Stancil applies Kwanzaa principle to Chess

"Kwanzaa" is traditionally a non-religious festival which is designed to celebrate the heritage and culture of Africa and to highlight the historical contributions made by those in the African Diaspora.  Founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the festivity begins on December 26th and extends until January 1st and is celebrated by millions around the world. It has no relation to the preceding Christmas holiday.

Kwanzaa, Swahili for "first fruits,"  was created to reinforce the "Nguzo Saba," or the seven principles identified as central to African identity:
Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).

Dr. Kimani Stancil

Dr. Kimani Stancil

On each successive day of Kwanzaa, the corresponding principle within the Nguzo Saba is practiced and activities such as story-telling and poetry recitals, craft-making, dance and drumming, honoring of ancestors and communal mediation. While Kwanzaa has become disturbingly commercial in recent years, it still maintains its vibrancy within the African Diaspora. It has taken an ever-increasing role in the celebration and reclamation of African identity, particularly among those Blacks born in the U.S.

Dr. Kimani Stancil is very familiar with these principles as he was brought up in an African-centered household and has been influenced by that foundation. As a very philosophical player, Stancil has many interesting chess theories… one of which is to never resign until all chances to draw or swindle have been exhausted. In the following game, Stancil demonstrates his utilization of the Kwanzaa principle, "Kujichagulia" which means "self-determination." Interesting story and lesson!

"Kujichagulia and Chess:
Self-Determination vs. Resignation in a Bad Position!"

Official Kwanzaa website

Posted by The Chess Drum: 27 December 2004