TODAY'S CHESS PIC OF THE DAY: The 'EXTRAORDINARY' WCM!!! Kenya's very own experienced sensational female player, Jane Wambugu!!! She learnt chess when she was just 8 years old from her uncle! And this first encounter with the 32 pieces that lay on the 64 squared board was indeed 'love at first sight'! Just from the onset Jane developed an insatiable appetite for chess and seemed not get enough pleasure and excitement from playing the game! Within just a limited period of time, she was already better than her coach (uncle) who had taught her the game!!! However, Jane's chess victory/achievement was only confined at home, and if she thought that just by beating her uncle and mentor she had achieved all that is required of a great player, well she was dead wrong!!! Jane perspective of the game of chess completely changed when she went to study at the prestigious Kenyatta University; she realised that chess was equally a competitive sport just like football is!!! However,Jane noted a discrepancy with the way chess was conducted at Kenyatta University, it seemed to be a boys game!!! Not wanting to be also left out and empower her fellow kind, Jane formed and captained the first ever Ladies chess team at Kenyatta University!!! Her overzealousness eventually paid off as her efforts at organizing female chess caught the eyes of the National organizing chess board in Kenya(KCF)! In 2004, particulary due to Jane's work at Kenyatta University, Chess Kenya sent the first Ladies Chess Team to the Olympiads in Spain!!! Such international exposure seemed to have been a good one for Jane as a year later she would dominate Ladies chess in her region by banging two major achievements in her career; East and Central African Ladies Chess Champion!!! A year later and just two years of international exposure, Jane was awarded with the WCM title by FIDE at the 2006 chess Olympiads!!! After this, the 2006 Kenya Ladies chess champion would later take a long break to concentrate on other personal things!!! In 2012, Jane returned to active chess and it seemed as if her 5 years break from chess did not have a negative impact on her play as made it in the Kenya Ladies national team in the same year of her comeback!!! Her creative personality dragged her to look in the plights of another marginalised group of people, the refugees! Jane realised that neglecting such a group of people was not in the spirit of chess equity for all! In 2014, she succesfully managed to organize a chess tournament to commemorate world refugee day; the toournament was held in a far flung refugee camp in Northern Kenya and the response was overwhelming for both Jane and others who had followed it keenly!!! This has given an impetus to Jane to continue working with such a group of people as she strives to equitably develop the game of chess!!! Her passion for chess is so immense such that her favorite quote is by Siegbert Tarrasch: "Chess like love, like music has the power to make men/women happy"!!! Happy birthday to this extraordinary chess player, Chess Zealot wishes you well as you sacrifice to see African chess move to greater heights!!!
By Chess Zealot