Tanzania is a relatively new chess nation better known for Mount Kilimanjaro than its gamesmanship. The east African country joined FIDE in 2014 at the Tromso FIDE Congress and hopes to build a lasting presence in East Africa along with Kenya and Uganda. Tanzania held a very successful 2013 Tanzania Open sponsored by SpiceNet. This tournament attracted a number of chess personalities including GM Nigel Short of England.
In the recently-held 2015 Tanzania Championship, General Secretary Nurdin Husein Hassuji won the which attracted a total of 32 players in the top section. The championship was fortunate enough to secure three sponsors which include Spice Net Tanzania, Elite City and Tanzania Chess Foundation. Chairman of the Tanzania Chess Association Geoffrey Mwanyika was grateful. “I really thank them and I urge other companies and organizations to emulate what the three have done,” he said. He also lauded the efforts made for bringing chess into the educational system.
“Various research studies have provided that students playing chess like mind-games will develop various life skills faster than the non-playing students, We strongly believe that the next generation of Tanzania, by playing chess, will benefit with suitable analytical capacity, improved memory capacity, mathematical skills, decision making capability and all this helps to improve their self esteem. Smart kids are the future smart citizens and in turn contributing towards building a brighter nation.”
In the Tanzanian Championships, Hassuji scored a convincing 6.5/7 to pip Mlawa Hemed by a point. CM Yusef Mdoe followed with 5/7 along with Max Muinisi and Louis Kara, who was the only player to hold Hassuji. What is also interesting is that Hassuji was also one of the organizers of the tournament.