Games

Nigerian chess prodigy makes a move for social change

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ABUJA : In the suburb of Kubwa, outside Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, an 8-year-old chess prodigy wants to make her mark by using the board game as a tool for social change.

Ivie Urieto has won 11 medals from both local and online competitions since she took up chess at the age of four. She aims to become a grandmaster by the time she is 15.

But her love of the game goes beyond just wanting to win herself – she wants other children to learn it and use it as a distraction from the tougher parts of life.

As part of her role as an ambassador for the U.S.-based foundation “The Gift of Chess”, Urieto visits local schools and orphanages to distribute boards and teach other children.

“I go around giving chess because I want people to learn how to play so that there will not be crime in the world,” she said.

The foundation, funded by donors, aims to distribute 1,000,000 chess sets globally by 2030.

Teacher Uzoamaka Uzouku said Urieto was helping breathe new life into existing chess clubs in local schools.

“Before her arrival, we already have a chess club but her coming boosted it. Many children have joined,” Uzouku said.

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