What is Somalian “Ciyaarta Shataranjiga”?

Somalia

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.”

	
(front row, from left to right), Mohamad Roble (Bd. 1), Abdulle Jimale (Bd. 2), Maohamed 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.

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

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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