Sunday, 28 December 2014

African Youth medallists

Naseem Essa, Aarti Datharam and Cailin Chetty, with their medals
News from the African Youth chess championships held recently in Monastir (Tunisia) is that Aarti Datharam won the gold medal in the under 08 girls, and that Cailin Chetty and Naseem Essa won silver and bronze medals repectively in the under 12 open section.

Congratulations to them on their success!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Grandmaster Kenny Solomon!

Congratulations to Kenny Solomon on becoming a Grandmaster! Kenny achieved this by winning the gold medal at the 2014 African Individual Chess Championships, held recently in Namibia. Kenny scored 7/9 and tied 1st with Egypt's GM Ahmed Adly.

There was some initial confusion as to whether Kenny had qualified for the GM title, as it was announced at the opening ceremony that the event had to be won outright to qualify for the title. FIDE has now confirmed that Kenny won the GM title, given that he had the better tie-breaks.

Here is the press release from Chess SA issued on the 24th December. What a Christmas present!

In previous years the winner of the African Championships got an automatic IM title and a GM norm, but FIDE changed its rules earlier in 2014 to say that the winner of any continental championship would get an automatic GM title. I suspect that Africa will get more GM's in future years because of this rule change.

While on the subject of titles, the first South African to get the correspondence chess GM title was Durban's John Barlow, way back in 2001. The first South African woman to get the WGM title was Melissa Greeff, at the 2009 African womens championship.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Chess Teachers Workshops

Erick Takawira reports: It was a great learning opportunity for Educators in Harding, Durban and surrounding areas. KZNCA with the continued support of LDM organized three teachers workshops. Training was conducted for 60 teachers who will be assisting in the process of starting new clubs in their schools. The topics included Basic skills, chess benefits, creating visual aids, lesson plans and curriculum, chess classroom management. There were lots of group activities ... Tower building competition, creating visuals and hands-on activities and a whole lot more fun activities.

The day ended on a high with every teacher taking a chess set for their school and with the conviction to go back and create Chess clubs. Come January, the Umlazi District Chess League will roll into action! A big thank you to LDM and Kales Chetty for the 54 chess sets, 10 demonstration boards, Teachers Manuals and Certificates.


The Facilitators Erick Takawira and Cyril Danisa
Proudly Harding Educators “showing off” the chess sets donated by LDM
Charity begins at home… 
Lesson plans at their very best…
Creating Visuals !!
A moment of Introspection!
Building towers……
….. exam in progress!
“Let’s use a book for elevation”
and the winning tower is …. This TOWER!!
Knight dance 1..2.. step take left/right!
Connecting the dots to Math, ladders and Chalk!!!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

JZ Chess 2014 results

The 2014 JZ Chess event took place in Nkandla on 19th December 2014 on a blazing hot day. I was quite interested to see that the presidential security team were at the venue before the arbiters! About 9 am everybody had to leave the venue so that the bomb sniffer dogs could check the marquee. We then re-entered through a SAPS security checkpoint, everybody went through a metal detector and bags were X-rayed. The playing venue was a large marquee on the sports field, where all the chess boards were set up. It took a while to get power sorted out from a mobile generator and get all the players names entered onto the pairings computer. Lots of players entered the open section on the day and extra boards had to be set up in the marquee. We had about 140 players in the open section and another 120 players in the junior teams event, which filled the marquee to capacity.

We played 4 rounds at a leisurely pace in the junior teams event, and it quickly became apparent that the hosts from Nkandla had fielded a very strong team. They won all their matches, scoring 34.5 points out of a possible 40, a full 10 game points ahead of everybody else!

The open section was running a little bit behind schedule, and we had to play round 5 at blitz speed in view of the imminent arrival of President Zuma. At about 4 pm a massive storm hit Nkandla and I don't know how the players managed to play their round 5 games, as it was so dark in the marquee. The arbiters table was near the door and got flooded, so we had to add up the top placed finishers on a manual basis! The organisers then provided some flood lights so that we could see the prize giving and the presidential speech, which took place around 5 pm. I believe it was shown on TV by the SABC later that evening.

After successfully drying off all the equipment, I have compiled the results, which were as follows:

JZ Chess Open 2014 results
JZ Junior Team Challenge results

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

JZ Open is going BIG

Sandile Xulu reports: Arguably the most popular tournament in South Africa – the JZ CHESS OPEN - is going to be BIG in 2014! There are sufficient reasons to claim that this tournament has been key to the development of chess in the rural areas of the country. Children from rural areas today have got an opportunity to play and reap the benefits of chess equally to those of the elite. Thanks to President Jacob Zuma’s vision and continued support, his love for this wonderful game will have a great impact in many children’s lives and so to the future of our beloved country.

The 6th edition of the JZ CHESS OPEN will take place in the President’s home village of Nkandla on Friday 19th December 2014. The tournament will be played in two sections. The first section is the JZ Junior Chess Teams Championship. Entries for this team event are restricted to teams from the 11 districts of Kwa-Zulu Natal. These teams (each of 10 juniors) have been selected by their federation officials.

29th November 2014 - more than 100 players turned up at Newcastle High School,
 for a chance to represent Amajuba District in Nkandla
Then there is the JZ OPEN SECTION, the section where everyone can enter – free of charge!
The JZ open flyer and JZ open entry form are available here. Remember - the closing date for entries is 17th December 2014.

For more information, contact Sandile Xulu.