Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE stage is set for the inaugural Fathers’ Day Chess Tournament to be held today at the coal mining town of Hwange.
At least 160 participants, mostly pupils from primary and secondary schools are expected to compete at the Empress N Chess Academy organised tournament to be held at HCCL Main Training Centre in Number 2.
Tournament organiser Nothando Dube, founder of the Empress N Chess Academy, said they are ready to roll.
“Everything is set for the competition and we’re very excited because the response has been overwhelming. Obviously, because of late entrants, we will have the exact number before the start of the tournament. We are looking to have at least 160 participants,” said Dube.
The organisers extended invites to outside the coal mining town participants who are expected to come from areas like Victoria Falls and Lupane.
The competition’s registration fee is $3.50 for Under-8, Under-10 and Under-13 participants; $4.50 for secondary school learners and $5.50 for the open category.
Dube said they’re targeting all chess lovers from ECD to the open section, with their vision being to nurture and develop talent from the grassroots.
Established in August 2018, Empress N Chess Academy has held five tournaments, the Empress N Chess Academy Official competition on August 3, 2018, Old Mutual Sports Day tournament, Spring Open, Leavers Open on November 15 and the Empress Open in March 2019.
Dube said they will use this competition to prepare players for national tournaments.
“We have an Africa Youth Chess Championship in Windhoek, Namibia later this year and our hope is to have some of our participants going to represent Zimbabwe. What we’re doing as an academy to help these kids is holding training sessions every Saturday at Lwendulu Primary School.
“Members pay a membership fee of $5 and a monthly subscription of $2. The money is intended for purchase of equipment, day-to-day running of the academy and also to pay the annual affiliation at the Sports and Recreation Commission,” said Dube. — @ZililoR