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.