"Saudi Arabia’s top cleric has declared the playing of chess “forbidden,” calling it a waste of time and money that creates hatred between players.
"In a fatwa, or religious decree, issued in response to a question from a caller to a Saudi television show, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh said that the game was “the work of Satan,” like alcohol and gambling, despite its long history in the Middle East. Chess is played across the Arab world.
"It was unclear when the fatwa by the grand mufti was issued, but it appeared to garner attention online in the run-up to a chess tournament scheduled for Friday in Mecca. The chess association said it planned to go ahead with the tournament regardless of the fatwa."