Club Chess Champs at its Best
The Steinitz Chess Club from Belhar continued its dominance in the Western Cape by winning the Ample Club Chess Championships held in Cape Town from 20 to 23 March 2014. The tournament was hosted by Chess Western Cape and supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS).
Over 30 top teams from across the province came to measure their strengths in the tournament that also featured the Oudtshoorn Chess Club and Bay Kings Chess Club from Port Elizabeth. Stellenbosch A and African Chess Lounge A came 2nd and 3rd place in the tournament.
Top World Chess Federation (FIDE)-rated players were in attendance, namely Woman Grandmaster Katarzyna Toma from Poland, International Masters David Gluckman, Henry Steel and Watu Kobes, as well as FIDE Masters Mohammed Bhawoodien, Charles de Villiers and Daniel Barrish. Top South African players at the event included Donovan van den Heever (SA male chess champion) and University female champion Lauren van Niekerk and her sister Robyn, who was the runner-up at the recent SA Women’s Championships.
Adv. Lyndon Bouah of DCAS said events of this nature are very important. “In no other code of sport do you get fully grown adults competing in the same event on an equal footing. Chess clubs are no longer the purview of single communities. Most clubs playing here are integrated with players from different communities and diverse cultures. I sincerely believe that by enabling and facilitating these events, our players will become stronger and will not fear the competition when they play overseas.”
DCAS is presently engaged in high-level negotiations with Russia and China to possibly bring Grandmaster coaches to visit the Western Cape. These coaches will assist our players to get to the next level of their development.