In the spirit of regional cooperation, both Uganda and Kenya have solved a problem of conflicting tournaments by mutual agreement. Uganda's New Vision Chess International tournament was originally scheduled between 29th March--1st April. This coincided with the Regional Chess Championships held at the Nairobi Stanley Hotel on the same weekend. Although these events take place in two different countries, players in this region often travel to take part in a neighboring country's chess tournaments. After discussion, a compromise was reached and Uganda has agreed to move their tournament back two months!
Lincoln Njenga of the Kenyan Chess Federation announced that the Regional Chess Championships are set for the Easter Weekend (March 29 - April 1) at the hotel which has become synonymous with chess in Nairobi-The Stanley. The championship will feature seven categories: Open / International section; Challengers; Ladies; Veterans; (U-18, U-14, U-10, both boys & girls). The total prize fund is approximately 500,000 Kenyan Shillings (US$6,250) and the top prize shall be 50,000 Kenyan Shillings (US$625). The total prize fund for the open section is about US$ 1,500. Players as far away as Seychelles have already committed to play.
The Ugandan Chess Federation's Daniel Nsibambi announced the rescheduling of the New Vision tournament for 31st May--3rd June in Kampala. The top prize is US$300 and there are five categories namely, Invitational (US$610 in prizes); Open (US$200); Ladies (US$160); U-14 Boys and Girls (US$180 each); Youngest/Oldest player/Raffle Draw each $ 10. The UCF proposes to offer five accommodation places to foreign players selected by their national federations. Further details are forthcoming.
This type of cooperation is to be noted and perhaps should set an example for the type of behavior that will result in a more competitive spirit and a higher quality of chess coming out of sub-Sahara Africa. Kudos to Kenya and Kenya!!
Posted by The Chess Drum: 6 February 2002