In a country will so much turmoil in the past five decades, it becomes important to try to find a way to bring normalcy to ever-present social challenges in Somalia. Chess is played in more than 200 countries with federations in more than 180. Somalia has also ushered in “Chess in Schools” and is fully engaged. Chess is described in many languages, but many probably cannot recall what the game is called in Somalia. It’s Ciyaarta Shataranjiga which simply means “Game of Chess.”
Somalia at 2002 Chess Olympiad (Bled, Slovenia)
(front row, from left to right), Mohamad Roble (Bd. 1), Abdulle Jimale (Bd. 2), Mohamed Osman (Bd. 3) and Sufi Hagi (Bd. 5); (in the rear, from left to right), Abukar Mohamud (Bd. 4), Abshir Osman (Bd. 6) and Ahmed Moalim Mohamed, (captain). Photo by Jerry Bibuld.
Recently, there was a Somali program on Facebook reporting on chess in Somalia. While non-Somali would have trouble following the broadcast, it is wonderful to note that there is an activity in the country. Somalia participated in Chess Olympiads in Bled, Slovenia (2002), Baku, Azerbaijan (2016) and Batumi, Georgia (2018). The segment below is in Somali language. It matters not that we do not understand, but rest assured they are celebrating chess!
Video by Astaan Sports
Photo by Hadalsame Media