All is set for the 2017 national youth chess championship. The two-day event will kick off on Saturday at Kagarama Secondary School in Kicukiro district, Kigali.
Rwanda Chess Federation (FERWADE) president, Kevin Ganza, said the fifth edition of the event will have more children participating, especially as registration is free.
“Participation has grown from eight players back in 2013 to 54 last year. This year we expect more than 70 players who will play in three mixed [male and female] categories: under 18, under 15, and under 12, years of age,” Ganza said.
He added that, “It’s a tournament where we detect young talent. We don’t separate boys and girls as we believe they can compete equally, just like studying mathematics and sciences.”
During last year’s event, two students from Kagarama Secondary School – Blaise Ishimwe and Friend Fabrice – were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the under 14 category of the competition.
Samuel Nkurunziza, the Headmaster of Kagarama SS, expects kids from his school which started a chess programme last year, to gain more tournament experience.
“My expectations in this tournament include having more players competing, and getting good positions especially Blaise and Fabrice since it is their second time participating. It will be a good opportunity for our young players to gain tournament experience,” Nkurunziza said.