Against all odds John Chibvuri in Zimbabwe is developing junior talent in the township. With very meagre resources he recently hosted the Knights Chess Academy Scholars in January 2015. Based in Glen Norah Chibvuri has been soldiering on, teaching children how to play chess and identifying top talent that could one day be future grand masters.
It is against this background that the first Knight Chess Academy Scholars open was held recently in Gazaland, Highfield Township in Harare. The tournament was held to showcase the talent in the township. Though the prizes were very modest the tournament was a great achievement and success. The very low prizes did nothing to dim the enthusiasm of the players and organizer alike.
The prize winners from the tournament were as follows: In first place was Zhemba Jemusse (Seke 4 High) on 6 points. Second place went to Tapiwa Chikwavaire from Zengeza 2 High School with 5pts, Third place went to Greenwell Chimanya (Prince Edward) with 4 points, Vincent Mabodongwa (Kwayedza High) 4 points, Collins Mabodongwa (Kundayi Primary School) 4 points and Panashe Chimbwanda (Highfield 2 High) 4pts .
In terms of special prizes the best Girl prize went to Elizabeth Gotora of Highfield 2 High who finished with 2 points. The Youngest Player award went to 6 year old and Grade 1 John Chibvuri Jnr 0.5 points, a chip of the old block.
The schools represented were at the first Knights Academy Open: Kundayi Primary., Shiriyedenga Primary, Zuvarabuda Primary, Kwayedza High, Glen View 2 High, Prince Edward, Highfield 1 High, Highfield 2 High, Budiriro 1 High, Harare High, Zengeza 2 High, Seke 4 High, Elsa College, and Cabal Christian College.
The founder of the tournament John Chibvuri had this to say about the tournament,” My hope is to have a sponsor for this tournament. Sponsors are hard to come by. But well we can’t stop junior chess development just because we don’t have funds. I believe in the Japanese term ‘kaizen’ meaning slow and continuous improvement. This is our first Knights Chess Academy Scholars Open tournament and it’s our first step in organizing open tournaments. It’s not a rich academy but we thrive on a lot of passion, love of the game and nurturing young talent. Rome was not built in a day but over time.
The youngsters play with the game with a fierce determination. The love of the game sees them spending hours each day so that they can improve their technique and understanding of one of the world’s oldest games. With a man like John Chibvuri they are definitely in safe hands. He is a man who will not allow any obstacles to get in the way of his dream and vision. Africa has just a handful of Grand masters.
If the children in the townships cannot afford to attend chess events and tournaments, perhaps chess can be taken to the township. Guided by this philosophy Chibvuri has been working slowly but steadily taking in youngsters who knew nothing about the game to prize winners in various junior chess tournaments. The results of his hard work are beginning to show but who knows what a man of his ability can achieve with decent resources and sponsorship. These are exciting times for Chess in Africa.
If you would like to get hold of John Chibvuri at the Glen Norah Knights Academy, you can reach him on +263773 927 141