German Embassy Kampala sponsored SOM Chess Academy Children Seminar
Enlarge image The German Ambassador taking on the Queen of Katwe (© German Embassy Kampala) Inspired by the touching movie “Queen of Katwe”, the German Embassy Kampala funded the SOM Chess Academy Children Seminar, which took place from 24th to 26th February 2017. The seminar was organized by Robert Katende, founder of the SOM Chess Academy. He had invited 80 of the strongest young chess players from underprivileged backgrounds in Kampala and Gulu – ranging from 5-year-olds who have just started to get acquainted with the complex game to young university students who are taking part in chess competitions. Uganda’s Queen of Katwe, Phiona Mutesi, actively participated in the event. She was eager to learn from the German Chess Grandmaster Thomas Luther who had travelled to Uganda on invitation of Robert Katende and the German Embassy to train the seminar participants in chess strategies and tactics for two.
Thomas Luther, Dr Peter Blomeyer and Robert Katende sharing a light moment
(© German Embassy Kampala)
Thomas Luther has won the German Chess Championship (Deutsche Meisterschaft) three times (1993, 2002, 2006). He represented Germany during World Championships and several other international competitions but has meanwhile retired as an active player. He is now focusing on coaching the young. Luther, who was born with Dysmelia of his arms, has “inspired people who are abled differently”, said Robert Katende in his opening statement of seminar. The latter works with an inclusive approach, too, and had registered several children with physical handicaps for the event.
Enlarge image The German Ambassador handing over a certificate to each participant (© German Embasy Kampala) The Seminar was officially opened and closed by German Ambassador Dr. Peter Blomeyer. He expressed his fascination with chess – not only as an exciting sport but also as a means of teaching children to concentrate for a long time, solve complicated issues and develop complex long-term strategies. All these abilities can be transferred to the children’s daily lives and enhance their education and development comprehensively.
Enlarge image Group photo (© German Embassy Kampala) The Ambassador commended the achievements of the SOM Chess Academy that was founded in 2004 with just one chess board to share. Nowadays it trains chess players who are representing Uganda in international chess tournaments – the moving story of Phiona Mutesi just being one example of its success. At the end of the event the Ambassador awarded each participant with a certificate and also handed over chess sets to the chess clubs involved. The SOMChess Academy Children Seminar was another step on the way to transform lives of vulnerable children and young people through chess.