Thursday, 5 November 2015

Uthungulu championships

This event was held from 24th to 25th October 2015 in Richards Bay.

Sorry, no photos, but here are the results of the
under 16, 18 and 20 age groups,
under 14 age group, and
under 10 and 12 age groups.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

SAPS Championships

I was invited to be the arbiter for the annual SAPS chess championships, held from the 10th to 15th October 2015. This year the event took place at the Port Edward Holiday Resort, about an hour and a half's drive from Durban. The resort has an interesting history, as the buildings were originally funded by collections made from police officers during the 2nd World War. For many years it was open only to members of the Police, but for the last 20 years it has been open to the public. Their large hall was just the right size for 100 or so chess players.

The first event to take place was the individual SAPS championship, held over 9 rounds at the standard 60/60 time control. There were 68 entries in the open section and 33 entries in the ladies section. This was immediately followed by the teams event, with a team from every province, plus one from head office in Pretoria - a 9 match round robin. The playing schedule was challenging, with 3 rounds on day 1, followed by 4 rounds a day on days 2, 3 and 4. The pace then eased off with the final 3 rounds on days 5 and 6.

As part of my duties, I was the judge of the "best game" prize for the individual events. This was my choice:

The event was well organised and there were very few incidents that required my intervention. Something that was new to me was the presence of two blind players (Bonnie and Melvyn) who used braille boards and special clocks. They both dictated their moves onto tape. One of Bonnie's opponents was not properly familiar with chess notation, so I had to organise an assistant for the sighted player! Another interesting incident occurred in one of Melvyn's games, where a Rook was on b8 on his braille board, but on a8 on the standard board. With the Rb8, Melvyn was winning a pawn, so this was critical. Unfortunately Black's scoresheet was completely illegible, and I was happy when Melvyn sportingly agreed to play on with Ra8. The game ended in a draw.

The top two seeds managed to avoid playing until round 9, which saw this exciting finish:

Rico Schutte vs David Maloba after 32... Qe6
Play started with the Rook sacrifice 33.Rxc6! f4 34.Rxa6? f3+ 35.Kh2 Qa2! 36.Ra8+ Kh7 37.Qd8 Qxf2+ 38.Kh3 Qg2+ 39.Kg4 Rg6+ 40.Kh5? and ended with the pretty Rook sacrifice 40... Rg5+! 41.hxg5 Qh3 mate. If the first Rook is taken, with 33... dxc6, then 34.d7 Rf8 35.d8=Q Rxd8 36.Qxd8+ Kh7 is about equal. So Black counter attacked. Rico should have played 34.Qd8+ Kh7 35.Rc8 fxe3! 36.h5! when Black's King is about to get mated (but my computer says Black can sacrifice his Rook to get a perpetual check!) At the end, Rico had to try 40.Kf5 Qh3+ 41.Kxe4 which is extremely hairy, but at least there is no forced mate.

Here are the final results of the open section and of the ladies section.

The team championships required every team to have a minimum of 4 ladies amongst their 10 players. Failure to meet this requirement resulted in a number of defaults on the bottom boards. Gauteng was one of the teams with only 9 players, yet they won by a large margin despite this handicap! Their top 3 men all won board prizes. There was a certain amount of discussion on how any ties would be decided, as this had not been spelt out by the LOC. My feeling was that every board should count, so we went with game points, followed by match points, as recommended by FIDE. Head Office, Eastern Cape and Western Cape had a thrilling contest for 2nd place. The last game to finish decided 2nd place in the team championships. Fittingly, this was the battle between the SAPS Chess chairman, Thabo Nonyana, and blind player, Melvyn Lucas, from Cape Town.

Thabo Nonyana vs Melvyn Lucas, after 38.Rxb7
By this time we knew that White had to win this game, so that his team would score 7-3 and overtake Eastern Province on tie-break. Hence after 38... Qxc5+ 39.Kh1 Nf2+ 40.Kh2 Ng4+ the King must come forward with 41.Kh3. Melvyn had less than 5 minutes here, and he went astray with 41... Qe3+? 42.g3 Qf2? threatening mate, but White got his punishment in first, by 43.Rxf7+ Kxf7 44.Rb7+ Ke8 45.Qe7 mate. The key idea for Black is to put his Queen on the h1/a8 diagonal, thus 41... Qd5! 42.Rxf7+ Kxf7 43.Qh4 Nf6! and Black has the better chances.

Lastly, here are the results of the team event, together with all of the board results.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

SA Club Teams results/games

No report was received from the organisers.

Here are the results of the A section and the results of the B section.

PS. I received a box of score sheets from the organisers and have captured all available games. PGN files are available here for all 168 games played in the A section, which was FIDE rated, and for 151 games played in the B section (many score sheets were missing).

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Mayoral Cup report

Report by Sandile Xulu and Keith Rust, photos by Sifiso Xulu: The inaugural Ethekwini Mayoral Chess Cup took place at the City Hall on Saturday 3rd October 2015. Players came from all over the province of KZN and even from Gauteng to play. We also had a group of orphans from the Abalindi Welfare Society in Matikwe who participated in the tournament. Our youngest player of the tournament – Kaedan Govender, just 6 years old – won the Mayor’s Cup in the under 8 years category.  The other age category winners who went home with a Mayor’s Cup were Naseem Essa, Keith Khumalo and Thato Moremi.

Trophy winners with the Mayor, Cllr. James Nxumalo
Prize winners in the 9 to 12 years category
Surprisingly, the winner of the main prize in the Open Category, where everybody was competing for glory, was 16 year old Thato Moremi, all the way from Johannesburg, who won the tournament with a score of 6.5 out of 7. Thato defeated top KZN players Erick Takawira, Joseph Mwale and Lulama Qobo, keeping his nerve in some tough positions. Here is the finish of his game against Qobo:

Moremi vs Qobo
Play continued with 1...Kg4 and now Thato produced the winning variation 2.Qf4+ Qxf4 3.gxf4 Kxf4 4.a4 Ke3 5.Ke1 g5 6.a5 g4 7.a6 h4 8.a7 g3 9.hxg3 hxg3 10.a8=Q and Black had to resign. Mbongeni Sithole was the only player who managed to get a draw against Thato.

Thato walked away with the main Trophy, a gold medal and a cash prize of R2 000. Lulama Qobo, Joseph Mwale and Ntando Zwakala shared the runner-up prize of R1 000 as they tied on 6 points each.

Most importantly, and on behalf of the organizing team of Sakhisizwe Legacy Society, we would like to pass our gratitude to the Mayor, Cllr. James Nxumalo for his presence. Both players and spectators alike were excited to witness the Mayor playing chess and interacting with the children. The Mayor’s speech was encouraging and carried a message of wisdom. We also thank the Ethekwini Municipality for opening doors for chess at the City Hall. After the tournament, the Natal Trial Singers – Iscathamiya group – entertained us with their moves on stage and sweet African sounds.

The organising team Andisiwe Silangwe, Dumile Mbuthuma and Sandile Xulu with the Mayor
Our appreciation must also go to SAB as one of our sponsors, their contribution and campaign message which says “No to Under Age Drinking” was indeed well projected. Thanks to Sakhisizwe Legacy Society and all our other sponsors – KZN Chess Association, SmartMoves Project and Caring for the Earth Org for their contributions to this event.

Here are the final results.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Mayoral Cup announced

The inaugural Ethekwini Mayoral Chess Cup takes place this coming weekend on 3rd October 2015 at Durban's City Hall. The Mayor of Ethekwini, Councillor James Nxumalo will hand over the main prizes. There will be some entertainment lined up to make the day even sweeter and tastier.

The overall winner will lift the main cup and receive a gold medal accompanied by R2 000 cash! Further information can be found in the entry form for the tournament. Due to the logistics around the venue, only the first 120 players will be accepted.

Entries are to be emailed to Keith Rust by no later than Friday 2nd October. For more information, please contact the organizer Sandile Xulu.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Arbiters workshop

An arbiters workshop will be held on 19th and 20th September 2015 at Northwood High School (Durban North). The workshop instructors will be Keith Rust and Divesh Sookdeo. Saturday will be spent on training exercises and discussion of the FIDE Laws of Chess (2014), then there will be an open book exam on Sunday. Here is a more detailed training programme.

The cost for the workshop and exam will be R150, payable at registration on Saturday morning (08h30). Please bring the following to the workshop/exam:
1) Pens, pencils, ruler and Calculator
2) Exam pad/Notebook for the workshop
3) ID Book (proof of identity)

All attendees must read the AOC Arbiters Manual 2014, which is downloadable from the AOC downloads and resources page. Other course materials that will be referred to are the Chess SA rating rules and the AOC arbiter regulations.

Update 29th September: congratulations to Cheshni Jeena, Craig Atkinson, Rahul Beekrum and Sayen Naidu on becoming Candidate Provincial Arbiters. Lulama Qobo becomes a Tournament Supervisor and Ilshaad Hussain a Schools Supervisor.

Monday, 14 September 2015

ECA teams selected

Players selected to represent the Ethekwini Chess Association at the SA Junior Team Championships were announced in a previous post, about the 3rd Grand Prix tournament. Since then, a number of players have withdrawn from the squads and have been replaced. Announcements concerning board orders were made at an awards ceremony for all selected players and their parents held on 13th September 2015 at the Open Air School in Durban.

Here are the team selections as announced at the awards ceremony.

For further information, please contact Divesh Sookdeo.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

KZN Top Schools results

The 2015 KZN Top Schools Team Championship was held at the Old Mutual Sports Centre (UKZN) in Durban, from Saturday 12th to Sunday 13th September 2015. Thank you to the Department of Sport & Recreation for sponsoring such a successful event.

Some photos from the team championships follow:

Here are the results and the winners for the following sections:
under 13 girls - Ilembe;
under 13 open - Ilembe;
under 15 girls - Ilembe;
under 15 open - Pinetown;
under 18 girls - Ilembe;
under 18 open - Umlazi.

Monday, 7 September 2015

KZN Chess Queens

Reigning KZN champion, Joseph Mwale, has started a programme for all girls interested in playing chess. The first free coaching session for girls will be held from 15h30 to 17h00 at Gordon Road Girls School, on Wednesday 14th October 2015. Joseph hopes to host a tournament once every month for girls. Here is the entry form for the first such event, to be held on Saturday 19th October 2015, at Gordon Road Girls School.

PS. Here a couple of photos from the inaugural tournament:

SA Club Team Champs

The 2015 SA Club Chess Championship will be held at Glenwood Preparatory School in Durban, from 7th to 11th October 2015. The event is being organised by Glenwood Chess Club and is for teams of 4 players (plus 1 reserve), representing any chess club in South Africa. The A section will be FIDE rated and the B section will be Chessa rated. All that you need to know is contained in the 1st circular from the organisers.

Monday, 31 August 2015

3rd ECA Grand Prix results

The 3rd and final Grand Prix tournament took place at Kuswag High School (Amanzimtoti) on the weekend of 28th and 29th August 2015. There were 121 participants.

Duncan Podmore (1st u18) takes on Benjamin Seip
Top seed Naseem Essa could only draw this game (vs Chad Millard)
Under 10 players Charlotte Millard (2nd) and Jamie Evetts (1st)
The detailed results were as follows:
under 18/20 section;
under 16 section;
under 14 section;
under 12 section;
under 08/10 section.

Here are all the GPX points list after 3 events. There is a separate spreadsheet for each age group, and only the best 2 events for each player are shown. Players selected for the ECA squads have been highlighted in green. Announcements concerning board orders will be made at an awards ceremony for all selected players and their parents (see invitation) to be held on 13th September 2015 at the Open Air School in Durban.

For further information, please contact Divesh Sookdeo.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Uthungulu Winter rapids

The Uthungulu Winter Rapid tournament took place in Richards Bay on the weekend of 15th and 16th August 2015, with 121 competitors divided into 3 sections based on their age. I was kept very busy on the first day, with 5 rounds of rapid chess. Sunday was more relaxed, with 4 rounds played at 45 minutes for each player. Everybody was playing quickly, so we finished play an hour ahead of schedule. Thanks go to Lisa Griffiths and her committee for organising this event so well.

The Open section was won convincingly by the top seed, Wandumuzi Khayile, who is currently staying in the Richards Bay area. In second place was Mlungisi Mbanjwa, a student at the University of Zululand.

Wandumuzi Khanyile conceded just 2 draws
Lungisani Nyawo drew with Wanda in the last round
Lungelo Mthembu (3rd)
Xola Mpungose (6th)

There were not enough ladies to have a separate Womens open as originally planned, so the ladies had to try their chances in the Open section. Amongst them was Lisa Griffiths, who finished with 4 out of 9, the 2nd best score amongst the ladies. So now everybody knows that Lisa can play chess as well as organising tournaments!

Lisa won this game
Committee members getting assistance from young V
Many people travelled long distances to be at the event. My assistant arbiter, Pieter De Wit, travelled from Vryheid with his family to be at the tournament, and we also had a strong group of players from Nkandla. The under 12 section was won by Tlhoni Tsotetsi (Nkandla) with Petrie de Wit in 2nd place. The under 16 section was won by Stephan de Wit with Nikash Baboolal (R/Bay) in 2nd place.

Here are the final results files for each of the sections:
under 12 section;
under 16 section;
open section.

For more information, contact Lisa Griffiths.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Durban Chess Club birthday

The Durban Chess Club is celebrating its 122nd birthday this week! The club was founded in August 1893 and is one of the oldest chess clubs in South Africa. I believe that the Cape Town chess club was founded earlier and is still active, but many other clubs such as those in Johannesburg and in Pietermaritzburg appear to have fallen into the abyss.

After many years at, the Durban Chess Club website has recently relocated to its own domain which is much easier to remember! All of the old content is still available on the new website. The move means that the previous 20Mb space restriction falls away, so I will be able to publish more images on the new club website.

Contact Desmond Rooplal (chairman) or  Keith Rust (captain of play) for more information.

3rd ECA Grand Prix entry

The Ethekwini Chess Association will be holding their 3rd and final Youth Grand Prix tournament from 29th to 30th August 2015 at Kuswag High School in Amanzimtoti. There will be 7 rounds played at 60/60 time control for the following age groups: under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20.

Grand Prix points will be awarded to the top 20 players per age group per tournament, starting with 20 points for 1st place, 19 points for 2nd place, down to 1 point for 20th place. GPX points for each player's best 2 tournaments will be added together to get a GPX ranking list for selection purposes.

Here is the 3rd Grand Prix entry form which must be completed and sent to Divesh Sookdeo by 24th August 2015 to qualify for the discounted entry fee of R100.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Ilembe Youth trials

The Ilembe youth trials were held over the weekend of 1st/2nd August 2015 in Ballito. A total of 125 players entered the trials and the following players were selected for the 2015 Ilembe youth squads. These players will represent Ilembe at the SA Junior Chess Championships, to be held in Cape Town at the beginning of January 2016.

All players that have qualified for selection are requested to submit their contact details to Welcome Gwamanda.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Mandeni Chess Club

A new chess club has been formed in Mandeni Municipality, which is part of the Ilembe district. Siyabonga Gumede reports that Mandeni Municipality hosted a rapid chess tournament on 28 June 2015 which was very successful. We had 56 participants consisting of junior and adult players from Mandeni and surrounding areas.
Players at the Albert Mandeni rapid tournament
Thanks to all the Mandeni Municipality officials, Lulama Qobo as arbiter of the tournament and others who helped make sure that this tournament ran smoothly. The overall best players of the tournament were 1st Sandile Hadebe, 2nd Lungelo Luthuli, 3rd Banele Mbokazi. The Senior Primary section was won by 1st Njabulo Khumalo, 2nd Maphumulo Amahle, 3rd Sandiso Zulu. The Primary section was won by 1st Thalente Masango, 2nd Minenhle Zikalala, 3rd Aphiwe Zikalala.

The new club sent a team to the Mandela 67 minutes chess challenge held in Durban at the end of July. Here is a photo of the young chess enthusiasts from Mandeni:

For more information on the Mandeni Chess Club, contact Siyabonga Gumede.

Mandela 67 photos

Lindokuhle Xulu lost his last round game on board 1 to

1st placed Kela Kaulule Siame, seen with Sandile Xulu (chief organiser)

Monday, 27 July 2015

Mandela 67 results

Congratulations to Kela Kaulule Siame on winning the second Mandela 67 minutes chess tournament. He scored 6.5 points from his 7 games, with 6 wins and a draw against the defending champion, Joseph Mwale, in the 6th round. Mwale was part of a group of 4 players who tied for 2nd place with 6 points.

Top seed Johannes Mabusela drew in round 4 and blundered away a win in round 6 to end on only 5.5 points. Mabu was fortunate to survive his round 4 encounter with Durban's Lulama Qobo. In what was the most exciting game of the tournament, Lulama sacrificed a piece in the opening and Mabu was hard pressed to defend. At the end, Lulama decided to take a perpetual check, in a position where he had a forced win! Here is the game:

Here are the final results of the 2nd Mandela 67 chess tournament.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Mandela 67 Min Chess Challenge

The second "Mandela 67 Minutes Chess Challenge" will take place on the weekend of 25th/26th July 2015 at Addington Primary School in Durban. The time control is of course 67 minutes per player for each game. Here is the Mandela 67 flyer and entry form.

uShaka Marine World has agreed to sponsor us with seven Platinum passes, which will entitle the lucky winners to FREE entry into Sea World and  Wet 'n Wild for one year.
For more information, contact Sandile Xulu (cell number 082 455 4730).

Monday, 29 June 2015

2nd ECA Grand Prix results

The second Ethekwini Grand Prix tournament took place at Northwood High School from 27th to 29th June 2015. A total of 177 players took part in 8 rounds of standard rated chess over the 3 days.

Archana Datharam was joint 1st in under 8 section
Her sister Aarti Datharam won all her games in the under 10's
Kiaren Naidoo tied for 2nd place in the under 12's
Naseem Essa was a convincing winner in the under 14's
Thirushan Pather (under 16)
Yadhav Noubouth (under 16)

These are the final results after 8 rounds for:
under 08 group,
under 10 group,
under 12 group,
under 14 group,
under 16 group,
under 18 group,
under 20 group.

These are the GPX standings after 2 events.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Zuma Foundation in Ilembe



On Saturday 27 June 2015, the Foundation will be hosting its very first annual schools chess tournament, the ‘JACOB G ZUMA FOUNDATION - CHESS IN SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIP 2015’. The tournament takes place at Umhlali Preparatory School in the area of KwaDukuza (Stanger) from 09h00-16h30.

The Jacob G Zuma Foundation, under the stewardship of its Patron - the President of the Republic of South Africa, continues to make a difference where it matters most - in the field of education and training of our future leaders from the ranks of underprivileged children. Encouraged by the JZ CHESS OPEN success which takes place in December that dates back to 2009, the Foundation has formalized the program called CHESS IN SCHOOLS’ launched in May 2014 and endorsed by the KZN Department of Education. The program is piloted in 20 schools in the district of Ilembe.

Since the program began we have trained more than 100 educators. The Foundation has not only trained educators but it has also dedicated a full-time chess coach who visits the schools and trains pupils as well. The President, in his capacity as patron, has been involved in promoting the game of chess encouraging government and private sector to invest in chess as an intervention to education. “The benefits of chess are well documented around the world, we are proud to be at the forefront of introducing and popularizing chess not only as a sport code but as the tool to unblock the potential of the young intellectuals and shaping the future of South Africa” said Mr Sandile Xulu who is the Foundation’s chess coach.

200 pupils from previously disadvantaged communities will have the opportunity to represent their schools in the championship tournament; each school will be represented by 10 players, 5 girls and 5 boys, while more than 50 educators do battle for a gold medal of the best chess educator. The event is expected to host about 300 players. High ranking officials from Provincial government, MEC of Education and HOD as well as district officials are expected to attend the event.

The details of the event are as follows:
Date: 27 June 2015           Time: 09h00-16h30
Venue: Umhlali Preparatory School - KwaDukuza

For more information contact Sandile Xulu (Chess Coordinator), cell 082 455 4730.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Zululand district photos

Eugene Barnard reports from Vryheid that the "Zululand Chess Association held its first tournament on 16th June 2015 at Pionier High School. The tournament was a huge success with 107 players from Vryheid and its surrounding areas competing. We as the Zululand Chess Association would like to thank every player for competing and showing us that the game of chess will always be played. We would like to see all schools in Zululand giving the opportunity to all scholars to play chess. Research shows, there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement."

Here is a selection of photos from the tournament: