Chess player Sidar aims to be world chess champion

Sidar Haj Muhammed learned how to play chess at a young age. Until now, she has participated in many chess tournaments and won all of them. All she wants now is to be world chess champion.



Qamishlo- Chess is a board game between two players. Chess is recognized as a sport and chess tournaments are organized around the world. The game is played on a square board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight square. Two players control 32 black and white pieces: one king, one queen, two bishops, two knights, two rooks and eight pawns. To win the game, a player must capture the opponent's king. This is known as checkmating the king.

Chess improves memory function

Playing chess can improve cognitive skills like memory, planning, and problem solving. Chess players are often considered geniuses. Chess has been proven to increase IQ. It helps prevent Alzheimer's and dementia, and increase a child's problem solving skills.

History of chess

Findings in the Egyptian pyramids provide evidence that chess was played 4000 years ago. Findings that chess was also played in China, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia have emerged as a result of archaeological excavations carried out at different times. The first written documents about chess are in 3rd or 4th A.D. Indian Ruler who lived in the centuries II. Sanskrit texts were written during the time of Chandragupta. In these texts, the name of the game is referred to as ‘Chaturanga’. There are findings that chess has been known in Iran since the 6th century. A chess set was given as a gift to Iranian Shah Khosrow I, who lived in the 500s, and the game was named ‘Chatrang’. By the 600s, after the Arabs invaded Iran, the game was accepted in the Arab-Islamic world and started to be called ‘Shatranj’. The game spread to Europe via Spain through the Andalusian State.

She learned how to play chess from her family

In the past, chess was played only by men. In time, women began to play chess. Now, women participate in chess tournaments and achieve significant success. Sîdar Hac Muhemed, a student in the eleventh grade, lives in Qamishlo, a city in North and East Syria. She learned how to play chess from her family when she was nine. “At the beginning, playing chess was only a hobby for me. Then, I saw how I was good at playing chess and decided to participate in a women’s chess tournament. I came in second in the tournament. I had to stop playing chess for several years due to some problems,” Sîdar Hac Muhemed told NuJINHA.

After several years, she decided to participate in the Cizîrê Chess Tournament. She came first in the tournament. “The tournament was organized on February 24, 2023. I played against 20 chess players and won the tournament.”

‘I feel like I am in another world’

Speaking about the game of chess, Sîdar Hac Muhemed said, “What makes me love this game is that it is an ongoing war inside your brain. It allows you to use your brain and to stay calm. Whenever I play the chess game, I forget all the problems and feel like I am in another world.”

‘I want to prove myself to the whole world’

Sidar Haj Muhammad aims to be world chess champion. “This game is a gift to me from my family. My family always supports and helps me. My family is proud of me. Despite the challenges and limited opportunities, I am determined to keep playing chess. In the future, I want to be a professional player, have a reputation and prove myself to the whole world. I think everyone should have a goal.”