International Chess Federation
Thursday, 28 Mar 2024 11:57
Across the board: Fostering unity and empowerment in Africa through chess

Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board, Anastasia Sorokina, Chair of FIDE Commission for Women's Chess and other FIDE officials continue their transformative journey across Africa. With visits to Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Botswana, and South Africa, the delegation is set to inspire communities with the values chess instills.

Côte d'Ivoire became the country, spotlighting women's empowerment and the educational potential of chess. The visit by Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Anastasia Sorokina, to Côte d'Ivoire, marked a significant step forward in the global chess community's efforts to foster inclusivity and cognitive development through the game.

During the visit, several important official meetings were held. FIDE delegation, together with the President of the Ivorian Chess Federation, Justin Brou, engaged in pivotal discussions with the Ministry of Sports and Living Environment of Côte d'Ivoire, including the Director of the Cabinet Mr. Alfred N'Guessan Yao, and Chief of Staff Mr. Kragbe, laying the groundwork for the support of multiple chess tournaments and initiatives.

The key topics included integrating chess into the national educational curriculum, promoting women in chess, and government support for events in which players will represent Côte d'Ivoire, namely:

- The Zonal 4.2 in Monrovia, Liberia (May 9 - 19)

- The 10th international French-speaking chess meeting in Quebec, Canada (August 12 - 20)

 - The 45th Chess Olympiad in Budapest, Hungary (September 10 - 23)

A highlight of the visit was the emphasis on women's empowerment through chess. The delegation advocated for increased female participation at all levels, aiming to break stereotypes and encourage the development of women and girls in Côte d'Ivoire and beyond. The ministry pledged its support, recognizing the potential to elevate the nation's sporting landscape.

The next day, the "Chess Princess of Côte d'Ivoire" tournament was held at Nid De Cocody school in Abidjan for 18 participants. Though announced as a female event, several boys joined, reflecting progress made since last year's visit and lectures “Chess is an equal game”. After the tournament, all participants enjoyed a simultaneous exhibition with FIDE WOM Chair, IM Anastasia Sorokina.

Anastasia Sorokina also visited ISM ADONAI University where she delivered an inspirational talk for the students, “Chess is for everyone”, and met the CIV woman champion (2022 and 2023), Marie Yavo Tchetche.

“It was a great honour and pleasure for us to meet Dana and Anastasia,” said the President of the Ivorian Chess Federation, Justin BROU. “I am sure that our cooperation will contribute to the development of chess in schools and women’s chess as well. All the members of my team are very grateful to FIDE for their support and partnership.”