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The first non-official chess tournament of TCU

Updated: Mar 17

Yoseph Kifle, Addis Ababa University

In February of 2024 an online chess tournament was organized by the True Culture University club(TCU) in Ethiopia. The idea of the tournament was brought forward by Abel Samson, who is the chapter head for TCU in Ethiopia, in hopes of introducing more people to TCU through chess and serving as a fun interactive activity for club members. Such kind of event was first of it's kind for the club. Several factors and challenges had to be accounted for in order for it to go smoothly and accomplish the desired goal. The so called ‘venue’ for it was set up on lichess (an open source free online chess website). Lichess provides features that allow us to host tournaments with any kind of customization that we might prefer. The tournament we held had the following specifications:

●       a total of 90 minutes was allotted for the entirety of the tournament

●       a point based scoring system where players in the pool will be randomly paired in the given time format

●       a win counts as two points, a draw one, and zero for a lose

●       By the end of the given time, the player with the most points wins.


Now that we have established a solid frame work of how our event will progress, we needed to find a way to market it and make sure it reaches students. To spice things up and incentivize participants generous prizes were added to the event thanks to sponsorship from TCU. We tried to advertise our tournament by sending invite messages with registration links in group chats and posting them on social media. Our efforts bared fruit and we were able to rally up to 23 players, all students enrolled in AAU(Addis Ababa University).


When time of the tournament finally arrived, the atmosphere was electric and many tuned in to play and spectate the event. Fellow chess enthusiasts participated and made for a competitive event, which delivered with a lot of exciting games filled with fireworks as players battled for glory. Despite of that, Beleir Messay Getachew managed to be a cut above the rest and take first place convincingly. Beleir is a Software Engineering student at Addis Ababa institute of technology and a talented coder. He was followed by Milki Abdissa who settled for second place (the reigning Ethiopian blitz chess champion). Milki is an incredible player, but Belier was able to get the best of him as Milky joined the arena late and was not able to clinch enough points to get first place. Milky would later go on to deny himself of the second place prize so that others would get it; an act of modesty by the champ. Third fourth and fifth were respectively taken by Kanu Getsh, Obsen Kefyalew and Abel Albachew whom performed exceptionally well on their own regard.


Overall the event was a success, by managing to bring many students to TCU. Students followed and joined TCU social media platforms in the registration process which will potentially make them keen on other TCU tracks and events. We plan to host many other events similar or different from this one in the future, learning from our mistakes and getting better with each event. As a starting point it's hard to ask for anything better and are hopeful for what's to come.

'tournament leaderboard from

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