also with the creation of the Casablanca variant, which set the planet on fire all weekend . The MCW has taken on a global dimension with impact in the international press (The Financial Times, The Guardian, El Pais, etc.).

The start of the 3rd edition of Morocco Chess Week was given on Friday May 17 at the headquarters of the Casablanca Stock Exchange, with the symbolic Ring the Bell, in the presence of Mr. Chakib Benmoussa, Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports; Tarik Senhaji, Director General of the Casablanca Stock Exchange; Mohamed Jouahri, General Director of Casablanca Events & Animation; Abdelmoumen Talib, Director of the Regional Academy of Education and Training of Casablanca-Settat (AREF); Arkady Dvorkovich, President of the International Chess Federation; Bouchra Kadiri, President of the Provisional Commission of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation (FRME), as well as representatives of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). Also present at the launch ceremony were the international Grand Masters, emblematic figures of this edition as well as the heads of continental confederations.

The official opening of MCW 2024 was followed by a Conference-Debate under the theme “Chess in Africa”, moderated by Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Vice-President of FIDE. This conference made it possible to explore the situation of chess in Africa and to highlight its strengths and its significant potential which can be released on the continent.

Hundreds of fans gathered at the Arab League Park around celebrations such as the emblematic Torch Relay, lit by Abdelatif Maâzouz, President of the Council of the Casablanca –Settat Region, accompanied by Aziz Dadas, governor of the prefecture of districts of Casablanca-Anfa. It was then carried by several members of the international delegation. The chess players then attended the “Simultaneous 100” tournament where 100 best Moroccan players faced international grand masters in the alleys of the park.

The long-awaited Casablanca Chess tournament took place at the Mahkama du Pacha, bringing together the best players from 4 continents who competed two days in a row. These are: Magnus Carlsen (Europe), Vishy Anand (Asia), Hikaru Nakamura (Americas) and Bassem Amin (Africa). Invented by Tarik Senhaji and Grand Master Hamdouchi, this variant aroused great interest from echophiles around the world who praised its originality and strategic potential. For his part, Magnus Carlsen, the best player of all time, won this 1st edition by declaring: “I would definitely like to try it again”, while Hikaru Nakamura, five times champion of the United States, declared on his YouTube channel to its 2.4 million subscribers that it is his “favorite event of recent years”.

Due to its immediate success, the Casablanca variant entered and will remain in the history of chess, with international influence and a lasting impact on the world of chess.

Morocco Chess Week (MCW) was a wonderful opportunity to showcase Morocco and the richness of its cultural heritage on the international stage. The players played the tournament in the sumptuous setting of the Mahkama du Pacha in Casablanca, broadcast in streaming to spectators around the world, before a dinner in Dar El Ala to discover Arab-Andalusian music, accompanied by their wives in Moroccan caftans.
This festival also aimed to encourage national competitions and help the development of Moroccan talents with a prestigious national tournament held at the Mohamed V complex. Also, particular importance is given to the school partnership with the AREF of Casablanca Settat, considering the strong synergies between education and this intellectual game. An event was organized at the AREF headquarters, with the winners of the interschool competition awarded by Minister Chakib Benmoussa.

This festival was made possible thanks to the support and trust of several sponsors led by OCP Group and CheckMate; but also CDG Capital, Aradei Capital, Cash Plus, Les Eaux Minérales d’Oulmès, Menara Holding, Royal Air Maroc, as well as Chess.com, Green Village and Ineos.

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