African Juniors head to Zambia!

"Ugandan, 2 Others in for Chess Championship ," The Times of Zambia, 28 December 2004 (Ndola, Zambia).

THREE chess players from Uganda, Mauritius and Seychelles arrived yesterday for the Africa Junior Chess Championships starting in Lusaka tomorrow.

While the players from the three countries arrived, their colleagues from Angola and Botswana were still being awaited by Press time by the Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ).

CFZ president,
Lewis Ncube, said the three players arrived yesterday for the tournament starting tomorrow through to Sunday.

Ncube said Seychelles, Uganda and Mauritius all sent a player each. They have since been accommodated at Millennium Village in Lusaka's Longacres, behind Hotel Inter-Continental.

"The three players have never been here before and they might be a bit unsettled, but our players should not underrate them on that score. Being a junior champion, you don't expect big names until the event is underway.

"As is always the case, no one has come here to lose. Everyone wants to win and somehow as hosts the pressure is on us and that's why we have been psyching our players," he said.

Ncube said the Angolan team communicated to the CFZ and they were given contact details once at the Lusaka International Airport, but the team was not on the 22:00 hours flight on Sunday night.

A similar thing happened to the Tswanas who kept the CFZ officials waiting at Inter-City bus terminus, but they reportedly missed the Botswana-Zambia afternoon coach.

Ncube said in view of the failure by the two teams to arrive on Sunday, the federation remains in the dark about the itinerary of their counterparts who never communicated the cause of the new development.

The CFZ president, however, expressed hope that the remaining teams, including Malawi and South Africa, would arrive today, saying a low turn-out would lessen the competitiveness of the event.

This is the first time Zambia is holding a tournament of this magnitude. The Africa Junior championship has all along been dominated by North African giants in Egypt and Morocco.

2004 African Junior Championship

Posted by The Chess Drum: 31 December 2004