Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

MBABANE – Eswatini Chess Federation (ECF) President Roy Msibi was appointed arbiter of Africa Youth Chess Championships currently underway in Zambia at Mike Convention Centre.

The one-week-long championships got underway last Sunday and would end this coming Saturday. Although Eswatini is not among the nine participating countries included, Msibi has been invited to officiate in the games. Like a referee in basketball or an umpire in netball, an arbiter’s role is to preside over a match and make sure both sets of players follow all the rules of the game.


An international arbiter is a title awarded by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to people who demonstrate knowledge of the rules of chess and can act as impartial stewards during important chess tournaments and matches. These chess experts have to know and judge every aspect of the game including, the board, the pieces, the chess clock, the speed and pace of play, the validity of moves that a player makes, scoring and the overall conduct of the players. Participating countries include the host nation, Egypt, Namibia, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania. The competition is divided into six age categories for the open section and the ladies section. These are the Under-8s, Under-10s, Under-12s, Under-14s, Under-16s and Under-18s. Speaking about his assignment and recognition to officiate in the games in the continental chess competition, Msibi said the invite was an honour to Eswatini chess and to him personally. “It shows that slowly we are gaining some recognition internationally. This is the third international event I have been invited to officiate in since the year began.


“The standard of play here is very high, with many titled players with a rating higher than 2 000. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring a team here, because the invite was short notice. This being an Olympiad, we have been concentrating on the national team.  Otherwise our youth would have learnt a lot,” he said. Msibi further said some countries brought a high number of players. These included South Africa that is parading 55 players. “We have learnt that quite a number of governments are investing in chess. The children also enjoy great support from their parents. We are happy though to find out that most of the players here are coached by the country’s top players, so our investment in the national team may not be in vain,” he said.
The ECA and other arbiters also had the honour of meeting with the current FIDE leadership to discuss the future of world chess and how Eswatini could benefit. Msibi said the discussions were fruitful.

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image: