Thursday, 31 July 2014

World Youth - 50 days to go!

The 2014 World Youth Chess Championships starts in Durban in 50 days! The venue will be the International Convention Centre, the same venue that we used for the 2013 SA Junior Chess Championships in December 2013.

For more information, go to the 2014 World Youth Chess Championships home page.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mandela 67 mins chess - report by Sandile Xulu

The inaugural MANDELA 67MIN CHESS was held over two days on 19th to 20th July 2014 at Berea Primary School in Durban SA. From as young as 5 years old to more senior citizens, from amateurs to International Masters, from Jo'burg to East London, from Malawi to Zimbabwe, black and white all descended down to South Africa’s warmest place, Ethekwini – all to play in the very first chess tournament named ‘MANDELA 67MIN CHESS’. No one wanted to miss out on this historic chess tournament, the first one ever to be played in honour of one man who was larger than life, gone but certainly not forgotten, a man who dedicated his life to the struggle of a better life for all – Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Thabiso Junior Ramatsepiso (12yrs) from JHB shakes hands with Lance Leslie Smith (11yrs) DBN
What is unique and special about this tournament is the fact that 67 minutes is actually being set on the chess clock – What this means is that each player will emulate Mandela’s ‘long walk to freedom’ on the chess board by taking only 67min to conquer their opponent. “Chess is life” - just like life, chess has got its ups and downs, but if you play well you will emerge victorious. In chess the playing field is leveled, chess is indeed a great equalizer.
Honour and pride, all to play for
The tournament ‘MANDELA 67MIN CHESS’ will be played every year around the month of July. The idea is to align this tournament with Madiba’s month of birth – July, as people around the world celebrate ‘Mandela Day’ on 18 July by giving of their time to do something for others in order to make the world a better place for all – KZN CHESS ASSOCIATION will use this chess initiative to fundraise for the disadvantaged community schools and for special projects aimed at promoting women and physically challenged chess. MANDELA 67MIN CHESS is aimed at promoting unity, positive change and advancing the ideals of a nation living together in harmony while at the same time using the opportunity to further popularize chess in South Africa.
Happy faces after a struggle of 67 minutes
Youngsters can never complain when paired with an older opponent, age has got no advantage whatsoever when it comes to chess. The Mandela 67MIN CHESS is a rated tournament and open to all regardless of ones rating or age, however, age group prizes are awarded. The overall winner walks away with a gold medal, a big trophy and some of course a handsome cheque! 
Age is just a number – Thabiso Junior Ramatseliso 12yrs (right) mesmerized one of the veteran chess players Zithulele Petros Ntombela (left) with his solid moves, after a long walk - the young Thabiso walked away with a win!
We read that former President Nelson Mandela was a chess player and that he used to play a lot of chess while he was jailed in Robben Island. In fact, he even ordered a chess book. Many political prisoners also played chess - President Jacob Zuma who served his 10 years in Robben Island is amongst those who became passionate about the game of chess. President Zuma’s continued support in promoting chess has contributed in popularizing chess especially in SA’s townships and rural areas.
Joseph Mwale (left) Malawi international now residing in KZN versus IM Rodwell Makoto (right) Zimbabwe international now residing in Jo'burg. Joseph edged Rodwell on tiebreak to claim the 1st MANDELA 67MIN CHESS trophy as the two ended with a score of 6.5/7
Those who missed out on this year’s tournament will have to wait another 12 months before they can make their names in the history book. The organizers will have a headache finding a bigger venue as numbers are expected to increase in next year’s tournament. Sponsors are encouraged to come on board and support this initiative led by KZN CHESS ASSOCIATION.
Everybody wanted a MANDELA 67MIN CHESS T-shirt
The convener of Commonwealth Chess Championships 2013 from Nelson Mandela Bay – Dr Brian van Zyl - provided much needed support, his generous sponsorship made it possible for KZN CHESS ASSOCIATION to launch this tournament.
Sandile Xulu – President of KZN Chess Association (left), Mrs Williams – Principal of Berea Primary School (right)

Many thanks to all the sponsors, partners and individuals who joined hands with KZN CHESS ASSOCIATION for making the inaugural MANDELA 67MIN CHESS such a great success.
Sponsors and partners: Berea Primary School, Dr Brian van Zyl, Mr Rajiv Jaynath – Bhekaphambili Geo-Contractors, Tsogo Sun – Garden Court, Vellan Moodley - ‘In Your Dreams’, Erick Takawira Chess initiative
Article by – Sandile Xulu

Monday, 21 July 2014

Mandela day puzzle solutions

Black to move resigned. On Saturday I asked you what did the players miss? The answer was that the spectator saw that 1... Qf1+ forces 2.Kxf1 with a most unusual stalemate position.

Sunday's puzzle, with Black to move, was more difficult. From the diagram, if 1... Rxe6 2.c4 Re8 3.a6 c6 I asked what White could do to escape his troubles. The answer was that White has a quite astonishing win by 4.c5!! cxd5 (4... dxc5 5.d6 and the Bishop is blocked) 5.c6 d4 6.c7 Bxb7 7.axb7 d3 8.b8=Q d2 9.Qxe8+ Kxe8 10.c8=Q+ and 11.Ke2. White's c-pawn turned out to be a fearsome warrior!!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Mandela 67 minutes chess day 2

Congratulations to Joseph Mwale on taking the first place trophy on tiebreak, ahead of IM Rodwell Makoto. Here are the Mandela 67 mins chess final results.

The following diagram is from a round 6 game that I found fascinating. It was between Craig Atkinson and Nadean Gopaulsingh, with Black to move. What would you play here?

Nadean correctly played 1... Rxe6! based on the pin 2.dxe6 Bxb7 winning for Black. Craig had seemingly overlooked this, as he took a couple of minutes to come up with 2. c4! cutting off the Bishop from the a8 square. The game then ended 2... Re8 3. a6 Ra8? 4. a7 Ke7 5. Rxc7+ Kd8 6. Rxh7 Kc8 7. Ke3 and White won. Watching the game I thought that 3... c6 worked, because of 4.a7 cxd5 5.Rb8 dxc4 etc, but I had also overlooked something. The all-seeing computer tells me that 3... Bd3 is best and results in an equal position. The position looks so simple, but is full of tricks - so what does White play after 3... c6 to escape? Answers on Monday.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Mandela 67 minutes chess day 1

Day 1 has gone smoothly, with 88 keen chess players competing, including visitors from Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. Here are the pairings for round 5, with the top seeds about to fight for the honours.

Here is an amusing episode from round 2. With both players down to their last few seconds, Black decided to resign here, seeing that Qh8 mate was inevitable. White shook his hand and then a spectator pointed out something unusual in this position.

What did both the players miss here? Another puzzle tomorrow, with answers on Monday.

Here are some photos taken during round 3:

board 2 Brighton Mthunzi vs Henry Oliver

board 8 Sayen Naidu deep in thought

board 10 Khetha Mngadi vs Erick Takawira

from left, Saiyuri Naidoo, Charlotte Millard, Riasha Singh, Kshanik Dayaram, Joshua Pillay

Saturday, 12 July 2014

A plethora of medals!

The KZN team at the SA Schools championships held in Bloemfontein from 10th to 12th July 2014 brought home a plethora of medals! Here is a list of our proud medallists:

Full list of top ten places:

u09 girls
1st Aarti Datharam
2nd Diya Datharam

u09 boys

u11 girls
2nd Karmishta Moodley
4th Santham Moodley
5th Priyasha Naidoo

u11 boys
1st Naseem Ahmed Essa
3rd Eli-Jordan Govender

u13 girls
1st Zahra Kara
5th Dayaan Parthiephal

u13 boys
1st Sachin Reddy
2nd Cailin Chetty
4th Aaron Jude Naidu

 Aarti Datharam
 Naseem Ahmed Essa
 Zahra Kara
 Sachin Reddy
 Keyana Padayachee
 Kenyon Padayachee

 Diya Datharam
 Karmishta Moodley
 Cailin Chetty
 Saiyuri Naidoo
 Nobuhle Ndunakazi

 Eli-Jordan Govender
 Kyran Appanna
 Viashna Hansraj

u15 girls
1st Keyana Padayachee
2nd Saiyuri Naidoo

u15 boys
5th Shivar Gopaulsingh
6th Tarendra Moodley
8th Liam Moodley

u17 girls
2nd Nobuhle Ndunakazi

u17 boys
1st Kenyon Padayachee
3rd Kyran Appanna
4th Jivorn Reddy

u19 girls
3rd Viashna Hansraj
4th Caitlin Chetty

u19 boys
8th Kieron Dowie

A brilliant game by young Cailin

Cailin Chetty was in good form at the eThekwini junior trials. Here is a game by him from round 3, where he sacrificed first a Rook, then his Queen, for a brilliant victory:

Friday, 11 July 2014

Living Chess and the Durban July

Last weekend saw the 2014 Vodacom Durban July horse race won rather controversially by second favourite Legislate, beaten to the post by outsider Wylie Hall, but Legislate was declared the winner after a meeting of the stewards. It was apparently quite a rough race! The Durban July is also known for its fashion contests and displays.

What has this got to do with chess? I was reminded of the time, back in 2009, when we produced a game of Living Chess at the Greyville racecourse. SABC's "Top Billing" broadcast the event on 2nd July 2009, as part of the media promotion for the Vodacom Durban July.

The media planners invited the two winning jockeys from the 2008 race (a dead heat) plus Miss South Africa as special guest. Students from DUT provided the fashionable outfits for the chess pieces, and several members of the Durban Chess Club, including myself, assisted with the production of the show.

It was quite a spectacle! For more on the occasion, have a look at my special report with photos, which was first published on the Durban Chess Club website.

Although this was the only game of Living Chess in Durban that I knew of at the time, I later found out that there was a similar display on 2nd August 1955 at the Amphitheatre in Durban. This display coincided with the visit of Dutch masters Euwe and Muehring to Durban, as part of their 1955 South African tour.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Mandela 67 minutes chess announced

KZN Chess is proud to announce a chess tournament to be played on 19th and 20th July 2014, at the unique time control of 67 minutes for each player.

Here is the invitation to Mandela 67 minutes chess from Sandile Xulu.

To enter this tournament, please complete the Mandela 67 minutes chess entry form.
 For more information, contact Kevin Chetty or Sandile Xulu.

Ethekwini Youth Trials, 8th July 2014

The trials for the Ethekwini region took place from 5th to 8th July 2014. This was a gruelling event of 9 rounds to select the players who will participate in the KZN Youth championships (later this year) and in the SA Junior Chess championships (in Kimberley, January 2015).

Here are the results after 9 rounds for each section:
For more information, contact Divesh Sookdeo.

KZN Schools championship, 28th June 2014

A selection tournament to pick the KZN team to go to the SA Schools championship in Bloemfontein was held on 28th June 2014. Thanks to National Convener Mr Vicky Magu for attending this event and to Chess SA for sponsoring the costs of the tournament.

Here are some details on the chess event in Bloemfontein.
For more information, contact Bongani Mkhunya.

Youth Challenge, 16th June 2014

A one-day rapid tournament held to celebrate Youth Day 2014 was played at Berea Primary School. Winner of the challenge was Shivar Gopaulsingh.

Here are the 2014 Youth Challenge results.