The Liberia Chess Federation (LCF) has recently participated in the West Africa 4-4 individual chess tournament in Monrovia with three of its players emerging winners, next to Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.
Giving details of the competition and other happenings in the federation recently in Monrovia, the president of the LCF, Mr. Winston Ireland, said if they should stand tall among other nations, the game needs the support of those who love it.
"It was an amazing experience under my leadership when we invited our colleagues in the sub-region to compete for something through our game," Mr. Ireland said.
M. Balogun Oluwafemi and Kigigha Borno of Nigeria came first and second in the West Africa Zone 4-4 Individual Chess Championship held from April 20-30 this year while Harmon Barcon and John Jallah (Liberia) emerged as third and fourth place winners.
The LCF meanwhile announced that its team will travel to Algeria in July to participate in the African Chess Confederation Championship and it is seeking financial support from well-meaning Liberians.
"We used to receive the sum of US$20,000 from our government but we are no longer receiving it due to some administrative reasons cited by the Ministry of Youth and Sports," Ireland said.
The LCF boss who was elected on January 6 with Omar Issa, Jerome Wilson, Lewellyn Brent and Godfrey Richard as his vice president, financial secretary, treasurer and chaplain respectively, said the Federation presently lacks office space due to their inability to pay rent.
"We inherited an empty office and as such we have been unable to raise funds to pay rent and settle other problems," he noted.
He said his leadership has registered 11 active chess teams across Montserrado and is planning to launch the game in schools and communities for children as young as 6 years.
When contacted, the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Youth & Sports, Henry Nyonton, said the LCF was audited a year ago and discovered some flaws which the federation needed to have settled before it could be reconsidered for budgetary allotment.
"There were some financial problems at that office and we have advised that the Federation puts its house in order by having an organized structure that will be willing to be accountable and transparent," Nyonton said in a telephone interview.