A move for equality!

Isaiah outside what used to be his home in Mukuru, Kenya – The plot consists of about 10 rooms and communal toilet and bathroom

This is the 15-year old kenyan talent Isaiah Otieno. Isaiah is from the Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum that is an area with extreme poverty. Through his intellect and hard work he has managed to become a top junior in chess, as well as one of the best students in the country. In fact he is number 2 in his region, only beaten by his brother! Abdul Malik. Thus we are delighted to help Isaiah and his family to a better life, by allocating them in a real, furnished flat where they are comfortable and can nurture their talent. And of course Isaiah will get a laptop with chessbase installed plus a coach so he can improve. Mukuru is full of smart talents that needs a stable environment and acceptable living conditions, help us to help them!

BIO: Isaiah Otieno Oluoch
DOB: 06 June 2005
Now 15 years

Born in Mukuru Kwa Njenga Slum, in the outskirts of Nairobi. Until recently, on his 15th birthday, he and his family were moved to a 2 bedroom flat in Tena Estate, with much better amenities as we wait for the desired house, a 3 Bedroom Bungalow at Kariobangi South. In the words of his father, ‘It is a million times better’, than the single room the family shared at the slum, with one bathroom for the plot (several households). 

Isaiah inside his old house in Mukuru

Family: Total 8, 4 boys and 2 girls.

Father : Peter Oluoch Aguk – 38yrs – Casual Laboror, currently unemployed
Mother – Ruth Achieng Oluoch – 33 years, Sells vegetables in Mukuru
Marylyn Hiky – 19yrs, just cleared high school, helps mother at the vegetable stand
Emmanuel Oduor – 18yrs Currently in form 3, Swaminarayan High School, Moved from Langata High School due to fee challenges.
Triza Achieng – 17 years Currently in form 3 Swaminarayan High School, also moved from Moi Girls Vokoli Girls High School due to School fee constraints.
Isiah – 15yrs – Mangu High School, form 1 – This is among the best KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Exam)  408marks out of 500. Top in his school and among the best in the country.
Abdul Malik  – 15yrs – Scored 418 Marks in KCPE 2019, one of the best students in the country, was drafted to a top school Kapsabet High School – National School. Father intends to relocate him to another school due to school fees challenges. Nehemiah Williams – 2 Months baby

Isaiah outside their new flat in Tena Estate

Chess
– Isaiah learnt chess in 2015 at the age of 9, through Sports Outreach Ministry (SOM) which started a chess club at Carson Academy, formally Nairobi Slum Project school (Redroof). SOM provided meals for the kids aged 5-14 years and introduced Chess as one of the programs. Chess worked well as playgrounds are non-existent in the slum. He was very hardworking and was among the best few that represented the club in tournaments.

Unlike his peers from the affluent part of town, he has achieved well despite several challenges including: 
– Never owned a chess board (until he met us!)
– Started playing on chess.com in 2020, thanks to his mother’s phone
– Used to have beginner book
– Not read any advanced books
– No direct coaching, at Redroof Erick Oyugi  and Josphat Owila, taught the 80+ club how to play

With Julie Gichuru, Dr Victor Ngani and Sarah Momanyi during a Business Meets Chess & Kids event.


Awards:
– Winka Academy 2018 Best Boy U14
– Brookhurst U14 winner
– Nairobi Southlands u14 Winnner
– Mukuru Junior Chess Championships winner u12 and u14 Boys- He has been top 3 in over a dozen other events.

Inside his home in Tena with one of his trophies

National:
– Vihiga 2018 Under14 Category – Joint 2nd
– Nyeri 2018 U14 – Joint 2nd

Isaiahs big goal is to become a Grandmaster and just like he predicted when he was 10, chess will transform his life!

Building Minds with Chess

We are very proud to announce that our short movie Building Minds with Chess created by Ken Mask and Marshall Woodworth featuring Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson was selected for the best short movie in New Orleans Film Festival.

BUILDING MINDS WITH CHESS USA | 2020 | 10 MIN DIR: KEN MASK
Explores the possibilities of engaging children and young teenagers through exercising certain parts of their brain through the game of chess.  
Watch the trailer here:


You can support Business Meets Chess & Kids by purchasing the full movie through this link: PURCHASE FILM

Business Meets Chess & Kids May 18 2019

4 happy Winners!

It was a fun afternoon at Morphys Chess & Culture Center, that created alot of interesting meetings, brought down many laughs and created many new friendship relations. Thanks to Leila D’aquin and Chess Nola for hosting us, Kendric Perkins and Strategic Thoughts for running the tournament, David and Maureen Grimaud for the pictures and Ken Mask for all his efforts, and a big thank you to all participants for joining us and making the event so successful. Chess is fun!

Tandem Chess Tournament in New Orleans on May 18th

On May 18th between 2 and 4.30 PM we will organize a tandem chess tournament at the Morphy Chess & Culture Center 4714B Earhart Blvd. The tandem chess tournament will see business leaders like Pres Kabacoff, MD Greg Ward, Mark P. Glago and Leila A. D’Aquin play tandem chess together with kids from all areas of New Orleans. Join us today! To sign up please contact Ken Mask (504)908-0337

Press Release

 

INTERNATIONAL CHESS GRANDMASTER PONTUS CARLSSON VISITS NEW ORLEANS TO UNVEIL NEW PROGRAM TO HELP KIDS

NEW ORLEANS, La., Oct. 13 – GM Pontus Carlsson is embarking on a new and ambitious program using chess to help underprivileged kids learn strategy and critical thinking to solve life problems. Pontus, a duel citizen of Sweden and Colombia, has over 25 years of experience teaching chess throughout Europe and has used his skills to win the Swedish Championship 12 times!

BUSINESS MEETS CHESS AND KIDS is a project that creates mutually beneficial meetings across the board by connecting business executives and kids from underprivileged areas of the city. Please join us at these events: School Workshop: Monday, October 15 at Patrick F. Talyor School, 701 Churchill Parkway in Avondale at 2:30pm, Public Tandem Simul: Wednesday, October 17 at the French Market Food Court at 11am, Chess Duel and Business Social: 2nd Vine Wine, 1027 Touro Street, 7pm and Community Workshop: Thursday, October 18, The Lyons Center, 624 Louisiana Avenue at 6pm.

OUR GOAL, we will work with kids from schools and chess clubs in the greater New Orleans area initially then hopefully spreading across the nation. Each participating youth will get a chess set, access to chess application and membership in a chess club so they can practice chess and through the project develop their concentration abilities, problem solving, calculation skills, as well as logical and critical thinking. These abilities will be very beneficial in chess and life.

“I would recommend any player master level and below to take advantage of GM Pontus years of experience, coaching abilities, and clear explanation of each phase of chess.”
(Glenn Bady US Master)

 

For more information please contact Media Relations

Ken Mask 504.908.0337
kenmaskmd@gmail.com

Pontus Carlsson
p.carlssonchess@gmail.com

Taurusm Bailey
taurusmbailey@gmail.com