Combining sport, scientific thinking and artistic flair, chess is one of the most ancient, intellectual and cultural games, according to the United Nations (UN).
As the new normal seems a bit harder to adjust too and mental health crisis surges, chess is one sporting code that is helping the mind in this tough time.
Reports have shown that chess promotes fairness and mutual respect. When celebrating World Chess day last year July, Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General of UN Global Communications said “chess feeds our lifelong sense of play…nurtures our passion and enthusiasm… refreshes our minds and bodies…distract us from troubles, and reduces our anxieties”.
Research has also proven that chess plays a vital role in the human mind as it brings emotional stability.
Sport has come to a halt in Botswana, but chess is one game that should be considered to continue playing to bring calmness to the mind during this tough times.
Founder of the Limitless mind chess academy, Keenese Katisenge- Tizhani, pointed out the harsh reality we are living in currently due to covid-19.
“We continue to support young athletes in rural areas with donation of chess books, chess sets and provide training where Covid-19 Regulations allow,” she explained.
Supporting the words of Fleming, she added that chess has the power to engage and empower the mind as suggested.
“The game of chess is an important activity to engage in during this period. It can be used as a form of therapy which we all need during this pandemic,” she added.
Chess sensation, Besa Masaiti said the need to be strong mentally is what all athletes should strive for in this period.
“The Sport’s governing bodies of Botswana like Botswana National Sporting Commission (BNSC) and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) under Tumiso Rakgare should engage virtual meetings and virtual mentorship programs to give players support,” she said.
However, she added that athletes should gain inspiration from each other.