Zimbabwe will host the chess world cup in 2021 a tournament that will bring 3 000 athletes from more than 100 countries.
The tournament to be held in the resort town of Victoria Falls will mark the first time it will be staged on the African continent.
Sports and Recreation Minister, Makhosini Hlongwane revealed the news at the official opening of a youth camp for 40 athletes who will be trained on life skills throughout the national youth games currently underway in Matabeleland North Province.
The president of the world chess federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is in the country from Russia, will donate money and equipment for the development of chess in local schools and an agreement to that effect is expected to be signed in Harare.
According to Minister Hlongwane, the assistance will also extend to the facilitation of a minimum of five scholarships for Zimbabwean students who wish to study chess in Moscow, Russia every year.
“The grand masters will also introduce another programme in Zimbabwe to train chess in schools and also conduct a train the trainer programme for the 4 000 clubs that are in the process of being formed in all communities across the country,” he said.
Ilyumzhinov said the country will also organise Chess Olympiad to be hosted in 2022, an event expected to attract at least 200 countries from around the globe organised every two years and is considered as the highest chess event in the world.
“I think your country has a good chance to win this competition and as the founder of these organisations we are going to help your country to organise these two big events,” said Ilyumzhinov.
Currently there are 600 million people who play chess in around 188 countries and 100 000 chess tournaments around the globe every year and so the target is to increase the number of chess players to 2 billion people across the globe.