19:41, Saturday, 27th May, 2017

The 2017 Phela-Live Prestige section is poised for an exciting finish after 4 tight rounds have failed to produce an outright leader. The event was officially launched at the offices of the Phela-Live Wellness Center on Friday while all games have been played at the St Juliana Conference center in Manzini.

The event has attracted 70 participants from 8 different countries and sees the top 32 players participating in the Prestige section with a further 38 participating in the Open!

CM Musatwe Simutowe from Zambia currently shares the lead on 3.5/4 with FM Alice Mateus from Mozambique and Zwakala Ntando from South Africa. Musa and Mateus will lock horns on board 1 tomorrow morning in what could prove to be a decisive game.

Zwakala faces Elisha Chimbamu from Zimbabwe on board 2 but there are a further 6 players within half a point of the lead. With 4 main prizes on offer, the last two rounds should be very interesting.

Latest standings for the Prestige section as well as the round 5 pairings are available at
http://chess-results.com/tnr280270.aspx?lan=1

14:07, Friday, 19th May, 2017

Mr Charles Lorng, the man who will manage the local operations of MiniChess Côte d'Ivoire has arrived in South Africa for 2 months of intensive training. Cote d'Ivoire is one of the four African countries selected for support by KCF Francophone and the country has elected to adopt the MiniChess program to drive the development of the game of chess within their local schools.

MiniChess Cote d'Ivoire has now been successfully registered as a separate legal entity and will have a permanent staff compliment and a team of trainers. This team will be responsible for popularizing the game of chess in schools throughout the country.

Charles arrived in South Africa on Sunday 15 May and spent his first week in the field working at 4 different schools that form part of the Spark group. He will also be spending time in the MiniChess head office in Pretoria where he will get hands on experience with the of running a local MiniChess business.

Charles is scheduled to stay in South Africa for almost two months and during which time he will also attend the Minichess Business Symposium and Color Accounting course. He is working directly for the founder of the MiniChess franchise, Mrs Marisa van der Merwe which should ensure that he acquires the necessary skills to preside over the destinies of the children of Cote d'Ivoire.

Côte d'Ivoire is the first country in French-speaking West Africa to acquire a MiniChess franchise and will hopefully pave the way for roll-outs in many other West Africa countries in the near future.

We welcome Charles to South Africa and wish him luck with the training!

07:58, Friday, 19th May, 2017

Mr Gilles Betthaeuser, chairman of Kasparov Chess Foundation Francophone, recently visited Madagascar in order to meet with the MiniChess Madagascar team and see the program in action in the schools across the country.

KCF Francophone is now supporting the Madagascar program financially and is expected to shortly expand its reach to other African countries including Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Morroco.

During his trip, Gilles visited 7 of the Minichess schools and inspected the MiniChess material including the chess sets, boards, learner workbooks and teacher aide packs. He also spent time with the leadership of the MiniChess team in Madagascar to understand their future plans.

Minichess Madagascar is currently operational in 16 schools and now has operations in Antananarivo, Miarinarivo and Toliara. They have continued to expand their reach and now train a total of 1,675 learners on a weekly basis across the country.

KCF Africa would like to extend our humble thanks to Gilles and the team at KCF Francophone for supporting the program in Madagascar and we look forward to working closely with them to introduce the program to other African francophone countries in the near future.

13:42, Monday, 15th May, 2017

The 2017 Rwanda Genocide Memorial Chess Tournament will feature some of the top players from East Africa in a strong regional event offering more than 700,000 Rwf in prize money. International Grandmaster Maurice Ashley will be the special guest and will conduct coaching sessions and exhibitions during the event.

Full details are available in the event brochure at http://www.kcfafrica.com/sites/default/files/Poster%20-%20GMCT%202017%20...

13:07, Monday, 15th May, 2017

The 2017 Rwanda Genocide Memorial Chess Tournament will take place at the Classic Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda from the 9th - 11th July 2017.

International GM Maurice Ashley will be in attendance this year as he will be in the country as part of the Chess Masters for Africa Tour at the same time that the event takes place!

The tournament is looking to build on the 2016 Rwanda Open which saw players from Kenya, Burundi and the DRC participating in what was the first international event ever hosted in Rwanda

The full tournament brochure can be downloaded at http://www.kcfafrica.com/sites/default/files/Poster%20-%20GMCT%202017%20... and online entries are now open for all sections at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5t-Xd4onHfGRWdC8gD54FdweG_M_s....

The players list will be maintained on chess-results and players who register are asked to confirm there entries at
http://chess-results.com/tnr281585.aspx?lan=1 within 1-2 days of registering. Local players are required to pay in advance while foreign based players may pay entry fees on arrival. Entry is free for international players with a FIDE rating in excess of 2200+.

Foreign based players who would like assistance to secure accommodation either at the Classic Hotel or at nearby budget hotels are asked to contact Mr Alain Niyibizi or Mr Kevin Ganza who will be happy to assist where required.

13:39, Saturday, 13th May, 2017

A few months ago shared a post regarding the Gambia Youth Chess Tournament where the local organizers were requesting support to assist with funding for the tournament. The request proved to be very successful and a total of USD 2,484 was raised in response to the request for funding support which was posted at https://donate.peacecorps.gov/donate/project/2017-gambia-youth-chess-tou...

The first Gambia Youth Chess Tournament has now been successfully concluded and brought together boys and girls from across the country in an environment of fun and competition. Participants were able to test their skills and make connections with other young people and with the local organizers.

Participants were selected from children trained in the Chess For the Gambia project. For the last year, this project has offered over 160 children in rural villages the opportunity to train and practice through play and through workshops.

The tournament was run by a group of US Peace Corps volunteers who are currently based in the country. They have been organizing a chess education program for rural communities in the country and have found a lot of interest for chess in the Gambia.

By working together, they managed to secure a $3,000 State Dept. gender development grant to buy sets and then went on to raise the additional funds they needed through the website to fund the youth chess tournament.

Its always encouraging to here stories like this and we wish to thank US Peace Corp volunteer Zachary Smith for sharing the pictures and story with us.

18:06, Thursday, 11th May, 2017

We are always happy to learn that our donations are being put to good use and this has definitely been the case in Somalia where the 600 chess boards and sets sent by KCF Africa are clearly making a major impact.

On the 20th April 2017, the Somali Chess Federation donated some of this chess equipment to schools under the supervision of the Association of Chess Players in Somalia.

The event was held at the Hotel Shammo in Mogadishu and was graced by the presence of the President of the Somalia Chess Federation, Dr Hassan Abdi, the Federation Secretary Mr Mohammed Abdi Mohammed, the President of the Somalia Olympic Committee, Mr Abdulaahi Ahmed Tarabi and the President of the Somalia Chess Players Association, Mr Cabduqaadir Nur Buttis. There were also various representatives from the schools as well as many local chess players.

Thirteen schools in total benefited and received 5 clocks and 30 boards each. They were broken into two groups as follows:

Schools under Dugsiga Jaabir Bin Xayaan:
1. Macallin Jaamac
2. Faraca Jardiinka
3. Faraca S.bacaad
4. Faraca Juungal
5. Faraca Ceel qalow
6. Faraca Nasteexo

Schools under the control of the Banaadir Zone Foundation:
7. Banadir zone Wadajir
8. Banadir zone Karaan
9. Banadir zone Shibis
10. Banadir zone Yaqshiid primary school
11. Banadir zone Yaqshid secondary school
12. Banadir zone primary girls’ school
13. Banadir zone secondary girls’ school

We wish to thank the Somali Chess Federation and the Somalia Chess Players Association for partnering with us and congratulate them on the great strides being made to being chess into the local schools in Somalia.

10:48, Thursday, 11th May, 2017

IM Arthur Ssegwanyi conducted the second CMAT training visit to Rwanda between Sunday 30th April and Saturday 6th May.

The following report was received from Mr Alain Niyibizi, Secretary General of the Rwanda Chess Federation and Country Manager for the KCF Africa MiniChess project in Rwanda.

"Report from visit of IM Arthur Ssegwanyi to Rwanda"

IM Arthur Ssegwanyi arrived in Kigali on Saturday 29th April and held his first formal training session on Sunday morning. His first session focused on chess openings and simple mistakes to avoid during this phase of the game. In the afternoon he spent time on essential endgames for players of below 1600 strength.

Monday saw a second full day of training with the focus being on positional understanding. A large variety of positions were analysed together with the group.

Tuesday saw Arthur holding his first one on one sessions with 4 of the trainees. In the afternoon, this first small group visited a school called Green Hills Academy where Mrs Christella, one of our trainees, is a permanent sport's teacher. We interacted with a group of children aged between 7 and 12 and paid a courtesy visit to the principal of the school who was happy to receive us and expressed his appreciation for the visit.

On Wednesday 3 May, the Rwanda Chess Federation was blessed by the visit of the Indian Grandmaster Sriram Jha who stopped in Kigali on his way home after competing in the Capablanca IM Norm tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa. His flight schedule allowed him to spend one day with us and we used the opportunity to visit Kigali Hope Academy with both IM Arthur and GM Sriram. Together, they encouraged the kids and held a short coaching session before they both participated in a simultaneous match against some of the top Rwanda players. They played against 6 players each with GM Sriram winning all 6 of his matches and IM Arthur scoring 5/6.

Following the departure of GM Jha on Wednesday night, IM Arthur held another round of one on one sessions on Thursday morning. In the evening, we then visited Riviera High School where the local students are all between 12 and 16 years old. They are an active bunch who are eager to know the game of chess. Since the group consists totally of beginners, IM Arthur did a quick recap on the piece movements and explained the differences between Check, Checkmate and Stalemate.

Friday saw the final round of one on one sessions concluded with the last group of 4 trainees.

Saturday was the last day with IM Arthur and he spent this day again working on positional understanding in the morning. The afternoon session was then spent showing the trainees how to get the most out of their software packages such as Chessbase 14.

We are extremely grateful to IM Arthur for sharing his knowledge with us and we hope that he enjoyed his time in Rwanda.

09:28, Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017

The 2017 Capablanca Chess Festival is now over and we wish to thank Tshwane Chess, PSS and SouthDowns College who all played pivotal parts in making the event a reality. The tournament eventually attracted more than 240 players and hosted a record of 13 separate sections!

The main IM Norm tournament went down to the final round encounter between GM Sahaj Grover and GM Farrukh Amonatov where Farrukh demonstrated his class to finish on a fine 8/9 and claim the R10,000 first prize. Sahaj ended second on 7/9 ahead of IM Daniel Jere from Zambia who claimed 3rd place with a solid +2 score of 5.5/9.

The lower sections saw some incredible performances and we specifically wish to congratulate the following section winners and stand-out performances:

Round Robin A – 1st FM Roberto de Abreau (+35 ELO), 2nd FM Jack van Zyl-Rudd (+50 ELO)

Round Robin B – 1st Siyabonga Choko (+37 ELO), 2nd Aaron Klevansky (+38 ELO), 3rd WIM Anzel Laubscher (+38 ELO)

Round Robin C – Masiya Mafundo won this event with 7/9 to earn a tournament highlight of 223 ELO rating points!

Round Robin D – Vusimuzi Mlahleki recorded the only 9/9 amongst the round robin sections to earn 132 ELO! Hansen Marques ended 3rd in this section earning 121 ELO in the process!

Round Robin E – FM Dante Beukes from Namibia won this event with 8.5/9 to earn 129 ELO! CM Ewald Schoeman earned 120 ELO for 2nd place and Donald van der Westhuizen improved by 80 ELO for his 3rd place finish.

Round Robin F – Unrated James Dinham won this section with 7/9 to record a 1605 tournament performance and secure his first FIDE rating!

Round Robin G – Dawid Marais won this tightly contested section with 7/9

Swiss A was won outright by FM Francois Oberholzer with a perfect 7/7

Swiss B was won outright by John Mkhaliphi with 6.5/7

Swiss C was won on tiebreak by Liam Stuurman with 6/7

Swiss D was won on tiebreak by Helen Rautenbach with 4/5

The Swiss E was won by Lebone Malunga who scored a perfect 5/5

Final results and standings for all sections are available at http://chess-results.com/tnr268478.aspx?lan=1.

We also wish to thank Chess24 and FollowChess for broadcasting the games from the tournament as well as our event photographer Reint Dykema whose images always help to capture the success of the tournament.

We hope to see everyone back in South Africa again next year!

17:10, Sunday, 30th April, 2017

The 2017 Phela-Live Chess Challenge is the next event on the KCF Africa Tournament Calendar. The event will take place in Manzini in Swaziland from the 26 - 28 May and offers R 33,000 in prize money with a first prize of R 10,000(!!) in the Open section.

The tournament is easily the highest paying event in the history of Swaziland Chess and we wish to extend our thanks to the Phela-Live gym who have partnered with KCF Africa and the Swazi Chess Federation to make the event possible.

The tournament will feature a 6 round FIDE Rated Open Section, a Development Section as well as a FIDE Rated blitz tournament on the last day. It is open to all players with a FIDE rating lower then 2200.

The official tournament brochure can be downloaded from
http://www.kcfafrica.com/sites/default/files/2017%20Phela-Live%20Chess%2...

Online entries are also now open and players wishing to participate are asked to register as soon as possible at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFiMcRDdy_j-XaISiLUugo_6M3GEo6...

Foreign based players who require affordable accommodation in Manzini are asked to contact Mr Melo Mdluli, the President of the Swazi Chess Federation at swazichess@gmail.com or at +268 76738899 / +268 76033919 in order to secure accommodation in advance.

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