Kenya to Compete in Chess Olympiad for People Living With Disability

Kenya is among the 45 countries that will compete in the inaugural Online Chess Olympiad for People Living with Disability from November 21 to December 3.

Just like in the case with the online Olympiad for able chess players held in July, the competition for People Living with Disability has been brought about by the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially, chess players living with various impairments, which include physical, hearing and visual were to converge in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from July 30 to August 4 for the inaugural Olympiad for People Living with Disability.

But because of Covid-19, the event was postponed to next year, and the International Chess Federation (Fide) is yet to release new dates when it will take place.

While Fide has allowed some participating countries to field more than one team of four players each (three men and one woman or vice-versa), Kenya is among those granted just one chance.

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Kenya representatives at the competition are Sadam Ali who is the reigning Kenya National Chess Champion for People Living with Disability, Geoffrey Mosongoh and Robert Ndirangu (all are physically disabled) and Ivini Boke who is deaf.

They were selected for the global competition from a previous online chess tournament. The team’s captain Anthony Kionga said they are optimistic of performing well.

“This is an opportunity to fly Kenya’s flag high at the international arena, and I am glad we are the first among the few countries to represent Africa. We expect stiff challenges from our worthy competitors but we have no doubt that we are up to the task,” he said.