Rwanda Chess Federation is celebrating after Christella Rugabira recently passed tests to make her the country’s first arbiter recognized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).
Rugabira was one of Rwanda’s two representatives at the FIDE arbiters’ seminar organized by the Uganda Chess Federation and the Africa Chess Confederation from July 18-23 in Kampala, Uganda.
FERWADE president Kevin Ganza said: “It’s great news that she was successful in the exam and will be awarded the FIDE arbiter title. It is a great achievement for her, because I know she wanted to do this and was so committed.”
Twenty-three people from Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya participated in the seminar and in the subsequent exams. According to results released at the end of last week, the 11, who succeeded will be awarded a norm or the FIDE Arbiter title, after approval of the FIDE Congress, next month.
The individual achievement particularly means a lot to chess in Rwanda since the cash-strapped federation was limited as it previously had to foot costs when bringing in external arbiters for World Chess Federation-rated competitions.
Ganza added: “It is a milestone and a relief to the federation as we have been looking for an arbiter to help organize our competitions.”
Rugabira, a Vision Chess Club (VCC) member, holds a degree in physical sports and education. She is a physical education (PE) teacher at Green Hills Academy, in Kigali.
Rwanda’s global chess ranking has been falling in the past four months largely because not enough local players are playing in FIDE-rated competitions.