The World Chess Federation (known as FIDE, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs) launched a series of Grand Prix tournaments at the Al-Bustan Hotel in Dubai for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Grand Prix at the beginning of April. The World Chess Grand Prix series will then go to Moscow for the Russian Grand Prix, Bangalore or Bombay in July, Croatia in August, and finally Rio de Janeiro in September. Each part of the Grand Prix has an opening ceremony and five playing days finishing with a closing ceremony. A total of 32 players have qualified for each of the Grand Prix tournaments and were selected based on strict criteria.

Peter Leko from Hungary won the UAE Grand Prix against Russian Alexander Grischuck. The pressure was on as they faced two tiebreakers and a final sudden-death tiebreaker where the competitors played not only against each other, but also against the clock.

Vari-Lite Europe is providing equipment for the whole tour including nine VL6™ spot luminaires, eight ETC Source Fours, three Strand Minuette fresnels, and two Redheads all run off an Avolites Pearl desk, specified by lighting cameraman Chris Dingley and operated by Gerry Mott.

Account manager Keith Duncan said, "It was quite unusual being asked to provide equipment to the World Chess Grand Prix series. A dramatic look was required to help build the tension but we also had to keep the amount of equipment down to make shipping manageable. I think the design we settled on was very effective for its size, and created exactly the look the client was looking for."