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St Monica’s Girls High School off to Aktau, Kazakhstan

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St Monica’s Girls High School off to Aktau, Kazakhstan

St Monica’s Girls High School, the Kenya National School Chess Champions, departed this week for Aktau, Kazakhstan, to participate in the World Schools Chess Championship from 3rd to 8th August 2023. 

St Monica's Girls High School Team pose for a group photo. Photo credit Bernard Wanjala.
St Monica’s Girls High School Team pose for a group photo. Photo credit Bernard Wanjala.

The event brings together more than 400 students from 53 countries. These young chess enthusiasts are competing in two age categories: up to 12 years old and 18 years old.

The Kenya National Youth Chess Championship 2023, organised by Chess Kenya, was the country’s most significant sporting event, held jointly at Kisii School and Kereri Girls from 23rd to 27th April 2023. The tournament saw just over 3,200 participants, with girls comprising 30% of the players. The age categories were U8, U10, U, U14, U16 & U18 for both Open & Girl’s categories

St Monica’s Girls High School, with 30 students, emerged as the best overall in the secondary category for the second year running.

The performance also has enormous significance in demystifying the popular myth that boys do better in chess than girls. For several years the national title has been held by boys’ schools such as Alliance Boys (2018), St Joseph Boys Kitale (2019) and St Patricks Iten (2021, 2022). 

The school that wins is responsible for flying national flags in international events.

The team comprises five players and two St Monica’s Girls High School teachers.

The players include Maysie Andia (U16 Girls), Purity Cherotich (U18 Girls), Faith Chemtai (U16 Girls), Mary Wothaya (U16 Girls) and Deborah Cherotich (U16 Girls). Their teacher Ms Christine Makokha (Team Captain), and Ms Grace Oyugi (School Principal) will accompany the team.

The trip was sponsored by Chess Kenya, World Chess Federation (FIDE) and NOC-K.

Other African nations taking part include South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Mozambique and Uganda.

Grand Opening Ceremony

The Grand Opening Ceremony was held at the prestigious Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan. Among the distinguished guests were Arkady Dvorkovich, the President of the International Chess Federation,  Timur Turlov, the President of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation, and Nurlan Nogaev, Akim (Local Head) of Mangistau Region, where Aktau is situated.

The Opening Ceremony. Kazakhstan Chess Federation.
The Opening Ceremony. Kazakhstan Chess Federation.
The playing hall. Photo credit Kazakhstan Chess Federation.
The playing hall.
Photo credit Kazakhstan Chess Federation.

 

 

Links

Official website: wstcc2023.fide.com

2023 World Schools Chess Championship on chess-results.com

Photos: Flickr (can be used only for media reporting about the event, with credit given to Kazakhstan Chess Federation).

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Article by Kenya Chess Masala.