|Saturday 30 November 2013
By: Advocate Lyndon Bouah and assisted by Jacqueline Fritz
In March each year Dr. Ivan Meyer, the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Cultural Affairs and Sport for the Western Cape, announces important policy matters. In March 2012 he announced a chess revolution in the Western Cape. In March 2013 he continued this theme. He cited as examples the progress chess has made:
“… And of course a major highlight is South Africa’s first Grandmaster-Elect, Kenny Solomon. Kenny is my special guest today. He is accompanied by Andre Baard, The Managing Director of SA Bunking & Trading which has generously sponsored Kenny’s efforts over the past four years.
Kenny was born in Mitchells Plain in 1979. In 1999, at the age of 19, he won the SA Open Championships in Cape Town and has since won the prestigious competition four times. He has represented South Africa at every Chess Olympiad since 1998. He tied for first place at the Dover International tournament in Italy, becoming the first South African to do so.
He became the SA Closed Champion in 2003. In the same year he came 2nd in the African Individual Championships in 2003 and received International Master Status. In 2012 he scored two Grandmaster norms at the Olympiad in Turkey, and thus became our country’s first ever Grandmaster-Elect.
At a local level he has represented his club Mitchells Plain and the club won the Western Province (WP) League a few times. He has played Board One for WP at the Inter-Union Championships on numerous occasions and WP won the event for ten consecutive years.
Kenny is a symbol of what can be achieved. He has shown that South Africans from Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, can compete with the best in the world.
Honourable Speaker, chess teaches personal responsibility and consequences for individual choices. It is well documented that chess enhances maths and science ability. It is also well documented that our economy needs a work force that has the necessary science and maths competencies that will ensure that we are able to compete effectively with the rest of the world.
Honourable Speaker, chess is an unforgiving sport. You cannot blame the weather or the referee for a mistake on the board. The individual’s preparation and reasoning is all that matters. These are critical life lessons for our youth.
It is our intention to over the next few months to install chess sets in public spaces such as the Sea Point Promenade, the Waterfront as well as in museums.
Honourable Speaker, chess is more than just a game. It remains one of the cheapest options that we have to equip our youth with life-changing skills while at the same time enhancing maths and science and their ability to prosper and make a meaningful contribution to society. It is important that we all support this initiative.
Honourable Speaker, last year I announced a chess revolution and we are seeing the fruits of this revolution.”
Chess Revolution 2 – Oudtshoorn Festival: 21-23 June 2013
The Western Cape Department of Cultural and Sport has added chess to its list of codes in the club development programme. The club development programme is in its eighth year and chess has been added since 2012.
Various clubs were transported to the Oudtshoorn Festival as part of the club development programme. The Oudtshoorn festival is held in June each year and comprises a number of sporting codes.
The club development pragramme builds community chess clubs and pays for the transport to league fixtures, equipment and also for attire for the club members.
From the Club Development Programme 52 players participated in this event. The players played for:
Chess Revolution 3 – DSK Championships 2013
The DSK hosted a prestigious Grandmaster event in July 2013. The event has grown in stature and now boasts an elite Grandmaster section, a Fide rated section and a number of different sections. The event has shown that it can grow in a short while (6 years) from a 20/20 which I won in the early years to a remarkable event. Thanks Alice and Gerald Zidek. The article by GM Ipatov which can be found on www.chessbase.com is truly a remarkable account of his experiences.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport contributed financially to the event and also transported players and clubs from the Club Development Programme. For the second consecutive year Minister Dr Ivan Meyer opened the event.
The event was well run. I played in the Fide Prestige section. It was indeed a tough section with the ultimate winner being Benjamin Hercules on tiebreak! Many exciting duels were fought in this section. GM Ipatov has written about the GM section.
Chess Revolution 4 – Steinitz 2013 National Club Champions!
The Champions: Steinitz Chess Club with NCC2013 LOC members
Steinitz Chess Club – like soldiers they came, they saw and they conquered in Polokwane! They got down to serious business, like buffalo soldiers fighting for survival on arrival, by handing down 4- 0 to their first four opponents, their B team, University of Limpopo A, Polokwane Chess Club and Bloemfontein Chess Club. Out of the possible 28 points Steinitz A dropped only 2 points when they drew 2/2 against Centurion Chess Club.
Bloemfontein Chess Club gave a good account of themselves in this tournament. Despite the fact that they lost 0/4 to Steinitz, they gave other teams a god hiding with their board 4, Alfred Pesa, giving some free chess lessons. They handed down 2,5/1,5 to Centurion Chess Club in the opening game. They ended 2nd overall in the A-section.
Centurion Chess Club ended the tournament with a spectacular 3,5/0,5 thrashing of Steinitz B team. In round 5 they played to 2 / 2 against Steinitz A, thereby retaining their unbeaten record against Steinitz Chess Club.
Polokwane Chess Club showed signs of a very difficult customer of the tournament when they handed down 3,5/0,5 to Dendron Secondary Chess Club and 4/0 to University of Limpopo B before succumbing 0/4 to the ultimate champions, Steinitz A. To prove that they were a difficult customer they drew 2/2 with Centurion Chess Club in round 7.
Steinitz Chess Club successfully defended their title for the 7th time! Congratulations champions, you deserve it!
Steinitz chess club decided to export the chess revolution to the rest of the country. We stayed at a guest lodge on the outskirts of Polokwane. On the first day Michael James had to shower in an adjoining block because of time. Would you believe he was confronted by an ostrich that proved to be a sturdy blockader. Ivan Fortune managed to come to Michael’s assistance by outflanking the ostrich to allow Michael to en passant the Ostrich.
I found out that Polokwane chess club has been in existence since 1959. The youngsters were very enthusiastic as well. Many surprises were sprung on the stronger players. One of my endearing memories was of a player from Dendron Secondary who literally rubbed his hands in glee when he found the window move! The players were tactically very sharp but lacked positional understanding.
The National club championship started in 2003 and the following clubs have won:
Chess Revolution 5 – Citrusdal
As part of the chess revolution the department in consultation with the Western Cape Chess Council decided to host an annual Western Cape Club Championship. This will allow all clubs in the Western Cape to compete in an event where players can pit their skills against club players from all regions in the Western Cape.
A decision was taken to have the event in the West Coast to allow West Coast to build their expertise in organising chess events. The turnout was indeed great! Basil Ellman wrote the report below.
View full article (previously published).
Chess Revolution 7
The Club Development programme is now in its eighth year as a national project. Chess was added as one of the codes supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. The clubs supported come from the length and breadth of the Western Cape. The department will now be assisting the respective unions with a league that will commence in all the areas.
Chess Revolution 8: Curro Open 2013
Chess Revolution 9: African Youth Chess Championships 2013
Congratulations to the following players who have won FIDE titles at the 2013 African Youth Chess Championships that were held in Port Elizabeth, 7-15 October. WP can celebrate some great achievements by its players that competed in the African Youth Championships.In the Under 8 girls Natasha ( sister of Dantelle) demolished the opposition and captured gold. In The Under ten section Seth Riley Adams from Mitchells Plain won the Boys under ten section african title. In June 2012 MEC Meyer played a friendly against Seth Riley when he delivered 24 chess sets and a giant chess set to Rocklands Library. The Department is rightly proud of these two champions and all the WP medallists. Well done boys and girls!
Chess Revolution 10: Chess Western Province League 2013
The Western Province league was played for the first time in 1907. Four clubs, namely Cape Town, Woodtstock, YMCA and Tokai played the first WP league. Cape Town won that year. This year I am immensely proud of Chess Western Province. The fruits of the revolution can be seen by the following statistics:
The league was a huge triumph for Steinitz chess club! They won the first three divisions of the league. In the A section they played 77 games in eleven matches and lost only two games to end with 67/77!!