Draughts tournament to uplift budding talent

2017-10-04 06:02
From left are, Charles Walker (World International Draught Competition sponsor), Melikaya Nonyukela and Richard Beckwith (World Checkers Draughts Federation president).                    Photos:SUPPLIED

From left are, Charles Walker (World International Draught Competition sponsor), Melikaya Nonyukela and Richard Beckwith (World Checkers Draughts Federation president). Photos:SUPPLIED

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

AS a means of empowering and uplifting budding talent, Port Elizabeth-based draughts champion Melikhaya Nonyukela will host a draught tournament this weekend.

The tournament will commence in Uitenhage on Saturday and conclude in the Zwide Stadium hall on Sunday.

Draughts or checkers is a strategy board game for two players, which involves diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over your opponent’s pieces.

Nonyukela, who was introduced to the game by his uncle and grandfather during his formative years in the small town of Peddie, said his love for the game began at the early age of eight.

“At the time I did not take the game seriously as I was very young and just played for the fun of it. It was only when I moved to Port Elizabeth and introduced to great players like Xolisani Pram and Ray Rubu that my love for the game really developed,” he said.

Last year the 43-year-old was crowned as the Eastern Cape champion at the Eastern Cape Draughts Association Trials tournament in King William’s Town.

The tournament featured teams from East London, King William’s Town, Grahamstown, Mthatha and various other cities and towns around the province.

He was also recently (July 21 to August 7) selected to represent South Africa at the World International Draughts competition held in the United States, where he obtained third place and received a bronze medal. Nonyukela describes his experience abroad as transformative.

“It was a great experience getting to play against the top players from other countries. I enjoyed every moment and learnt so much. I did, however, have a slow start due to the fact that I had a problem with recording and using the clock which was new for me because we don’t use it in South Africa.”

The draught enthusiast added that he desires to share all that he has learnt during his time away in the States with other players.

“I want South Africans to learn what I have learnt abroad. The use of clocks and records will make things easier for them when they get a chance to play in world qualifiers.”

He noted that finance is a huge challenge as the sport needs funding in order to work.

“Sponsorship is really needed as the sport is slowly but surely becoming very popular. With the little that I have I managed to buy trophies, medals and recording papers for the tournament.”

He said they are also expecting players from Cape Town and East London to participate in the games.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.