CHESS has helped me think fast and be ahead in class, says 11-year-old George Kapembe.
In an interview, the grade 6 Maria Assumpta School pupil said he has reached a stage where he gets almost 100 per cent in all subjects.
“I started chess last year and it’s really nice. It has also helped me improve in my studies in that I almost get 100 per cent in all papers. It’s really improving me to think fast and be ahead of others,” Kapembe said.
He said chess is not only about playing but requires serious thinking and calculations.
The last born in a family of six said last term he got 100 per cent in mathematics and science which propelled him to be first in class.
“In Home Economics I got 100 per cent, in Expressive Arts I got 100 per cent and in English I had 95 so as in all other subjects,” Kapembe, whose father works for Munali Cafe, said.
Asked how he felt whenever he loses a game of chess, Kapembe said he feels happy as it forces him to reflect on his mistakes and weaknesses instead of being happy for winning.
He said his loss at the Livingstone Chess tournament last week – organised by the Chess Project Zambia with the assistance of Chris Flowers and the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s Chess Africa Project – was due to him opening up for the king.
Kapembe emerged joint 4th position after amassing 4.0 points while Palicha Hamuchiliba was first on six points followed by Alan Museli, Weston Phiri, Abraham Liyungu and Moses Mwale in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th positions respectively.
In the girls’ category Tinky Mutulikwa was champion, beating Hellen Handema, Fredah Mweetwa, Nelita Siameja and Natasha Nachula.
And Bright Muyenga, who is Southern Province Project Chess Zambia coordinator, said Livingstone school children drawn from Maria Assumpta, Libuyu, Zambezi, Holy Cross, Dambwa Combined, Mujala and Highlands schools showed high levels of improvement in the game as compared to last year’s tournament.
“This time around it was competitive and the kids wanted to outclass each other, everyone was eager to win. But we hope with the school league which will involve eight schools with a team of 10 players each will make it even more competitive,” said Muyenga.