As we greet the new year of 2014, we are contemplating the exposure the African Chess community will receive in 2014. Several factors are at play but most notably involvement by the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa to promote Chess on our continent and the World Youth Championship 2014 being held in Durban, South Africa in September 2014.
In January 2014, KCF Africa officially announced additional increased support for FIDE rated events across the African continent in 2014 and collaboration with organisers in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Togo, Malawi and Nigeria to possibly help facilitate FIDE rated events in these countries. Also to be noted is a Chess-in-Schools pilot programme in conjunction with MiniChess (South Africa) being launched in Rwanda, Malawi and Uganda in the 1st quarter of 2014 as well as 2 KCF Africa academic bursaries awarded to Joel Klo from Ghana and Moses Maina from Kenya.
Full details for the World Youth Chess Championships 2014 are not available at this stage but if taken into account that the 2013 World Youth Championship in Al Ain, in the U.A.E. secured 1850 players from 171 federations and 120 countries, the exposure to Africa and African Chess as a continent will be massive in September 2014.
A perturbing factor noted earlier at the WYCC 2013 was that under the FIDE auspices of 41 noted African Member Countries, only 16 participated in the WYCC 2013. We are hoping to see this improve with more African member countries taking part in 2014 as the possible financial implications for Chess unions & federations might be less restrictive.
The question however, that we as an African global community need to ask ourselves, is how we can take hands across borders, territories and cultures to ensure that African Chess exposure is amplified and strengthened above and beyond for these programmes and championships in 2014.
We have ample Chess talent across our global continent and need to ensure that this as well as future generational Chess talent may possibly receive the best exposure to horizons and opportunities not yet imagined. Although Africa, as a continent, is still climbing the Socio-Economic ladder; we have many resources, wonderful amazing people and communities, a rich cultural heritage and fantastic traditions.
Steve Biko once said, “The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the World an industrial and military look but the great gift still has to come from Africa, giving the world a more human face.”
We as a global African Chess community need not measure our worth and outcomes in African financial terms; as the Online Chess community we are utilizing a web resource that is available to many and has the power to change numerous hearts, minds and perceptions.
Let us, as a Global Online African Chess community, take hands, minimalize our disputes, maximize our fellowship on the continent and make 2014 our year to tell the world African Chess is on the rise and how we are creating our own global vision of an African Chess future for generations to come. It is in the rhythm of your soul, of your tongue, your hart, your hands and feet, dancing to the drumming as the new dawn breaks and shouting out in joy to the heavens under an African sky – so share it!
A few last powerful thoughts:
“A single bracelet does not jingle.” ―Congolese proverb
“Our children may learn about the heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.” ― Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya
“As you do for your ancestors, your children will do for you.” ― African Proverb