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.

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[Event “Vesuvio Chess Festival”]
[Site “Boscorecase, Italy”]
[Date “Nov 30, 2019”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Rabin, Evan “]
[Black “Mansugo”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 {Black’s 1st move Nc6 allows a certain flexibility. In this
position both d5 and e5 have been played a lot.} 2… d6

(2… Nf6?! {Here White
can play e5 and get back into the Alekhine, but d5 should give him a solid
advantage!} 3. d5 Ne5 4. f4 Ng6 5. e5 Ng8) 3. d5 Nb8 4. c4 e6 5. Nc3 exd5 6.
cxd5 Nf6 7. Nf3 {[%csl Yd6,Yd5,Ye4,Rf8,Rc7][%cal Rf3e5,Rb5c6,Gc6e5]If we compare this position to a Benoni-type position there are
certain similarities and difference we should notice. White has a central e4-d5
pawn chain. But Black’c pawn is still on c7 unlike in the Benoni where he is on
c5. Moreover Black hasn’t played the move g6-g7.} 7… Be7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. h3 c6
{I think c6 makes a lot of sense since c5 would make the queenside appear like a
benoni while still having Black’s dark-squared bishop sitting on e7, which
wouldn’t help out Black’s diabolical plan on the Queenside. The h8-a1 diagonal
is a thing.} 10. O-O cxd5 11. exd5 h6 12. Bf4 Re8 13. Rc1 a6 14. Bb1 Nbd7 15.
Re1 Bf8 16. Rxe8 {Perhaps keeping more pieces on the board would be interesting
since Black’s position seems to be somewhat cramped.} 16… Qxe8 17. Qd4
{Centralizing your pieces is almost always a good thing.} 17… b5 18. Nd1 {The
opening part is definitely over and an original game occurred.} 18… Bb7 19.
Ne3 Rc8 20. Re1 Qd8 21. g4 Qb6 22. Qd2 Qc5 23. Rd1 Nb6 24. Nf5 Qxd5 25. Qxd5
Bxd5 26. N3d4 Nc4 27. b3 Ne5 28. Ne3 Bb7 29. Ndf5 Ne4 30. Bxe4 Bxe4 31. Nxd6
Nf3+ 32. Kf1 Bxd6 33. Bxd6 Kh7 34. Bf4 Rc6 35. Nd5 Rc2 36. Nb4 Rb2 37. Nxa6 Rxa2
38. Nc5 Bc6 39. Rd6 Ra1+ 40. Ke2 Re1+ 41. Kd3 Be8 42. Rb6 Rh1 43. Ke4 Rxh3 44.
Kd5 Rh1 45. Rb8 Rd1+ 46. Ke4 Bc6+ 47. Ke3 Rc1 48. Nd3 Rg1? 49. Rb6 Bd5 50. Rxb5
Bc6 51. Rc5 Ba8 52. Rc8 Bd5 53. Bg3 Ng5 54. Nc5 Rb1 55. Rb8 Re1+ 56. Kd4 Bf3 57.
Bf4 Ne6+ 58. Nxe6 Rxe6 59. Be5 f6 60. Bc7 Bxg4 61. b4 Bf3 62. b5 h5 63. Rd8 h4
64. b6 h3 65. Kc5 Re5+ 66. Bxe5 fxe5 67. Rd3 h2 68. Rxf3? h1=Q 69. Rb3? Qh4 70.
b7 Qd4+? 71. Kb5 Qd7+ 72. Kc5? Qe7+? (72… Qc7+ {This would have allowed Black
to secure the win.}) 73. Kc4 Qf7+ 74. Kc3 Qc7+ 75. Kd3 Qb8 76. Ke4 Kg6 77. Rb6+
Kf7 78. Kd5 Ke7 79. Kc6 Qe8+ 80. Kc5 Qb8 81. Kc6 Qd6+ 82. Kb5 {Now this is a
dead draw. White made somewhat of a fortress.} 82… Qb8 83. Kc6 1/2-1/2


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