GM Saleh Salem, United Arab Emirates (Elo 2690)

Photo: Krzysztof Szeląg

29-year-old GM Salem Saleh is one of Asia’s strongest chess players.

At the beginning of his career, he won a number of titles in the Asian Youth Chess Championships, including the under 14 class in 20027, the under 16 class in 2008, and the under 18 in 2009. In 2015, he won the Asian Championship, and has won both the Emirati and Arab Championship three times. He has also won the Asian Blitz Chess Championship.

He is participating in the TePe Sigeman Chess Tournament for the first time.






10 quick questions:

1) How many years have you played chess professionally?
I am a Chess Professional since September 2021.
2) At what age did you learn how to play chess?
I learnt chess at the age of 7.
3) Who taught you how to play chess?
I learnt watching my brothers and father playing the game.
4) What was your first big tournament success (tournament win or similar)?
I won Asian continental championship both Classic and Blitz in 2015, I was 22 years old.
5) Do you sometimes also participate in other sports/games? If so, which and at what level?
I play football often, but not really participating in tournaments, I played in football club til the age of 12 and I was one of the best in my age.
6) Do you have any family members or relatives that also play chess? If so, who and at what level?
My Father plays chess, he never played in tournaments but I guess his rating would be around 1600, I have three brothers, all of them play chess, two of them played for UAE’s National team, they were both UAE’s National champions, plus they had achievements on Arab level. Their chess level is around 2300.
7) What would you be doing today, if you did not play chess professionally?
I believe I would be involved in other sports, most probably football.
8) How many languages do you speak?
Two, Arabic and English.
9) Who, in your opinion, is the greatest chess player of all times?
In my opinion there is no such thing, everyone was genius in his time, it’s hard to compare since they didn’t play each other and they didn’t have equal resources when it comes to training materials and number of tournaments.
10) What do you hope to achieve in the 2022 TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
My main goal is to learn from the games and become stronger.