Salem Abdel Rahman .. the forgotten hero

Ahmed Al-Mazloum


November 22, 2020

After he moved the elephant to square f6 and grabbed the horse, he discovered, with amazement on his face, that he had missed a historic opportunity to beat Magnus Carlson, the world number one in the game of chess, as he was separated by one move from winning, only one move!

It is moving the minister to square f2 instead of his move.

It was the most painful loss for the great international professor Salem Abdel Rahman, as he told me, in a personal interview I had with him several days ago.

A few days ago, I also posted a tweet on the Twitter platform, expressing the need to celebrate our talented hero, who proudly represented his country for 20 years, achieving many local and international achievements. The tweet received an unprecedented response, especially as it came with Salem winning the Great Masters Championship in Djerba. For chess and his victory over Gata Kamsky, the American champion and world champion in 2007, as well as for its coincidence with the show "The Queens Gambit" on Netflix, which caused a fuss between chess fans and success stories in general.

"I feel they all appreciate most of them" ... a sentence he said while quietly shaking his shoulders, when I asked him about the opponent who would like to compete and cause him constant panic.

With this confidence and fullness, he managed to reach the 53rd position in the world.

To make it more difficult for you, alone has more than 20 million people from all over the world participating in it, and this indicates that chess is a game that carries a great deal of competition.

And when our hero said that he can defeat everyone without exception, that was not an act of madness, he did so repeatedly, and let us review the most important of these victories:

Salem beat world number two Fabiano Caruana in a match, tied with him in another match, and also beat world number three Leren Deng, world fourth-ranked Eveat Nepomnici, world champion Peter Svedler and the only one to win this title eight times, and many others.

This is in terms of individual matches.

As for the official tournaments, his biggest achievement is his winning the Asian Chess Championship in 2015 as the first Arab in the history of the tournament to win this title, returning with two golds in blitz and classic chess.

Also, Salem has been at the top of the list of UAE players for 12 consecutive years, so he has the right to say what he said: "I feel they all appreciate most of them."

We often hear the general public and the chess center in particular express their dissatisfaction with the modest media coverage that Salem Abdul Rahman receives, and this point represents a small part of the dilemma, in fact, he told me personally that he worried about his financial future more than anything else, because he sacrificed a lot for the sake of The game and graduated with a bachelor’s degree after eight years, which is twice the time that any student would need to graduate because of his participation in international tournaments to develop his level.

Today our forgotten hero dedicates only three hours of his time to the game of chess, after it previously ranged between 8 and 12 hours a day, and the reason is that he has become an employee who spends half his day at work, and this matter in itself will constitute a scar in his long-term career, and will give a great advantage to his competitors over him, especially They enjoy financial freedom, and their day is not occupied except by playing chess.

When Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, was asked how many hours of work a person would need to change the world, he replied that it ranged between 80 and 100 hours per week.

By simple mathematical calculation, it becomes clear to us that Salem only plays 21 hours a week, and this number is four times less than what is required!

In addition to the absence of his financial freedom.

What to do then, watch its star diminish or make it brighter?

I see Salem Abdel Rahman as a world champion in the coming years if he is fully devoted to chess,

And if "The Queens Gumbet" is based on an unreal story, then peace is real, and it is "The Kingsgambett".

"I am just a father who plays and concentrates on chess, I do not want anything else."

He told me.

Our talented hero represented his country with pride for 20 years, achieving many local and international achievements.


To read the previous articles of the writer please click on its name.