“The warrior who sweats more in practice, bleeds less in battle…”~an old warrior’s creed
While most African countries are in lockdown against an invisible enemy just like the rest of the world, the game of chess continues to thrive online. Almost all sporting codes have shutdown completely during this time but the unique nature of chess allows players and enthusiasts to enjoy it regardless.
The major chess websites like Lichess, Chess.com, Chess24 and streaming platforms like twitch enjoy daily traffic with tournaments and arenas packed with virtual spectators enthralled by kngoing games and analyses while strictly observing social distancing with most being entire continents apart!
We started the hashtag#️⃣ #enjoychessduringlockdown and invited some chess lovers to participate in showing us how they’re enjoying their chess during these unprecedented times! See below:
Africa’s best chess player grandmaster Bassem Amin enjoys his games next to his cabinet of proud achievements. Fresh from virtually representing Africa as part of the Rest Of World team with kid sensation Firouzja Alireza as his teammate in the Chess.com Nations Cup this is where he most enjoys his chess. I have it on reliable authority that this is just a fraction of his trophies and I should definitely ask him what dpi settings are his mouse on!
Keith Khumalo relieves the frustration of restricted movement by releasing his mind with online chess here. He also has a Twitch streaming account and regularly streams his games.
Interestingly FM Harold Wanyama of Uganda has taken a page out of World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s book by doing the Harold Wanyama Invitational albeit on a much much smaller scale! Much more on this and other events later…
In Botswana we have had frantic movement with online chess activities being spearheaded early on by Vincent Masole with daily online blitz tournaments. Kuda Bayani, a proud ambassador has been well representing his country virtually in matches with challenges from all around Southern Africa mostly.
A highly commendable action by the chess Federation leadership in Botswana was that upon realizing just how enthusiastically chess is embraced online they have started to reward online tournaments with an emphasis on junior play and girls’ events.
Chess coaches who never used to do online coaching have had to adapt and start offering these services since most rely solely on this as a means of surviving. Most are now available online and a chess coach benefit was organized recently to also assist alleviating the burden they carry.
Who has the most enviable chess setup? Who’s set-up would you like to see?
If you too want to join in the movement, send in your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the hashtag #enjoychessduringlockdown and we will feature you on our online platforms. Keep enjoying your chess!