By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Gambia Chess Federation has that as part of its revival it will participate in the upcoming International Federation of Chess (FIDE) Congress, Commonwealth Chess Congress and African Chess Confederation Congress that are to be held simultaneously later this year in Chennai, India.
This revelation was made at a press conference held at the Gambia National Olympics Committee (GNOC) Secretariat on Thursday 16th, June, 2022, where Chess officials said ten members of the GCF will be attending the 44th Olympiad this year.
Mass Jeng, 1st Vice President of the association stated that efforts are on course to organise regional and national qualification rounds in a bid to select participants to the global competition, adding five male and five female players including a team captain and a delegate will be representing The Gambia in the upcoming world event.
Jeng continued to disclose that The Gambian delegation will be participating in voting at the FIDE Congress as well as the Commonwealth Chess Congress and African Chess Confederation Congress, adding that the Association is prepared to participate fully and is determined to achieve glory for the country.
“We have now decentralized Chess to involve all regions of The Gambia where each region is to form their own committees. Chairmen of the regional committees will also be co-opted into the Gambia Chess Federation Executive body,” 1st Vice President GCF disclosed.
He added: “Since we took over as the new executive we have changed the names of the executive members in the FIDE directory, and organised regional tournaments for the first time in Basse.
We have concluded an online training with Alliance Franchise for the players to partake in the upcoming global competition and held discussions with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) in a bid to reintroduce chess back to schools.”
GCF 1st Vice President also disclosed that prisoners are not also left behind as far as the rebranding of the association is concerned, adding that they have met the Minister of Interior and Prison Director to the effect as well as to open Chess Academy at the Alliance Franchise (Af) Gambia.
Pascal Pereira, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association highlighted the importance of reintroducing Chess to Gambian schools, noting that playing Chess sharpens the intelligence of the children and helps them to perform better in school.
He called on the Gambian population to embrace Chess games whose popularity has been on the decline, while calling on Gambian Government, Organisations, Institutions and philanthropists to come onboard with support so that Gambia Chess Federation can be able to participate in the upcoming regional and global congresses.
“Chess is not just any other ordinary board game, as many Gambians perceive. It’s a game that highly attracts Presidents, Statesman, Politicians, Conglomerate Businessmen and Army Generals and it will be important for this country to be part of those countries that nurtures this game,” PRO Pascal Pereira submitted.