TWENTY-six-year-old Zimbabwean, Gift Jeremia has been presented with a rare opportunity after his exploits in an Online Chess tournament got him an invitation to the 2021 Moscow Chess Olympiad.
Jeremia probably feels like the luckiest person in the country right now after an outstanding performance in an Online Checkmate Coronavirus tournament which ran from the 7th to the 13th of this month won him a ticket to the 2021 Moscow Chess Olympiad.
Having played just one ticket, the 26-year-old could not believe it when he received news he had won a sponsored trip to the Chess Olympiad in Moscow, Russia, next year.
“I played one ticket for the fun of it but never expected much so I didn’t even bother to check the website about the winner. I was surprised when I was notified that I won the grand prize, a ticket to the Chess Olympiad in Russia next year. I just want to thank the World Chess Federation and the Zimbabwe Chess Federation for this programme, it will actually be my first time on a plane and I also can’t wait to see the elite chess players in the world. This is still unbelievable!” he said.
Tournament coordinator Thabo Elisha expressed satisfaction with the response by the players adding that more online tournaments are on the cards.
“In as much as the tournaments were simply for the fun of playing, anticipating and promoting the ideals of unity and solidarity, we also saw some competitive chess as players thrived to finish at the podium. It was also aimed at promoting the ideals of unity, solidarity, and participation. Overally I am overwhelmed by the turnout of players for the online tournament,” explained Elisha.
Former national team player Lloyd Moyo, who is currently serving as the Treasurer General for the Zimbabwe Chess Federation (ZCF), won the player of the tournament award.
The Checkmate Coronavirus tournament was the first official online chess initiative by ZCF and it attracted over 330 people within a single week, making it the biggest online tournament in the country.