Rwanda: Online Olympiad - Rwanda Faces Syria, Kuwait and Namibia On Friday

Rwanda will play Syria, Kuwait and Namibia on Friday, July 31, its first day of action in the ongoing FIDE Online Olympiad 2020 which started July 25 and will run through August 30.

National Captain Alain Patience Niyibizi plans to start Maranatha Nduwayesu, Rongin Munyurangabo, WFM Joselyne Uwase, Marie Faustine Shimwa, Ben Patrick Cyubahiro and Sandrine Uwase on the six respective boards.

Niyibizi called on a few reserve players including 20-year-old Munyurangabo and data scientist Shimwa but he is ready to make last minute changes, come Friday morning, should it be necessary.

The first game starts at 12pm CAT, the second at 1PM, with the third and final match of the day at 2PM.

Players have 15 minutes of rest between each round.

The local chess federation "had a very hard time finding support," for the tournament but did not give up and now hopes it goes well. Very good Internet, a key requirement by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) is one of the biggest issues the local federation has grappled with. A proper venue is another.

The players will play from the Rwanda Bookmobile premises located inside the St. Famille church compound, in Kigali.

Ben Tom Zimurinda, acting president of the chess federation said: "We don't want to miss out on this new experience. We have a team of young players we want to nurture and this new tournament is a good opportunity."

"Rwanda Bookmobile has been a God send but we are also banking on Airtel Rwanda, who have shown willingness to help deal with the Internet challenge. We are optimistic."

The FIDE Online Olympiad 2020 is the first of its kind. It consists of two main stages: a division stage and a playoff stage. There are five divisions.

A combination of qualification and seedings will eventually determine what the top division will look like.

The top division consists of five seeded teams, five nominated teams, and 15 teams that qualified from the second division.

Divided into four pools, the top three teams of each pool qualify for the playoff stage.

The new tournament comes after the main 2020 Chess Olympiad, a biannual event earlier scheduled for August 5-17, was moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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