Ilembe impresses at national chess tournament

2016-01-20 06:00
Photo: supplied The Ilembe Chess Under-12 squad finished a creditable 3rd in the South African Junior Chess Championship held in Cape Town from 3-7 January.

Photo: supplied The Ilembe Chess Under-12 squad finished a creditable 3rd in the South African Junior Chess Championship held in Cape Town from 3-7 January.

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ILEMBE Chess Association impressed at the South African Junior Chess Championship held at the University of Cape Town from 3 to 7 January.

A squad of 53 pupils represented iLembe in the under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16 and under 18 tournament in Cape Town.

Ilembe Chess hosted a series of events leading up to the selection of the squads to participate in the national tournament. In May, last year Ilembe Chess hosted its first tournament with more than 120 learners participating. Learners from Nonhlevu, New Guelderland and Stanger South represented KwaDukuza at the provincial chess tournament.

In June 2015 Ilembe Chess hosted the Jacob Zuma Foundation chess tournament at Umhlali Prep. Melville Primary, Nonhlevu and Khayalemfundo High School of Mandeni were adjudged winners in the three different categories and waltzed away with trophies sponsored by the JGZ Foundation.

In July 2015 Ilembe hosted an under 13 chess tournament and hosts Umhlali Prep proved too strong for their rivals winning both categories. Ilembe Cricket went on to host a youth tournament (in the U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18) at the end of July last year to select a squad to participate in the 2016 National Junior Chess Championship in Cape Town.

After an intensive five-months coaching and mentoring programme the Ilembe Chess squad set off to Cape Town to strut their stuff.

More than 20 teams representing the Johannesburg Metropolitan, Tswane, Boland, Western Province, Free State, Limpopo, Nelson Mandela Bay, Bojanala, Ethekwini, Lejweleputswa of North West, South Western Districts, Mpumalanga, Enhlanzeni, Northern Cape, Uthunglu, Sedibeng. Gert Sibande, Nkangala of Mpumalanga and Ilembe participated in 5-day tournament in the five different age-categories.

The Ilembe Chesss under 16 outfit stunned their more illustrious rivals in the mother-city emerging runners-up in the D-Division ranks and have gained automatic promotion into the C-Division ranks in 2017.

Sabelo Shandu, Richard Patterson, Kuhlekonke Mpanza and Banele Mbokazi impressed in the under 16 ranks winning board prizes.

The Ilembe Chess under 12 outfit finished a creditable third in the C-Division ranks and will be plying their trade in the B-Division ranks next year. Twelve-year-old Kylan Pillay and Njabulo Khumalo were outstanding and were awarded individual bord prizes for their outstanding performance.

The Ilembe Chess under 14 and under-18 squads finished fifth respectively in the C-Division ranks with the under 10 squad emerging seventh after making their debut in the national chess tournament.

Chairman of Ilembe Chess, Welcome Mazi Gwamanda congratulated the team on their outstanding performance and was full of praise for the individual players who waltzed away with board prizes. Gwamanda expressed his sincere thanks to the Ilembe District Municipality and the Department of Sport and Recreation (Ilembe) for their assistance in ensuring a successful tournament.

Schools that require assistance with chess are requested to contact Gwamanda on 072 484 7835.

A squad of 53 pupils represented iLembe in the under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16 and under 18 tournament in Cape Town.

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