Sunday, 10 April 2016

KZN open turns 50

The Durban Chess Club started organising the annual Natal Open swiss in 1967. The event was renamed as the KZN Open from 1994 onwards. A history of the competition and its winners can be found on the Durban Chess Club website. Over the years it has been won by five South African champions - David Walker, Frank Korostenski, Mark Rubery, Charles de Villiers and Daniel Cawdery - as well as GM Amon Simutowe and IM's Craig Pritchett, George Michelakis and Johannes Mabusela. My name first appears on the list of winners in 1977, a long time ago - nowadays I am the chief arbiter! This year the event will be hosted at Northlands Senior Primary School in Durban North, from the 30th April to the 2nd May. To enter the tournament, here is a link to the online entry form, or you can download an entry form (pdf).

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Junior Closed, Bloemfontein

The annual SA Junior Closed Chess Championships took place at Eunice Girls High School in Bloemfontein this year. Their main hall was used for the older players, from under 14 to under 20, with an adjacent hall used for the younger players. I was present as the deputy chief arbiter and was responsible for the main hall, where the players behaved so well that the arbiters had little to do!

I even had time to watch some of the games ...
The event was well organised by Chess Free State, who found accommodation for their numerous visitors at the Wag n Bietjie hostel on the UVS campus. I traveled there with fellow arbiter Divesh Sookdeo and KZN coach Sayen Naidu on the 19th March and we returned to Durban on the 27th.

KZN was quite successful at the event. Prizes were given to:

Kaedan Govender - tied 2nd in under 8 boys with 8/11 (no photo).

Archana Datharam (on left) tied 2nd in under 8 girls with 8/11.
Her sister Aarti Datharam dominated the u10 girls, with 10 wins and a draw.
Charlotte Millard (on left) was 3rd in the under 10 girls.

Jaedon Naidu - tied 3rd in under 12 boys with 7/11 (no photo).

Our most successful age group was the under 14 boys, where Cailin Chetty won gold with 9/11, just half-a-point ahead of his rival Naseem Essa.

Naseem was leading until disaster struck on Thursday
The final KZN medallist came in the under 20 boys section, where Nashlen Govindasamy tied 1st with Roland Bezuidenhout on 9.5 points. Bezuidenhout won the gold on tiebreak.

Our top u20 player Nashlen Govindasamy
Games played on the top 10 boards for all the different age groups were captured and published on the website. However, the capturers gave up very quickly when they couldn't read the score sheets eg. Nashlen's score sheets seemed to give them a lot of trouble! I visited the games capturing room and was able to capture all the moves of every game played in the under 20 boys section for the first 10 rounds. I was not able to check the last round as I was busy with the play-offs. Anyway, here is a PGN file of all the games from the u20 boys section.