Chess Grandmaster Nigel Short jets into Harare next Tuesday as part of a seven-nation tour across Africa where he will share strategic insights and lessons from chess with business executives.
The Zimbabwe Chess Federation (ZCF) in partnership with Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa will host the British national between May 29 and June 1.
Short is scheduled to deliver a hard-hitting themed “Chess and the Art of Business Strategy”.
During the course of his stay, Short is also expected to conduct training sessions, exhibitions and general promotional appearances as well as running chess coaching clinics for local chess players.
ZCF vice president Clive Mphambela, told the Business Weekly that the local chess body was taking the opportunity to showcase the important links between strategic thinking in chess and in business.
“Many people appreciate that chess is the ultimate game of strategy. However, few have had the experience to share the links between strategic thinking on the chess board and to take the lessons into the board room,” said Mphambela.
“Short will give a talk on the valuable lessons for business strategy learnt from his career as a top chess master.”
Some of Short’s aims in Zimbabwe include promoting chess, and offering expertise to the Zimbabwe Chess Team that will take part in the 43rd Chess Olympiad that will be held in Batumi, Georgia this September.
His visit to Zimbabwe is part of his seven-country tour of the African continent, which includes visits to Ethiopia, Uganda, Angola, Sao Tome & Principe, Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia.
“Short is currently playing a tournament in India but as soon as the tournament is over he will begin a seven nation tour of the continent.
“He has travelled extensively throughout the Africa in the past and has visited something like 21 countries. He has been to Egypt, Malawi, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola,” added Mphambela.
As part of efforts to profile the game of chess in the local business community the ZCF is inviting the business executives to seize the opportunity and partner them to host a fundraising dinner for the Zimbabwe Chess Team which will participate in the 43rd Chess Olympiad.
‘’The cost of tickets to the fund raising dinner are $120 per head or $500 for a table for five and $900 for a table for 10. The event is expected to attract a wide range of junior, middle and senior level managers from various players in the corporate sector and staff responsible for marketing and corporate strategy, are particularly encouraged to attend,” said Mphambela.
“Chess is actually one of the most successful sports in Zimbabwe and yet remains largely unrecognised wthin the local corporate sector. We would like to change that by engaging better with potential sponsors.”
Zimbabwe is the only African country ever to win a gold medal at the World Chess Olympiad, a completion level which is equivalent to the World Cup/Olympics in other sports when Zimbabwe’s International Master and then Africa Champion, Robert Gwaze scooped the gold medal ahead of players such as the world number one at the time Gary Kasparov at the Olympiad held in Bled, Solvenia in 2002.
Chess has also brought home a gold medal from regional championships such as the All Africa Games.
Zimbabwe’s top female players Rhoda Masiyazi holds two records achieved at two Olympiads held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012 (fastest ever winning time of 11 minutes) and in Tromso Norway 2014 (quickest win over an opponent after she beat an opponent in only three moves, the quickest win ever in a high level Chess game)