Grateful for Chess in Tanzania!

An Interview with Christopher, Make a Difference Now Student at Royal School of HIMO

by Jack Mo, 1st Annual Make a Difference in Africa Trip Volunteer (June 11-18, 2018) 

I am a Penn States student, who enjoyed being one of the volunteers on the 1st Annual Make a Difference in Africa trip in June, 2018. Here is my interview with Christopher, one of one of Make a Difference NOW (MAD)’s sponsored students, who was one the 65 kids we taught: 

Jack giving a lesson on basic
Christopher at Demo Board.
In background, is Eric, who won our in-class tournament.



Please share a little bit about your upbringing and how 
Make a Difference Now (MAD) has affected your life.
 Without MAD, I would face many challenges. I’m now literate because MAD helped me. Being illiterate would make me end up being in the streets doing child labor in order to have something to eat. MAD is providing all my basic needs such food, clothing, shelter and access to medical services. MAD gave me access to sports such as basketball and recently this year I had exposure to professional chess players and I can now play chess.  MAD has affected my life in general and I can see my future dream in near future. 
What do you want to do in the future after you graduate from Royal School of HIMO? 
 I’ve got short and long term dreams. Right after graduating, I would like to  meet with my family and to get exposure to village life and help with  household chores and farming. I want to meet students in government schools who did not have access to best schools to help them with their classes. I will also be working for my high school applications and college applications to start in the Spring of 2019.
Tell me a little bit about the experience you had learning chess from the Premier Chess team back in June.  
I got many experiences such as confidence in playing chess (could play previously but without the basic skills and with no confidence). I learned how to establish a collaborative environment.  I enjoyed how you and the team made students participate by providing the pencils and the trophy. You taught the techniques to win chess competition and ways to refresh my mind through chess.
What was your favorite part about the experience? 
My favorite part is the knowledge on the techniques of winning chess competition because I can apply them in many aspects while playing chess. 
What lessons did you learn from chess that may help you in other areas of life
Collaboration, corporation and the aspects of winning chess
How much chess is being played in the school currently? 
Chess have been played in our school every Wednesday but during the last few weeks of schooling, when we’re preparing for exams, we don’t play. 
What types of lessons would you like to learn when we return to school in July?  
 In July next year, most of us will be in other schools since we have already graduated. However, I would like to learn more on the chess techniques. Additionally, if possible when you come back in July, teaching using two languages will be very helpful. Most of MAD students have access to international volunteers and they’ve got used to English speakers but now only one MAD student, Peter, will be around.  It is better to have a translator who will translate to the students with simple English and if possible use two languages, English and Swahili. 

If there is one thing we can improve on for our next teaching trip to Royal School, what would it be?

Minimize the speed of teaching and have a Swahili translator. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with Premier Chess volunteer team? 

The experience with chess has helped me think mathematically. 

If I may, would love to ask you two follow up questions: 

Please do! 

Can chess program be part of employment to people? If so, how?


Chess can absolutely be a platform of employment. I teach students in the classroom and individually either in-person or online. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make money through chess, the other volunteers and I would love to provide some guidance.


Are there several teams/ chess clubs in your home area? 
Jack: I am the president of the Penn State chess club, where we meet for club every week. We are in the process of starting rated tournaments on campus. Meanwhile, I do frequently travel to my hometown Pittsburgh and other cities for tournaments. I should note, I also look forward to playing with you again down in the Kilimanjaro region next July! Thank you for your time and see you soon.

For more insights about our 2018 trip, see CEO National Master Evan Rabin’s article in the December issue of Chess Life.  Apply for 2019 trip, which will take place July 11-18, here!

Premier Chess Partners with Make a Difference Now and Metro World Child!

The1st Annual Grace Church and Brooklyn Friends Grand Prix Tournament #6 will be taking place on June 2nd. I know it’s in the following month but these short summer days are flying by, you are gonna one mark this one down on your calendar. Special thanks to the Make A Difference foundation who has helped to plan and organize this event, and through a silent auction, will teach chess to underprivileged youth in Africa. Email if you can donate a silent auction item.

For all of you interested in helping youth have you ever heard of Metro World Child? A non-profit organization devoted to helping at-risk youth worldwide, and is based here in Brooklyn, New York! Believe it or not, Metro World Child has been around for nearly half a century!  On June 9th, Premier Chess will be holding a fundraiser Grand Prix Chess Tournament hosted by the organization Metro World Child. To become a part of this event you can register Register here. If you have any questions, please contact Premier Chess CEO Evan Rabin at or Glisson  Niekerk at Hope to see you all there and looking forward to paving a brighter future.

Daniel Mascola
Premier Chess Operations Intern 

Premier Chess At The “2019 Vesuvio Chess Festival”

It was during Evan’s trip to Italy that Premier Chess’ Facebook page hit 7600 likes. He shared a lot of his experience throughout the country through Premier Chess’ social media, that’s why you should all follow us here! He’s played in the strongest section of the tournament. Indeed his two losses were against International Masters, one of which was definitely not one sided. Anyway we want you to witness one of the game that took place during the 2019 Vesuvio Chess Festival.

Evan Rabin at the Vesuvio Open
(NM) Evan Rabin playing chess in Italy