05 August 2010

Chess City, Dubai

In a recent post, Money Laundering in Chess?, I mentioned Chess City in Dubai, an example not of money laundering, but of chess construction gone wild. While I was researching the post I stumbled on an artist's conception of the place, an image which is too good not to share. You can find a larger image in various places on the Web, but I found it on Dubai credit crisis - cancelled construction projects, along with the following:

Chess City: Announced in October 2004, this $3 billion project was the brainchild of World Chess Federation (FIDE) president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. It would feature clusters of hotels built in the shape of giant chess pieces, 16 black and 16 white hotels, sitting upon a 64-hectare plot of land that would landscaped to resemble a chessboard. [...] However, with property prices dropping by 50 per cent last year, this ambitious scheme has been put on hold indefinitely. (January 2010)

If you missed the Dubai credit crisis of November 2009, see the link in that same article (from menainfra.com, "The source for Middle East construction news and information"). The Menainfra article was kinder than this one -- UAE: Most Ridiculous projects announced -- which listed Chess City along with the Upside Down Tower and the Dubai Snowdome ('just what the desert needs!').

The project was first announced in 2004. Chessbase ran a feature piece, Ilyumzhinov and the Chess City in Dubai, along with photos of Chess City in Kalmykia.

Who can say he doesn't think big? FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has just unveiled a plan to build a new "chess city" in the Emirate of Dubai. It's a US $2.6 billion project that is expected to play host to (hold on to your hats) 60 million amateur and professional chess followers annually. You don't believe he can do it?

For more, much more, on the project see Dubai Backing $2.6-Billion International Chess City; '"Dubai will annually play host to over 60 million amateur and professional chess followers from around the globe," Ilyumzhinov asserted at the announcement in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's federal capital.' How's that for a business plan!

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