This has been a dramatic week!
This was the message on Facebook from Secretary General Joseph Atwoli of Chess Kenya.
Dear Chess Friends,
1. AFRICA YOUTH CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP AND WORLD YOUTH CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP 2013.
Due to reasons beyond our control, Chess Kenya regrets to announce the suspension of all international Junior and Youth events for a period of 1(one) year to allow for setting up of meaningful structures and policies. This suspension takes effect immediately.
Chess Kenya would also like to invite all concerned for a stakeholders meeting on 15th September, 2013 at the Nyayo Stadium Secretariate from 2pm for a brainstorming session on the best way forward.
2. Kenya National Chess League
The National Chess league is going on as planned and on Saturday 7/9/2013 at Goan Gymkhana NCC V Strathmore and UoN V Kabete are scheduled to take place.
3. Daystar Open
Daystar University Chess Club will be hosting an open tournament on 28th and 29th of September, 2013. for more info please contact David Chege on 0712823761
4. Membership Fees
We take this opportunity to appeal to everyone who is not yet a member to pay membership fee of Kshs 1200/= to Chess Kenya Account No. 01134162629300, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Upper Hill Branch. or to contact the treasurer Mr. Moses Kwereba on tel;- 0725042992 or Karan Christie on tel;- 0723210699.
Chess Kenya urgently needs your assistance to be able to run effectively and to cater for its administrative costs.
Reaction has been swift and vicious as usual. A few supporters praised this move saying that it was long over-due and some saying that this was a dumb move.
The first casualty of this was the World Youth Championship. The first leg of this event was held at Sikh Union Club, Nairobi when Gary Kasparov presented the top kids with their prizes. How would these kids feel about qualifying for the second stage on to be told there will be no event.
|Our hero presenting prizes at Sikh Union Club, Nairobi
during the first phase of the Youth Championship
|Sharanya Iyengar receives her prize|
There are powerful underlying currents in Kenyan Chess that few ever realise. On one hand the junior chess is heavily dominated by Indians who usually win most of the prizes. To make matters worse (especially those who are myopic) is that most of them are non citizens. This is where the jingoistic feelings of certain Kenyan chess players comes to the fore. Was this curfew directed to these non-citizens? Well we will find out when the stakeholders meetings is held on 15th September 2013.
My view is that if non-citizens are so good is it their fault? Certainly not in my opinion. It just means that Kenyan kids have to work much harder and us adult chess players should put in much more effort to promote the game. We should aspire to work hard and do well. Bringing down those who are better than us is not the way to go.
Will keep you readers updated!