Chess tournament for intercultural exchange held in Bonn

Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobani

Bonn, 19 November: International development organisation Seraji Foundation e.V. (SF) successfully organised the first annual chess tournament for integration, neighbourhood and intercultural exchange in Bonn on Saturday.

Ten players took part in the final phase of the chess tournament. The winner in Group B was Jago Steinmann from the Sportgemeinschaft Deutscher Bundestag e.V. (SGDB), followed by Isunge Mwangase and Gonzalo De la Cuba. The winner in Group A was Lorenzo Mercuri, followed by doctoral students from the University of Bonn Anupam Datta and Lazlo Sven Graf.

Netzwerk Politik Atelier e.V., BASUG, House of Integration, Bonn and German-Bengali Association Cologne-Bonn e.V. supported the tournament as cooperation partners. The chess tournament took place in the seminar room of Netzwerk Politik Atelier e.V. on Kaiser-Friedrich Strasse in Bonn.

After the welcome address from Dr Hossain Abdul Hai, Chairman of Seraji Foundation e.V. (SF), Managing Director of the House of Integration (HdI), Bonn and honorary Justice at the Economic Court in Cologne Juboraj Talukder, Deputy Chairman of the German-Bengali Association Cologne-Bonn e.V. and of the House of Integration Nurul Islam, Executive Member of the Netzwerk Politik Atelier e.V. Albrecht W. Hoffmann, Head of the Chess Club of the Sportgemeinschaft Deutscher Bundestag e.V. (SGDB) Rainer Stark and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Die Grenz and SF Project Director Riazul Islam underscored some important aspects of chess and voluntary engagement and the intercultural communication and harmony in the society.

In the speeches, the guests emphasised the importance of coming together and intercultural exchange through chess. They added that around 97,000 of Bonn’s 337,415 population have an immigration history. The proportion of the total population is 29.3%. However, people with a migration background often feel insecure when dealing with German-speaking people due to language barriers, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to make contact.

Among others, HdI Executive Members Tamanna Khondker and Reshma Akter, SF Executive Member Siratun Naim, DW Editor Arafatul Islam and Research Associate at the University of Siegen Mohammad Saiful Islam graced the occasion and emphasised that people of all ages, genders and backgrounds compete, have fun together and have a nice day together can spend. In addition, the tournament promotes intercultural exchange and creates new, long-term connections beyond the competition.

The guests added that no other sport than chess is better suited to getting in touch with people from different cultures and bringing them together. In chess, the 5-year-old girl plays equally against a 25-year-old athletic man or against a 70-year-old person in a wheelchair without this playing any role or having a negative impact on the game. Likewise, a person’s origin, ethnicity, cultural background or religious affiliation should not be an obstacle to meeting and playing chess against each other. We are convinced that migrants should be integrated into club work and all other areas of society.

For these reasons, the Seraji Foundation e.V. has launched this rapid chess tournament with cooperation partners.

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