It's official, GM Susan Polgar noted today, that the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between the 26th and 30th December 2017.

https://www.themaven.net/chessdailyn...DHzaxcQ?full=1

FIDE is pleased to announce that, under the aegis of the General Sports Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between the 26th and 30th December 2017.

The first two Rapid Championships (Open and Women) will be on the 26th to 28th December and the Blitz Championships (Open and Women) will follow on the 29th and 30th December. The events offer a record breaking prize fund of US$2,000,000 with the Open events having individual prize funds of US$750,000 and each women event having a prize fund of US$ 250,000. 30 prizes shall be offered in each event. A payment of 20% from the above total prize fund shall be made to FIDE....

The qualified players will be offered free accommodation in Riyadh, as well as travel expenses as per regulations, if they confirm and sign their participation by the deadline of 30 November 2017.
The FIDE announcement can be found over here. There is a very, very impressive list of GMs and Super GMs playing in the event.

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I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that ChessTalk will have NO threads tut-tuting about the status of women in Saudi Arabia, no tirade lamenting the "shameful" practice of forcing the use of the burqa, etc., etc., and no calls to boycott that country or call for its expulsion from FIDE as was the case in a thread here recently regarding the Iranian republic.

After all, Saudi Arabia is so nice and buys billions of dollars in weapons from Canada - even if they're used against Yemeni and other civilians - is a military ally of NATO, and so on.

And just look how well funded the event is! No, there is no cause for complaint! lol. Just play chess!