Kenya upbeat ahead of East Africa Youth Online Chess Championship

Ruhan Shah of Mombasa Chess Academy in action during a past match. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Kenya is optimistic of finishing top when the 2nd edition of the East Africa Youth Online Chess Championship kicks off on Saturday.

The championship will see players from across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda battle out in various age categories from under-8 to under-18 through the online chess platform ‘lichess.’

Over 200 players are expected to participate in the tournament which is brought up courtesy of Mombasa Chess Academy, Nairobi Chess Academy, Victoria Chess Academy and  Marvel Chess Scholastic Centre.

Ruhan Shah of Mombasa Chess Academy said he is ready for the new challenge having played numerous online chess tournaments.

“I really enjoy playing online chess tournaments. It has helped me continue with my chess even when many things stopped due to the pandemic. I think I will do well in this 2nd Edition,  I have been preparing for it,” said Shah.

Kenya upbeat ahead of East Africa Youth Online Chess Championship

Players in action during the Kenya National Youth & Cadets Chess Championship qualifiers. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

Kenya Chief Arbiter Anthony Kionga said he is confident Kenyan players and clubs will come out on top having being training and playing virtual online tournaments even as the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports throughout the world.

“Within crisis, are seeds of opportunity. Chess has leveraged on the Covid-19 pandemic and moved its activities online where the world is a small place. This allows us to run events online with people from far and away by just a click on the button.”

“The aim of the tournament is to build a healthy competitive environment to allow our kids to continue to grow and improve on their weaknesses whilst building an environment of cohesiveness and integrating with our East African brothers and sisters,” said Kionga.

Top three players in each category (Boys and Girls) will receive medals and all players will receive Certificate of Participation.

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