Citizens and residents have a final chance to play alongside international champions at the 4th Mindsports World Championships, which kick off in Doha on Saturday.

Organisers Mindsports Academy (MSA) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) are calling on those interested in competing in Chess, Scrabble, Backgammon, Bridge, Go or e-Sports to register for free on

Saif AlKuwari, Director of PR & Communication at QTA, said:

We are very excited to welcome the world’s most accomplished and committed mindsports players as they battle for the title of the best in their sport while enjoying uniquely Qatari experiences and a taste of true hospitality. Whether they are amateurs, hobbyists or aspiring pros, residents have the unique opportunity to compete alongside internationally renowned players, right here at home in Qatar.”

Chess and Scrabble masters are confirmed to attend this years’ event being held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) sponsored by Official Telecom Partner, Ooredoo. They will be putting themselves to the test to compete in the various events held across the week and offering their skills as trainers for all enthusiasts who wish to attend and learn how to develop their own game play.


British Grand Master, Keith Arkell along with his protégé and current International Master Jack Rudd will be participating, among various Grand Masters and Masters.

Keith Arkell Chess MSAKeith Arkell, Grand Master, said:

I love travelling the world, and wherever I go the people are very nice. I’m sure this will also be the case with Qatar. Qatar fascinates me. I often watch Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar.’

 Jack Rudd, International Master, said:

I have never been to Qatar or any other Middle Eastern country before. I always enjoy travelling to countries I’ve not been to before, and Qatar I’m sure will be no exception.’

Hungarian-born Grand Master Tamàs Fodor has been playing chess from the age of 5 and received his Grand Master title in 2013. He said:

I always heard that it’s a beautiful country, I am looking forward to checking it out for myself. I am looking forward seeing Doha with a mix of new and old.’

Ieysaa Bin-Suhayl Chess superstar
Ieysaa Bin-Suhayl

Young and upcoming chess super star, Ieysaa Bin-Suhayl, who recently received his Chess Master title at 12 years old, will be taking on players much older them himself as he continues his ascent on the world stage.

First of all I can’t wait to fly to Qatar. I love Qatar Airways: I flew with them before and I loved every minute of it. I can watch movies, play chess with other passengers during the flight, it’s great! I don’t normally sleep because I have a really good time and this time my brother Yousuf is coming with us, so the fun will be double.

Also, I heard Qatar is a very beautiful and safe place, so I expect my mum to take me out a lot even late in the evening to enjoy simple things. Lately I saw lots of pictures of amazing hotels and places to visit. I am very sure that I will not be bored at all: I will be playing chess and when I am not, I might be eating a delicious ice cream next to a swimming pool together with other chess players. Yeah!’


World renowned Scrabble player and advocate, Ganesh Asirvatham headlines the field.  He has been playing Scrabble since he was 12 and enjoys a gaming career spanning 17 years. Ganesh had achieved major success in Malaysia and has won numerous titles including a record breaking 5 national titles. He represents his homeland in all World Events and was classed as World Number 1. His love affair has seen him take a more active role in Scrabble and was instrumental in initiating the Scrabble to Schools programme that saw hundreds of Malaysian students participate in local tournaments.

This year in Qatar, Ganesh will be offering his services as a trainer and will be there to share his expertise.

I am excited to be part of this and looking forward to doing my bit to promote Scrabble and help those who are just starting out.


Qatar resident and Scrabble enthusiast, Prashanthi Weerawardane will be taking the lead and directing the Scrabble tournament at the 4th Mindsports World Championships. Prashanthi has been playing Scrabble for over 35 years.

When Prashanthi joined Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha (SSLSD) in 2013, she saw an opportunity and began to coach a group of promising young Scrabble players. The following year, she began organising Inter-School Scrabble Tournaments in Qatar,  the first and only Scrabble competition in the country. Today the annual scrabble tournament attracts over 200 players from 10 – 15 schools every year.

 I look forward to having an exciting event with a large participation of Arabic and English Scrabble players in Qatar. I would also like to see this event reach and introduce the game to non- scrabble playing community in Qatar. My greatest wish is to train and coach Qatari players to win the Arabic and English World Scrabble Championships in the future.’

Full tournament details, a list of all the events and schedules and accommodation information are available at