Chess was played from the 10th to 14th July at Glenwood High School. There were 9 provincial teams of 7 players in each of 6 age group sections i.e. a total of 378 chess players for all these groups. There were even larger numbers in other sporting codes. I have seen reports of 7 500 competitors, so this was a massive sporting event!
I thought that Ronald King did a great job as chief arbiter. The organising committee asked that the event be played as a combined team and individual event. For the first 5 rounds, the tournament was paired as a normal Swiss. Then for the last 4 rounds, players were not allowed to play against their team mates, as the organisers wanted to establish which province had the best team. They also wanted to know who were the best individual players. I didn't know that Swiss Manager could do this, but Ronald somehow managed the task after spending many hours on his computer!
For those interested in the results, here is a link to the final results of the under 13 boys section. From there you can browse to all the other age group results.
I was present at the chess as a talent scout, for the under 13 boys and girls. Originally there were supposed to have been 2 talent scouts, and it would have been a lot easier to pick 3 boys and 3 girls, rather than 5 of each, on my own. I was given until Wednesday afternoon to finalise my reports, which meant that I only had games from the first 6 rounds to consider. Talent identification is as much about future potential as it is about present ability, so I must now wait 3 years to see if I was any good at talent spotting!
The following tactical episode deserves its own diagram:
|Fihla vs Mazibuko, round 3, under 13 boys|
PS. Here is my annotated games file (PGN, 87 games) from rounds 1 to 6 of the under 13 boys and girls sections, which has the games that were considered in talent identification.