(Press release courtesy of Nairobi Chess Club)
At Nairobi Chess Club we are always on the lookout for fresh ideas, especially when it comes to event organisation. We are an old club continuously re-inventing ourselves and we cordially invite fellow Kenyan chess players to come and join us in experiencing a new tournament concept this coming Sunday on November 6 at Goan Gymkhana – the NCC inaugural Grand Prix rapid and matchplay series.
The traditional tournament format for Kenyan chess events for many years has been the Swiss System. Whilst there is nothing wrong with the Swiss System, at NCC we felt it should be put in context of a Grand Prix series in order to reduce the perennial problems faced during local tournaments i.e. grandmaster draws and game fixing during the final rounds. In a Grand Prix, a good result in a single tournament does not ensure eventual success. This means a player has to keep on his toes and keep fighting until the final move over a series of tournaments. A fighting spirit is thereby fostered. And by reducing the grandmaster draw phenomenon, a Grand Prix gives the underdog a chance to prove himself. We are certainly hoping that the upcoming players on the scene take the game to the established ‘top dogs’ and re-invent the leader board.
The Grand Prix rapid events eventually culminate in a matchplay series between the top 4. Again this is a new idea NCC is introducing. It is about time we saw some of Kenya’s best squaring it out, one on one, over a stretch of games. We believe the potential of matchplay in terms of spectator and sponsorship appeal has been underestimated and untapped. There is a gripping drama that pervades all matches as chess history has proven. It is the chess fight stripped down to its raw meaning, one chess player taking on another and it’s just between them as we look on and kibitz. Furthermore, the nature of matchplay introduces the elements of pre-game preparation. Pre-game preparation is something that is not well developed in Kenya.
NCC plans to use this template of this Grand Prix series for organising classical time control events in the future.
And for anything new to be truly successful it must be based on the foundation of solid tradition. Therefore at NCC we shall remain true to our trademark practise of providing respectable prizes and excellent tournament service. We want participants and spectators alike to live through a memorable tournament experience.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday.