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Ripples from World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen felt in the small town of Voi, Kenya

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Introduction

You will all recall that NGO’s have been under considerable pressure from the Kenya Government. The NGO Coordinating Board has been carry out an audit of all NGO’s registered in Kenya with a view of cleaning up the sector. There have been allegations of fraud, money laundering, and terrorism allegations against a number of NGO’s.

My report today covers an interesting aspect where an NGO has been supporting chess and which somehow seems to have been missed by mainstream media. We now bring you a story that will strongly resonate with all chess players.

ManGo Development

The story covers a Norwegian NGO called ManGo Development. Their core mission is to empower people through education and entrepreneurship.  You can read more about them by visiting their website http://man-go.no/.

ManGo Development has been supporting the special unit at the Mwanyambo Primary School in Voi, which is a small town in Kenya for several years. The special unit is for hearing impaired children & youth. “Silent Voices” is the name they have been given.

In early 2015 they came up with a novel idea of teaching chess to the deaf children of Mwanyambo Primary School. If the children cannot SAY but they can PLAY.Poster for the event.

Poster for the event.

ManGo & Prox Chess House

ManGo enlisted the help of Prox Chess House to provide equipment and training. Most of us know of the immense contribution Prox Chess House has made for Kenyan Chess. I must admit that ManGo found the right partner in this venture.  Prox Chess House recently part sponsored the Kenya National Chess League and even took part coming out a respectable 7thout of 18 teams.

Instructions on how to play chess in progress. Photo credit Prox Chess House.
Instructions on how to play chess in progress. Photo credit Prox Chess House.

The band of 4 volunteers from Prox Chess House included Titus Mwangi, Titus Kirega, Joseph Kirega and George Githui who took time to visit the school on two separate occasions to conduct the training for Mwanyambo and other schools.

Group photo. Photo credit Prox Chess House.
Group photo. Photo credit Prox Chess House.

ManGo presented an autographed photo of World Champion Magnus Carlsen to the school.   It is only natural that ManGo use Magnus Carlsen also of Norway as their ambassador.

Vilhelm Skjærpe presents the autographed photo of Magnus Carlsen to Titus Kirega of Prox Chess House (Photo credit ManGo)
Vilhelm Skjærpe presents the autographed photo of Magnus Carlsen to Titus Kirega of Prox Chess House (Photo credit ManGo)

This little and novel idea of introducing chess to a disadvantaged community will have a huge impact for years to come. It is my sincere desire that some more effort is put in this direction by ManGo and other chess supporters.

George Githui holds a Rook while the sign teacher explains to the kids. Photo credit Prox Chess House.
George Githui holds a Rook while the sign teacher explains to the kids. Photo credit Prox Chess House.

Deaf chess players should be encouraged to come and take part in our normal chess events. A few months ago there was a story that I did for the 2015 World Disabled Chess Championship which featured a number of players who were deaf. See http://www.kenyachessmasala.com/2015/10/kenyan-chess-players-makes-his-mark-at.html

The trainers from Prox Chess House from left Titus Mwangi, Titus Kirega, Joseph Kirega, George Githui (photo credit Prox Chess House)
The trainers from Prox Chess House from left Titus Mwangi, Titus Kirega, Joseph Kirega, George Githui (photo credit Prox Chess House)

International Chess Committee for the Deaf (ICCD)

International Chess Committee for the Deaf (ICCD) is the body that organises its own chess event.  These include the World Championship, Team Championship, Junior events etc.  Their website is http://www.webalice.it/michess/icsc.htm.  The current World Champion is Klasan Vladimir of Serbia.

The King - World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen (photo credit David Llada)
The King – World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen (photo credit David Llada)

Will Kenya be able to send players for these events?  There is no reason why not. We hope that Chess Kenya will be able to facilitate these trips with the same vigour  and efforts that it exhibits for the Olympiads and the junior events.

Links

Man Go Website

International Chess Committee for the Deaf

Kenyan at World Disabled Chess Championship