Another visual riddle – from the 13th Asian Continental Open and Women’s Chess Championship -Sharjah 2014

I was reading some recent news on, and was struck by the beauty and intricacy of the 23×23 logo at the right of the following banner:


Now it’s pretty clear that the four out of five of the emblems appearing to its left are chess federations or associations of some kind. The fifth emblem (counting from the left, the one with the palm tree) has an Arabic inscription, so it can be hunted down on the internet.

But what exactly is the right-most emblem (i.e. the square pattern)?         الشارقة-العاصمة2Suppose however, your were just presented with this emblem, a 23×23 multi-colored mosaic design, without any context.

Could you find out what it is, visually, without resulting to any text?

For example, could you upload such an image to Google and ask it to find all the places where such an emblem, or some “close” facsimile of it,  is used? And if you can’t yet, why hasn’t technology progressed to this point?

Consider this task as another visual riddle challenge to the reader!

I solved it, but I cheated. I used the textual context surrounding the image, and so found the official tournament link in the article:

I then realized that the tournament was held in Sharjah, one of the emirates that form the UAE.


This solves the riddle of the fifth emblem (the one with the palm tree), it is the Sharjah emirate’s emblem as found on the Wiki page:

The official tournament site also contains a link to the following:


Which in turn contains the logo and an English inscription which solves the riddle.


    Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital

I’m still not entirely certain the significance of the glyph, but it leads to the following link, where a beautiful slideshow awaits you (and it’s even captioned in English):



For completeness, here is the last emblem that might be difficult for a non-Arabic speaker to identify:

UAEChessFedeLogoIt is the UAE Chess Federation’s emblem:


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