Africa Chess Media COVID-19 chess setup challenge!

“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.

Keith Khumalo @SouthAfricanWolf analyzing #enjoychessduringlockdown| Image credit Cosmos Chipepo

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:

GM Bassem Amin’s operating table with surgical tools and trophy display #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit GM Bassem Amin

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’s setup #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit Keith Khumalo

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.

Eastern chess star FM Harold Wanyama joins the challenge! #enjoychessduringlockdown| Image credit FM Harold Wanyama

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.

Joining the challenge is Botswana’s Kuda Bayani’s chess setup! #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit Kuda

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.

Most kids (and adults!) enjoy entering the online arenas via mobile phones just like Neo Malindi here… #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit Cosmos Chipepo
Chess Powerhouse Hyena, Tapera Uzeni adapted and now coaches online. #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit Tapera

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.

Chess coach Victor Ndongeni joins the challenge. #enjoychessduringlockdown| Image credit Victor
South African Universities champion Mfundo Masiya, the chess messiah joins in the fray with his dark themed setup #enjoychessduringlockdown | image credit Mfundo
Chess coach Jaheim Netshakhuma joins in the challenge. #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit Jaheim
Chess coach Eric Mphathi with a student. #enjoychessduringlockdown | Image credit Eric
Chess coach Kunda Fwati joins the challenge. #enjoychessduringlockdown| Image credit Kunda
Mothupi Lekgau enjoys comfortable online gaming, coaching and analyzing with this stylish setup. #enjoychessduringlockdown |Image credit Mothupi

I have also made my own submission here

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 cosmoschipepo@africachessmedia.com with the hashtag #enjoychessduringlockdown and we will feature you on our online platforms. Keep enjoying your chess!

5 comments

  1. Very creative. Gets uou connected to other players from different countries. Beautiful initiative. Kudos Cosmos.

    • I wouldn’t have known you Rev were it not for the beautiful game that unites us all… Thank you for the inspirations always!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.