09:04, Tuesday, 21st March, 2017

CMAT ZAMBIA REPORT – GM PONTUS CARLSSON VISIT

The report below was received from IM Andrew Kayonde on behalf of Project Chess Zambia - our local CMAT implementation partners in Zambia. We wish to thank Andrew for his dedication to help us make the tour a reality and also congratulate him on his recent wedding which he was somehow able to plan for at the same time!

Day 1 – Simultaneous Exhibition, East Park Mall

Only a few hours after arriving in Lusaka, GM Pontus Carlsson was already busy with a simultaneous exhibition against 24 players at East Park Mall. He faced a strong field with 5 players rated above 2100 including Geoffrey Luanja who has a FIDE rating of 2197 and the reigning National Women’s Champion, WCM Constance Mbatha.

The ceremonial first move was made by Ericho Nshikokola, President of the Chess Federation of Zambia with the event lasting more than 4 hours. It ended shortly after 21.30 with GM Carlsson scoring an impressive total of 22/24.

Congratulations are due to Kennedy Katowa, Clifford Kaimana and Alistair Chisompola who managed to secure draws! The senasation of the day however was the draw result recorded by 8-year old Kennedy Shane who recently won the U9 category of the African Youth Chess Championships. He clearly has a bright future ahead of him.

Day 2/3 – Training of Trainers, Olympic Youth Development Centre:

Day 2 and 3 focused on the training of a group of 10 trainees who had been specially selected for the program. The group consisted of Geoffrey Luanja, Constance Mbatha, Mulenga Cliff Mulenga, Anna Mbewe, Clement Mayimbo, Bright Muyenga, Justin Daka, Kennedy Katowa, Stanley Ngulube and Alistair Chisompola.

The first sessions on Saturday focused on how to train children and equip them with an arsenal of knowledge and insights.

Subsequent sessions were broken into parts which included:
- Fundamentals of chess openings and how to build a plan.
- Training games, played from a classical position of the french defense on either side of the board.
- Analysis of classical positions from the Sicilian Dragon and French Defense. Answers on the best continuations in set positions were to be submitted the following day as a homework assignment.

On Sunday, GM Carlsson started off by discussing the trainees answers to the assignment from the previous day. The lesson was then advanced to focus on the fundamentals of the middle-game and endgame. Areas covered included:
- The interlink of the opening to the middlegame
- Middlegame themes and tactics
- The interlink of the middle-game to the endgame
- Playing the endgame – covering different types of endgames and how to handle each situation.

Having covered the three phases, Pontus went on to give insights into the basics of a good chess coach. The trainers were also taught about the psychology of coaching. The trainers were then divided into two groups and assigned to either Rhodes Park School or Thorn Park Primary School – the two schools that the GM would visit during his final 2 days of the tour.

Days 4 & 5 – School Visits:

GM Carlsson visited two very different schools during the final phase of the tour. Thorn Park Primary is a government school while Rhodes Park is private. The mix of schools provided an opportunity for the GM to experience the different school settings within Zambia. Each school visit lasted approximately two hours and both schools were visited twice on consecutive days. In total, 77 children from the two schools had an encounter with the GM.

On the first day, GM Carlsson taught the children personally as the trainers observed and assisted. Carlsson added fun to the learning experience for the children by incorporating games as a teaching aid. Among many exciting ways to teach, he made the children participate through groups. Everybody had lots of fun.

Officials from the National Sports Council of Zambia and the Chess Federation of Zambia joined the GM on the first day at Rhodes Park School. They were encouraged by what they observed and expressed support for the program.

On the second day of the school visits, the trainers did most of the teaching as with GM Pontus observing and assisting were necessary. The trainers had drawn up lesson plans which they used as a guide to deliver the lessons.

A total of 15 chess sets, 2 chess clocks and 1 demo board was donated to each of the two schools. Trainers have since been assigned to the two schools to continue the training on a weekly basis.

Day 6 – Strength training and one on one sessions

Having acquired a relatively deep understanding of each of the trainers on the program, GM Carlsson held one-on-one sessions with each of the trainees on the final day of his tour. During these sessions, he highlighted to each of them what he had observed to be their weaknesses and strengths.

Each trainee received feedback and guidance on what they ought to do to improve their playing strength and improve their coaching skills. They were given further assignments which will be followed up when the second training sessions take place in April.

Having successfully delivered the objectives of his tour, GM Calsson finally departed from Africa on the 2nd March 2017. The trainees were sad to see him go but also thankful for the knowledge he imparted while he was here. We look forward to the next visit later this year.

We also wish to thank ZNBC who covered the visits to both Rhodes Park and Thorn Park Primary Schools. There reports are posted on the KCF YouTube Channel at the following links:

ZNBC TV2 Sport On - Rhodes Park School Report - https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=n_3BVNXqzRU

ZNBC Main News - Thorn Park School with GM Pontus Carlsson:
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=rYETMCcoesM

09:03, Monday, 20th March, 2017

One of our flagship events which will feature a GM Norm Round Robin section this year. Many FIDE Rated Round Robins as well as weekender open sections.

08:51, Monday, 20th March, 2017

Sections include a FIDE Rated Rapid & Blitz for players 1800+ as well as various open and development sections. Prize fund is over R40,000 and 3 Grandmasters will be participating.

08:41, Monday, 20th March, 2017

Includes a FIDE Rated Prestige Section and an Open Swiss

08:35, Monday, 20th March, 2017

Includes Masters, Open, U/16, U/10 and Blitz Sections

13:25, Sunday, 19th March, 2017

A reminder that the 2017 Zambia Open will take place in Lusaka from Wednesday 29th March - Sunday 2 April 2017. The Masters section of the tournament has already attracted more than 20 players rated 2000+ and will likely offer an IM norm to any player who records a tournament performance of 2450+.

Players from South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Angola, and Botswana have already registered while Zimbabwe is also expected to send a strong contingent to participate. The open section is also expected to be very strong and already features 6 titled players including most of the top female players from Zambia.

Players who intend to play are reminded to register asap at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeSc1H_igufTCLdyYvoGROKetRGssd4....

All valid registrations will be published on chess-results at http://chess-results.com/tnr266544.aspx?lan=1&art=0&turdet=YES&flag=30&w... within 2 working days of being received.

The final tournament brochure is available for download at http://www.kcfafrica.com/en/content/forthcoming-events-0 for anyone looking for copies.

06:59, Saturday, 11th March, 2017

KCF is pleased to be able to announce that GM Farrukh Amonatov (2632) from Tajikistan and GM Sriram Jha (2396) from India will both be participating in the forthcoming PSS Rapid and PSS Capablanca tournaments in South Africa in April. They will be joined by most of the top players in Southern Africa in a 10 player field that will have a 2350 average rating and a norm requirement of 6/9 for local norm seekers.

The next 6 weeks promise some exciting chess with KCF involved in no less than 4 major FIDE rated African events before the end of April 2017. The tournament brochures for these events are now available for download at http://www.kcfafrica.com/en/content/forthcoming-events-0 and online entries are open at the following links:

Zambia Open: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeSc1H_igufTCLdyYvoGROKetRGssd4...

Zimbabwe Open:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSelyc0Yjiwzave-WGZfag2u7Z1y5e5d...

PSS Rapid:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf-3yqIO7IgYezlxLxIEZS-iGAGJOM0...

PSS Capablanca:
http://www.tshwanechess.com/tournaments-events/2017/4/26/capablanca

Players wishing to review the fields in the lead up to the tournaments may do so at the following links:

Zambia - Masters: http://chess-results.com/tnr266544.aspx?lan=1

Zambia - Open: http://chess-results.com/tnr266545.aspx?lan=1

Zimbabwe Easter Open: http://chess-results.com/fed.aspx?lan=1&fed=ZIM

PSS Rapid & Blitz: http://chess-results.com/tnr268475.aspx?lan=1

PSS Capablanca: http://chess-results.com/tnr268478.aspx?lan=1

We would like to ask all players who intend to play in the various events to register and pay as early as possible to assist the respective organizers with the logistical arrangements for the tournaments.

18:33, Friday, 10th March, 2017

The full line-up for the GCT events in Paris & Leuven have been announced. Get full details at http://grandchesstour.org/press-release/2017-gct-%E2%80%93-event-wildcar...

19:31, Wednesday, 8th March, 2017

GM Kenny Solomon completed the 3rd and final leg of his African Tour in Dar es Salaam where he was hosted by CM Nurdin Hassuji and the Tanzanian Chess Foundation. We wish to thank Nurdin for the below report from Tanzania which served as a fitting finale to a highly successful East African tour.

GM Kenny Solomon arrived on 23rd February 2017 from Kigali in Rwanda for the 3rd and final leg of his Chess Masters for Africa Tour. The Tanzania Chess Foundation was proud to host him as the official program partner in Tanzania.

On Friday 24th February 2017 at 15:30 hrs the program was declared open by the Chairman of the Tanzania Chess Association Eng. Geoffrey Mwanyika. He then made the ceremonial first move as GM Solomon conducted a simultaneous exhibition match with 23 players - most of them under 16 youth from different schools at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Upanga. The event took around 2 hours with Kenny recording a perfect score! He then also provided a short lecture to the participants on how to improve their game.

On Saturday 25th February, the 12 registered trainees started their first session of the Chess Master for Africa tour. On the first day GM Solomon covered Rook Endgames, How to play with 2 Bishops, Energetic play (Play with initiative) and emphasized the importance of studying the Classic games of the great's like Steinitz, Capablanca, Lasker, and Tal.

On Sunday 26th February 2017, 30 youth from different school attended Kenny's lecture which was based around Pawn end-games. He again emphasized to them how important it was to read books and study chess on a regular basis as this is the only way to improve a play. “Chess is a subject ….you have to study “ was a memorable quote by GM Solomon.

On the morning of Monday 27th February 2017 GM Solomon continued the trainee training with focusing on Combinations, Tactical Play, and positional understanding (How to access the position). In the afternoon we visited Zanaki Primary School along with the trainees. Sets, clocks and a demonstration board were donated to the Head Master and the trainees delivered lessons to 30 students in small group sessions.

On Tuesday 28th February 2017, the training focused on how to use the Chessbase software correctly, how to prepare against opponents, and how to generate opening ideas and build a repertoire. In the afternoon we distributed the allocated chess sets, clocks and demonstration boards to the various trainers who are currently running local academies in Mbeya, Morogoro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.

Wednesday was the final day of the tour and was used to conduct one on one sessions (40 minutes) with each trainee. During these sessions, each trainee received recommendations for further study including books and video allocations.

We wish to thank Kenny for the incredible contribution he has made to the development of chess in Tanzania and we hope to see him back in the country in the near future!

14:48, Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

We wish to thank CM Charles Eichab for submitting this comprehensive report from Namibia where GM Pontus Carlsson completed the second leg of his tour last week!

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Namibia has historically faced a perennial problem when attempting to grow our membership and make chess more accessible to the ordinary man on the street. The country is sparsely populated and we encounter problems in many areas of social development from which the game of chess has not been spared.

The chess project that has been sponsored by the Paul Allen Foundation and Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa have assisted to fill the void and has every potential to create a great multiplier effect. Namibia is a not accustomed to high level chess visits especially by Grandmasters. As a country, we thirst for such high level chess training and GM Carlsson’s visit could thus not have been more apt.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

16 February 2017
GM Pontus arrived in Namibia on the afternoon of Thursday 16 February 2017 and was received at the Hosea Kutako Airport some 40kms to the east of Windhoek. He was taken to his hotel with the evening spent acclimatizing.

17 February 2017
The formal program started early in the morning with a visit to the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) which is the leading broadcaster in Namibia. The Grandmaster was hosted on the breakfast show where he explained the aims and objectives of his visits and of the program in general.

In the afternoon, he competed in a Simultaneous Exhibition against National Team players, National Junior Players, ordinary members of society, school children, club players and passer’s by. The GM won all his games except for draws against Goodwill Khoa and Namibian National Champion CM Charles Eichab. The exhibition proved to be a great event which managed to market chess both to the public and to local corporates.

18 February 2017
The 12 selected trainees convened for their first training session. The GM explained that he has divided the training into 3 components: Opening, Middle Game and Endgames and demonstrated how to approach each of the 3 phases as well as the methodologies of teaching them.

After 3-hours we had lunch followed by a brief class session and them theme blitz on a selected opening as shown in classes. The GM carefully analyzed the games and addressed our shortcomings and deficiencies. It was highly instructive stuff.

19-20 February 2017
Training continued with opening themes and tactics after time spent reviewing the homework from the previous day. After a break, we started middle game theory and play-outs with some themed middle game positions. The trainees were asked to download Chessbase 14 and were required to explore and navigate the program and prepare for a virtual opponent.

21-22 February 2017
The GM demonstrated how to use Chessbase powerfully and showed various techniques to navigate and prepare against opponents. He also showed end-game theory. Trainees were given a practical task to prepare for Robert Gwaze. The GM was interested in the quality of the preparation. On the 22nd, we went deeper into the process of gaining insights on the opposition using Chessbase data. The training was concluded with endgame theory.

23 February 2017
On the final day we staged on school visit for the GM which was a huge success. We had a session with 60 learners from the school and spent time with the Principal and the organizing teacher Mr. Mushinga. The GM give a motivational briefing to all the learners and conducted a beginner class for all. Afterwards, he took on the top 20 students in a simultaneous exhibition. The school trip was a huge success and will soon be in the papers. The afternoon was spent at the Mall in Namibia where a lunch was held with members of the Namibia Chess Federation.

24 February 2017
The GM departed for Zambia at 06h50 where he would complete the 3rd and final leg of his tour.

CONCLUSION

The visit of GM Pontus has generated great momentum and left the trainees wanting more. They are eager to continue the course with the next Master. GM Pontus proved to be a top-class teacher with great insight into the intricacies of the game and his ability to execute the course material was excellent.

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