News24

SA gets first chess grandmaster

2012-09-11 12:21

Cape Town - A Cape Town man who grew up in Mitchells Plain has become South Africa’s first chess grandmaster.

Kenny Solomon, a 32-year-old father who started playing the game when he was 13-years-old was in a team of five South Africans at the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Turkey, the Cape Times reported.

Solomon was one of just eight international contestants to receive chess’s highest honour. The grandmaster title is also one that is held for life.

To become a grandmaster a player must have a performance rating consistently above 2 500.

A friend of Solomon’s told the Argus that the Mitchells Plain man had a rating of around 2 600 over nine rounds at the Olympiad as well as at three other previous tournaments.

“The best rating in the world is 2 880. Kenny has been working very hard for the grandmaster title - even while he trained me he was preparing himself. He deserves it.”

After he started playing, Solomon began reading chess books, taught himself and in two years won the national championship.

According to cultural affairs and sport MEC Ivan Meyer Solomon is only the second chess player from sub-Saharan Africa and only the eighth in Africa to achieve the grandmaster title.

Comments
  • michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-11 12:31

    Mitchells plains nogal! Die brasse innie kaap doen nogal nie te sleg nie my bru!

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-09-11 15:20

      Well done!

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-11 12:34

    He deserves hands full of accolades. Well done.

  • jaco.nel.5030 - 2012-09-11 12:36

    So proud. Well done Kenny.

  • Timmytomas - 2012-09-11 12:46

    Kenny the grandmaster

  • lielie.smit - 2012-09-11 12:47

    wow, shows what can be done, where you come from doesn't need to determine where you go

  • tom.theunissen.12 - 2012-09-11 12:49

    Great news!!!!!! We have been waiting for a Grand Master for many years.

  • chris.booise - 2012-09-11 12:53

    Congratulations and well done!! Good to hear some positive things coming from Mitchell's Plain.

  • GalacticThomas - 2012-09-11 12:54

    Well done! A great achievement.

  • margie.swanepoel - 2012-09-11 12:55

    Fantastic! Congratulations and celebrations are in order!

      heiku.staude - 2012-09-11 15:15

      Grandmasters don't celebrate. They don't need to because they plan so many moves ahead they avoid it because of the hangover and liver damage.

  • paul.maarman - 2012-09-11 13:00

    congrats man!! awesome!!

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-11 13:00

    Congrats!

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-11 13:19

      How cool would it be if you could make that your official title. Get mail and it'll be like "Grm K.Solomon".

  • Kalari - 2012-09-11 13:03

    what a man

  • peake.grant - 2012-09-11 13:07

    Yayy! Good news for a change! Congrats and very well done Kenny!

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-11 13:10

    Good for you Kenny! Well done ! We are all so proud of you

  • byron.jay.37 - 2012-09-11 13:27

    MP's Grandmaster flexing...

  • Msika - 2012-09-11 13:28

    Well done man! Now you join the likes of Gary Kasparov as a grand master.

  • hrh.majiuana - 2012-09-11 13:30

    give the Grandmaster a Bells

      Msika - 2012-09-11 13:34

      Or Marijuana.

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-11 13:37

    Well done Kenny Solomon!

  • cate.bompas - 2012-09-11 13:39

    Great news. Congratulations!

  • brettcch - 2012-09-11 13:52

    Fantastic and congratulations!

  • dakey.ras.73 - 2012-09-11 14:04

    Brilliant bud, you make us proud! Hopefully Carte Blanche will pick up on this.

  • hilary.woodcockreynolds - 2012-09-11 14:05

    Well done Kenny

  • tngobene - 2012-09-11 14:08

    Well done Kenny.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-11 14:11

    Well done! I wish you could teach some children and miners maths.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-11 14:13

    I hope someone rewards him for all his hard work.

  • Ashmolsan3 - 2012-09-11 14:16

    Wow, well done Kenny. I played you in the 2003 Reserve Bank tournament.

  • jacques.manus.9 - 2012-09-11 14:20

    Fantastic stuff, Kenny. I know how hard you've worked for this. But I also know its not gonna stop here with you. Looking forward to even bigger things from you.

  • aj.coetzee.9 - 2012-09-11 15:11

    He knew this was coming because he planned 8 moves ahead. Well done, you are a strategy machine mr Grandmaster sir

  • nazeem.abdullah - 2012-09-11 15:32

    Iwonder if the minister of sport is going to offer King Kenny R440k?

  • francois.viljoen.731 - 2012-09-11 15:47

    I'll make a note never to play against anybody named Kenny Solomon, Congrats

  • william.hlakoane - 2012-09-11 15:52

    Well done Kenny, however i think he might probably be the second grandmaster after Watu Kobese, who left South Africa on a chess scholarship to Germany in 1991 .

  • uwe.klopfer - 2012-09-11 15:55

    great stuff and congrats !

  • desireemegan.jacobs - 2012-09-11 16:07

    Well done my fellow countryman I am very proud of you, I know nothing about chess but my son Ocean plays well

  • arthur.reddy.3 - 2012-09-11 16:15

    WHAT A WONDERFUL THING TO READ ABOUT CONGRATULATIONS TO MR KENNY SOLOMON...I AM BOTH PROUD AND ENVIOUS OF YOU, AT THE SAME TIME.

  • jennifer.d.martin.750 - 2012-09-11 17:20

    :D Well Done! Well Done!

  • penny.stone.589 - 2012-09-11 19:01

    Congratulations Kenny Solomons. Wonderful news.

  • devenjoey.theron - 2012-09-11 19:23

    i think in the whole world there is about 1200 GM's :)

  • vinzent.blaschczok - 2012-09-11 20:33

    Where's that like button? This is not the kind of thing that can come accidentally or through mere talent and speaks volumes for his ambitions and dedication. You've given us something to smile about in times which afford few such oppertunities.

  • saleem.dawood.92 - 2012-09-13 11:11

    Point of correction. Kenny achieved a GM norm. He needs to repeat that 2 more times before he gets the title. Nonetheless that is quite an accomplishment. Well done Kenny!

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