The Chess Torch Relay: FIDE Celebrates its 100th year anniversary in Africa

GM Bassem Amin and WIM Jesse February with the Chess Torch. Photo: Niki Riga

The global Chess Torch Relay, marking FIDE’s centenary celebrations, has now reached the African continent after setting off from India. This significant journey, celebrating a hundred years of FIDE, has brought together chess enthusiasts and officials from around the world.

Accompanied by esteemed FIDE officials such as Tshepiso Lopang, the President of the African Chess Confederation and Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chairman of FIDE’s Management Board, the torch arrived in Ghana’s capital, Accra. The arrival of the torch in Africa signifies a significant milestone in the worldwide celebration of chess.

In a heartfelt occasion at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in downtown Accra where the legacy of Ghana’s first President is honored, the Chess Torch was lit, signifying the enduring flame of chess in Africa. This park holds a special significance for chess, being the birthplace of the first chess club in Accra.

Tshepiso Lopang, Dana Reizniece-Ozola and other FIDE officials at Accra, Ghana. Photo: Niki Riga

The evening came alive with lively sounds of trumpets and drums as the Chess Torch embarked on a procession to the Independence Arch. Chess fans and onlookers alike gathered to enjoy an evening of music and chess, further highlighting the cultural and communal aspects of the game. The climax of the festivities took place at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel, where African chess champions, GM Bassem Amin and WIM Jesse February ceremoniously passed the torch to Tshepiso Lopang, igniting the cauldron and symbolizing the everlasting spirit of chess in Africa.

As the chess flame continues its journey across the “Mother Continent,” Africa, the relay will soon move to Europe, with a torch ceremony scheduled in Bern, Switzerland on April 7th. The Chess Torch Relay is not just a celebration of FIDE’s centenary but also a testament to the unity and passion that chess ignites across borders and cultures.


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