Chess in Jordan - Amman: Royal Jordanian Club

Rochade Europa Schachzeitung - FM Jens Hirneise / jeffforever

Chess in Jordan - Amman: Royal Jordanian Club

ChessOver the boardChess Personalities
Meeting locals and a national team chess player

What a pleasant feeling it is, after a walk in the center of Amman in the hot sun, to enter the cool rooms of the Royal Jordan Chess Club in the Jordanian capital, where every player smiles at you and is sure to greet the guest in their open, friendly way greeted with the words “Welcome to Jordan”.

The first thing you notice about the chess building is its shape in the form of a chess rook, which immediately creates an inviting impression for chess players:
In the Jordanian capital Amman, the headquarters is located in the style of a chess tower: the Jordanian Chess Federation and at the same time a well-attended chess club.

The second thing that catches your eye are, of course, the portraits of the king. The king is a revered and deeply respected figure in Jordan, so it is not surprising that he views his subjects through the brown frame of his portrait, even in the chess club.

In addition to the official portraits, the most prominent place is a canvas painting showing two members of the royal family in traditional clothing next to a chess board, listening attentively to the teacher.

The image seems to tell us that even the king himself considers playing chess a worthy sport, and this is one of the reasons why chess culture is so widespread in the country.

And if you delve a little deeper into history, you will be interested to know that chess was very popular in the early Islamic world.

The oldest chess piece may have been found in Jordan

Islamic texts of the time describe chess tournaments between Muslims and Christians and between rich and poor players. Did you know that the oldest chess piece in the world was found in Jordan? Scientists have determined that this find may actually be the oldest chess piece in the world. It looks like a rectangular piece of stone with two horn-like projections on the top. The artifact was created between 680 and Made in 749 AD and apparently served as a rook at the games.

Chess club open Monday to Thursday and on Sundays

The Royal Chess Club invites you from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and at the same time on Sundays as well. Tournaments with different time limits are also held there regularly. The Jordanians not only enjoy playing chess, but are also ambitious about the future of their players: a Ukrainian grandmaster has been hired as a coach to support the young talents.

Friendly blitz games with Jordan national team player AnasKhwira

The picture shows us playing blitz games with the Jordanian national player Anas Khwira, who hit the 2000 Elo rating mark already even though he only started playing chess during the pandemic, a truly great chess talent! Anas is playing for the national Jordan chess team and might represent his country at the Chess Olympiad in Budapest, Hungary this year. We even met each other after the chess club later again to play some more blitz games in the evening.

World wonder Petra

The Treasury (Al Khazna) in Petra

The Dead Sea and Jerusalem are also within Amman less hours to reach. You can also marvel at the legendary rock city of Petra, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and one of the current Seven Wonders of the World since 2007, for a few days.

Chess pieces in Aqaba, Jordan

So if you want to do something chess-related during your vacation, we recommend a visit to Jordan. The great hospitality can be felt everywhere. How did you like this blog post? Would you like to learn something else about Chess in Jordan? Let me know in the blog comments.