The 2015 South African Junior Chess Championships (#SAJCC2015) got underway at the University of Cape Town on Monday 4 January. The event was officially opened by the MEC for Sport and Cultural Affairs Mrs Anroux Marais who was also the keynote speaker. With the ceremonial first move made, the games began shortly after 9 am on a warm but windy morning in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
The MEC spoke about the great importance of sport in the Western Cape and the amount of the development and investment going into the game. She indicated the that provincial government was looking forward to good moves being played in the tournament. As Watu Kobese said, when you see a good move, look for a better move.
According the CHESS SOUTH AFRICA President Eldo Smart, the South African Junior Chess Championships were among the biggest chess events on the continent. Two thousand one hundred and fifty-eight players had been registered for the event, that is a lot of people playing chess. He remarked that not even FIDE was organising events of this magnitude.
These championships will be followed by the South African Junior Closed Chess Championships which will be held in April. This is the third edition of the national tournament which started in 2012. The Junior Championships is an important tournament which was being played after the SA Closed Chess Championships and SA Ladies Open which were recently held in Cape Town as well. Daniel Cawdery from Gauteng won the SA Closed while Denise Frick from Cape Town won the SA Ladies Open.
The MEC highlighted some of the developments within chess in the province. In July 2015 Watu Kobese launched his IsiXhosa book on chess which would play a big part in growing and popularising the game.
The youngest player in the tournament who was just 5 years old was introduced and given a round of applause. At just five years old this girl is already strong enough to take part in a competitive event of this nature.
The Convenor of the Tournament Andrew Fisher and his team have worked very hard to make sure that this event will be a successful one. The CHESS SOUTH AFRICA Executive board headed by Eldo Smart was introduced to the audience.
Shortly before the games began representatives from the Players, Arbiters and Coaches read the Player’s Oath, Arbiter’s Oath and Coaches Oath respectively. After the rousing rendition of the National Anthem the players were already plotting how to checkmate the King. We can look forward to some fantastic battles and lots of drama during the course of this week at the South African Junior Chess Championships (SAJCC). As was stated during the opening remarks, good positions don’t win games, good moves do.