Our mission is to continuously identify, nurture, develop young chess talent and consequently aid Zimbabwe Junior Chess Development…
Knights Chess Academy Zimbabwe (KCAZ) formerly known as Glen Norah Knights Chess Academy (GNKCA) is a community organization which was formed in January 2011 at number 2454 Glen Norah A Harare when John Chibvuri was helping next door kids with their homework, and during breaks it was chess principles work. John used chess as a tool to help explain some school work concepts. Concentration and logic in chess helped a lot in their work.
Teach them young…!
Knights Chess Academy was born out of pure passion and simplicity. The dream to see youngsters especially from the ghetto make it in life. These early young ghetto pioneers dominated incredibly in the primary chess events held in many schools; Twin Rivers, Alfred Beit e.t.c. Later on they took part in high school events, winning the Gokomere Festival Masvingo in June 2012! The Knights team had Zhemba Jemusse -form 2 then (he later on became Zim National Chess Champ!.. from Aug 2017-Aug 2018) on board 1; board 2 was Alpha Simba Chaendera -grade 7 then (was taken by Prince Edward school because of his brilliance on and off the chess board); on board 3 Kudzai Mhandu-grade 5 then (also academically gifted, later taken by Gokomere School and went on to become a National Schools Champ from form 1-3 in his age group. This year 2018,he is sitting for his O-Levels); board 4 Collins Mabodongwa-grade 4 then!(currently our top academy star).
The team faced 28 High School teams in the Gokomere event including top chess powerhouses like Prince Edward and Churchill, and the young Knights team came 1st! In June 2013 Knights with their young team also lifted the Churchill Festival! Kudzai, Collins played for the Zim youth team. Zhemba who joined us in 2012 came from the Chitungwiza ghetto community, later on represented Zimbabwe in Victoria Seychelles in an African Jnr (U20) Championship event.
“The greatest treasure is in what we do for each other in the community!”
Thanks to Mr Chenjerai Madamombe founder of Zim Chess Foundation who financed the trip. Zhemba flew for the first time! Recently in 2018 Zhemba was part of the Zim National Team that took part in a World Chess Olympiad in Batumi Georgia (in the Black Sea). It is the biggest team event in the world where many chess nations from around the globe battle for honors..! Zimbabwe came 2nd out of 44 African teams.. and 59th overall.. the best ever achievement by team Zim!..And the Knights Academy all time legend Zhemba was part of the major Zim chess success.
Other pioneer Knights not mentioned who also did very well are; Panashe Edward (now Gutu High chess and academic star and former Shiriyedenga Primary in Glen Norah head boy, also played for Zim youth team in Zambia), Shaun Chigogora (now St Faith School academic guru), Vincent Mabodongwa, Takesure Madzongwe and girls; Tanaka Pawandiwa, Panashe Kunje. How did they dominate the chess scene in such a short space of time? It was out of pure passion for chess, patience when working with the youngsters, and as well as for the ghetto youngsters to break a new ground. This Knights Chess Academy project also went on to inspire many chess enthusiasts in Zimbabwe. Other chess academies and clubs were born as a result. This has helped a lot in the development of our Zimbabwe Junior Chess.
Some of our current Knights Chess Academy Members
As the Knights Academy founder John believes in the philosophy ;
“Community means a lot, but it’s different all over the world…Whoever you ask, one thing is always the same: IT’S WHAT WE DO FOR EACH OTHER that makes the community matter. Thanks for being part of the community.”
To date Knights Chess Academy Zimbabwe has worked with hundreds of youngsters (in and outside the Glen Norah community), some of them played for the Zim youth team. We changed our training base several times: Glen Norah A hall, Prince Edward Classes, Harare CBD Africa House , Silverton Radiators Workplace in Sande road Graniteside, and currently at our ghetto base Cabal Christian College in Highfield Harare. Also Schools, individuals can invite us to their places for private sessions. It is a very humble and modest academy (not a rich academy) that uses passion in all its activities. The greatest treasure is in what we do for each other in the community!