Nkandla team is the king at JZ’s chess tournament

2014-12-21 06:00

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President Jacob Zuma is considered a wily political strategist by his supporters and detractors alike – and some of those skills were on display at the JZ Open Chess Tournament in Nkandla on Friday.

President Zuma was among 300 chess players who took part in the tournament, which was started by the JG Zuma Foundation in 2009.

When the tournament’s namesake arrived towards the end of the day, he was greeted with a standing ovation by the under-15 players from the Nkandla municipality-sponsored side and KwaZulu-Natal’s 11 districts and the participants in the open section.

President Zuma’s game against seven-year-old Grade 2 pupil Minenhle Zungu from Phalane Primary School at Nkandla – the youngest player in the area’s team and in the entire tournament – ended in a draw.

The president, who had the upper hand, offered his young opponent terms and the two shook on it.

Organiser Sandile Xulu of the JG Zuma Foundation told City Press the event was an “amazing” success and had drawn the largest number of participants since it was started by the president at Nkandla in 2009.

“When we started off with teams at Nkandla, we had no idea it would become so big,” said Xulu.

“The tournament is now recognised by the World Chess Federation and the open section had players from as far afield as Zambia. This event is becoming stronger and chess is growing.”

The home team won in the under-15 section, with the Ugu (Port Shepstone) and Amajuba (Newcastle) districts second and third, respectively.

The open section was won by Musatwe Simutowe from Zambia, with Ntando Zwakala from Gauteng second and Lindokuhle Xulu from KwaZulu-Natal third.

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