The main catalyst for the progress of chess in Qatar is the Chinese player Zhu Chen, whom I coached.
Males are not very ambitious in Qatar, because everything is already fine; but after she married Al-Modiahki, the best chess player in Qatar – and arguably the best Arab player of the 20th century – she stepped up her training process.
She wants to have the best coaches, participate in the most prestigious tournaments and become an elite performer.
In 1988 Zhu became the first Chinese player to win an international chess competition when she won the World Girls Under 12 Championship in Romania.
She won the World Junior Girls Chess Championship in 1994 and 1996.
At the age of 25 she defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia in a tournament for the 2001/2002 Women’s World Chess Championship, by 5-3, becoming the eleventh champion.
Zhu gave up the chance to defend her world title in Georgia in May 2004 due to a jammed schedule and her pregnancy.
In June 2004, Zhu Chen played two games against the chess computer “Star of Unisplendour”, which was an advanced AMD 64 bit 3400+ CPU and 2 GB RAM combined with the chess engine Fritz 8. She lost both games.
Zhu is married to Qatari Grandmaster Mohamad Al-Modiahki, and now represents Qatar. She also studied for a master’s degree at Tsinghua University.