Piet Robbertse Chess Open Begins, smooth win by Chess Master Rodwell Makoto in first round

The Piet Robbertse Chess Tournament in Pretoria is now well underway at Waterkloof High School in Pretoria. The tournament had initially been cancelled but some people ran around behind the scenes to ensure that this very important event in the chess calendar took place. A very big thank you to Judy-Marie Steenkamp, Themba Nene, the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa and everyone else who has been made sure that this tournament is taking place once more. It is hard to imagine a chess calendar without Piet Robbertse.

The tournament is broadcasting some of the games live which is a really great development. It will enable Chess players to showcase their talent across the world. Those who cannot make it to the event are able to follow events from a distance.

Below is a game from the first round of the tournament. It was played by the  Zimbabwean International Master Rodwell Makoto and Themba Nene. Based in Johannesburg, Rodwell is a strong positional player who shows his mettle on the white side against Themba Nene. Nene is a tactical player who is known to go for sharp lines.  Possibly Nene was in fighting mood and went for the Sharp Sicilian Defence but Makoto quickly steered the game into quieter positional lines. Playing through the game I could not help but to think of the great Cuban Genius Capablanca. Makoto made it look so easy and effortless. Enjoy!

Update: 30/01/2015 

Comment from Themba Nene: 16.e5 didn’t catch me by surprise, it was expected as I tricked him into a line that exchanged even more pieces, after 19 – Qb6, the resulting endgame is completely equal, I just played it bad towards the end

I honestly misevaluated the setup of 25  …e6: the correct idea could have been a pawn to f6 somewhere after my Rc5 , instead of exchanging rooks!
Anyway, this game showed me that I need to work on my transition from the middle game into the endgame

Bruce Mubayiwa

I am the founder and editor of Africa Chess Net. I have been playing chess for over 25 years and love writing about the game. Our goal is simple, to get more people playing chess in Africa! The game of chess is not only absorbing but a great deal of fun.

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