by Kevin Stoda
On Wednesday, 25th of March 2016, some 33 SCT students signed up to participate in the Salalah Chess Competition. (It is the 3rd such contest to be held on campus here in the past 4 years.) First Place was taken by Abdulrahmem Al Awaid, who went undefeated in all rounds of competition that day.
Second Place was earned by Haitham Ali Hawas, who faced Abdulrahmem Al Awaid in a best two of three championship round just after 1pm that Wednesday. The events were held in the SAC of the ELC building on the SCT Campus. Tied as Runners-Up for that day’s competition were Moawiyal Al-Khaldi and Mohammed Ali Hobais.
The SCT Chess Contest is orchestrated by the English Language Forum each year (with the help of Chemical Engineering professor, Raja Thiruvengadam) as part of a campus wide initiative to encourage students in acquiring and practicing life-long activities that will empower them throughout their lives.
WHY LEARN AND PLAY CHESS REGULARLY?
Chess improves cognition, and it improves emotional intelligence. As well, chess has been shown to bolster the cognitive reserve of elderly players, which helps prevent cognitive symptoms of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Finally, of course, chess teaches logic, efficiency, and goal-setting (important for those who are tending to be under-achievers).
When asked about who the best chess player in his family was, Abdulrahmem Al Awaid explained, “That’s difficult to say. We all play. Sometimes my dad is. Sometime’s it’s me–or my mom or one of my sisters.” In other words, his family see’s chess not only a lifelong affair but as a family affair.
In other words, playing chess is not just essential for kids or youth. Just “because we’re adults, that doesn’t mean we have to take ourselves so seriously and make life all about work. We all need to play.” Play relieves stress.It improves relationships and our connection to others, and play keeps us feeling young and energetic.
If you don’t know how to play, don’t be shy! Ask one of the many SCT students, who can play, to teach you. It’s never too late to start.