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GM Pontus Carlsson tour of Nairobi


We present a report prepared by the Githinji Hinga who is the Regional Coordinator – East Africa for Kasparov Chess Foundation – Africa.

CMAT (Chess Masters Africa Tour) is sponsored by The Paul Allen Foundation in collaboration with the Kasparov Chess Foundation. The six countries included in the tour are Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

GM Pontus Carlsson Tour of Kenya is the third CMAT with the first one being the tour of GM Kenny Solomon (RSA) in February GM Kenny Solomon in Kenya. and IM Rodwell Makoto in April 2017 IM Rodwell Makoto visits Kenya.

Cohort 3 CMAT Trainees Kenya:

Proud trainees. Standing from left Phillip Singe, Ian King, Brian Kariuki, Paul Ombui, Ricky Sang, Ronald Bolo, Martin Njoroge, Shem Vilembwa, Terrence Chazima. Sitting from left Timothy Omondi, Joyce Nyaruai, GM Pontus Carlsson, Roselinda Irungu, Wilberforce Gitau, Anthony Kionga


DAY 1 – 11TH May: Arrival and Rest Day

JKIA Airport  – Arrival, pick up of GM Pontus Carlsson and Ms Tereza Pribanova of Chess in Schools and Communities UK by Githinji Hinga and Joy of MiniChess Kenya.

GM Pontus Carlsson and Tereza Pribanova arrive at JKIA Airport Nairobi,
Sampling a local beverages.

DAY 2 – 12th May: School Visits – Mukuru Kwa Njenga

0800-1500 – We set out for Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums where MiniChess Kenya has a pilot MiniChess program with 100 learners drawn from three schools:

  1. Redroof School – (Carson Academy)
  2. High View Academy
  3. Imara Daima SDA Primary School

The program is sponsored by Chess in Schools and Communities (CISC) UK and Kapsarov Chess Foundation Africa and is undertaken by MiniChess Kenya in collaboration with the Sports Outreach Ministries.

GM Pontus Carlsson and Ms Tereza Pribanova visited all three schools and had a chance to experience classes first-hand. These were conducted by MiniChess Teachers, Eric Oyugi and Titus Gichuka. They also had a talk with the principals and director of the slum schools. GM Pontus Carlsson gave an inspirational talk and chess lesson to the children. It was a rare and memorable occasion for all.

1430 – Visit Sports Outreach Office – The duo met with the Sports Outreach Ministries director, Pastor Francis Juma. There was a training in progress at the office and we got a chance to speak with the facilitator and world famous Eng. Robert Katende of Queen of Katwe fame.

Tereza speaks to Eng. Robert Katende outside Sports Outreach Offices
Tough conditions at the slum, gum boots came in handy.
Porridge Break – GM Pontus Carlsson and Githinji Hinga Regional Coordinator of Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa.
Warm reception at Imara Daima SDA School.
MiniChess Class in progress, Teacher Titus has a new student.
With High View Academy director Mr Pascal Angulu.

DAY 3 and 4 – 13-14TH May: Training of Trainers

1000 – 1900Hrs

Joint Training Sessions – Lotos Inn and Suites Hotel Nairobi.

GM Pontus Carlsson gave sessions on the following:

  • Opening, Middle game and End game themes and drills
  • Strength Training
  • Training Techniques and resources
  • Training Etiquette and checklists
  • Rocket Chess, Suicide Chess and other fun but great chess strategy games.
Training in progress.
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation TV Interview.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation TV Interview.Please find link to the TV Interview that appeared on KBC TV News 9 pm on 13th May.  Link can be found here – https://youtu.be/lyUkiiOlz9U

DAY 5 – 7– 15TH May: Training of Trainers and School Visits

GM Pontus Carlsson gave one on one training plans and evaluations to individual trainees. He identified areas for improvement and prescribed books and videos as homework.

CMAT Partner Schools Visits

GM Pontus Carlsson along with the trainees visited partner schools and donated chess equipment as follows:

  • 15 Chess boards and Sets
  • 2 Chess Clocks
  • 1 Demonstration Chess Board

We met the School administrators and did chess coaching at every school. This gave an opportunity to GM Carlsson to evaluate the trainees ability to teach.

Monday – Ngara Girls High School

Joyce Nyaruai Introduces the game to the girls.

Tuesday – Dagoretti High School Boys

Nairobi Milimani School.
Introduction to Chess by GM Pontus Carlsson.
GM Carlsson visits local Chess Club at Motor Sports Club South C in one of the nights

Editor’s note – We believe that these 3 visits have sown the seeds for chess to flourish over the next few decades.  The hard work remains to ensure that there are enough events and strong structures to keep up the momentum.