The chess fraternity has received a shot in the arm after the visiting World Chess Federation delegation expressed its commitment to develop the sport from grassroots level.

Fédération Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told Minister of Sport and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwane that he will use his charity foundation to disburse chess equipment worth US$500 000 and introduce a training workshop for officials in schools around the country.

The FIDE boss highlighted this during a meeting with the Sports Minister that the grand master plan will be an opportunity for Zimbabwean chess enthusiasts to go and study the game in Moscow as they seek to achieve a two billion target of chess players around the globe by 2020.

The Africa Chess Confederation boss, Lewis Ncube who is also in the country ahead of the African Individual Chess tournament which will kick off in Harare tomorrow said Africa has the potential to excel in the sport.

Sports and Recreation Commission board chair, Edward Siwela believes the country should stage competitions of bigger magnitudes in order to reap more benefits.

Minister Hlongwane said the development of chess in villages resonates with their new Sports and Recreation Policy of according every citizen a sporting opportunity.

The African Individual Chess Championships will run from the 20th to the 28th of this month in the capital.