Chess makes a move to township schools

2016-01-26 06:00
Bahlebonke Primary pupils (from left) Ayanda Gumbi, Jabulani Hlengwa, Khwezi Buthelezi (trophy), Sanele Zikode, Bhekisisa Sibande and Mr John Madlala. Photo: supplied

Bahlebonke Primary pupils (from left) Ayanda Gumbi, Jabulani Hlengwa, Khwezi Buthelezi (trophy), Sanele Zikode, Bhekisisa Sibande and Mr John Madlala. Photo: supplied

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CHESS in township schools is alive - this was enforced a few years ago by the chairman of Beier Industries in Wybank, Hans Beier, who was struck by the benefits of chess for young minds.
These include developing strategic thinking, consequential thinking and problem-solving skills. As a result, the Beier Industries Group of Companies contracted a chess coach to teach chess in schools, with the focus on schools in under-privileged areas.

Beier Industries chess coach and event co-ordinator, Mbongeni Sithole said: “Beier Industries recently put on their third annual chess tournament between participating schools in the programme. The tournament involved township schools from KwaDabeka and KwaSanti. I presided over the tournament and was advised that this was by far the biggest chess tournament ever hosted in the Clermont area.”

The tournament was played over five rounds using the Swiss format. Each team comprised six players.
“There were more than 70 players who participated because some schools sent more than one team to represent them. The going was tough for the teams due to the high standard of competition. After seven hours of chess, we eventually had our winners.

“The first-placed high school was Sithokozile Secondary, first placed primary school was Bahlebonke Primary from Kwa-Santi and second-place primary school was Khuluqgame Primary from KwaDabeka

“If we are to truly develop chess in townships, big chess tournaments like this must be hosted frequently. What Beier Industries is doing is making a real difference in the lives of the youngsters who are participating in the programme.”

From the tournament, 12 participants were selected to represent Pinetowm Salga games trials at the uMlazi Indoor Centre.

“It was a big and great event for the community. Such an event would never be possible without the support of the local community. Special thanks goes to the KK Chess Club chairperson Thandwa Dladla, to Joe Ncube of KK library and to S. Nzama of Clermont Sports. All the co-ordinators from the participating schools must also be commended for their dedication.”

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