15:26, Sunday, 19th February, 2017

The Chess Masters for Africa Tour is well and truly up and running now and has entered its second week after launching successfully in Kenya and Botswana. GM Pontus Carlson is currently in Namibia while GM Kenny Solomon is in Rwanda.

We will be posting pictures and reports from the various locations over the course of the next 3 weeks and we have decided to start with Kenya where a total of 13 trainers were trained in the first sessions hosted by GM Kenny Solomon in Nairobi.

We wish to congratulate Mutua Sembei, Cheryl, Ngima, Chahindi Muluda, Tom Amwai, John Mwangi, Fred Sagwe, Easter Awinja, David Kinoti, Hannah Wangari, Gweyani Jumba, James Nyaga, Peter Sahado and Joseph Kirega who all successfully participated in the sessions and we wish them luck as the start training at the selected schools in Kenya.

We also wish to thank GM Kenny Solomon for this tireless efforts on in Kenya where he definitely put in a number of extra hours assisting the trainees.

The tour would not have been possible without the generous grants received from the Paul Allen Family Foundation and the Kasparov Chess Foundation in New York as well as the support of Chessbase and London Chess & Bridge. KCF Africa would like to acknowledge and thank all these parties who have pooled resources to make these ground-breaking tours a reality!

08:35, Wednesday, 15th February, 2017

KCF would like to congratulate Tsanta RAMBELOZAFY, Georges RASOLOFONIAINA and Tiana RAKOTONIAINA from Madagascar who have joined the ranks of accredited MiniChess trainers in Madagascar.

The MiniChess team is doing incredible work in Madagascar and will be expanding their local program to reach 18 schools and more than 1500 children in the 2017 academic year.

This training session represents another a significant milestone in that it is the first time that a KCF MiniChess Master trainer has run a local MiniChess training session. We wish to congratulate Mr Yves RAKOTOMAHARO and Mr Andrianantenaina RAMALANJAONA for successfully running the course and we look forward to seeing the new trainers in action!

15:48, Monday, 6th February, 2017

FM Shabir Bhawoodien showed why he has been ranked among the best players in South Africa for decades by winning both the Prestige and Blitz events at the 2017 BMI Lesotho Open over the weekend.

Shabir ended on 6.5/7 and 5.5/6 respectively and won both events by a full point! Second place in the Prestige event went to Kananelo Latela from Lesotho who scored 5.5 while South Africa's Dumisa Nkosi ended 3rd with 5/7. Dumisa also had a good weekend and went on to place second in the blitz tournament ahead of Theko Khanyapa from Lesotho.

The Open section was won by Mona Mphetole from Lesotho with an impressive score of 5,5 ahead of Tsiu Matsepe and Tjamela Ts'epo
who both ended with 5 points.

We wish to thank the BMI Hotel for their ongoing support of the event and for allowing us to use their excellent facilities once again!

The final results are available at the following links:

Prestige: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr259312.aspx?lan=1
Open: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr261777.aspx?lan=1
Blitz: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr262016.aspx?lan=1

08:30, Saturday, 4th February, 2017

The 2017 BMI Lesotho Open is under way in Maseru and has attracted players from South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The event features a 7 round FIDE Rated swiss tournament, a number of development tournaments and a FIDE rated blitz which will be played on Sunday.

The FIDE event has reached round 3 and there are currently 7 players who have recorded a perfect 2/2 start.

Results and pairings can be tracked at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr259312.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=3&wi=821 throughout the duration of the tournament.

20:27, Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

The February 2017 URS Ratings were published yesterday and see GM Wesley So clime to 4th place after his win at the Tata Steel Masters.

All 9 participants in the 2017 GCT Tour as well as GM Kramnik who declined his invitation are now ranked in the top 10 on the URS rating scale at the end of February.

Players can access all the latest rating information at http://universalrating.com/

07:06, Wednesday, 25th January, 2017

Chessbase have just published a great article by GM Maurice Ashley about the forthcoming Chess Masters for Africa Tour which will kick off in February 2017!

We wish to express out sincere thanks to the Paul Allen Family Foundation as well as to Chessbase and London Chess & Bridge who have both made significant donations to help make the tour a reality!

See the full article at

15:23, Saturday, 21st January, 2017

The 2017 BMI Lesotho Open has been postponed by 1 week and will now take place in Maseru from 3-5 February.

The tournament offers in excess of LSL 20,000 in prize money across the various sections and will feature both a FIDE Rated prestige tournament as well as a FIDE rated blitz event.

Entries are open and players wishing to participate should kindly contact Mr Tséliso Motloheloa to register and book accommodation as required.

The entry form and tournament brochure can be downloaded from http://www.kcfafrica.com/en/content/forthcoming-events-0 while entries can be tracked at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr259312.aspx?lan=1

We wish all players the best of luck for the tournament.

19:51, Tuesday, 10th January, 2017

We were very pleased to receive the following photos from the launch of a new chess in schools program at the Dhagah Tuur Schol in Somalia.

The the program will run under the supervision of the Association of Chess Players of Somalia and has been implemented by the Somali Chess Federation with the help of boards and sets donated by the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa in 2016.

We are very pleased to see the equipment we donated put to good use and we congratulate the Somali Chess Federation on the launch of the new program.

13:11, Friday, 6th January, 2017

The Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa is delighted to be able to announce that we will be collaborating with the Paul G Allen Family Foundation to facilitate a series of chess master training tours across the African continent during the first six months of the 2017 calendar year. The program will be known as “Chess Masters for Africa” and will primarily be funded by way of grant received from the Paul G Allen Family Foundation.

The exciting new program will see structured chess training provided across six African countries by Master level players including GM Maurice Ashley, GM Pontus Carlsson, GM Kenny Solomon, IM Andrew Kayonde and IM Arthur Ssegwanyi.

Between them, the masters will conduct training sessions in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania from February until June 2017. More than sixty locally based trainers are expected to benefit directly from the program which is also expected to impact more than 1,500 children through indirect training sessions.

We wish to thank Mr Paul G Allen for his leadership and willingness to partner with us to make this tour a reality. We are confident that the training provided will greatly improve both the playing strength and technical knowledge of the local chess trainers and we look forward to witnessing the results as they pass on this knowledge within their local communities in the future.

Download the full press release at http://www.kcfafrica.com/en/content/press-releases

09:13, Thursday, 5th January, 2017

URS story now picked up by mainstream chess media as well