Kenny Solomon could become one of only two chess Grandmasters in sub-Saharan Africa and join only 1300-odd active Grandmasters worldwide within the next few months. The only step up from this is world champion.
A lengthy sponsorship from fuel traders SA Bunkering & Trading freed him up to compete seriously in any international event of his choosing. Kenny spends as much as five hours a day studying moves and strategy.
Chess is a game of numbers and tactics, logic and planning. Here are some numbers for you to consider:
His Olympiad wins have earned him three Grandmaster norms making him Grandmaster-elect. Kenny’s rating currently stands at 2450 placing him seventh overall in Africa.
A chess player needs one of 2500 to be named a Grandmaster by Fide. He estimates that he needs to be successful in about 6 tournaments to achieve this goal.
2851 is currently the highest rating ever achieved in the world.
In chess, timing is important. It is said that chess players peak between the ages of 30 and 38.
Kenny is 33.
“Chess trains the mind. It teaches you to analyse, think ahead, and make logical news. It helps you apply the same lessons to life.”