SEVERAL boys from St Dominic’s Priory School made their coach proud when they excelled in the South African Junior Chess Championships (SAJCC) 2016 that took place in Johannesburg in December last year.
The SAJCC is one of the premier junior sporting events of any sporting code in South Africa. The tournament typically attracts about 2 500 junior chess players and officials.
The championship consists of a team event and a wildcard event.
St Dominic’s Chess Coach, Megan Jacobs, said that she is proud of Nicholas Hargreaves, Ethan Fortuin and Keenan Naidoo, all of whom were invited to participate in the prestigious event last year.
All the boys participated in the team event, which features regional teams of between six and ten players who compete in age categories ranging from u/8 to u/20.
Nicholas has been playing chess for a number of years and is St Dominic’s top Senior Primary chess player. His efforts and passion for chess helped him secure fourth position in the Nelson Mandela Bay u/12 A team.
He has been invited to play in the South African Junior Closed Tournament during the next school holiday.
Both Keenan and Ethan participated in the SAJCC for the very first time. After seven rounds, Keenan placed second and Ethan fifth in the u/10 B team.
The Nelson Mandela Bay u/10 B team players were all rewarded for their efforts with trophies.
“It has been a pleasure to note the boys’ growing interest and dedication to chess over the past year,” Jacobs said. “They have not only participated in numerous tournaments, but have spent hours playing chess at school, private lessons and even attending high school chess practices.
“A big thank you goes out to Freddie Odendaal, our school coach, who has spent a great deal of time helping the boys with their games. Freddie is a top EP chess player himself and we are grateful for the insight and strategies he brings with him.
“We are proud of everything that these boys have achieved. We hope it encourages others to join our practices and learn through the benefits of chess. We look forward to another great chess year,” Jacobs concluded.