THE HISTORY OF GHANA CHESS
The history of Chess in Ghana dates far back as the 1970s when a group of diplomats and enthusiasts came together to form the Accra Chess Club; a subset of the Attoh-Quashie Sporting Club at Swalaba. The pioneers of the game included Mr. Asmah, Mr.
Djaisie, Mr. Carl August, Mr. Hammond, Mr. Graves-Edu, Dr Oracca-Tetteh, Mr. Quao, Mr. Ferdinand Botchway and Mr. Kofi Busumtwi. This club was sustained by the group and culminated into the formation of the Ghana Chess Federation (GCF) and chaired by Mr. Asmah.
The GCF became affiliated with the World Chess Federation (FIDE; from its French acronym Federation Internationale des Echecs) in 1984.
Thereafter, the game caught up with students and lecturers of the University of Ghana, University of Science and Technology and the University Of Ghana Medical School.
The craving by the students and doctors unearthed great players such as; Mr. Gaskin, Mr. Oliver Vanderpuye, Mr. Richard Fosu, Dr Odoi, Dr Kyei-Mensah, Dr Brobbey, Dr Philips, Dr Adubofuor, and Dr Imbeah. Meanwhile, the chess playing body was encouraged to form local chess clubs in their communities.
Clubs that sprang up included the Mamprobi, Dansoman, Circle, Tema and Labadi Chess Clubs with great talents in the likes of Mr. Emmanuel Otoo, Mr. Aaron Mills-Pappoe, Mr. Danny Odamettey, Mr. Owuadey Macheen, Mr. Samir Mouthiseb coming out.
Each calendar year had seen several monthly open championships organized with the top ten or twelve players put together to challenge themselves for the national title in a round-robin tournament. Past national champions are:
Dr Oracca- Tetteh, 1974-1979
Mr. Gaskin 1980-1981, 1982 (joint champion)
Mr. Oliver Vanderpuye 1982 (joint champion), 1983-1985 Mr. Frederick Asmah, 1986-1993
Mr. Francis Anquandah, 1994 till date.
Ghana has taken part in two World Chess Olympiads.
In 1986, Mr.Fredrick Asmah, Mr. Francis Anquandah, Mr. Kofi Busumtwi, Mr. Neville Barnes, Mr. Lloyd Ankrah (captain), and Mr. Graves-Edu represented Ghana at the Chess Olympiad in Dubai, while Mr. Edward Thompson (captain), Mr. Kojo Hasford, Mr. Robert Sackey, and Mr. Kees Hoogendjik did same at the Dresden Olympiad, Germany, in 2008.
The National Sports Council (NSC) has always been our backbone as far as the administration of the game in the country is concerned.
The status of the GCF was changed from a federation to an association by the NSC with a secretary-general attached to the discipline.
The Secretary-General serves as the administrative link between the association's executive body and that of the NSC. Chairmen (c) and vice-chairmen (vc) of the association till date include:
Mr. Asmah (c), 1970-1986
Mr. Lloyd Ankrah (c), Mr. Aaron Mills-Pappoe (vc) 1987-1996,
Mr. Yakubu Alhassan (c), Flight Lieutenant George Arko-Dadzie (vc), 1997 Mr. Samuel Tinkorang (c), 1997-1998
Mr. Owusu-Sekyere (c), Mr. Sekou Nkrumah (vc), 1999-2004
Mr. Owusu-Sekyere (c), Mr. Edward Thompson (vc), 2005-2009
Wing Commander George Arko-Dadzie (c), Mr. Edward Thompson (vc), 2009
Sponsorship for tournaments has been a bane to the organization and promotion of the game.
Yet one cannot miss out individual attempts made by a number of personalities in promoting the game.
It is therefore worth recognizing the gestures from Mr. Eddie Blay, who hosted the chess playing body at his residence to open tournaments dubbed the "II Corsario"Open Championships; Mr. Samir Mouthiseb, who also organized invitational tournaments at his residence at South Labadi with good publicity in the dailies; Mr. Lloyd Ankrah who independently sponsored a number of invitational and open championships as well as Mr. Charles Kweku Hammond of Johnnie Walker Limited, who sponsored a number of tournaments in the recent past.