Chess club makes the right moves

2018-09-25 06:01
Members of the Mitchell’s Plain Chess Club.

Members of the Mitchell’s Plain Chess Club.

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Off the back of their recent success, the Mitchell’s Plain Chess Club is all ready for their well-deserved upgrade to a new league.

Established in December 1980 and based at the Rocklands Library, the club recently had teams competing in the provincial league competition.

“The club has competed annually in the Western Province League competition and has won the Western Province Premier League thrice, in 1986, 1996 and 2004. This year we fielded four teams. Our A team played in the B division and came second with 45.5 points to first place winners, Belhar Knights A with 48 points. Both Belhar Knights and the Mitchell’s Plain Chess Club A will see promotion to the 2019 Chess Western Province (CWP) Premier League. The Mitchell’s Plain C team, led by captain Umar Ismail (15), competed against 22 other teams to win the E division with 28 points ahead of Kuils River B with 24 points, thus ensuring promotion to the D division for next year’s league,” says Eugene Gordon, club chairperson.

This year the Premier League division was won by Steinitz A. The Mitchell’s Plain club enjoyed much success at the competition however. “The Mitchell’s Plain players that took part in the league ranged from ages seven to 59 with 80% of the team comprising players aged seven to 16. Top players in the Mitchell’s Plain team were Candidate Master Seth-Riley Adams (15) with 8.5 out of 10 wins, Rodwin Moses with 7 out of 11 wins, Matthew Saunders (16) with 7 out of 10 wins, Umar Ismail (15) with 6 out of 7 wins, Aden Coetzee (14) with 8 out of 10 wins, Kyle Adams (15) with 5 out of 7 wins, Emelio Judd (17) with 5 out of 9 wins and Nathaniel Clarke (14) with 6 out of 9 wins,” he says.

The 2018 CWP League consisted of five divisions making up a total of 71 teams participating in the event considered to be the largest chess league in Africa. Just over 700 chess enthusiasts took part weekly in the league that started on Saturday 28 July and ended on Saturday 15 September.

The league, which is rated both nationally by Chess South Africa and internationally by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), was held at the Western Cape Sports School in Kuils River under the auspices of Chess Western Province.

In 2000, the club made history for being the first chess club in South Africa to field two players in the national team to play in a FIDE Chess Olympiad.

Kenneth Solomon, South Africa’s first ever chess grand master, was also a player at the club. “At the club currently we have Seth-Riley Adams who achieved his Candidate Master Chess title – the first rung on the chess master ladder to achieve grand master status – when he won gold at the 2013 African Youth Chess Championships, and Matthew Saunders and Nathaniel Clarke who obtained their provincial colours. In December the trio will be participating in the South African Junior Chess Championships in Johannesburg.”

To join the club or for more information, visit the library on Saturday between 09:00 and 12:00.

“The club caters for beginners, intermediate and advanced level players. If you have never played chess before and would like to know how, you are most welcome to visit us,” says Gordon.

V For more information contact Eugene Gordon on 084 406 7636, mitchellsplainchessclub@gmail.com, or visit www.mitchellsplainchessclub.co.za.

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