FIDE in drive to promote women's chess

Catching them young: Visiting Reizniece-Ozola with some young chess players
Catching them young: Visiting Reizniece-Ozola with some young chess players

World Chess Federation (FIDE) has embarked on a mission to promote women's and girls' chess around the globe. FIDE deputy chairperson, Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Dana Reizniece-Ozola was in Botswana this week at the invitation of African Chess Confederation (ACC) president, Tshepiso Lopang, a Woman International Master.

Reizniece-Ozola said the visit comes at a time when FIDE is celebrating its 100th anniversary and they want to engage as many chess communities and federations as possible. “Our family has grown big with more than 200 federations and FIDE is doing everything to support them. We want to promote professional chess so that there is the motivation for young men and girls and choose it to be a profession,” she said. Reizniece-Ozola said it is important at the national level to have tournaments including regional and international tournaments where players can play and improve their ratings. She said they want all federations to be represented at FIDE championships such as the upcoming 45th Chess Olympiad.

The Olympiad is set for Budapest, Hungary in September. Reizniece-Ozola said FIDE would assist the Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) with travelling costs hoping that the federation will mobilise resources so that the team is properly trained. “I urge you to apply for the FIDE trainer’s programme that is dedicated to countries that want to engage with world-class coaches. We have introduced educational chess. A few years ago FIDE embarked on a global survey, which indicated that 25 million kids engaged in educational chess. We have set to double the number, which is an ambitious target,” she said.

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