Liberia: LCF seeks urgent development of chess in Liberia
The President of the Liberian Chess Federation (LCF), Mr. William T. Thompson, said the performance of Liberian chess players had motivated him to believe that if more resources were invested in the urgent development of chess. in Liberia, the country could have a bigger impact in sport. .
Addressing the opening of the 2021 African Junior Chess Championship program in Monrovia on Tuesday evening, December 28, 2021, Mr. Thompson said, however, that he was pleased that the government of Liberia, through the Minister of Finances Samuel D. Tweah, saw the urgent need to develop chess here. .
“And I personally believe that if we invest in the younger generation of chess, the country … will [a] very, very big impact, ”Thompson said.
After the official opening ceremony, the matches of the African Junior Chess Championship were due to start on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 for which 12 African countries had previously confirmed their participation.
But the number of participating countries fell slightly after it was announced during Tuesday night’s program that South Africa, Angola and Sao Tome and Principe could not attend due to health concerns. or other technical problems with the Covid -19 regulations.
Liberia is hosting the African Junior Chess Championship from December 28, 2021 to January 5, 2022 at Monrovia Town Hall in Sinkor.
According to LCF, the tournament has two sections which include the open section for players aged 20 and under and a female section for talented African girls aged 20 and under.
Each African federation is allowed to send three participants for each section, but host country Liberia will field five players with the option to enter up to seven participants, the CFL has revealed.
Compared to other chess federations in different African countries, CFL President Mr. Thompson argued that the Liberian Chess Federation is very young, noting that it participated in its first Games. Olympics in 2018 and came second behind Nigeria in West Africa.
“It gave me the personal motivation that if we invest more in the development of chess in Liberia, our country can win,” he added.
Mr. Thompson greeted and appreciated all the international players who, despite the travel restrictions imposed by different countries in the fight against the global Coronavirus epidemic, braved the storm to come to Liberia and participate in the Junior African Champion of ‘chess.
At the official launch of the program, Mr. Zeogar D. Wilson, Liberian Minister of Youth and Sports, said the ministry was proud of the leadership of the Liberian Chess Federation.
Minister Wilson recalled that in 2018, when he became Minister of Youth and Sports, many federations and associations had problems, the Chess Federation being no exception.
He said that thanks to the intervention of him and his team at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the problems of the Chess Federation have been resolved and it is now led by a leadership of which he is proud.
In addition, Minister Wilson said he was proud that for the first time, Liberia is hosting a [international] Chess tournament. He assured LCF of his continued support, saying he can delay signing any document, but as far as the Chess Federation is concerned, he cannot delay.
Giving a brief history of chess in Liberia, Mr. Kemo Sambola, Planning Committee Member, LCF, recounted that chess was continuously played in an unstructured manner in Liberia until 2014, when Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah , along with other chess the players decided to have a more structured game of chess in the country.
In the same year, he said that what is now called the Liberia Chess Federation was formed and recognized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and also recognized by the African Chess Federation.
Since its inception, he has said it is difficult to defend the chess championship in Liberia, especially for the men’s team, as he always went from winner to winner.
But in the women’s category, Mr Sambola said that a very young girl, Ms Abigail Karyah, won the championship in 2019 and then defended it in December with the victory by breaking the chain. The tournament could not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr. Thomas G. Karyah, co-chair of the LCF planning committee, said the federation was happy to have a home of participants.
Focusing on the countries that are present for the championship, Mr. Karyah welcomed Mauritania, Botswana, Egypt, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Algeria and Uganda, and the host country, Liberia.
Due to health issues or other technical issues related to Covid regulations, Mr Karyah said some countries could not participate in the championship, including South Africa, Angola and Sao Tome and Principe .