Tuesday, 26 August 2014

1st Durban Open GM tournament announced

CHESS SA has announced that the 1st Durban Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament will be held in Durban, from 20th to 29th September 2014, at the International Convention Centre. The event will take place at the same time as the FIDE World Youth Chess Championships at the same venue.

Details of the event can be found on the World Youth Chess Championship website or you can download the Durban open information brochure. Players should enter online before 15th September, here is the link to register to play in the tournament. All South Africans who register and pay before 5th September qualify for a 25% discount on their entry fees.

Here is a link to the tournament website on Chess-Results.com.
For more information, contact Bridgette Burger.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Historic win by Steel vs Kamsky

It's not very often that a South African beats a super Grandmaster! I remember the game Watu Kobese won against Peter Leko in the 2001 FIDE knockout championship. Before that, there was the win by Wolfgang Heidenfeld versus former world champion Max Euwe at the 1955 Johannesburg international. Now Henry Steel has joined this elite club at the Tromso Olympiad earlier this month. In all fairness, Kamsky was completely winning after his 23rd move, but made things difficult for himself with his poor 28th and 33rd moves. The ending reached after Black's 40th move looks about equal to me, but Steel outplayed his super-strong opponent for an historic win. Here is the game, with light notes:

Monday, 18 August 2014

ILembe Youth Trials, 16th-17th August 2014

This weekend saw the last of this year's youth trials, held over 2 days at Umhlali Preparatory School in the ILembe district. Close to a hundred players took part and enjoyed 6 rounds of rated chess. The surprising winner of the under 20 section (and best under 16 player) was Yasheel Maharaj, who scored 5 out of 6. He drew with top seed Miguel Murugan in the last round, and defeated number 2 seed Gregory Hall with a very nice piece sacrifice in round 3 - unfortunately his game score was not legible so I cannot show you this game. Best under 18 player was Llewellyn Iyer and best under 20 player was Miguel Murugan. Here are some photos I took of the under 20 section:

Llewelyn Iyer vs Yasheel Maharaj on board 1

Gregory Hall, Richard Paterson and Yasheel Maharaj

Top seed Miguel Murugan vs Gregory Hall, James Hulett on next board
Not surprisingly the under 14 section was won by top seed Sachin Reddy, with a perfect score. Sachin has been chosen to represent South Africa in this age category. Some photos of the under 14's:

Kayler Hulett and Frederick Paynter in u14 section

Dylan Atherstone went on to win this game vs Paynter
The other section winners were Cameron Evetts (under 12), Jamie Evetts (under 10) and Kiegan Padayachee (under 8).

Here are the final results for each age group:

For more information, contact Welcome Gwamanda.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Amajuba tournament, 9th August 2014

Mashumi Nhlapo reports from Newcastle: Amajuba Chess staged its inaugural district tournament on Saturday 9th August 2014 at Newcastle Recreation Center. There were 52 entrants from all over the Amajuba District. The tournament was divided into two categories, namely an under-20 section with 40 entrants and an over-20 section with 12 entrants. The winner in the under-20 section was Maseko Nkululeko; winner of the over-20 section was Nxumalo Nhlakanipho; the best female player was Magagula Ayanda and the best young player was Mnguni Lwandle.

There was tough competition in the under 20 section

Lwandle Mnguni receiving Best Young Player prize
 from Lulama Nqubuka (right) and Blessing Zambuko

Nkululeko Maseko (in black top) won first prize in under 20 section

Nhlakanipho Nxumalo (middle) won first prize in over 20 section

Prize winners and Amajuba Chess committee members.
 Ayanda Magagula (second from right in front row) won Best Female prize

For more information, contact Mashumi Nhlapo.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Uthungulu Youth Trials - team photos

combined under 10/12 teams

players sponsored by BHP Billiton

under 16 team

under 18 team

under 20 team

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Uthungulu Youth Trials, 2nd-3rd August 2014

I was invited to Richards Bay as chief arbiter of the Uthungulu Youth Trials by Lisa Griffiths, the chairperson of the Uthungulu Chess Association. Her committee did a good job in organising the tournament, setting up the playing venue, keeping track of the scores and so forth. I really liked their table numbers, which were easy to see at a distance. 

On the first day we had a tournament for the under 12 players. There were no defaults and the juniors played so quickly that I was able to do pairings sooner than expected, so we finished the day early. As there were not enough under 10 players for a full team, the best under 10 players were included with the best under 12 players for team selections.

On the second day we had a full house of players from under 14's to under 20's. Despite lots of late entries we started on time, but then ran late as there were so many defaulters (players who had entered but who failed to pitch up) who had to be removed from the draw before round 2. We later caught up on the playing schedule and held the selectors meeting and prize-giving on time.

On both days there were a lot of new and inexperienced players, with a surprising number of games ending in draws due to stalemate or the 50-move rule (when trying to mate with K+Q vs K or K+R vs K). That's something for Head coach Makhosonke to sort out before Nationals in January! Here are some pictures from both days of the youth trials:

Stefan Britz vs Mongezi Shoba, they both scored 6/7 and tied for 1st place

Tlhoni Tsotetsi also scored 6/7 in the under 12

Khandisiwe Mbambo

Scorers Nishi and Michelle were kept busy

Lisa Griffiths with best girls Lungelo Vilakazi and Londeka Buthelezi

This game ended in stalemate!

Sandile Mdunge vs Nikash Baboolal, the top 2 seeds in under 14

Here are the final results for each age group:

under 8/10/12 results

under 14 results
under 16/18/20 results

For more information, contact Lisa Griffiths.