Five students from Groupe Scolaire Kimisange, a secondary school in Kicukiro District, on Sunday night ran away with gold medals and a trophy after outwitting other teams in this year’s inter-schools chess tournament.
The annual inter-schools chess tournament – first played early last year – returned over the weekend at Marasa Umubano Hotel, in Kigali, and had 12 competing teams from eight schools.
At the end of the six-round contest, the GS Kimisange team which won all its rounds was one point ahead of last year’s tournament hosts and winners, Green Hills Academy. A team comprises five players and a school can field more than one team.
The GS Kimisange squad dominated by senior six students was happy for conquering their biggest rivals, Green Hills Academy, and hopes it can retain the winner’s trophy next year.
Rusa Grazzy, a member of GS Kimisange’s first team, said: “We are so happy for this win especially considering the way Green Hills Academy defeated us last year. They are very strong.”
“Now, since most of us are in senior six and won’t return next year, we requested our school administration to support the school team so that others can take over, maintain momentum and win,” added the youngster who was the U-18 national chess champion in 2017.
GS Kimisange’s first team members, Ignacia Nzambazamariya, Rusa Grazzy, and Saveur Bikorimana in action.
Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux (LNDC), last year’s number two, emerged third.
Like last year, Green Hills Academy had only one strong team in the contest.
GS Kimisange fielded two teams and their second squad was fifth while LNDC which had three teams grabbed third, seventh and tenth positions respectively.
Kevin Ganza, president of the Rwanda Chess Federation (FERWADE) said: “I am happy that five of the seven schools that participated in the inaugural edition, last year, once again competed and we also saw three other schools coming in. For us, it is a sign that the game is growing.”
Best players on each of the five boards were also awarded.
Rongin Munyurangabo from Groupe Scolaire A.D.B Nyarutarama was best player on board 1.
GS Kimisange’s Méthode Twizeyimana, Saveur Bikorimana and Rusa Grazzy were the best on board 2, board 3 and board 4, respectively.
The Rwanda Chess Federation (FERWADE) was happy that five of the seven schools including Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux (LNDC) and Green Hills Academy that participated in the inaugural edition, last year, once again competed.
Board 5 was ruled by LNDC’s Djazira Kabatesi who was on her school’s second team.
Ganza added: “This tournament was a success not only as it attracted new players and spectators but also as it portrayed the status of chess in schools. It is noticeable players have been practicing a lot. For instance, GS Kimisange which was sixth last year is the winner this year. GS Camp Kigali has improved a lot too as they emerged fourth yet they were thirteenth last year.”
Kagarama Secondary School which was third last year did not show up.