As the election campaign for FIDE positions heats up, candidates are taking to social media to get their platforms to the chess community. There are three candidates for FIDE President and each of the regions will have their election for continental President.
Many of these candidates will not wait until the FIDE and regional Congresses to make their bids for office. What is interesting is that Grandmaster Nigel Short challenged the other two candidates to a public debate. This invitation has yet to be accepted by FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos and Arkady Dvorkovich.
However, the idea is a good one and was not lost on the African chess community. In fact, Africa Chess Media (africachessmedia.com) hosted the first such debate between African candidates for continental President on July 21st, 2018. The three candidates for President of African Chess Confederation (ACC) are: Zambia’s Lewis Ncube, incumbent President of African Chess Confederation, Dr. Essoh Essis, President of Cote d’Ivoire Chess Federation and Tsepho Sitale, past President of Botswana Chess Federation.
Lewis Ncube Dr. Essoh Essis Tshepo Sitale
The debate was hosted by a Pan-African moderators via WhatsApp group “ACC 2018 Debate” at 21:00 CAT (19:00 GMT, 15:00 EST). It was moderated by African Chess Media team:
Bruce Mubayiwa, Co-Founder (Zimbabwe)
Ogunsiku Babatunde, Co-Founder and CEO (Nigeria)
Olayemi Ajibade, Business Development Executive (Nigeria)
Cosmos Chipepo, Director of Content (South Africa)
Paras Gudka, Director of Web Operations (Kenya)
Before the debate, the moderators requested the platforms of each candidate. They received documents from Essis and Sitale. The debate occurred in three rounds of questions. The wrinkle was that in phase three, each candidate could ask one question of one other candidate! The discussion was spirited and informative and lasted more than three hours. The following transcript has been edited for readability. Kudos to African Chess Media for hosting the event!