Crawford International School recently hosted its first inter-school Chess Tournament, bringing together 400 learners from 35 different schools in Nairobi. The tournament highlighted the incredible potential of young minds and emphasized the significance of providing children with opportunities to engage in intellectually stimulating activities.
Among the talented players, Drish Shah, a renowned title holder, emerged as the first-place winner in the under 14 open category, with a 6 out of 6 win, emerging as the only player in U14, U16 and U18 to finish with a 6 out of 6 win. Manyeki Nathaniel of Plains view Academy came in second and Eddy Travis of St. Bakhita School came in third in the same category.
Drish holds an impressive track record having represented Kenya in Zimbabwe, Egypt and India, Drish Shah’s victory further showcased the exceptional skill and dedication required to excel in chess. When asked about the win, Drish Shah shared, “I have been playing since I was six years old. Chess is about passion, perseverance, and consistency. I am honoured to have received the top prize and eagerly await the next tournament.”
Miriam Gathogo, the Co-curriculum Coordinator at Crawford International School, expressed her enthusiasm for the growing popularity of chess as a sport in Kenya. She remarked, “For a first-time event, we received an overwhelming turnout, indicating the gradual acceptance of chess in our country. The tournament served as a platform for learners to showcase their incredible talent, fostering intellectual growth, critical thinking, and strategic skills. Encouraging children to play chess offers numerous benefits that extend far beyond the chessboard itself.”
The importance of chess in shaping young minds was highlighted during the tournament. Chess offers several key benefits, including boosting concentration and focus, promoting sportsmanship, and cultivating resilience. Through chess, children learn to understand that winning and losing are part of the process, encouraging them to learn from their mistakes, persevere, and strive for improvement. Furthermore, regular practice enhances memory retention, pattern recognition, and overall cognitive abilities.
Crawford International School recognizes the profound impact that chess has on students’ intellectual and personal growth. By actively encouraging children to play chess, the school aims to equip them with invaluable life skills that will continue to serve them well beyond their academic years.