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It's time for the ChessBase India Group Tour to Dubai Open and Sharjah Masters 2020

by Sagar Shah - 02/02/2020

The ChessBase India Group Tour will be going to the Dubai Open 2020 and Sharjah Masters 2020 from 28th of March to 16th April. The managers of the tour are ChessBase India Hindi head Niklesh Jain and his better half WIM Angela Franco. The main advantage of being part of the group tour is that parents do not need to accompany their kids and can entrust the youngsters in the responsible hands of the ChessBase India team. There are eight spots available for the group tour. The Dubai Open and Sharjah Masters are excellent events with good chances to gain ratings and make norms. The information about the tournaments as well as the cost of the package has been mentioned in the article below. 

One of the key ingredients to improve as a chess player is to play in International tournaments. It's not just about fighting it out against players of other countries, it is also about travelling to a new location, getting adjusted to the new weather conditions, time zones, food and so much more. Travelling to another country helps you grow as an individual. While many players compete in tournaments all across India, when it comes to playing in a foreign country, they find it highly uncomfortable. Travelling to an unknown destination is never easy. Add to it the planning of the travel, accommodation, entry fees, visa etc. and it becomes quite a big task. We, at ChessBase India, have always wanted to ease the life of a chess player. It is with this intention that we conducted three group tours in the past. In 2018 and 2019, we had group tours to the Catalan circuit in Spain where players fought it out in multiple tournaments over a period of couple of months. And in 2019 we had the group to the Dubai and Sharjah Masters.

Niklesh Jain and Angela Franco were the group tour managers in 2019 for Sharjah and Dubai and will also be managing the 2020 tour as well |

Niklesh Jain is a FIDE Instructor and was the head coach of SYNA International school for 11 years. He has travelled to innumerable countries all across the world, playing chess tournaments, covering them and was also the manager of Indian squads when they went to World Schools in 2017 as well as Aeroflot Open in 2018. He is the head of ChessBase India Hindi. Angela Franco is a WIM and has represented Colombian national team on multiple occasions.

What is a group tour?

ChessBase India will have Group Tour Managers - Niklesh Jain and Angela Franco who will guide the members at the Dubai and Sharjah tournaments. First of all ChessBase India will take care of your accommodation, flight tickets, visa and insurance like it always does. If you are a part of the ChessBase India Group tour then Niklesh and Angela will guide you with:

1. Food options, 

2. Airport transfers

3. Finding the best way for internal travel

4. Entry for the tournaments

5. Sight seeing, in case you would like to

6. Not to forget, Niklesh and Angela are pretty strong players and, if time permits, they can help you with the preparation for your games!


Niklesh and Angela would be doing everything that a guardian does! In this way, parents who usually have to travel with their kids will be saved from spending their 20 days in UAE away from home and work. Also it is cost effective because the cost of parent's travel, stay and food is saved. The kids also get to travel independently which makes them more responsible.

A glimpse of the 2019 tour

In 2019 we had the Group tour to Sharjah and Dubai with Niklesh, Angela and five players.

Five players who were part of the Group tour along with Niklesh and Angela were Souradip Deb, Sanskriti Goyal, Mrudul Dehankar, Rakshith Srinivas and Kaushik Iyer 

The tour began from the Mumbai airport. As it was the festival of Holi, the staff on the Indigo flight smeared some colour on the faces of the players!

Each player was given comfortable room to stay in

A glimpse of their performance. A total gain of 171 Elo points

A proud moment for the group was when Mrudul Dehankar won the best female player prize at the Sharjah Masters!

In front of the Sharjah Chess Club

On one of the days Niklesh and Angela took the youngsters out for a sight seeing tour to see the Dubai Mall and Burj Al Khalifa

Angela not only took care of the girls, but being a strong WIM helped them with psychological tips and preparation!

It goes without saying that if you are travelling with Niklesh and Angela, you are in safe hands
A video that gives you the feel of the arrangements of the Group Tour in 2019

The Dubai and Sharjah tournaments in 2020

The Dubai Open is happening before Sharjah Masters this year. The dates of the tournaments are:

1. Dubai Open from 28th March to 7th April

2. Sharjah Masters from 8th to 16th April.

More info about the Dubai Open:

Dubai Open: No double rounds this year! Every day you have a single round with a rest day on 3rd of April 2020. The closing ceremony will be held on the same night as the last round.

A total of US$50,000 with the first prize of US$13,000

Quite a few special prizes with a hefty cash sum of US$500 each

The entry fee for the players

Players list at the Dubai Open 2019:

The players list of 2019 gives you an idea about the strength of the field that you can expect this year: 

No. NameFideIDFEDRtg
1GMLe Quang Liem12401137VIE2711
2GMMatlakov Maxim4168003RUS2692
3GMKuzubov Yuriy14112906UKR2653
4GMMareco Sandro112275ARG2651
5GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo3901211VEN2633
6GMYilmaz Mustafa6302718TUR2631
7GMSafarli Eltaj13402129AZE2624
8GMSethuraman S.P.5021596IND2624
9GMAdly Ahmed10601619EGY2620
10GMTabatabaei M.Amin12521213IRI2612
11GMMchedlishvili Mikheil13600966GEO2610
12GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.5072786IND2602
13GMCan Emre6302181TUR2599
14GMIndjic Aleksandar911925SRB2592
15GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek14204118UZB2578
16GMPichot Alan110973ARG2566
17GMSantos Ruiz Miguel22291482ESP2555
18GMBellahcene Bilel696358ALG2538
19GMDebashis Das5024854IND2538
20GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.5011132IND2534

Complete players list

More info about the Sharjah Masters:

Sharjah Masters: You have one double round on the 11th of April, but apart from that, all single rounds!

Prizes at the Sharjah Masters 2020

The entry fee for the Sharjah Masters

Players list at the Sharjah Masters in 2019

The players list of 2019 gives you an idea about the strength of the field that you can expect this year: 

No. NameFideIDFEDRtgRtgIsexTyp
GMWang Hao8602883CHN27182718
GMFedoseev Vladimir24130737RUS27152715
GMLe Quang Liem12401137VIE27152715
GMInarkiev Ernesto4162722RUS26922692
GMMatlakov Maxim4168003RUS26922692
GMSargissian Gabriel13300881ARM26892689
GMKryvoruchko Yuriy14109182UKR26802680
GMMaghsoodloo Parham12539929IRI26732673
GMSjugirov Sanan4189302RUS26672667
GMMareco Sandro112275ARG26662666
GMFirouzja Alireza12573981IRI26572657U16
GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo3901211VEN26392639
GMGanguly Surya Shekhar5002150IND26332633
GMAdly Ahmed10601619EGY26112611
GMZubov Alexander14109409UKR26052605
GMIdani Pouya12510130IRI26042604
GMGupta Abhijeet5010608IND26022602
GMPichot Alan110973ARG25842584
GMNihal Sarin25092340IND25782578U16
IMYakubboev Nodirbek14203987UZB25692569

Cost of the Group Tour

Total Cost: Rs. 1,10,000 for a player


* Flights
* Airport Transfers
* Hotel Apartment stay (twin sharing)
* Insurance
* Visa fees
* Transfers from the venue to the hotel every day
* ChessBase India gift pack (includes book, pen, t-shirt, and more)



* Food
* Dubai and Sharjah Entry Fee
* Domestic Flights
* Sight Seeings


Hotline: 8815325895 (10 a.m to 8 p.m.)
Secondary number: 07304087464 


Please make sure that you contact us as soon as possible because there are only 8 spots available


1. What about the food?

A: Food is not included in the package. However, there are several restaurants near the place where players would be staying for non vegetarians. Vegetarians can order food from the nearest Saravana Bhavan restaurant. Niklesh and Angela can help if required.


2. What about the visa?

A: Once you confirm that you are travelling with ChessBase India and pay the amount, you have to send us your scanned passport as well as a photograph and some other documents which would be required. We will take care of the visa.


3. What about groceries?

A: There are two supermarkets, 100 metres from the distance of the hotel and you can buy fruits, vegetables or any item of daily use from there.


4. Tell us more about the Group Tour managers.

A: Apart from the introduction already given in the article, here are three videos that tell you more about the Group Tour managers and their life!

An unusual proposal at the Batumi Olympiad 2020
The wedding of Angela and Niklesh
Get to know the story of Angela and Niklesh

5. Do I need a jacket?

A: The weather in Dubai and Sharjah would be pretty hot, but when you enter the playing hall, it would be quite cold and good to have a jacket. 


6. Every participant gets a ChessBase India gift pack. What is included in it?

A: Every member will get a special ChessBase India gift pack which involves a t-shirt, a ChessBase India Notebook, a ChessBase India pen, and some more surprise goodies.


7. Can I get a refund of the amount I have paid in case of non travel?

A: The money paid is non-refundable. So please make the payment and enroll into the group tour only if you are 100% sure.

Download circulars from the ChessBase India Calendar:

Dubai Open 2020

Sharjah Masters 2020

Group Tour to Barcelona in 2018

Gaining 4359 Elo points in Spain


Please note: ChessBase India Power is no longer in existence. This group tour is solely organized by the core ChessBase India team. 

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