My late grandma always told me the greatest inheritance you have is what is in your brain. On 2nd June, 2018, thanks to Lighthouse Chess Club and PAMBIO. I was proud to give the students of Ngubereti High School something no one will ever take away from them- instructions in Chess.
I have felt the joy that comes with the trophies, medals and prize money, but this feeling outweighed them all. I felt a fulfillment when so many of these young souls sat under a tree (there was no hall to accommodate all that were interested to hear me speak!) and listened to me talk about chess.
I won them over when I told them that chess is a gym for the brain. It is a memory enhancer and one can gain strategy and discipline from chess.
I have taught my friends chess, but this was different because, unlike my peers who can easily get lessons from the internet, these students have much on their plates to worry about; how to get to school after floods ravage their land, how to get books and school fees and how to compete with a student from a school with a fully equipped laboratory and one who does not have to do chores at home after school. Chess was certainly not in their bucket list.
Some of the kids had heard of a King and Queen but only in story books. When I started my presentation they all thought chess is like checkers, or what some people refer to as draughts. Some even asked me to place a bet that they would beat me.
However, after I began to explain to them the intricate rules and about the Bishop, Knight, Rook and Pawns, they realized there was a lot more to it and they would quickly lose their bets! They got very curious about this game of strategy and wanted to learn more.
I taught them the moves, paired them to play each other and gave them ideas of beating the opponent. Being their first time to ever see a chess board, I was really impressed. It got me thinking, what if we don’t have a Grandmaster in Kenya yet because nobody has gone to these marginalized areas and introduced chess to them?
As part of the Lighthouse Queens Chess Team, we hope to inspire more such young minds who never knew they would have an interest in a game like chess to realize their potential. That is why we will hold events in a new County in Kenya every month until we have given all these special talented children an opportunity to become a Chess Grandmaster.
Till next time darlings, remember to subscribe and feel free to leave a comment.