Chess seems to be making a foray into Francophone Africa, a place that is home to many strategy games, but especially draughts. Burkina Faso joined FIDE in Tromso, Norway becoming one of the latest nations to join the fraternity of chess nations.
Like many places, the Burkinabè chess community started from humble beginnings with the vision of a few people to blossom into a program that has been spread to the youth. This goes with the initiative to bring chess into the schools, a movement that has spread to practically every corner of the globe. The Comité National Burkinabé des Echecs (National Committee of Burkinabé Chess) has a Facebook page with a lot of interesting photos showing their young community and activities with the youth.
There is no telling where the next chess star will come from. In draughts, Baba Sy was discovered playing on the dusty streets of Dakar, Senegal but would later become a champion player in Europe. There is a similar story in chess with Amon Simutowe who came from small Ndola, Zambia to earn his Grandmaster title. Even the story of Uganda’s Phiona Mutesi who rose from the poorest parts of one of the poorest countries because of chess. These are human interest stories showing the benefits of chess.
There are plenty of stories that have yet to be told about countries who don’t have a tradition in chess. Let’s hope that Burkina Faso will begin writing their history with these young champions.
All images are from CNBE Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CNBECHECS