Chess in Eritrea Print
Thursday, 09 March 2017 08:10

Logo of Eritrean Chess federation

A short summary on chess in Eritrea

By Kim Bhari
www.kenyachessmasala.com

The Eritrean Chess Federation is the governing body of chess in Eritrea which was registered in 2001.
In the early days the Netherlands Embassy sponsored two chess masters to visit the country to promote the game of chess. This was a powerful stimulus for the game in the country.
Eritrean Chess Federation then received a major boost in May 2015 when the President of African Chess Confederation Mr Lewis Ncube paid a visit to the country accompanied by GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt.
To kick off the visit GM Ahmed Adly played a 21 game simultaneous on 15th May 2015 at the Nyala Hotel. In attendance was a big delegation from the Eritrean Chess Federation including a number of chess fans.

GM Adly during his simultaneous in Asmara Eritrea
GM Adly during his simultaneous in Asmara, Eritrea. Photo credit unknown.

In the end the final result of GM Ahmed Adly v Eritrea match was 20 wins and 1 loss. The only loss was to Eritrean Champion Kibrom Weldegebriel. GM Ahmed Adly is a star player from Egypt and has a number of accolades. These include being the World Junior Champion (1997), African U20 Champion and the first Egyptian GM in history.
The Eritrean star Kibrom Weldegebriel who has won the Eritrean National Chess Championship 3 times was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1987 and who moved to Eritrea in 1993. He is a graduate of Eritrean Institute of Technology and currently working at Halay Technical School.

2015 Eritrea National Championship
From left Lilay, Samuel, Amanuel, Adam, Delegate of Ministry Sport, Mr Semere President of Eritrea Chess Federation, Kibrom holding trophy, Napoleon, Biniam and Ahmed. Photo during the 2015 Eritrea National Championship.

Eritrean children playing chess
Eritrean children playing chess.

A summary of the Eritrea National Chess Champions:

Classic Chess Championship

2009 - Berah Kibrom
2011 - Debesai Zerabruk
2012 - Berah Kibrom
2013 - Samuel Merhawi
2014 - Kibrom Weldegebriel
2015 - Kibrom Weldegebriel
2016 - Kibrom Weldegebriel

Eritrean elders playing chess
Eritrean elders playing chess. Photo credit unknown.

The results of 2016 Eritrean Classic Chess Championship:

1 – Kibrom Weldegebriel 13.5 points
2 – Biniam Araya 12.5 points
3 – Tesfalem Bereket 11 points
4 – Sham Mehari 11 points
5 – Samuel Merhawi 10.5 points
6 – Lilay Weldu 9.5 points

Eritrean Chess Team at the 2016 Baku Olympiad
Eritrean Chess Team at the 2016 Baku Olympiad. Kibrom Weldegebriel on extreme left. Photo credit unknown.

Eritrea ended in 166/180 in the 2016 Baku Olympiad. The result may look depressing but one needs to consider that this was their first Olympiad outing and the federation is still young comparing to other federations. For example Kenya Chess Association (now known as Chess Kenya) was registered on 22nd September 1976!

Sights of Asmara
Sights of Asmara, capital of Eritrea. Photo credit unknown.

capital of Eritrea
Sights of Asmara, capital of Eritrea. Photo credit unknown.

Sights of Asmara capital of Eritrea
Sights of Asmara, capital of Eritrea. Photo credit unknown.

port town of Massawa
Photo of port town of Massawa. Photo credit unknown.

port town of Massawa2
Photo of port town of Massawa. Photo credit unknown.

 
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