Rwanda: World Chess Day 2021 – Rwandan chess players celebrate online
Chess as a game of strategy and intelligence has long been considered a game of thinking. It’s a wonderful game to play anytime, anywhere and with almost anyone.
July 20 has arrived and for those who don’t know, it’s International Chess Day.
This day is celebrated every year as the founding day of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) which celebrates its 97th anniversary this year.
According to chess.com, on this day, chess enthusiasts around the world celebrate the game. Players, clubs, and organizations around the world create and participate in events to celebrate this remarkable game.
Alain Patience Niyibizi, FIDE arbiter and president of the Kigali Chess Academy, said an online blitz started on July 19 and ends today, July 20.
“During this blitz, a chess player will have ten minutes and can play four rounds per day. Winners will receive prizes including medals, WiFi devices and airtime packages proudly sponsored by Airtel,” did he declare.
“Also, the Chess World Cup is currently taking place in Sochi, Russia, with the best players in the world, so I think every chess player will have their eyes on the broadcast platforms.”
Niyibizi revealed that usually if it was not Covid-19, on this day chess players in Rwanda would physically meet and play some blitz (speed) games with friends and try to learn other people how to play chess as much as they can.
However, he acknowledges that locking can help chess enthusiasts sharpen their brains by focusing and learning new chess variations and topics since chess is vast.
“Chess can help anyone at any age group, whether you are a kid or in your 80s. Some of the benefits of chess are critical thinking, time management, planning skills, as well as improving memory and concentration visualization. I believe everyone needs it,” he said.
Former national chess champion Marie-Faustine Shimwa said that International Chess Day is a special occasion that chess players use to raise awareness in their communities about chess, its values and its benefits.
“In our region, the awareness of this game is still at a low level compared to other countries in the world. To make my contribution, I use social media as a means of conveying my message concerning chess”, a- she declared.
She added: “Although I enjoy playing chess when I play it on a physical chessboard, I am also happy that there are online platforms that are helping me during this lockdown. I continue to enjoy the game. in one way or another.”
Rongin Munyurangabo, the reigning men’s national champion, said that for him, International Chess Day is a day to learn and teach chess to his younger siblings.
“At home, I celebrate this day by teaching my younger siblings to play chess and telling them more about this day. We will be playing online chess games at home as usual. During this lockdown period, we play a lot of online chess games because it’s an easy way,” he said.