By Yakubu Maikudi
Every 20th of July is marked as World Chess Day.
The International Chess Federation, also known by its French acronym FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs), is an international organization based in Switzerland that connects various national chess federations and serves as the governing body for international chess competitions.
FIDE was founded in Paris, France, on July 20, 1924, with the motto “Gens una sumus,” Latin for “We are one Family.” In 1999, FIDE was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Currently, FIDE has 200 member federations as of May 2022.
Despite chess being an intellectual and strategic game played by two players, Nigeria has been a member, with only a few experts in the game.
Chess is often considered a game for the wealthy, intellectuals, educated individuals, and sometimes the elderly.
In Gombe, the commemoration of World Chess Day was mediocre due to the limited number of people who played or understood the rules of the game, despite its popularity worldwide, it was surprising that many youths were unfamiliar with chess.
Mr. Aliyu Usman, a chess player living in Gombe’s state low-cost housing area, mentioned that the chess association has been in existence since 1990.
Another resident, Mr. Bashir Haruna Garba, from Bolari Quarters, expressed concern that the current generation lacks interest in brain-cracking games like chess, focusing more on physical and video games.
He urged schools and the authorities concerned to encourage youths to participate in games like Scrabble and chess competitions to sharpen their minds.