Chess coach impressed by African junior tournament

13Jul 2020
Correspondent
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Chess coach impressed by African junior tournament

TANZANIA's chess coach, Kara Louis, has described an online continental competition, known as African Juniors 11 Team Battle, involving six nations, as good as it will give exposure to junior players.

Louis issued the coments yesterday on the sidelines of the competition, which saw junior teams from Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana and hosts Tanzania, play in the tournament organized by International Chess Federation (FIDE)-recognized Arbiter, Duke Micheka.

As we went to press, results of the games were not out but Louis said he is confident that the hosts' teams will do well at the tournament.

The coach said duration of play is 90 minutes for the tournament's matches while time control is 5+5 and each team can have up to 15 players but only top 10 players will be considered.

He said Kenya was represented by White Rook Juniors Juta St.Peters Chess Club, Brand Chess Life Academy represented Uganda, whereas Botswana had Francistown School of Chess.

Young Chess Masters were representing Zimbabwe, Malawi had The Danish Knights, South Africa fielded Kwa Zulu Natal Chess Academy, while Tanzania entered Don Bosco and Rising Star Chess Clinic.

“It is good for the players, it gives them exposure, they are used to playing against each other, but this time they are playing the best teams on the continent, it gives them experience and confidence,” he stated.

Due to the Coronavirus disease spread in Tanzania, the country's chess players, like their fellows in many African countries, have resorted to playing chess online and it is regarded as faster.

Online chess games include blitz and speed chess.

Tanzania Chess Association (TCA) officials, a few months ago announced that they will start an online event which will involve all age categories and they will be using lichess application.

Lichess is an application approved by FIDE and it is also used for rating and training of the sport.

Playing the sport online is witnessing a rapid growth in interest and participation, particularly with most people being confined to their homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, a chess website, chess.com, had 1.5 million new subscribers compared to 670,000 subscribers in January, as disclosed by the international chess governing body.