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January 21, 2019

Introduction of chess competition in schools is a major step for CK

1.Re8+ Kxe8 2.Qxg8+ Ke7 3.Qg7+ Kd8 4.Qf8+ Kd7 5.Bg4+ Re6 6.Qf7+ wins
1.Re8+ Kxe8 2.Qxg8+ Ke7 3.Qg7+ Kd8 4.Qf8+ Kd7 5.Bg4+ Re6 6.Qf7+ wins

Every federation’s desire world over is to see chess develop and challenge other sporting disciplines, insofar as interest in the game is concerned. This is now the case in Norway, after 23-year-old Magnus Carlsen became the world champion last November.

Chess Kenya (CK) is no exception to this. Since taking over the reins of leadership almost one year ago, lack of funding has hampered the implementation of its blueprint, even as they unveil this year’s calendar of events next week.

A notable inclusion will be the introduction of chess competitions in schools, with the primary aim of picking the junior national team from this pool. Competitors will battle it out at the county level before select winners meet at the national level to earn the right of donning the national team colours to international events.

And with CK set to distribute 5,000 chess sets worth Sh7.5m donated by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) to some schools in all counties, it is high time corporate and private entities stepped in to support it in realising its mission. Such strategic partnerships will strengthen CK’s operations and elevate Kenya to a recognisable level on the world chess map. Commendably, in spite of the budgetary constraints, Chess in Schools has been on the roll.

Meanwhile, the inaugural Scottish Tartan (Hotel) Open chess tournament in Kisumu, from April 5-6 has so far attracted close to 100 local players. A strong contingent of a dozen players from Uganda, fresh from their Olympiad final phase qualifier, is also expected.


Quiz: Find the best move for white (Wang Hao) against black (Etienne Bacrot) in this game played at the 45th Biel GM Tournament in 2012

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