First ACO World Chess Championship

  • SonofPearl
  • on 7/25/12, 11:29 AM.


Amateur Chess Organisation-Logo.jpg72 players from 25 countries, ages ranging from 8 to 79, 7 rating groups, 9 games, 10 days in a 5-star luxury beach hotel, many new friendships as well as a gala dinner in the most beautiful ballroom of the world in the famous 7-star hotel Burj-Al-Arab – these are some facts around the the first ACO World Amateur Chess Championship of the newly founded Amateur Chess Organization (ACO), which took place in Dubai from 6-15, July 2012.

The venue of the event was the award-winning 5-star beach hotel Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa which has been awarded the world's best family resort in 2011.

ACO World Chess Championship Dubai - playing venue.jpg

For this reason the playing conditions have been remarkable: chandeliers in the playing hall, each board had an own big table of more than 2 metres breadth, luxurious atmosphere at the daily dinner buffet which has been put up exclusively for the participants as well as free drinks during the games left nothing to be desired.

ACO World Chess Championship Dubai - playing hall.jpg

Not only the playing conditions have been remarkable, but so have been the far journeys of the participants. Players from more than 25 countries flow more thena 6000 kilometres on average to attend the tournament. The youngest player with the age of 8 came from Kazakhstan while the oldest player from Switzerland was 79 years old.

Arthur William Harutian (8, Spain) vs. Amir Zarif (8, Kazakhstan)

ACO World Chess Championships Dubai Arthur William Harutian v Amir Zarif.jpg

Despite hard fought games for the first ACO World Titles all games run in a fair manner with not a single reclamation. The tournament remained undecided till the last round as there were many players with chances to win the title.

The highlight of the event was the prize-giving ceremony with a gala dinner in the ballroom of the 7-star hotel Burj-Al-Arab

7-star hotel Burj-Al-Arab.jpg


The Al-Falak ballroom, the most luxurious ballroom of the world

7-star hotel Burj-Al-Arab ballroom.jpg


"Tonight, all are winners" announced the ACO President Lothar Hirneise in his closing speech

ACO President Lothar Hirneise.jpg


The A-group (2200-2400) was won by Florian Kugler

Florian Kugler.jpg


The organizers: Jens Hirneise, Lothar Hirneise, Falko Bindrich, Tobias Hirneise

ACO World Champs 2012 organisers Jens Hirneise, Lothar Hirneise, Falko Bindrich, Tobias Hirneise.jpg


The next ACO World Amateur Chess Championship takes place in Crete in the 4-star All-Inclusive Luxury Hotel Aquis Arina Sand from 11-20 May, 2013. Many participants from Dubai have already confirmed their participation in Crete. The ACO offers special conditions for registrations till 31 September, 2012.

Link to the regulations of Crete.

All results can be found here.

Link to organizer.

Link to Facebook picture gallery with more than 500 pictures.

About ACO

What is the ACO?

The Amateur Chess Organization is the new World Chess Organization for amateur chess players up to 2400 ELO.

For whom has the ACO been founded?

99% of all chess players have got less than 2400 ELO and do not earn a living from chess. The ACO has been founded for the biggest group of chess players, the amateurs.

Why has the ACO been founded?

As the vast majority of chess players are amateurs and as there has been no chess organization in the past that exclusively represents the interests of amateur chess players, the establishment of the ACO was a necessary consequence.

How can I support the ACO?

If you are a chess enthusiast and want to help promoting amateur chess you can support the ACO by becoming a partner.

Is ACO connected to FIDE?

No. The ACO is a completely independent organization. The ACO considers itself as a complementary organization but without restricting federal structures.

10707 reads 11 comments
2 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Except that the ACO doesn't represent a thing in the chess world. FIDE is already representing the interests of under 2400 players already. Who owns the business, who are its officers what is membership and all of these things are carefully avoided in the outline above. Why does an amateur player need representation and to whom is he represented. Without a whole bunch more info the ACO isn't a breath of fresh air more than a business venture with certain hotels.

  • 4 years ago


    @ Jobito - I had to edit the report to a manageable length. There are many more pictures, including the winners of all the events, at the ACO website.

  • 4 years ago


    I would greatly appreciate it if this report were represented with the photos of the winners of all the categories and their names boldly displayed for the entire world to see.

    Special recognition should also be given to Ovie Solomon Adagha, a Nigerian and the only African in GROUP C (1800-2000), with the lowest rating in the group (1800) turning out to become the winner and Group C World Champion with a strong 7/9 score. 

    For your perusal, please visit and and

    He made Nigeria and indeed Africa very very proud...

  • 4 years ago


    Korchnoi has a rating of 2558 FIDE which is amazing considering his age...

  • 4 years ago


    janosik :)

  • 4 years ago


    I'm pretty sure Korchnoi isn't rated under 2400, not an amateur. :P

  • 4 years ago



  • 4 years ago


    "while the oldest player from Switzerland was 79 years old." 

    That wasn't Korchnoi, I suppose...

  • 4 years ago


    Very very nice! :) But this is still scary that one 8-years-old kid beats you ;)

  • 4 years ago


    ACO sounds like a new breath of fresh air for the world of chess.  

Back to Top

Post your reply: