Exciting things are happening in chess in South Africa. We recently wrote about the launch of chess in schools by Tsogo Sun and Moves for Life. Now African Chess Lounge headed by Reuben Salimu is bringing chess to television, DSTV to be more specific. Many chess players and administrators all over the world have tried to bring chess to tv over the years. Not many have been successful. Well done to Reuben Salimu who is quite a strong player himself in the Western Cape. The first episode of Armageddon Chess Challenge was broadcast on CTV Channel 32 or 67 and DSTV channel 263.
Classical chess games are too long for the general public to consume and follow on tv. However, it is possible to provide chess in a format that is not only engaging but very exciting as well. Welcome to the Armageddon Chess Challenge. It is indeed a great honour and privilege to personally know a fiercely determined individual who has stuck by his vision of bring chess to national tv. I first spoke to Reuben some years back about the idea of bringing chess to tv and now his company has made it a reality.
Chess enjoys immense popular support in our community and is a great tool to build confidence in individuals and to improve mental abilities such as planning, logical thinking, mathematics and strategy. This programme is aimed at potential and existing chess enthusiasts (young and old) and is aimed at promoting chess as a tool for youth and personal development.
The TV show is based on the popular and high impact version of the game called “Blitz” or “Speed Chess” which lends itself towards television as it is short and dramatic. African Chess Lounge will select participants through different criteria which will also be featured on the show. The programme will be presented by a dynamic chess enthusiast and will consist of player profiles, two matches per episodes and an educational chess insert. Each week the winner of the match will qualify for a final showdown.
The programme will build dramatic tension by going “behind the scenes” including a glimpse into the lives of the contestants to build viewer loyalty to the players as “characters”. Each show will feature a developmental focus by picking various local chess groups, clubs, schools and organizers and administrators behind them along with their motivations for starting these groups.
Africa Chess Lounge will also show developmental activities that individuals, corporate, social groups and government are doing with chess in underprivileged communities. They will use feedback from viewers to the Armageddon Chess Challenge to improve the show. Many would associate Armageddon with the end but with this chess this is only the beginning. Good times!
If you would like to be involved with Armageddon Chess Challenge contact Reuben Salimu here.