Players are disappointed after the national chess team earlier supposed to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan for the 2016 Chess Olympiad which started Friday never made it.
Even though most prefer not to speak out publically, they heap blame on Rwanda Chess Federation (FERWADE) for its poor planning; especially failure to get sponsors on time, as well as poor communication, major faults which if not sorted out will only cause more harm.
“We were all hurt. Personally, what hurt most is the sacrifices I made compared to the past. There are activities that positively impact on my life which I put on hold so as to get ready for this competition,” said Marie-Faustine Shimwa, the reigning female national champion.
“I know that there is a reason for everything that happens, but I wish I knew what that reason is,” adds Shimwa, who would have been Rwanda’s leading lady on the women team in Baku.
On Wednesday, the day they were scheduled to travel, FERWADE president Kevin Ganza sent players a message apologizing “for the failure to participate in Baku” but since then, he has turned down requests for comment by Times Sport.
Another player on the women team, Odile Kalisa said: “It is really as sad as some of us had sought leave from work and other postponed other major activities. And, we sacrificed time for training.”
To avoid repeats, she suggested, the chess fraternity needs to find solutions from within especially by fulfilling requirements for registration so that they can apply for government support whenever there is need.
Nonetheless, one other senior player who preferred anonymity told this paper that failure to participate in the ongoing 42nd Chess Olympiad is “a big dent on the federation’s credibility.”
It is the first time in more than 10 years that Rwanda fails to send a team to an Olympiad despite the fact that the current team boasted the best ever players the country has had.
Players particularly accuse the federation for concealing challenges until the very last minute; leaving them in suspense and uncertainty, which the affected players say was unnecessary.