A communique has just been released by the vice president of the African Chess Confederation (ACC), Mr. Bernard Wanjala, stating that the forthcoming Africa online individual chess championship has been postponed by a week.
The communique shown above, opine that players and federations have been unable to make payment for the event, because of some technicalities that has to do with the ACC PayPal account.
Just over a week ago, we appealed to the leadership of the confederacy to look into the reduction of the entry fees, while also affording free registration to all Grandmasters International Masters on the continent. Our Grandmasters and International Masters are not up to 1% of the total number of players on the continent.
Unfortunately, no official response was given to this request. It is hoped that the leaders of the African Chess Confederation understand that players have to cough up the registration and internet needs for this event on their own, which is for an online event.
This event does not take the players into consideration when putting the prize structure in place. This is an opinion that stem from giving five (5) prizes in an open event where the expected participant is a total of five hundred (500) players.
The leadership of the ACC also need to understand that these participation fees are a huge sum to most of the sub-Saharan African chess player, where most of them are not full time chess professionals.
This is most likely the reason why there are only about forty-five (45) registered participants for the event (total), where virtually all of them are from the Northern parts of the continent.
There is a need to encourage participation seeing the boom in chess in the world today.
In the invitation released by the ACC, it was pointed out that federations can register an unlimited number of players for the online event. However, players would be the one’s to pay this registration and still take care of every other needs for the event.
Fide should see that this is unfair on the players and help the African chess players in this regard, because the African Chess Confederation is working under the auspices of Fide.
We need an all inclusive confederation. Seeing that most federations are not going out to source for sponsorships, the burden should be made lighter for the players and parents to carry.