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

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.

10:21, Saturday, 29th April, 2017

The Capablanca Chess Festival has now reached the half way stage and most sections are very closely contested. At the end of round 5 there is only 1 player among the top 5 Round Robin sections with a full score (Masiya Mfuno in the RR C) which clearly demonstrates the benefits of the strength vs strength format of the event.

The IM event saw some big changes yesterday as IM Rodwell Makoto beat the early leader GM Sahaj Grover to join him at the top of the table on 4/5. 17 year old FM Daniel Barrish also held GM Farrukh Amonatov to a draw which means that Farrukh is the 3rd player in the tie at the top on 4/5.

The RRA Section is currently lead by FM Roberto de Abreu on 4/5 while there is a major fight developing in the RRB section where Khanya Mazibuko and local coach Jaco Nelson currently share the lead on 3.5/5.

Full results and standings are available at http://chess-results.com/tnr268478.aspx?lan=1 together with the games from the first 4 rounds in all sections.

Round 6 games from all sections will commence at 4pm this afternoon and will be live at https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/ and on the FollowChess App.

All photos are again provided by Reint Dykema who has now posted hundreds of images from the event on the Tshwane Chess facebook page. These can all be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/pg/TshwaneChess/photos/?tab=albums

15:45, Friday, 28th April, 2017

The 2017 PSS Rapid and Blitz Open took place at Marks Park Sports Club over the weekend of 22/23 April. Featuring 3 GM's and a total of 19 titled players in the top section it was undoubtedly one of the top rapid events ever held in Southern Africa.

The top event consisted of a 10 round FIDE rated rapid event played at a rate of 25/25 = 10 secs per move as well as a 10 round blitz tournament at 3/3 + 2 seconds a move.

GM Sahaj Grover from India and GM Farrukh Amonatov from Tajikistan lived up to their billing as pre-tournament favorites and shared 1st place in the rapid with 8.5/10 each.

Farrukh then clearly demonstrated why he is rated as one of the best blitz players in the world as he demolished the field to score 9.5/10 to win the blitz event!

A special mention must also be made of 16 year old Keith Kumalo who won the junior prize in the rapid tournament before he beat GM Sahaj Grover in the blitz on the way to placing 3rd overall. The elite players in Gauteng have known for a while that Keith has impressive blitz and rapid skills but not many would have predicted exactly how good these actually are. Keith is expected to secure a blitz rating in excess of 2300+ when the new FIDE lists are published in May 2017 and we will be keeping a close eye on his next performances to see if he can justify this rating in future events!

Both tournaments were carried live on Chess24 as well as on the FollowChess App and we wish to thank both platforms for carrying live games for us.

There were also 4 open tournaments played in parallel with the main event and these were run in conjunction with Johannesburg North West Chess.

The Open A section was won by Brighton Mthunzi and Jose Wang Hao Mwale while the B Section saw a 3 way tie between Ntshuxeko Mabasa, Ernest Sabawu and Karabo Teeke. The C event was dominated by the ladies where Nicole Nyoni and Sharon Ndaba shared first place. Mohammad Tarafdar was the only player in the whole tournament to record a perfect score as he scored 5/5 to win the U/10 event.

The final standings from all events are available at

The PGN files from the Rapid and Blitz tournaments are now also available at the following links for players who want to download them:

Rapid Games: http://chess-results.com/PartieSuche.aspx?lan=1&id=50023&tnr=268475&art=3

Blitz: http://chess-results.com/PartieSuche.aspx?lan=1&id=50023&tnr=270592&art=3

07:36, Friday, 28th April, 2017


Following the successful tour by GM Kenny Solomon, IM Daniel Jere touched down in Dar es Salaam on the 13th April 2017 for the 2nd portion of the Tanzanian leg of the Chess Masters for Africa Tour.

He started by conducting a simultaneous exhibition with the top 10 youth players in the country. His opponents included members of the Tanzanian under 16 team who would shortly be departing to Mombasa, Kenya for Zone 4.2 under 16 team championship. The session was followed by game analysis during which Daniel placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of studying chess literature to improve.

On Saturday, the trainees started their first session where Daniel focused on combinations and tactical play, how to pick the right candidate move, and calculation skills. On Sunday,
he focused on positional analysis and planning.

On Monday, Daniel conducted a very interesting session on the importance of post-game analysis, stressing the importance of this discipline. Each trainee had one of their old games analysed by the group with Daniel assisting and guiding the discussions. The trainees learnt how to analyse their own games and improve with the help of the different materials that are now available in the CMAT chess library.

Tuesday saw Daniel and the trainees visited the SOS Children’s Village which currently houses over 130 children in 13 separate properties! The trainees introduced chess to at least 2 children per house who would later pass the knowledge on to the rest of their house members.

One chess board and set was donated to each house while one of the trainees delivered a lesson. IM Jere motivated the children with a very nice lecture focusing on the advantages of chess as a game.

Later that same afternoon Daniel opened the very first chess library at the Hassuji Chess Academy. The library will house all the books that have been sent to Tanzania to support the CMAT tour and will ensure that these can be accessed by all chess players throughout the country in the future.

On Wednesday 18th April, Daniel concluded the 2nd tour by conducting the traditional one on one feedback sessions with each trainee.

We wish to thank Daniel for the incredible contribution he has made to the development of chess in Tanzania and we hope to see him back in the country in the near future!