Doha, Qatar Chess Association (QCA) held today a press conference to introduce the Grand Masters who will take part in Qatar Masters Open 2016, which will take place in Ali bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena from December 26-30.

Around 120 Grand Masters and 36 Woman Grand Masters will take part this year. The press conference was attended by General Secretary of QCA Mohammed Ahmed Al Medaihki, reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen and former World Champion Vishy Anand and Chief Executive Officer of FIDE Geoffrey Borg.

Al Mudaihki first welcomed the players taking part in the competition to Qatar and wished them luck on the tournament and enjoyable time in the Qatar. He then thanked Qatar Olympic Committee led by its President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani for their support to all sports federations in general and QCA in particular.

Al Mudaihki said he expected this year's tournament to be a very strong one in light of the big number of Grand Masters taking part. He expressed his hope that the competition will deliver on both the technical and organizational levels.

For his part, Borg thanked QCA for hosting the event in a very special atmosphere and for the great capabilities that were provided. He also expressed his delight that two very strong players in the shape of Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand will take part in this year's competition. He added that he was personally excited for the rapid and blitz events as they normally see stronger competition.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen said he expected a very strong competition from all the Grand masters taking part this year. He stressed that his goal was to win the championship and was committed to that case. He expressed his delight to be back in Doha after participating in last year's edition. He said that rapid and blitz chess in particular require high technique and intelligence.

Source: Qatar News Agency