The Sierra Leone Chess Federation on Tuesday October 3rd 2023, concluded a Five-Day National Open Chess Championship at the Sport Zone, Lumley Beach Road, Freetown.
The Five days tournament which started on Friday October 29, sponsored by the Hon. Chief Minister of Sierra Leone, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh attracted players from various categories.
In his brief statement during the closing ceremony, the President of the Federation Ansumana Kamara congratulated the various winners. He went on that the competition could not have been held without the support of the Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The President said they are grateful and they are looking forward to other people to emulate the wonderful gesture of the Chief Minister.
In his speech the Chief Minister, David Moinina Sengeh said he was grateful that he was able to collaborate in this year’s National Open Chess Championship, adding that when people think about Chess they don’t think about it much as a sport.
“The Sports Zone partnering with the association to host the National Open Chess Championship for young kids all the way through, is one way for the young people to engage in intellectual sports than always the physical sports but this is a safe place for young people to come and thrive and to be on this beach and enjoy the natural beauty and also play wither its tennis, basketball or chess. This place belongs to us all that is why I created this place. It belongs to all Sierra Leoneans with a special reference to the young people so I am grateful for Sports Zone because we are able to collaborate with you to host this year’s National Open Chess Championship. We hope this will not be the last time; consider us as a true partner in Chess.”
“I enjoy the sport and I hope it will expand to the schools, expand in clubs and certainly we can send national medalist to international competitions and we can all be proud so this is the reason that I was able to support with prizes because I truly believe in the potential that you people have, but also believe in your leadership. Congratulations to those who won and good luck to those who did not, I wish them better luck next time,” he affirmed.
Aina Ebenezer Moses Conteh, the winner of the Best Junior category, expressed his joy for becoming the champion, as he revealed the secret behind his success. My Uncle the national champion he said was the one who inspired him to be a Chess player, he went on that his uncle coach him ahead of the competition until one day when he defeated him in a match and he urged him to register to participate in the National Open Chess Championship,” he stated
The closing ceremony was climaxed by the presentation of medal and cash monies. A total of Ten, Thousand Leones new notes (NLe 10, 000) was distributed among winners in the various categories.
1st Prize winner received NLe 3, 500, while 2nd prize winner bags NLe 2, 500 and 3rd prize winner take home NLe 1, 500. Best Female earned NLe 1, 000 with NLe 750 each goes to winners in Best Junior and Best under 17 categories.