Friday, 24 April 2015

USSA Championship 2015

The South African University (USSA) Closed Chess Championship is taking place from the 23rd to 27th April 2015 at Wits University in Johannesburg. Unfortunately Nashlen Govindasamy declined his invitation, leaving Rahul Beekrum as the only KZN player in the tournament.

The games are being broadcast live by Tshwane chess, and all the tournament results are on the chess-results website. There are events for both men and women.

For more information on university chess in KZN please contact Divesh Sookdeo, who is both the arbiter and the tournament director for this event.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Chess at Albert Luthuli Museum

Coach Spa reports from Ilembe: The Albert Luthuli museum in Groutville hosted a rapid chess tournament on 11 April 2015. We had 64 participants consisting of junior and adult players from Kwadukuza and surrounding areas.
Proud winners of the Albert Luthulu rapid tournament
The Adult section was won by Phiwe Phakathi, 2nd was Siphelele Mbambo and 3rd Siyabonga Gumede .
The High School section was won by Lungelo Luthuli on a full score 7/7, 2nd was Banele Mboka and 3rd Sandile Hadebe.
The Senior Primary section was won by Zion Sewraj, 2nd was Minenhle Zikalala and 3rd Sandiso Zulu.
Here are the detailed results of the Luthuli rapid chess tournament.

Dolphin Coast - new club

Press Release.
The Dolphin Coast Chess Club has been launched and one of our local chess coaches, Siphamandla Nkosi, has qualified as the first chess arbiter in the Ilembe district.
Nkosi, known to his players as Coach Spa, has been involved in chess for 12 years and has been coaching the Umhlali Preparatory chess players and all Senior Primary pupils for the past 10 years. His recent qualification ensures that our local tournaments can qualify as rated tournaments. This is a huge advantage for our local players as it offers them the opportunity to play skilled players and challenges them to improve the level of their game.
The Dolphin Coast Chess Club is a new initiative to encourage chess players (beginners to masters) to participate competitively in the Ilembe district. The Dolphin Coast Chess Club will be run as a club to ensure minimum expenses to the members. An annual membership fee will ensure that the players receive three rated tournaments per year and that the club will be able to accumulate chess equipment. Two Swiss format tournaments are also planned for the year.
Our vision is to create a respected club of high calibre chess players that are passionate for the game and to encourage and develop new players of all ages.
The Chess Club will meet at Umhlali Preparatory School on Wednesday evenings during the school term. For more information, please email Kerry or phone her on 0711436466.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Three SA junior champions!!

KZN has got three new national champions!! Congratulations to Shivar Gopaulsingh, the under 16 open champion, to Ananta Reddy, the under 14 open champion, and to Karmishta Moodley, the under 12 girls champion. Shivar won his gold medal after defeating Justin Lynch 2-0 in a playoff match. In addition, Naseem Essa won the silver medal in the under 12 open division, and Aarti Datharam received the bronze in the under 10 girls competition.

Shivar, Ananta and Karmishta
The SA Junior Closed chess championships took place at Waterkloof High School in Pretoria from 4th to 10th April 2015. I hadn't been to Waterkloof High School before. It was a great venue for SA's top junior competition, easily accessible and with lots of space for everybody.

I was invited to be one of the two deputy chief arbiters. After driving from Durban to Pretoria on the 3rd, my first appointment was an arbiters meeting in the late afternoon, when we met to discuss the final tournament rules, venue set up and so on. The school hall was not big enough to accommodate all 278 players, so the top boards in all age groups, except for under 8's, played upstairs near the auditorium. We had 108 players upstairs, with about half of these games played on DGT boards, which transmitted the moves live over the internet for everybody to see.

The first round on the 4th was chaotic. Both myself and Fransie Grobbelaar, the other deputy chief arbiter, stayed upstairs with the top players, with the other arbiters downstairs in the main hall. In addition to resolving disputes between the top players, we were expected to record the results for the top players and check the results submitted by age group arbiters. It was simply unworkable! We decided that from round 2 all score keeping would be done downstairs. We also agreed that Fransie would move downstairs and supervise the majority of the games and arbiters. My KZN colleague Divesh Sookdeo moved upstairs as he was the arbiter of the under 16 boys section, and we also later enlisted Henro van der Westhuizen to our team for the top boards. Once this was done, we were able to resolve everything at the board and had no more appeals affecting the top players.

Well, that's enough background information for now. I had a ringside seat to most of the top games and will write more about the tournament in later posts. Here is a link to the official SAJCCC website and here is a link to the under 18 results page, from which you can navigate to all the other age group results.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

KZN open 25-27 April

The Durban Chess Club has now sent us the entry form for their annual KZN Open championships. With over R15 000 in prize money, it is well worth entering! The championships will be split into two sections, with section B restricted to junior players rated under 1400.

For more information, here is the 2015 KZN open entry form (pdf). Alternatively, here is a link to the online entry form.