Chess is a sport that one can play throughout their life, from kindergarten to the grave. It is a mere board game of strategic skill for two players, played on a chequered board on which each playing piece is moved according to precise rules. The object is to put the opponent’s king under a direct attack from which escape is impossible.
But what is it good for? Games like bridge, poker, and chess are great for business. These games all use methods that can be incorporated into the way you view and make business decisions.
The educational benefits of being a chess player are many and these include honing analytical thinking skills and aiding memory retention. It’s a great confidence builder and teaches patience and persistence. In the days of old, chess was the game of the noble, the kings and queens, the knights and the generals.
It’s basically a game of THINKERS!
For the business strategist chess is a great way to develop skills for planning, concentration, identifying opportunities and risks, and most importantly competitiveness.
In Zimbabwe few notable examples with a profound chess history include Fide Master Arnold Kanengoni (Veterinary Surgeon RSA), International Master Rodwel Makoto (Software Engineer in RSA) who still is playing competitive Chess, Engineer Jona Chaka (Civil Engineer) working in Botswana and Day Muyambo, (Professional Golfer and Mathematician).
Generally, chess requires strategic decision-making, concentration, tactics, and evaluation and is the ideal sport for those looking to maintain healthy brains.
Zimbabwe Chess Federation vice-president Clive Mphambela, said a number of chess players have left the sport over the years for other more lucrative careers, but the impact of chess on their lives is profound and will forever live with them.
“Because chess requires extensive use of the brain’s right hemisphere, the game enhances creativity and originality. Medical Doctors such as Dr Takaendesa, Dr Patrick Mhaka (Current ZCF President), Dr Emmanuel Chagonda, Dr W Mupepe, just to name a few are all recognised names in chess.
It has also groomed many lawyers and other prominent professionals, such as Tendai Biti (former Minister of Finance), Gift Sithole (a Chartered Accountant and Zimbabwe Candidates Chess Champion 2014), Tedmore Mawuwa and Kudzanayi Mamombe who are both Physicists,” he said.
“Most of the country’s chess players are currently either professionals in their own right or university students.
Indeed, a sizeable number of the country’s top chess female players are university students such as University of Zimbabwe Law Student-Termaine Chizikani; Valentine Pasipanodya — a medical student also at UZ; Colletta Wakuruwarewa — a Mutare Polytech BTech Student; MSU Student Takudzwa Chiriya and Fungiraiyini Chiweshe Mushaninga, an engineer with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, just to name a few,” he added.
“ZCF has a significant positive impact on young people and we have a vibrant development policy for young chess players. A number of our chess kids are already looking at becoming top chess players, such as Refiloe Mudodo, a young 10 year old girl and Mpumelelo Moyo, who obtained an international chess title of Fide Candidate Master at the Africa Junior Championships at age eight in Lusaka Zambia in November 2011.” Mphamphela, called on corporates to sponsor the game.
“It does not discriminate between able bodied and disabled; young and old, boy and girl or between man and woman. It is one of the few sports in the world where a young person can take on and elder adversary with confidence, where brain power can triumph over physical differences between men and women, boys and girls.
“Chess in Zimbabwe remains one of the most successful and yet under-recognised sports in the country. It therefore offers a significant marketing opportunity for a consumer products company. For example, in South Africa, one of the largest hotel groups, Tsogo Sun is a major sponsor of chess, particularly chess for children through their Moves for Life programme. Tsogo Sun runs a ZAR14 million budget for supporting Chess in South Africa,” he said.