Rwanda’s global chess ranking has slowly but surely been falling in the past four months largely because not enough local players are playing in World Chess Federation-rated competitions.
The Rwanda Chess Federation (FERWADE) officials remain coy over the fact that organization of the game locally has not been good enough despite slight improvements in the recent past.
While the country’s ranking improved one slot to number 154 in rankings published five months ago, the latest rankings puts Rwanda at 157. Countries are ranked by the average rating of their top 10 players.
FERWADE president Kevin Ganza said: “The lack of rated tournaments or new players with ratings is the number one factor that has caused the fall.”
In the East African Community (EAC) region which was in March, boosted by the entry of South Sudan as a sixth Partner State, regional chess power house Uganda is at number 95, Kenya at 116, Tanzania 165 and Burundi at 160.
There is a general decline in the region seeing that, early March, Uganda was at number 92, Kenya at 121, Tanzania 159 and Burundi at 158 among the 174 countries listed then.
While Ugandan and Kenyan players had a bad outing during the 2016 Africa Individual Chess Championship held in Kampala last month, Rwanda did not field any players. “We did not field any player in the tournament due to financial constraints,” Ganza said.
Though recognized by FIDE, South Sudan is again not listed among the top 178 countries in the new ranking. In December 2015, Rwanda moved up seven places to number 155 after hosting its second rated chess tournament.